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    Mark Guszak                                                                           Lampasas High School

    AP US Government and Politics, Macroeconomics, AP US History                                             

    Email                                        Lampasas TX, 76550

    School Year: 2019-2020                                                      


    United States Government and Politics is an upper level and challenging class that is intended to be the equivalent of a college level government class. The class runs the entire fall Semester and covers five units pertaining to American Government and Politics. Students are expected to memorize, infer, apply and interpret key components of American Government and Politics. The students will be required to participate in classroom discussions and read a significant amount of materials outside the classroom. The main portion of student grades will be based on Unit Exams that will mirror the format of the AP Government and Politics Exam given in May. Students will also be graded on short research papers that will center on each unit, quizzes and classroom discussion.


    Course Objectives:


    • describe what government is and what roles it serves
    • define the term politics
    • demonstrate the features of policymaking and analyze what and whom effects policymaking in American Government.
    • Comprehend the different theories that helped influence the concept of democracy.
    • Contrast pluralism, elitism and hyperpluralism
    • Show the scope of government
    • Trace the historical sequence that influenced the creation of the Constitution used today in the United States.
    • Evaluate how government operates under Madison’s Constitution.
    • Define federalism and explain how it operates in our current political system.
    • Explain the many types of federalism and show the different strengths and weaknesses of each.
    • Discuss all of the liberties and rights protected by the American Constitution.
    • Understand the historical and constitutional basis for the rights and liberties listed and implied in the Constitution.
    • Demonstrate the struggles that different groups in American history had to take to achieve equality under the eyes of the law.
    • Explain how citizens acquire their political ideologies and what the different ideologies are.
    • Describe the political process as a whole.
    • Define media and describe the role in plays in American Government and Politics.
    • Trace and define the many different political parties that have helped to shape American government, past and present.
    • Analyze the role of political parties in relationship to changing events in the American future (PACs, Soft Money, etc..)
    • Explain and define the nomination and electoral process in the United States.
    • Analyze the campaign process (past, present and future).
    • Interpret the role of interest groups on the American political process.
    • Define in detail the Legislative Branch and demonstrate how it operates.
    • Define in detail the Executive Branch and demonstrate how it operates.
    • Analyze the impact certain Presidents have had on the Executive Branch.
    • Discuss the many factors that influence Presidential policymaking.
    • Describe the funding and expenditure process as it relates to American Government.
    • Define the federal bureaucracy and show its role in the formulation and exercise of policymaking and enforcement.
    • Define in detail the Judicial Branch and demonstrate how it operates and effects American society and law.
    • Trace the historical significance of certain Supreme Courts and Supreme Court rulings on American society.
    • Describe the effect of American Government policy in regards to the economy and demonstrate conflicts that occur during the process.
    • Analyze and explain the role of social welfare policies in the United States.
    • Explain the impact American government has in the areas of the environment and health care.
    • Trace and define the foreign policy of the United States throughout history and its impact on American society.
    • Contrast state government with that of the federal government.



    Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy (10th edition) by Edwards, Wattenberg and Linberry.

    The Lobbyist (1994) by Jeffry Birnbaum

    American Government: Readings and Cases (2004) by Peter Woll


    Grade Format:

    40% Unit Tests- Each test will consist of 60 Multiple Choice Questions and Four Essays

    20% Unite Essays- Students will answer two of four essay topics over each unit. The essay will be two pages typed.

    20% Group Participation and Quizzes- A minimum of two quizzes each week

    20% Six Weeks Tests- One Six Weeks Test each Six Weeks


    First Six Weeks


    Unit 1- Chapter 1 “Introducing American Government”



    -- Chapter 2 The Constitution

    -- Chapter 3 Federalism

    -- Chapter 4 Civil Liberties and Public Policy

    -- Chapter 5 Civil Rights and Public Policy


    Second Six Weeks



    n      Chapter 6 Public Opinion and Political Action

    n      Chapter 7 The Mass Media and the Political Agenda

    n      Chapter 8 Political Parties

    n      Chapter 9 Nominations and Campaigns

    n      Chapter 10 Elections and Voting Behavior

    n      Chapter 11 Interest Groups


    Third Six Weeks



    n      Chapter 12 The Congress

    n      Chapter 13 The Presidency

    n      Chapter 14 The Congress, the President, and the Budget: The Politics of Taxing and Spending

    n      Chapter 15 The Federal Bureaucracy

    n      Chapter 16 The Federal Courts


    Unit 5 POLICIES

    n      Chapter 17 Economic Policymaking

    n      Chapter 18 Social Welfare Policymaking

    n      Chapter 19 Policymaking for Heal Care and the Environment

    n      Chapter 20 Foreign and Defense Policymaking



    n      Chapter 21 The New face of State and Local Government