Copy of American Government Syllabus F2006-01

Copy of American Government Syllabus F2006-01 - American...

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American Government: Political Science 100-01 Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:00-9:20 am Prerequisites: None Credit Hours: 3.0 Dr. Joseph M. Morris Office/Phone: Preston 112 (814) 824-2154 [email protected] Office Hours:MWF 9:30 -10:30 am and TTH 2:15-3:15 pm or by appointment. These are my official office hours, but my door is always open. I enjoy teaching, and I enjoy talking to you, so if you have questions that we did not answer in class, or if you want to explore an idea, come by. I’m on campus between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm (Monday through Friday). While I’m definitely in Preston 112 during my official office hours, I spend the rest of the day teaching classes, working in the Honors Office (Hirt 201a) and attending meetings. Please feel free to stop by my Hirt office if you can’t find me in Preston. Course Description Catalogue Description: Introductory course in Political Science stressing how policy-making is done at the national level. Beginning with the Constitution, an introduction is given to the three main branches of the U.S. Government. Attention is also given to elections, economics, political parties, interest groups, and the federal system. Course Objectives: Political Science 100 is a survey course. This means that we will not explore any particular aspect of American Government in depth. Instead, we will endeavor to acquire only a basic understanding of how it operates, its fundamental institutions and procedures, and the concepts, ideas and theories that inform contemporary governance. For some, this course will be your only opportunity to study American government in a classroom setting. As such, the objective of this course is to provide you with a working understanding government and your place within the political process. In addition to knowing the basic terms and concepts associated with American government, at the end of this term you will be able to engage in an informed discussion about the following questions: Basic Questions Why is having knowledge about government important? How much government is necessary? Should we consent to be governed? Who has power in the American political system? Can we have democracy and effective government at the same time? The U.S. Constitution: Its Framing and Content Who wrote the U.S. Constitution and what does it say? What are the costs and benefits of a strong central government? The Federal Court System: Interpreting the Law What do federal courts do? What does the Supreme Court do? How does it do it? How do we justify judicial review in a more or less democratic system?
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Civil Liberties and Civil Rights: Interpreting the Constitution What does it mean to have freedom of speech and religion? What does it mean to have a right to privacy? What does it mean to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures? Should women and ethnic/racial minorities have special rights? The Congress: Making Law
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Copy of American Government Syllabus F2006-01 - American...

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