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AP Government & Politics

Course Description

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AP U.S. Government and Politics

Course Overview:

AP U.S. Government and Politics provides a college-level, nonpartisan introduction to key political concepts, ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the constitutional system and political culture of the United States. Students will study U.S. foundational documents, Supreme Court decisions, and other texts and visuals to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions among political institutions, processes, and behavior. They will also engage in disciplinary practices that require them to read and interpret data, make comparisons and applications, and develop evidence-based arguments. In addition, they will complete a political science research or applied civics project.

Course Content:

The AP U.S. Government and Politics course is organized around five units, which focus on major topics in U.S. government and politics. The units are:

■ Foundations of American Democracy

■ Interaction Among Branches of Government

■ Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

■ American Political Ideologies and Beliefs; and

■ Political Participation Foundational documents and Supreme Court cases are an integral part of the course and necessary for students to understand the philosophical underpinnings, significant legal precedents, and political values of the U.S. political system and may serve as the focus of AP Exam questions.

The course requires study of:

■ 9 foundational documents, including the U.S. Constitution

■ 15 landmark Supreme Court cases

Text: Callahan, Brigid Harrison, Jean Wahl Harris, and Michelle D. Deardorff. American Democracy Now. McGraw-Hill.

Prerequisites: None

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