US Government and Politics

U.S. Government and Politics walks students through not only the history but the organization and functions of government in the United States. The course teaches students how this country's government works. Students become familiar with and develop knowledge of the institutions, documents, policies, political groups, beliefs and theories central to the politics of the United States. Emphasis is placed on critical and evaluative thinking skills, data analysis, collaborative discussion, free-response essay writing, and interpretation of original documents. Topics include constitutional underpinnings of the U.S. government, political beliefs and behaviors, political parties, interest groups and mass media, national government institutions, public policy, civil rights and civil liberties.

RECOMMENDED PRE-REQUISITE: US History

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Basic and On Demand are always open for registration.

Plus courses are created upon request.

ONE-SEMESTER COURSE

Unit 1: Foundations of American Government

  • What is Government?
  • American Democracy
  • English and Enlightenment Traditions
  • American Independence
  • Building the Constitution
  • The U.S. Constitution
  • Basic Principles of the U.S. Constitution
  • Inside the Constitution
  • The Bill of Rights 
  • Powers Divided
  • Evolution of Federalism

Unit 2: Political Behavior

  • Political Parties and Voting Behavior
  • Political Parties    
  • Party Function and Structure
  • Party Identification
  • Voting Behavior and Intensity    
  • Elections
  • Financial Participation in Elections    
  • Congressional Elections
  • The Electoral College
  • Presidential Elections

Unit 3: The Legislative Branch

  • Structure of the House of Representatives
  • Structure of the Senate
  • Passage of a Bill

Unit 4: The Executive Branch

  • The Nature of a President
  • Presidential Roles
  • The White House
  • Presidential Politics, Polls, and the Press
  • The Budget
  • The Nature of the Bureaucracy
  • The Cabinet
  • Other Bureaucratic Bodies
  • Checks on the Bureaucracy

Unit 5: The Judicial Branch

  • The Federal Court System
  • Historical Supreme Courts
  • The Nature of the Supreme Court
  • The Modern Supreme Court

Unit 06: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

  • Incorporation
  • Freedom of Religion
  • Freedom of Speech
  • Freedom of the Press
  • The Fourth Amendment
  • Due Process and Criminal Rights
  • The Civil Rights Movement
  • Equality Before the Law