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College Board Syllabus - Advanced Placement Government Mr...

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Advanced Placement Government Mr. Reisman The DPHS course in Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics will give students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific examples. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. politics. While there is no single approach that an AP United States Government and Politics course must follow, students should become acquainted with the variety of theoretical perspectives and explanations for various behaviors and outcomes. Certain topics are usually covered in all college courses. The following is a discussion of these topics and some questions that will be explored in the course. I. Constitutional Underpinnings of United States Government The study of modern politics in the United States requires students to examine the kind of government established by the Constitution, paying particular attention to federalism and the separation of powers. Understanding these developments involves both knowledge of the historical situation at the time of the Constitutional Convention and an awareness of the ideological and philosophical traditions on which the framers drew. Such understanding addresses specific concerns of the framers: e.g., Why did Madison fear factions? What were the reasons for the swift adoption of the Bill of Rights? Familiarity with the Supreme Court ’s interpretation of key provisions of the Constitution will aid student understanding of theoretical and practical features of federalism and the separation of powers. Students should be familiar with a variety of theoretical perspectives relating to the Constitution, such as democratic theory, theories of republican government, pluralism, and elitism.
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