American Government

Table of Contents


Unit Components Explained

Each of our units are single authored and include a series of interrelated and diverse content. Each unit component speaks to a different topic or aspect of the time period and has been specifically chosen to reinforce the material. Each unit is comparable in focus to a chapter in a textbook but, unlike textbooks, you control which items are given to your students. All of our content is customizable and designed to live alongside your own teaching materials so you can combine content to create a unique program of study.

  • Essay (soon-to-be-called Core Essay): 15-16 page digital essay reinforced with audio, video, animation, and primary sources (includes an adapted version edited to an 11th grade reading level).
  • Lecture (soon-to-be-called Topical Essay): 30-minute original lecture including slides, audio, author videos, and text. Also available as slide only for in-class use.
  • Problem: Primary source or data driven problem. Includes a context building background section, video from the author, and an analytical activity (optional for grading purposes) meant to engage students.
  • Note on Document and Response: Globalyceum will make available two new active learning features in January 2017. Document is a primary source with background and optional quiz to check for understanding. Response is a provocative question with context building background and some evidence.  There is an optional brief response writing assignment or poll.
  • Composition: A long form essay assignment building from one of our problems. Includes background historical work, writing support, and multiple drafts and outlines. Ask about our easy grader! (Starting Spring 2017, ask about customizing our basic composition platform with your writing prompt.)

Unit 1: The Foundations of American Government by Jack Rakove, Stanford University

  • Essay: The Foundations of American Government
  • Lecture: Three Myths of the American Constitution
  • Problem: Federalist 10
  • Problem: Federalist 37
  • Problem: Federalist 51
  • Document: The Equal Rights Amendment
  • Document: John Adams, Thoughts on Government
  • Response: Would direct democracy be better?
  • Response: Why don’t all Americans support the Constitution?
  • Composition: Federalist 10

Unit 2: Federalism, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties by Ange-Marie Hancock, University of Southern California

  • Essay: Federalism, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
  • Lecture: How to Get Away with a Social Movement
  • Problem: Voter ID Laws
  • Problem: The Second Amendment and State Regulations
  • Problem: The Eighth Amendment and Incarceration
  • Document: Gibbons v. Ogden
  • Document: Lesser Known Amendments
  • Response: Is sexual harassment discrimination or a violation of civil rights?
  • Response: Should immigrants have civil rights?
  • Composition: Voter ID Laws

Unit 3: Political Culture, Public Opinion, and Elections by Melinda Jackson, San Jose State University

  • Essay: Political Culture and Elections
  • Lecture: Understanding Public Opinion
  • Problem: Voter Participation
  • Problem: How Your Government Affects You
  • Problem: The Citizenship Test
  • Document: The Vote of the College Educated
  • Document: The Big Sort
  • Response: Why is the Hispanic vote critical in presidential election?
  • Composition: Voter Participation

Unit 4: Social Movements, Interest Groups, and Political Parties by Dara Strolovitch, Princeton University

  • Essay: Social Movements, Interest Groups, and Political Parties
  • Lecture: Can Interest Groups Represent the Disadvantaged?
  • Problem: Advocacy in Hard Times
  • Problem: Madison and de Tocqueville
  • Problem: Rapid Social Change and the LGBT Community
  • Problem: Duverger’s Law (Under Construction)
  • Document: Citizen’s United
  • Document: The US Libertarian Party Platform
  • Response: What is my political type?
  • Response: Are parties relevant or essential?
  • Composition: Madison and De Tocqueville

Unit 5: The U.S. Congress by Kathleen Dolan, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

  • Essay: The U.S. Congress
  • Lecture: Apportionment and Representation in the House
  • Problem: The Gender Gap in Voting
  • Problem: Congressional Representation and Pork Barrel Politics
  • Problem: Congress and War Powers
  • Problem: Congress and the Revolving Door
  • Document: The US National Debt
  • Response: Should Congress eliminate the mandatory minimum sentence?
  • Composition: The Gender Gap in Voting

Unit 6: The U.S. President by Sean Gailmard. University of California, Berkeley

  • Essay: The U.S. President
  • Lecture: The Presidency and War
  • Problem: The President’s Use of Media
  • Problem: Impeachment: Nixon and Clinton
  • Problem: Foreign Policy and the Presidency
  • Problem: Character and the President
  • Document: The Growth and Opportunity Project (2013)
  • Response: Was there a Reagan Revolution?
  • Composition: The President’s Use of Media

Unit 7: The U.S. Supreme Court and Court System by Lawrence Baum, Ohio State University

  • Essay: The U.S. Supreme Court and the Court System
  • Lecture: The U.S. Supreme Court and Its Decision-Making Process
  • Problem: Original and Evolving Meaning in the US Constitution
  • Problem: Decision-Making on the Supreme Court, 2014-15
  • Problem: Profiles of Supreme Court Justices
  • Document: The Louisiana Literacy Test
  • Document: President Obama’s Argument on Solitary Confinement
  • Response: Are 5-4 decisions harmful to the reputation of the Supreme Court?
  • Composition: Original and Evolving Meaning in the US Constitution

Unit 8: Domestic Policy by Paul Pierson, University of California, Berkeley

  • Essay: Domestic Policy
  • Lecture: Public Policy and the Health Care Debate
  • Lecture: American Foreign Policy and the Impact of 9/11
  • Problem: Taxes and Social Welfare Benefits
  • Problem: Inequality and Policy
  • Problem: Student Loan Debt and Free College
  • Problem: American Ideas About Foreign Aid
  • Problem: National Security Strategy
  • Document: The Story of Annual Deficits in the Last Two Decades
  • Document: Nuclear Weapons and Their Owners
  • Response: Will police reform improve race relations?
  • Response: In the long run is our foreign policy in Asia more important?
  • Composition: Taxes and Social Welfare Benefits







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