Did you ever wonder why you don't need a passport to go from New York to California, but if you were to move from one state to another, you would need a new driver's license? Or why you can use the same currency in all states, but not be subject to the same speed limits? Or why you have to pay both federal and state taxes?
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Today many Americans take pride in their status as "independent voters," partly because they see parties as lacking vision for the country. Since many Americans have become disenchanted by partisan politics, they avoid identification as a "loyal Democrat" or a "staunch Republican." These negative attitudes toward parties are rooted in the roles that they play in American politics.
The influence of the media is increased by the fact that campaigns today have become more focused on the individual than on the party. In order to win primaries, individual candidates seek media attention to gain attention from voters. As a result, do voters hold political power, or has the media simply replaced political parties as the primary force behind candidate selection?
What is the difference between a liberty and a right? Both words appear in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. The distinction between the two has always been blurred, and today the concepts are often used interchangeably. However, they do refer to different kinds of guaranteed protections.
American Government is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of the single-semester American government course. This title includes innovative features designed to enhance student learning, including Insider Perspective features and a Get Connected Module that shows students how they can get engaged in the political process. The book provides an important opportunity for students to learn the core concepts of American government and understand how those concepts apply to their lives and the world around them. American Government includes updated information on the 2016 presidential election.
Introductory American Government course developed through the Ohio Department of Higher Education OER Innovation Grant. The course is part of the Ohio Transfer Assurance Guides (TAGs) as OSS 011. For more information about credit transfer between Ohio colleges and universities, please visit: www.ohiohighered.org/transfer.Team LeadTimothy Kinsella Ursuline CollegeContent ContributorsSharon Deubreau Rhodes State CollegeJonathan Kreger Columbus State Community CollegeNathaniel Swigger Ohio State University – NewarkLibrarianTimothy Sandusky Ohio Dominican UniversityReview TeamRobert Postic University of FindlayDavid Stebenne Ohio State University
Citizen Participation in the Political SystemThe resources included here are intended to map to the following learning objectives for an American Government Course:Examine how the presidential primary process works.Define gerrymandering and understand how Congressional districts are drawn.Compare and contrast different states’ rules for voting and voter registration and how these rules might influence election outcomes.Explain the Electoral College.
Civil LibertiesThe resources included here are intended to map to the following learning objectives for an American Government Course:Define the concept of civil libertiesExplain the difference between civil liberties and civil rights including identifying issues that overlap both conceptsDiscuss those civil liberties considered essential to a constitutional democracyIdentify the civil liberties protected by the U.S. ConstitutionDescribe the constitutional rights of individuals accused of a crimeExplain the historical evolution of civil liberties in American societyDescribe the role of the federal courts in interpreting and applying civil liberties
Civil RightsThe resources included here are intended to map to the following learning objectives for an American Government Course:Define and identify key moments in the history of civil rights in the U.S. (e.g. the Brown v. Board decision, Voting Rights Act, Obergefell v. Hodges, etc.) and why they are important.Understand race as a defining factor of the U.S. political party system.Compare and contrast various forms of racism, including both individual attitudes and systemic racism.Discuss the evolution of views on gender and sexuality.Examine how various groups have used political action (legal action and/or grassroots politics) to move towards legal equality.Examine current issues and how racism and sexism affect public opinion and electoral politics
CongressThe resources included here are intended to map to the following learning objectives for an American Government Course:Discuss the theoretical ideas that shaped the structure of Congress.List the constitutional powers of the legislative branch.Differentiate between the rules of the Senate and the House and how those rules affect legislative outcomes.Describe the three major policymaking functions of Congress.Discuss external and internal actors that influence the policymaking processExplain the process of a bill becoming a law.Describe the role of the committee system in the legislative process.Investigate the tension between the goals of individual members of Congress and the goals of Congressional parties and Congress as a whole.
Creation of a Federal SystemThe resources included here are intended to map to the following learning objectives for an American Government Course:Describe key features of a federalist system, both in general and within the United States constitution. Identify the ways in which federal funds influence and support state and local governmentsIdentify key moments in U.S. history where the Supreme Court has impacted federalismAnalyze how grants and unfunded mandates shape the balance power between state and federal governments.Identify the benefits and problems a federal system creates.Analyze contemporary issues where there are disagreements over which level of government should control specific policies.
Foreign Policy and SecurityThe resources included here are intended to map to the following learning objectives for an American Government Course:Define the nuclear triad.Define the European Union.Explain free trade vs. protectionism and explain how free trade affects different kinds of workers.Question the role of the United Nations and NATO.Compare and contrast hard power and soft power and the tools of U.S. diplomacy.Identify current threats and challenges to national security and global stability.Web-Based MaterialsCouncil on Foreign RelationsTrade Deficit - Census.govMigration Policy Institute TextbooksMain Text: American Government - Lumen LearningIntroductionDefining Foreign PolicyForeign Policy InstrumentsInstitutional Relations in Foreign PolicyApproaches to Foreign PolicyGlossaryAlternative Text: American Politics and Government in the Information AgeChapter 17: Foreign and National Security PoliciesAlternative Text: Boundless Political ScienceForeign PolicyForeign PolicyWho Makes U.S. Foreign Policy?The History of American Foreign PolicyChallenges of Foreign PolicyModern Foreign Policy
Foundations of American GovernmentThe resources included here are intended to map to the following learning objectives for an American Government Course:Describe key British influences on American political thought. Identify actions by the British government which created the conditions for the Declaration of Independence.Explain why Americans initially adopted a confederation as their form of government.Understand the structure and functions of the U.S. ConstitutionCompare and contrast the views and characteristics of the Federalists and Antifederalists.Explain why Antifederalists wanted a Bill of Rights.Describe the basic mechanics of the Article V Amendment Process.