This course introduces students to the fundamentals of American government and politics focusing on the historical evolution of government and policies, the major institutions, and the major processes. Course goals include developing an interest in and understanding of today's government, policy development, and politics as well as developing critical thinking and information-literacy skills in the areas of government and politics. Topics include the Constitution, federalism, civil rights and civil liberties, the structure and processes of the three branches of government, political socialization, interest groups and public opinion, political parties and the election process, as well as basic U.S social, economic, and foreign policy.
At the end of this course, students will be able to:
- Outline the institutional structures and how these structures interact with each other to explain the processes of government
- Apply an understanding of government processes to analyze contemporary politics
- Explain how the historical development of the United States affects contemporary political environment
- Analyze the formal and informal processes by which public policy is made
- Explain how individual actors impact the contemporary political environment
- Apply informational literacy skills in the study of politics