The Constitution of the United States
What is a Constitution?
Constitutionalism is the belief of limiting power by written
Constitutions take different forms in different lands.
Constitutions embody intangibles-n
Politics and the Media
Media Matters: Access to knowledge and
control of communication matter in a
Media as the Fifth Branch
media serves as additional checks on the powers
of public officials through its discov
Awe-inspiring and complex office
Demands on the presidency are numerous and
to be honest & trustworthy; yet tough and
A moral leader who is above politics; yet be political
Because it was established in Article 1 of the
Constitution, Congress is often called the first
Congress is also called the peoples branch
most responsive to, and representative of,
the American people.
Interest Groups in American Politics
Interest groups are associations of people who hold
common views and work to influence what government
These groups share the objective of looking out for their
members political i
Civil Liberties and Civil Rights continued
The Legacy: Slavery, Civil War, and Reconstruction
The Civil War ended slavery (with the Thirteenth
Amendment) and ushered in several civil rights acts during
The Idea of a Political Party
What Is a Political Party?
political party attempts to influence public policy
by placing its own members into government
Interest groups and parties are different in that
Federalism: States in the Union
The principal characteristic of a federal system
is the sharing of power.
Federalism is a complex, adaptable system of
relationships in which states have begun to
assume a more energetic and vigo
Campaigns and Elections
Elections allow citizens to participate in political life
in a routine and peaceful way.
Voting is the most frequent meaningful act of
Give voters a sense of co
Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
The framers of the Constitution wanted a only a strong and
effective government but also one that would guard the
rights of a free people.
Left out stated protections for individuals
Bill of Rig
Motives for Political Participation
People with a strong sense of political efficacy and
duty are more involved in politics.
People with a strong party identification are more
likely to participa
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)
Supreme Court is the third branch of
Plays a major role in governing the nation
responsible for interpreting law of the land.
Make decisions on impt issues that
Public Opinion: What Americans
Think About Politics
The Character of Public Opinion
Public opinion is a combination of the views,
attitudes, and ideas held by individuals in the
The publics opinions may be constant
The Candidates Perspective: Running for
Who runs for president?
Constitutional qualifications* include the following:
A 14-year residency
Age 35 or older
Limitation to two terms