AP Government WebinarAugust 12, 2010 Mark Jones AP Government Teacher Pike County High School email@example.com
OVERARCHING THEMES How much freedom do you give up for security? How do you give the government enough power to govern effectively without giving them so much they abuse it? Federalism Divides power between states & central government Separation of powers / checks & balances – divide the federal power between the branches • Examples of historical shifts: • The Civil War / The New Deal / The Great Society / War On Terror
Unit 1: Constitutional Underpinnings 3 Weeks – 10-15% of AP Exam Content and/or Skills Taught: • Define Democracy - What is it that makes a society more or less democratic? • What were the direct & indirect causes of the Constitutional Convention? (Shays’ Rebellion) • What was wrong with the Articles of Confederation? • What are the differences between unitary, federal, & confederate systems of government? • The compromises, bicameralism, federalists & anti federalists. • What are the basics of the U.S. Constitution? • What were the main ideas of the founding fathers, and from where did they come?
Constitutional Underpinnings(continued) • Describe the influence of main historical documents and people, i.e.. Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, Locke, Hobbes, etc. • What are the basic principles of separation of powers and checks and balances? • What are some of the benefits and what are some of the consequences of our federal system? • Explain the current relationship between the federal government and the state governments?
Constitutional Underpinnings (continued) • Discuss how Categorical Grants, Block Grants, & Federal Mandates have affected this relationship. • Describe what sections of the Constitution have impacted this relationship. (i.e.. 10th Amendment, 14th Amendment, etc.) • How has the Elastic Clause affected this relationship? Explain the significance of McCulloch vs. Maryland. • How has the Commerce Clause affected this relationship? Explain the significance of The Heart of Atlanta Motel case. • Begin to define your political beliefs
Unit 2: Political Beliefs & Behaviors, Political Parties, Interest Groups, & the Mass Media 4-5 Weeks – 20-40% of AP Exam Content and/or Skills Taught: • Define political structure. • What is political socialization? Identify the main agents of socialization in the United States. • What are the basic beliefs of conservatives & liberals? Are you a conservative or liberal? Why? • What is an interest group / PAC? • How do interest groups influence government? • What is a political party? • What is a third party? What are some reasons that third parties have not had tremendous success in America? • What are the similarities & differences between a political party & an interest group?
Political Beliefs & Behaviors, Political Parties, Interest Groups, & the Mass Media(continued) • What coalitions make up the two main parties? • What affects voting? Who votes and who does not? What are some institutional obstacles to voting? (Education/ Race / Gender / Geographical location / Class / religion) • Why do certain interest groups choose a particular method? • Are parties strong today or are they in decline? Why? • Demonstrate realignment and de-alignment through some historical elections. • Discuss the difference between majority and plurality elections. Who benefits from each, who suffers? • Discuss the impact of winner take all elections as opposed to proportional representation elections.
Political Beliefs & Behaviors, Political Parties, Interest Groups, & the Mass Media(continued) • Discuss the difference between a primary, caucus, and convention. • How has the process of electing presidential candidates changed? Is it more or less democratic? Why? • How does the Electoral College System work? What are some of the impacts of this system? • Identify trends in voter turnout. • Identify which groups tend to vote in which manner. • Identify demographic groups that tend to vote frequently in a certain manner. • Why does the media seem to have little effect on political preferences?
Political Beliefs & Behaviors, Political Parties, Interest Groups, & the Mass Media(continued) • Why is the media sometimes called the gatekeeper, scorekeeper, & watchdog? • Why do we have homogenization of the news? • What role does the major media play in political beliefs? • What institutional & demographic obstacles are their to voter turnout? • Have campaigns become more candidate centered? Why? • What are some major groups that associate with each political party? • Divided Government & its impact. How can presidents work around divided government?
Unit 3A: The Executive & Judicial Branches 3 Weeks – 35-45% of AP Exam (Units 3A & 3B combined) Content and/or Skills Taught: • What are the formal and informal powers of the President? • What are executive orders, executive agreements, and executive privilege? • Why are they used • What are advantages and disadvantages? • What is the role of the President during a war? • What is the reaction of the country to the President during a war? • Why does the President tend to take a more active role in foreign policy as his administration has been in office longer?
The Executive & Judicial Branches(continued) • What is the relationship between the President and Congress? • How frequently does the President Veto or threaten a veto? • What are the consequences of a threatened veto? • What is the bully pulpit? • What is the relationship between the President and the media? • Who are the White House staffers and what effect do they have on the Presidency? • How has the office of President changed in the past 100 years? What about the past 50 years? • Describe the impeachment process. • Describe the cabinet.
The Executive & Judicial Branches(continued) • What is the difference between the cabinet and the White House staff? • Describe the role played by presidential advisors? • How is the national court system organized? • What is the relationship between the national and state court systems? • Identify and describe the three levels of the federal court system. Which cases do each hear? • How does a case reach the Supreme Court? • How do most cases in the United States end? • How does someone get appointed to be a federal judge? • What is a litmus test?
The Executive & Judicial Branches(continued) • Does politics influence judicial selections? • Compare judicial activism and judicial restraint? Which political persuasions usually espouse which? Is this always the case? • Understand the impact of Supreme Court rulings as well as circuit court rulings. • Why does the Supreme Court agree to take some cases and refuse others? • Amicus Curaie briefs / stare decisis / standing / class action suit / rule of four / senatorial courtesy
Unit 3A: The Legislative Branch & the Bureaucracy 3 Weeks – 35-45% of AP Exam (Units 3A & 3B combined) Content and/or Skills Taught: • What is the demographic make up of Congress? Does it reflect the country? Why or why not? Is this a problem? • What is the impact of reapportionment and redistricting in the make up of Congress? • What is the role of the State legislature in the redistricting process? • What is the role of the Courts in the redistricting process? • What cases have affected the process? • What are the Constitutional powers of Congress? • How does incumbency affect House and Senate races? Why? • Identify various factors which can and do influence the legislative process?
