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Government Part 2
Course Length: 1 Semester
Has Textbook: Yes
Government Part 2 will begin with a discussion of the United States legal system and the role of police, courts, and the corrections system. Students will learn about rights and freedoms including freedom of religion, freedom of speech and press, freedom of assembly and petition, and various interpretations of those rights. This course will also discuss the path to citizenship in the U.S., the rights of aliens, and the protection of those civil rights. Students will then move on to learn about the U.S. political system, political parties, and political processes at the federal, state, and local levels. They will compare the political and economic systems of capitalism, socialism, and communism, and will analyze the role of the United States in international relations.
It is recommended that students successfully complete Government Part 1 or equivalent course work before enrolling in this course.

Course Objectives

Unit 1: Essential Content and Skills

  • Identify the two major party systems and understand their history.
  • Differentiate among the five main functions of political parties.
  • Describe the amendments that give various groups the right to vote.
  • Describe the significance of the civil rights laws enacted in 1957, 1960, and 1964. 
  • Describe the various ways in which voters can cast their ballot.
  • Examine the issue of money in the electoral process.

Unit 2: Essential Content and Skills

  • Examine the concept of public opinion and its place in a democracy.
  • Determine the importance of scientific polling. 
  • Identify functions of interest groups.
  • Examine the positive and negative functions of interest groups by creating a persuasive brochure.
  • Discuss how and why the government raises money.
  • Analyze the annual deficits and surpluses, and the public debt.
  • Explore the nation’s current economic situation and the tools available to the government to address it.

Unit 3: Essential Content and Skills

  • Explore the State Department’s role in protecting Americans.
  • Summarize the functions, components, and organizations of the Department of Defense and the military departments.
  • Describe how foreign aid programs and defense alliances promote U.S. interests.
  • Examine how fascism and communism distort the concept of popular sovereignty.
  • Explain the factors necessary for democratic consolidation to take place.
  • Describe the free enterprise system and the laissez-faire theory.
  • Describe the role of government in the domestic economy.

Unit 4: Essential Content and Skills

  • Explain how the American commitment to freedom led to the creation of the Bill of Rights.
  • Show how federalism affects individual rights.
  • Summarize the Supreme Court rulings on religion and education as well as other Establishment Clause cases.
  • Define symbolic and commercial speech; describe the limits of their exercise. 
  • Explain the meaning of due process of law as set out in the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments.
  • Summarize the history of race-based discrimination in the United States.
  • Describe how people become American citizens by birth and by naturalization.

Course Materials

  • Pearson Magruder's American Government (textbook)

*Available as an iText course

**NCAA approved