US Government and Politics

Think US politics is a snooze-fest? Washington, D.C. is a legislative battle zone with politicians clashing daily over such issues as taxes, health care, privacy rights, and more. In this class, you’ll cultivate a clear understanding of democratic governmental policies and procedures, the role and function of political parties, and analyze US civil rights and liberties. You’ll examine political, judicial, and legislative issues and put your research and persuasive writing skills to the test defending your opinion with supporting evidence. RECOMMENDED PREREQUISITE: None, but successful completion of US History is recommended. This is a single semester course.

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Basic and On Demand are always open for registration.

Plus courses are created upon request.


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