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Ch 2: The Study of American Government

About This Chapter

Our chapters are made up of short and engaging self-paced video lessons, which offer an efficient approach to mastering American government material. Use these lessons, guided by our highly qualified instructors, to review previous knowledge or learn new concepts that you can test along the way with our quizzes.

The Study of American Government - Chapter Summary

This chapter is designed to help you identify the core principles and values of government through short, informative video lessons, with text transcripts and supplementary materials that will make major concepts accessible to you. After viewing these lessons, your understanding of American government can improve significantly by:

  • Outlining the history of American democracy
  • Demonstrating political theories in action with application examples
  • Explaining the sources of government conflict and resolution
  • Conveying the major reformative ideas behind emerging political schools of thought
  • Determining the roles of the majority and the few in the political theater
  • Examining core values and principles of the American government

Every lesson is accompanied by a self-check assessment meant to help you review what you've just learned. In addition to these quizzes, the end-of-chapter exam will test everything you've learned from the entire chapter. If you find yourself stuck, our instructors are here to help and are able to answer any question you may have about the American government.

8 Lessons in Chapter 2: The Study of American Government
The Core Principles of American Government

1. The Core Principles of American Government

In this lesson, we will examine a few of the core principles of American government. We will pay special attention to the ideas of popular sovereignty, limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalism.

The New American Democracy: Definition & History

2. The New American Democracy: Definition & History

In this lesson, we will explore the phenomenon of the 'permanent campaign,' which has changed the face of American democracy. In doing so, we will take a close look at the factors that led to this political development.

America's Core Values: Liberty, Equality & Self-Government

3. America's Core Values: Liberty, Equality & Self-Government

In this lesson, we will examine a few of America's core values. We will focus especially on liberty, self-government, equality, individualism, diversity, and unity.

Politics: Definition and Source of Governmental Conflict

4. Politics: Definition and Source of Governmental Conflict

In this lesson, we will explore the concept of politics. We will examine the various definitions of the word, take a close look at the role of politics in government, and investigate the conflicts sometimes caused by politics.

The Rules of American Politics: Democracy, Constitutionalism & Capitalism

5. The Rules of American Politics: Democracy, Constitutionalism & Capitalism

In this lesson, we will explore the three rules of American politics: democracy, constitutionalism, and capitalism. We will define each rule and see how it works to keep the political system running smoothly.

Political Power: Definition, Types & Sources

6. Political Power: Definition, Types & Sources

In this lesson, we will take a close look at political power. We will define the term, examine its elements, and learn about several theories that help determine who gets to use political power.

Thomas Hobbes & John Locke: Political Theories & Competing Views

7. Thomas Hobbes & John Locke: Political Theories & Competing Views

In this lesson, we discuss the two premier English political theorists of the 17th century: Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. We'll also take a look at their impact on Western philosophy in contemporary and modern times.

Shifting Power From Majority to Only a Few: Factors & Process

8. Shifting Power From Majority to Only a Few: Factors & Process

In this lesson, we will explore factors that have shifted power from the majority of voters to specific groups. We'll pay special attention to voter participation, single-issue voters, uninformed citizens, the nomination of candidates, and campaign expenses.

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