“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting” 

Franklin Roosevelt

AP U.S. Government and Politics provides a college-level, nonpartisan introduction to key political concepts, ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the constitutional system and political culture of the United States. Students will study U.S. foundational documents, Supreme Court decisions, and other texts and visuals to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions among political institutions, processes, and behaviors. They will also engage in disciplinary practices that require them to read and interpret data, make comparisons and applications, and develop evidence-based arguments. In addition, they will complete a political science research or applied civics project.

Unit 1: Foundations of American Democracy 15–22%
More than 200 years after the U.S. Constitution was ratified, the compromises that were necessary for ratification—which in some instances led to ambiguity—continue to fuel debate and discussion over how best to protect liberty, equality, order, and private property. This first unit sets the foundation for the course by examining how the framers of the Constitution set up a structure of government intended to stand the test of time. 
Required documents:


ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION Articles of Confederation

FEDERALIST NO. 10 The Same Subject Continued: The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection Federalist 10

FEDERALIST 51  The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments   Federalist 51 

BRUTUS NO. 1 To the Citizens of the State of New-York Brutus I

US CONSTITUTION Interactive Constitution

Unit 2: Interactions Among Branches of Government 25–36% 
In this unit, students continue to explore policy making, focusing on its complexity and the idea that it is a process involving multiple governmental institutions and actors. Students will look at issues or policies from several different perspectives and then apply their knowledge to better understand the complexity of the policy-making process

Required readings: 

Baker v Carr Baker v Carr

Shaw v Reno Shaw v Reno

Federalist 70 Federalist 70

Federalist 78 Federalist 78

Marbury v Madison This case established the principle of judicial review, empowering the Supreme Court to nullify an act of the legislative or executive branch that violates the Constitution. Marbury v Madison

Unit 3: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights 13–18%
Students will connect the founding principles of our government to the debates over the appropriate balance of liberty and order, noting how citizens and other groups have pursued policy solutions to protect the civil liberties and civil rights of all Americans, laying the foundation for later discussions about other ways citizens can participate in the government.
Unit 4: American Political Ideologies and Beliefs 10–15%
Connecting the application of political science methods to the development of social and economic policies that Americans support, advocate for, and adopt is foundational to understanding the ideologies of political parties and patterns of political participation. American political beliefs are shaped by founding ideals, core values, linkage institutions (i.e., elections, political parties, interest groups, and the media in all its forms), and the changing demographics of citizens. These beliefs about government, politics, and the individual’s role in the political system influence the creation of public policies.
Unit 5: Political Participation 20–27%
Students should understand the many ways that they can influence policy-makers and impact the decisions that will affect their daily lives. The principle of rule by the people is the bedrock of the American political system and requires that citizens engage and participate in the development of policy. Under our Constitution, governing is achieved directly through citizen participation, although there are institutions (e.g., political parties, interest groups, and mass media) that inform, organize, and mobilize support to influence government and politics, resulting in many venues for citizen influence on policy making.
The mission of the Dickinson Independent School District is to ensure that all students have successful learning opportunities that help them reach their full potential and add quality throughout their lives.

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