AP USGOVERNMENTANDPOLITICS SYLLABUS

Text Preview:
Syllabus AP United States Government and Politics
Some contemporary political scientists describe American Government as a tool citizens
use to both solve common problems and protect individual interests. While this is a
simplification, it is a workable definition from which to start. Advanced Placement
United States Government and Politics is a study of the complexities, inner workings,
successes, and limitations of that tool.

Textbook/Readings/Resources
Wilson, James Q., DiIulio, John J., Jr. American Government Institutions and Policies.
9th ed. Boston New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.
(****A CD accompanies this textbook: Real Deal Up Grade. This CD has assignments
and readings to accompany each Chapter. You will be using this CD every chapter.)

Lasser, William, ed. Perspectives on American Politics 4th ed. Boston New York:
Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.

Levine, Herbert M, ed. Point-CounterPoint Readings in American Government 5th ed.
New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995.

Class Website/Current Events/Miscellaneous
There is a website under my name on the School's website. It is a collection of links for
this class to news outlets, government websites, political party websites, Special Interests
Group web sites and many other class related topics. Many assignments/readings will
come from this AP Government Website and these assignments will be added to the
already predetermined Homework.

Grades
Based on total points: Tests, Quizzes, Homework.

*****Tests- Unit Tests and Chapter Tests out of varying point totals depending upon the
Unit and or Chapter.

*****Quizzes- Always expect a quiz. Usually out of 10 or 15 points.

*****Homework-
A) There are activities with the Wilson text book: Real Deal Up Grade. Homework will
take the form of Practice essays, Key Terms, and
Statistics/Chart/Graph/Map reading and analysis.
B) Position Papers. You will write two or three position papers typed, 6-7 pages based
on readings from the Levine book. You summarize and analyze two articles with
opposing views on the same subject and then provide your own position on the topic.
C) Readings and questions from the Laser book will accompany some units. This work is
to be typed.
D) Current events. Throughout the year news items will be read and analyzed and
type written homework assignments will be assigned.
E) We have a website you will use for US Government and Politics research and
miscellaneous activities i.e. You will role play a lobbyist presenting information to a
Congressional Subcommittee.

The Media- In every unit we will be analyzing and assessing the media
and its impact as a linkage institution on American policy.




Unit I  The American System- Chapters 1-4 (Chapter 4
will be brief with just 1 assignment)
Chapter 1: The Study of American Government

The purpose of this chapter is to give the student a preview of the major questions to be
asked throughout the textbook and to introduce key terms. After reading and reviewing
the material in this chapter the student should be able to do each of the following:

After reading this chapter, you should be able to

      List the two basic questions to be asked about government in the United States (or
       any other nation) and show that they are distinct questions.
      Explain what is meant by power and by political power in particular. Relate the
       latter to authority, legitimacy, and democracy.
      Distinguish among the three concepts of democracy mentioned in the chapter,
       explaining in which of three senses the textbook refers to United States
       government as democratic.
      Differentiate between majoritarian politics and elitist politics, explaining the four
       major theories on the latter.
      Explain how political change tends to make political scientists cautious in stating
       how politics works or what values dominate it

Assignments for Chapter 1
Go to your Real Deal Up Grade

1. Practice writing extended answers to the following questions. These test your ability to
integrate and express the ideas that you have been studying in this chapter.

   1. What may be meant by the word democracy? What sort of democracy is the
      government of the United States supposed to be?
   2. What is the difference between power in general and political power? Give
      examples of both.
   3. Discuss the Framers' view of the "will of the people," and why they favored
      representative government.
   4. What are the various answers that have been given to the question, "Who
      governs?" How do we go about determining which is correct?

2. Complete the Key Terms Match

3. Go to Lasser pgs 143-153. You will be reading Alexis de Tocqueville. Answer all
questions on pg 143. Typed.

Chapter 2: The Constitution

The purpose of this chapter is to introduce students to the historical context within
which the United States Constitution was written. After reading and reviewing the
material in this chapter the student should be able to do each of the following:

After reading this chapter, you should be able to

      Explain the notion of "higher law" by which the colonists felt they were entitled
       to certain "natural rights." List these rights.
      Compare the basis on which the colonists felt a government could be legitimate.
      List and discuss the shortcomings of government under the Articles of
       Confederation.
      Compare and contrast the Virginia and New Jersey plans, and show how they led
       to the "Great Compromise."
      Explain why separation of powers and federalism became key parts of the
       Constitution.
      Explain why a bill of rights was not initially included in the Constitution and why
       it was added.
      List and explain the two major types of constitutional reform advocated today,
       along with specific reform measures.

Assignments for Chapter 2
Go to your Real Deal Up Grade

1. Practice writing extended answers to the following questions. These test your ability to
integrate and express the ideas that you have been studying in this chapter.

