American Government

Credit Hours: 1.0

Course Length: 1 Semester

Course Description

American Government provides the student with the basic knowledge of the history and philosophy of the United States government, and the principles, which guide our democracy. The student examines the United States Constitution to answer questions and determine the facts of government. The course focuses on the functions and duties of the three branches of government, which are the legislative, executive, and judicial. Special attention is given to political participation, the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and government systems of the world. American Government uses the view of political institutions to explore the history, organization, and functions of the U.S. government. It offers students learning opportunities that build one on another. A goal of the course is for the student to develop the critical skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation in a demanding and thoughtful academic setting. Students are encouraged to use their knowledge of the organizations and management of governing to develop their own views on current political issues. They are taught how to apply what they have learned into civic action. The course looks closely at the political knowledge and values of the country and gives students a look into the problems faced by presidents, congressional representatives, and other political activists. It also covers the roles of political parties, interest groups, and the media in shaping the government. The Supreme Court is presented as the Voice of Reason in the balance of powers. Students are encouraged to perform at higher levels as they are presented with historical documents and additional readings, work with a set of facts arranged by theme, and become skillful in note-taking.

Course Prerequisites

None

Required Textbook(s) and/or Materials

None

Major Concepts

  • Foundations of Government
  • Origins of American Government
  • Constitution
  • Federalism
  • Congress: the Legislative Branch
  • Presidency: the Executive Branch
  • Federal Courts: the Judicial Branch
  • The Political Process
  • Civil Liberties
  • Comparative Political and Economic Systems