Government

Welcome!

Welcome to the Government site.  Below you will find the readings, worksheets, video content, and other resources that we use for our five units of study.  I have also included links to various supplemental content that if the unit interests you, you may enjoy.  To the right, I have the Town Hall schedule as well as a reading guide to our second assigned text, Hardball by Chris Matthews.  The class syllabus can be found here

angryvillagers.jpg
Democracy!
Hardball Reading Guide
hardballcover.jpg
Town Hall Schedule & Documents
simpsons town hall.jpg

Unit 1 - Design of Power

Our first unit is an analysis of the foundations of our governmental system.  We examine key philosophical influences and notable sources of thought, early failings in rule,  our governing documents, and how power is meant to be shared.  Key areas of focus include the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and other amendments, the system of federalism, and changes in power over the years.

Readings for the Unit

Documents

Lectures

Influential Philosophers.jpg
Constitution.jpg
27amendments.jpg
federalism basics.jpg
nationalization.jpg
strange world of federalism.jpg

Video Content

TheStormlogo.jpg
Democracy in America Federalism.jpg
8bit do we need gov.jpg
8bit do we enjoy free.jpg
Constitution.jpg
cc federalism.jpg

Other Resources

To Learn More...

Unit 2 - Consolidation of Power
(Group Political Participation)

Our second unit is an analysis of how people form groups in a political environment and how those affect policy and government action.  The key areas of study in this unit are Political Ideology, the Media, Political Parties, and Interest Groups.  There are also focuses on how groups utilize information to convey their ideas to the broader public and how the average citizen gets the majority of information.

Readings for the Unit

"Interest Groups and the American Political System" - Rozell & Wilcox
"Feeding Frenzies" - Larry Sabato

Documents

Lectures

Political ideology.jpg
Democrats.jpg
The Media Overview Actual.jpg
Case Study Media.jpg
GOP.jpg
Interest Groups.jpg
political parties.jpg
Geo of Parties.jpg
Damned Lies and Statistics.jpg

Video Content

Democracy in America Parties.jpg
Democracy in America Interest Groups.jpg
nra powerful.jpg
crash course ideology.jpg
cc political parties.jpg
CC Public opinion.jpg
trust media 8 bit.jpg
10parties.jfif

Other Resources...

living-room-candidate.jpg
open-secrets-c-c-565x210.png

To Learn More...

"Obama's Deal" (Frontline) - (2010) - Dir. Michael Kirk

"News War" (Frontline) - (2007) - Dir. Raney Aronson-Rath

Unit 3 - The Obtaining of Power
(Individual Political Participation)

Our third unit is an analysis of how individuals use power in a governmental system.  There are two primary focuses in this unit.  The first is the citizen in context of voting, and the second is the citizen in context of becoming an elective official.  The primary topics are the basics of voting, electoral systems and their challenges, campaigning, the Electoral College, election reform and divisions real and imagined within the electorate.

Readings for the Unit

Documents

Lectures

FPTP.jpg
WHO VOTES.jpg
Red and Blue America.jpg
Geography and National Elections.jpg

Video Content

bodylanguage.jpg
CGP fptp.jpg
cgp alternative.jpg
cgp electoral.jpg
cgp electoral troubles.jpg
kennedylink.jpg
primaries.jpg
CC voters decide.jpg
CC election basics.jpg

Other Resources...

270ToWinLogo.png

To Learn More...

What It Takes: The Way to the White House - Richard Ben Cramer
The War Room (1993) - (Dir. Hegedus & Pennebaker)

Tanner '88 - (1988) - (Dir. Robert Altman)

Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime - John Heilemann & Mark Halperin

Bob Roberts - (1992) - (Dir. Tim Robbins)

Whistlestop: My Favorite Stories From Presidential Campaign History - John Dickerson

Unit 4 - The Application of Power
(Policy-making Bodies)

Our fourth unit is an analysis of how the major policy making branches of government work and what forces act on them.  Covered in this unit is the Presidency, the Bureaucracy, and the Legislature of the federal government.  Major areas of focus include how the powers of these branches overlap and where they hold checks and balances over each other.

Readings for the Unit

Documents

Lectures

8 Roles of the President.jpg
Roles of the Presidency Game.jpg
Growth of Bureacracies.jpg
Bureacratic Example.jpg
Roles of the Legislator.jpg
legislature.jpg
gerrymandering.jpg

Video Content

Democracy in America Bureaucracy.jpg
Democracy in America Legislature.jpg
arewesafer.jpg
Pres Power.jpg
cc presidential powers 1.jpg
cc presidential powers 2.jpg
the-pentagon-wars-577918be9c5cf.jpg
cc bureaucracy.jpg
cc congressional decisions.jpg
cc congressional delegation.jpg
cc congressional leadership.jpg
cgp gerrymandering.jpg

Other Resources...

redistrictinggame.png
govtrack.png

To Learn More...

Unit 5 - The Interpretation of Power
(The Courts and Civil Liberties)

Our fifth unit is an analysis of how the last branch of the government plays a key role in policy through judicial review and judicial interpretation.  Included in this unit are Supreme Court cases that highlight Civil Rights and Civil Liberties enjoyed by citizens and how they have changed over the years.

Lectures

judicial branch.jpg
The Media Overview.jpg

Video Resources

cc judicial review.jpg
cc judicial decisions.jpg
cc civil rights.jpg
Gideon.jpg

Documents

To Learn More...

Gideon's Trumpet - Anthony Lewis

Separate But Equal - (1991) - Dir. George Stevens Jr.

A Civil Action - Jonathan Harr

The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court - Jeffrey Toobin