   1. Discuss the "colonial mind's" approach to political issues, and demonstrate how
      this kind of thinking was bound to come into conflict with continued British rule
      in America.
   2. Show how historical experience with problems created by the Articles of
      Confederation led to the creation of a stronger form of government under the
      Constitution.
   3. Review Madison's argument that liberty could be protected better in an "extended
      republic" than in a series of small democracies. State whether you find his
      argument persuasive and why.
   4. Do you agree or disagree with those proponents of constitutional reforms who
      argue that this country suffers from an excess of democracy? Defend your answer

2. Complete the Key Terms Match

3. Go to Lasser pgs 4-18 Read Federalist Papers No. 10, 47, 48, and 51. Answer
questions 1-4 on page 3.

Chapter 3: Federalism

The central purpose of the chapter is to introduce the student to some of the
complexities of federal government in the United States--that is, one where both the
national and state governments have powers independent of one another. After reading
and reviewing the material in this chapter, the student should be able to do each of the
following:

After reading this chapter, you should be able to

      Explain the difference between federal and centralized systems of government,
       and give examples of each.
      Show how competing political interests at the Constitutional Convention led to
       the adoption of a federal system that was not clearly defined.
      Outline the ways in which national and state powers have been interpreted by the
       courts.
      State the reasons why federal grants-in-aid to the states have been politically
       popular, and cite what have proven to be their pitfalls. Distinguish between
       categorical grants and block grants.
      Distinguish between mandates and conditions of aid with respect to federal grant
       programs to states and localities. Discuss whether or to what extent federal grants
       to the states have created uniform national policies comparable to those of
       centralized governments.
      Evaluate the effect of devolution on relationships between the national and state
       governments. Assess its implications for citizens as taxpayers and as clients of
       government programs.

Assignments for Chapter 3
Go to your Real Deal Up Grade

1. Complete the Key Terms Match
2. Under Resources find Ellis Katz essay American Federalism, Past, Present, and
Future. Make a 10 question quiz with an answer key based on the facts presented in the
reading.

3. Go to Levine pgs 51-68. Is the Federal System Becoming Obsolete in the United
States? Pete Du Pont and Morton Keller write opposing essays on the nature and status
of Federalism. Write a typed 6-7 page Position Paper.


Chapter 4: American Political Culture

Previous chapters focused on the legal and historical aspects of the United States
government. This chapter concentrates instead on the somewhat less concrete notion of
"political culture," or the inherited set of beliefs, attitudes, and opinions people (in this
case, Americans) have about how their government ought to operate. After reading and
reviewing the material in this chapter the student should be able to do each of the
following:

After reading this chapter, you should be able to

       Define what scholars mean by political culture, and list some of the dominant
        aspects of political culture in the United States.
       Discuss how American citizens compare with those of other countries in their
        political attitudes.
       List the contributions to United States political culture made by the Revolution,
        by the nation's religious heritages, and by the family. Explain the apparent
        absence of class consciousness in the U.S.
       Define internal and external political efficacy, and explain how the level of each
        of these has varied over the past generations.

Assignments for Chapter 4

Go to your Real Deal Up Grade

1. Practice writing extended answers to the following questions. These test your ability to
integrate and express the ideas that you have been studying in this chapter.

    1. List some of the more interesting ways in which American civic culture differs
       from that in France, Italy, Sweden, or Japan.
    2. Comment on the fact that the United States is perhaps the only sizable industrial
       country in the world that does not have a socialist party as a major competitor for
       power.
    3. State and justify your own reaction to the author's contention that mistrust of
       government in the United States isn't really as severe as it is sometimes thought to
       be.
Download Link:
Share Link: Forum Link:

More on Culture & Politics

  • Picture: Human Anatomy & Physiology - PHSchool.com

    Human Anatomy & Physiology – PHSchool.com

    File Size: 1,891.58 KB, Pages: 30, Views: 74,049 views

    Human Anatomy & Physiology Eighth Edition FLORIDA EDITION Elaine N. Marieb Katja Hoehn Taken from: Human Anatomy & Physiology, Eighth Edition by Elaine N. Marieb and Katja Hoehn Learning Solutions New York Boston San Francisco London Toronto Sydney Tokyo Singapore Madrid Mexico City Munich Paris …
  • Picture: Resident Personal Income Tax Booklet - azdor.gov

    Resident Personal Income Tax Booklet – azdor.gov

    File Size: 929.14 KB, Pages: 56, Views: 91,422 views

    2 15 Arizona Form 140 Resident Personal Income Tax Booklet Who can use Arizona Form 140? This Booklet Contains: You, and your spouse if married filing a joint return, may file Form 140 only if you are full year residents of Arizona. x Form 140 …
  • Picture: The Euler Family Reunion: Helping Students Visualize

    The Euler Family Reunion: Helping Students Visualize

    File Size: 1,111.10 KB, Pages: 17, Views: 77,805 views

    The Euler Family Reunion: Helping Students Visualize, Construct, Sketch, and Understand Basic Geometric Concepts Martha Barker, Candace Brame, William Flythe, and LeatonjaSallee Discrete Mathematics for Teachers MATH 539, Summer 2009 The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) recommended that discrete mathematics be "an integral …
  • Picture: A Good Man Is Hard to Find - MerionTaynton - home

    A Good Man Is Hard to Find – MerionTaynton – home

    File Size: 344.61 KB, Pages: 18, Views: 6,857 views

    A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor Copyright Notice 1998-2002; 2002 by Gale Cengage. Gale is a division of Cengage Learning. Gale and Gale Cengage are trademarks used herein under license. For complete copyright information on these eNotes please visit: http://www.enotes.com/good-man/copyright eNotes: …
  • Picture: BA380S MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS FIRST HALF: MACROECONOMICS

    BA380S MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS FIRST HALF: MACROECONOMICS

    File Size: 65.07 KB, Pages: 7, Views: 16,162 views

    BA A380S MANAGER RIAL ECO ONOMICS FI IRST HA ALF: MA ACROECOONOMICS FALL 2 2013 P Professor Andres Dona angelo O Office GSB 6.308 O Office Hour rs MW M 1:30pm - 3:00pm P Phone 23 32-6841 E E-Mail an ndres.donanngelo@mcco ombs.utexas.edu C Course Webb …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *