Free Civics Studies Lesson 8: The State & Defense Departments

Mt. Vernon, Alexandria, and the departments devoted to the business of the State and Defense.

Read the current chapter online: “The State, War, and Navy Departments.”


Learn more about the Department of Defense from The Book of Knowledge:

Congress is also given power to declare war and to raise and support and army. Here the fear the makers of the Constitution had of a standing army caused them to say that all money voted for an army must not cover more than two years. At the end of that time the necessary funds must be voted again. Congress may also build and keep a navy….

“How the United States is Governed” from The Book of Knowledge

Additional Resources

State, War, and Navy Building History
Use the timeline on the right to find out more.

The Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Timeline of the old State, War, and Navy Building through today.

10 Facts About the Mansion
Interesting information about Mount Vernon.

Writing the Declaration of Independence
Explains why a draft copy exists.

A Short History of the Department of State
“Short” being relative….

Secretaries of State

U. S. Armed Forces Overview
Brief introduction to the branches of the military and what they are responsible for.

U. S. Department of Defense
More about each branch of service.

United States Military
(You may want to install an ad blocker before viewing.)


Mount Vernon Virtual Tour
From the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.

Flat George Washington
Cute activity for younger children where they color “George” and find landmarks and other locations named after him.

The Cupola
Interactive coloring page.

Journey to the Presidency Board Game
Follow Washington’s path for younger students.

George Washington Interactive Timeline
From the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.

Defense Department History
Video at


Secretaries of Defense Historical Series
Many free downloads detailing the history of the Department of Defense.

Secretaries of Defense
Smaller and more accessible book.

The Pentagon: The First 50 Years by Alfred Goldberg
Published in 1992.

Four American Naval Heroes by Mabel Borton Beebe
Recommended title that covers Paul Jones, Admiral Farragut, Oliver H. Perry, and Admiral Dewey.

Units & Lesson Plans

George Washington’s Views on Slavery
Open-ended lesson plan from the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.

Removing, Replacing, and Term-Limiting the President
Part 4 of this download deals with the line of succession.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: A Unit Study

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: A Unit Study
Fun rabbit trail.

Notebooking Pages & Printables

Printable U.S. State Maps
Select the map of Maryland for marking at Owl & Mouse.

Learn About the U.S. Coast Guard {Free Coloring Book}
Fun download.

The State & Defense Department Notebooking Pages
Our free and simple notebooking pages for copywork, narrations, dictations, or wrapping up.

Enjoy the entire series:
Free Civics Studies

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