The Legislative Branch & the Bureaucracy(continued) • How does political party affiliation affect the operation of Congress? • Why do Americans love their Congressman, yet dislike Congress as a whole? • Identify and describe the major leadership positions in Congress. • Describe the roles each of these leaders play. • Describe the different types of committees and what each do. • Describe how political parties affect the makeup of each committee. • Describe the difference in the committee structure between the House and Senate. • Discuss how Congress oversees the bureaucracy. • How and why do members of Congress participate in logrolling, consensus building and pork barreling?
The Legislative Branch & the Bureaucracy(continued) • What are some differences between the House and Senate? • What is the significance of a committee assignment for a member of Congress? • How did Congress act to curb Presidential influence through the War Powers Act and Budget Impoundment Control Act? • Were these successful, why or why not? • What is the federal bureaucracy? How is it organized and what role does it play in making and implementing public policy? • What impact do the executive and legislative branches have on the federal bureaucracy?
The Legislative Branch & the Bureaucracy(continued) • In what ways does the bureaucracy have powers that are quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial? • What are iron triangles and how do they influence policy making in the bureaucracy? • What is the Hatch act? Why was it necessary? • What are some of the criticisms of the bureaucracy and are they justified? • Differentiate between cabinet agencies, EOP, Independent agencies, and Government corporations.
Unit 4: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights/Public Policy 3 Weeks – 15-30% of AP Exam Content and/or Skills Taught: 1. How has the Bill of Rights been nationalized and made applicable to the states? 2. How do the First Amendment Free Exercise Clause and Establishment Clause come into conflict? 3. What are some of the major cases which have affected civil liberties? 4. How has the nationalization of the Bill of Rights affected individuals? 5. Discuss the different ideas of ways to affect public policy? ie. incrementalism, pluralism, power elite etc.
Civil Liberties and Civil Rights/Public Policy(continued) • How does the budget come into being? What roles are played by which key figures? • How has federalism been affected by the nationalization of the Bill of Rights? • What role do each of the Branches of Government and Interest Groups play in the development of Public Policy? Debate on Public Policy (this is a two person team versus another two person team in a semi formal debate over a particular public policy) Presentations in groups of 2 or 3 on a public policy Main policies: Americans with Disabilities Act Civil Rights Act of 1964 Clean Air and Water Act Welfare Reform Act of 1996 Patriot Act
Additional Resources A.P. GOVERNMENT SUMMER ASSIGNMENT • Read Gideons Trumpet by Anthony Lewis • Watch Gideons Trumpet, the movie, with Henry Fonda • Type responses to the following questions. DIRECTIONS: FIRST, read the book & define terms as you read. SECOND, answer each of the following questions in paragraph form. Responses should come from the book, Gideons Trumpet, unless otherwise specified. Your answers should be thorough; you will be graded primarily on the content of your 6 responses. Grammar, punctuation, spelling and clarity will also be considered. FINALLY, watch the movie & answer question 10 below. Your paper should be typed, double spaced. • Write a brief (3 - 5 paragraph) plot summary. (You may use information from the book or movie.) • In what circumstances does the Supreme Court grant writs of Certiorari? Was it unsurprising or surprising that Gideons writ was granted? WHY? • When is the Supreme Court in session? Describe what takes place at a Supreme Court conference and at oral arguments before the Supreme Court. Describe the oral arguments made by Fortas and Jacob. • How does Fortas (and his assistants) use federalism to help argue his side of the case? • How does Bruce Jacob, the Attorney General of Florida, attempt to use federalism to help argue his side of the case? • Discuss, using specific examples, the problems Fortas encounters in making his argument? • Discuss, using specific examples, the problems Jacob has in proving his case? • Describe the process by which the Supreme Court writes an opinion? • What did the court decide in Gideon v. Wainright and what were the consequences of the decision? • What are the differences between the book Gideons Trumpet and the movie Gideons Trumpet? • What does each medium do effectively?
DIRECTIONS: Define each of the following terms within the context of the novel. Underline each word. A thorough definition will adequately explain the term & reference its significance in Gideons Trumpet. Definitions should be three to five sentences (or sentence fragments) long as appropriate. For example - the terms federalism & the Fourteenth Amendment will require more lengthy responses than Solicitor General. You do not have to list these in any particular order. * American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) * amicus curiae * Article III * Baaron v. Baltimore * Betts v. Brady * due process of law * double jeopardy * federalism * Fifth Amendment * Fourteenth Amendment * Gideon v. Wainright * habeas corpus * Judicial restraint * in forma pauperis * Judicial review * Mappv. Ohio * McCulloch v. Maryland * Powell v. Alabama * rule of four * Sixth Amendment * Solicitor General * stare decisis * Writ of certiorari
Movie Assignment You are to watch one of the following five movies, AND The Distinguished Gentlemen. After you have watched the movie, you are to EXPLAIN why things happened from a political standpoint. You need to demonstrate an understanding of the movie which you watched. Analyze the political reasons behind certain actions & explain why they chose to do what they did. The purpose in this assignment is for you to demonstrate your understanding of the political process & the manner in which political events take place. I am looking for in-depth analysis as to the whys, NOT a summary of the movie. The movies from which you may choose are as follows: The American President, with Michael Douglas Primary Colors, with John Travolta My Fellow Americans, with James Garner Wag the Dog, with Dustin Hoffman Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, with Henry Fonda You MUST watchThe Distinguished Gentleman, with Eddie Murphy