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American Government Course Outline

American Government Course Outline

0.5 Credit

This course is designed to provide students with a basic knowledge of the purpose, structure, and operation of the national and state governmental systems. The primary content of study is the Federal system and its underlying principles as they are related to National, State, and local levels.

The Government course is a thought-provoking exploration of American Government and Politics. We will cover such topics as the Constitution, civil rights, interest groups, politics, voting, Congress, the Presidency, the Judiciary, laws, public policies, state & local government, and current events.

1- Introduction

  • Introduction
  • Course Description
  • Course Links
  • Understanding Plagiarism
  • Pretest
  • Assignment: Pretest
  • MLA Formatting MSWord 2007
  • MLA Documentation updates
  • MLA Citation
  • MLA Incorporating Sources

2- Historical Documents

  • Introduction
  • 2- Historical Documents
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Assignment: The Declaration of Independence
  • Articles of Confederation
  • Federalists Papers
  • Handout: Federalist 10 Activity
  • Handout: Current Issues Spectrum
  • Essay: Federalist 10
  • The Bill of Rights
  • Emancipation Proclamation
  • Gettysburg Address
  • Quiz: Quiz 4 HistDocuments and The Constitution

3- Political Landscape

  • Political Landscape
  • Basic Facts
  • Quick Facts – USA
  • Our Capital
  • Democracy
  • Assignment: Political Landscape Worksheet
  • Assignment: What you Think Assignment

4- Political Philosophy

  • Socrates, Plato, Aristotle
  • Greek Leaders Position
  • Niccolo Machiavelli
  • Other Thinkers of the Renaissance
  • Spinoza, Locke, and Smith
  • Voltaire and Rousseau
  • Political Philosophers
  • Quiz: Background information, Political landscape, and Philosophy
  • Essay: The Declaration of Independence

5- The Constitution

  • Constitution
  • Constitutional Convention
  • Federalism
  • Checks and Balances
  • Writing the Constitution
  • The Virginia Plan
  • Essay: The Virginia Plan
  • Federalism Continued
  • Anti-federalist Debates
  • Handout: Worksheet 1
  • Handout: Worksheet 2
  • Assignment: Worksheets 1 and 2
  • Assignment: Questions
  • Assignment: Persuasive Speech
  • Quiz: Federalism Quiz

6- State and Local Government

  • US Government Manual
  • Introduction
  • Branches of the Government
  • Executive Branch
  • Legislative Branch
  • Judicial Branch
  • Supreme Court
  • How Supreme Court Works
  • Supreme Court Justices
  • Worksheet: State and Local Government
  • Quiz: State and Local Government Quiz

7- Civil Liberties

  • How Laws are Made
  • Civil Liberties
  • Assignment: Civil Liberties at Work
  • Essay: Freedom of Speech in School
  • Quiz: Civil Liberties Quiz

8- Civil Rights

  • Civil Rights
  • Democracy & Equality
  • The 14th Amendment
  • Assignment: 14th Amendment Activity
  • Essay: Dissent Essay
  • Plessey vs. Ferguson
  • Quiz: Civil Rights Quiz
  • With Liberty and Justice for All – part 1
  • Handout: Civil Liberties & Civil Rights
  • Handout: Viewer’s Guide for ‘A Nation of Liberties’ Democracy and World War II
  • Handout: Tracing the Evolution of the Pledge of Allegiance
  • Assignment: Liberty Journal
  • With Liberty and Justice for All – part 2
  • Assignment: Video Responses
  • Assignment: W. Virginia versus Barnette
  • Assignment: Evolution of the Pledge of Allegiance

9- Congress

  • All about Congress
  • Power of Congress
  • Workings of Congress
  • Senate Courtesy
  • Assignment: Congressional Committes
  • Essay: Senate Oversight Function
  • Congress Webquest
  • Assignment: Congress WebQuest
  • Worksheet: Congress
  • Quiz: Midterm Quiz

10- National vs. State Government

  • National vs. State Government
  • Exclusive Powers
  • Powers Denied
  • Quiz: National vs State Govt
  • Assignment: State & Local Governments
  • Midtest
  • Assignment: Midtest
  • Assignment: Referendum, Recall, and Initiative

11- The Presidency

  • Roots of Presidency
  • Presidential Greatness
  • Schlesinger Poll
  • Role of the President
  • Assignment: The Executive Branch
  • Commander in Chief
  • Chief Executive
  • Quiz: The Presidency

12- The Bureaucracy

  • Modern Bureaucracy
  • What is Bureaucracy
  • Worksheet: Bureaucracy Worksheet
  • Quiz: The Bureaucracy

13- The Judiciary

  • American Legal System
  • Judiciary Power
  • Types of Cases
  • Judiciary-Supreme Court Cases
  • Probable Cause
  • Death Penalty
  • Precedent
  • Handout: The Supreme Court
  • Assignment: The Supreme Court: Precedent
  • Worksheet: The Judicial Branch
  • Quiz: The Judiciary

14- Public Opinion

  • What is Public Opinion?
  • Public Opinion Polls
  • Essay: Polls and Public Opinion
  • Political Attitudes
  • Propaganda Techniques
  • Quiz: Public Opinion

15- Political Parties

  • Roles of American Parties
  • Handout: Political Spectrum Chart
  • Handout: Political Spectrum Survey
  • Essay: Political Parties
  • Republican or Democrat
  • Democrat vs. Republican
  • Worksheet: Political Parties Worksheet
  • Voting Increases
  • Assignment: Comparing Parties
  • Quiz: Political Parties

16- Elections & Campaigns

  • Voting and Elections
  • Election Process
  • President & Vice President
  • General Election
  • Electoral College
  • Assignment: The Electoral College
  • Election of Senators
  • Election of Representatives
  • Voter Registration
  • Worksheet: Election Process Worksheet
  • The Campaign Process
  • Quiz: Election Process/Campaign Process

17- Citizenship

  • Citizenship
  • Becoming a Citizen
  • The Application
  • Naturalization Examination
  • Essay: The Citizenship Test
  • Court Hearing
  • The Oath of Allegiance
  • Rights of Citizen
  • Duties & Responsibilities
  • Worksheet: Citizenship Assignment
  • Quiz: Citizenship

18- Continuity & Change

  • Continuity & Change
  • Divided We Stand
  • Assignment: Divided We Stand
  • Final Project
  • Assignment: Outline/Rough draft
  • Essay: Final Assignment

19- Final Exam

  • Post-test
  • Assignment: Post-test
  • Quiz: Final Exam

20- Course Survey

  • Handout: Course Evaluation
  • Assignment: Course Survey
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