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Ch 1: AP US Government and Politics: Introduction to the Study of American Government

About This Chapter

Watch these video lessons to gain an overview of American government, including key vocabulary and concepts. You can assess your preparation for the AP US Government and Politics exam by using the self-test quizzes at the end of each lesson.

AP U.S. Government and Politics: Introduction to the Study of American Government - Chapter Summary

The U.S. government is tasked with - among other things - protecting American citizens and facilitating economic and social relationships. The video lessons in this chapter teach you how the U.S. system of government compares with other types of governing systems. Experienced instructors provide lessons on democracy and politics, and how those two forces affect how government operates. After completing these lessons, you'll be prepared to do the following on the AP US Government and Politics exam:

  • Define government and democracy
  • Identify types of government and their strengths and weaknesses
  • Explore the core characteristics of American democracy
  • Examine principal American ideals and values
  • Detail the intellectual revolution that occurred during the American Enlightenment
  • Explore sources of governmental conflict
  • Understand the rules of American politics
  • Define political power and the types and sources
  • Contrast the view of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke
  • Summarize classical republicanism
  • Explain Jeffersonian republicanism
  • Understand the significance of the Federalist No. 10
  • Analyze the Anti-Federalist Papers

15 Lessons in Chapter 1: AP US Government and Politics: Introduction to the Study of American Government
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Government? - Definition, Role & Functions

1. What is Government? - Definition, Role & Functions

In this lesson, we will examine the various definitions of government. Then we will take a close look at the functions of the U.S. government and the role it plays in citizens' everyday lives.

Traditional Types of Government: Definitions, Strengths & Weaknesses

2. Traditional Types of Government: Definitions, Strengths & Weaknesses

In this lesson, we will explore several traditional types of government. We will define each type and take a close look at its strengths and weaknesses.

What is Democracy? - Definition, Types & Principles

3. What is Democracy? - Definition, Types & Principles

In this lesson, we will study the nature of democracy. We will define the term, take a look at the types of democracy, and examine its basic principles.

The Core Principles of American Government

4. 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

5. 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.

Classical Republicanism: Definition & Overview

6. Classical Republicanism: Definition & Overview

Classical republicanism is the idea that a government should be based on the consent of the people. If a government deviates from the will of the governed, the people have a right to form a new government. Learn all about it in this lesson.

Jeffersonian Republicanism: Definition & Explanation

7. Jeffersonian Republicanism: Definition & Explanation

In this lesson, you'll define Jeffersonian Republicanism, learn about it historical origins, understand Jefferson's governmental philosophy of 'Republican Simplicity,' and know the successes and challenges this philosophy brought to the nation.

Federalist No. 10: Summary & Significance

8. Federalist No. 10: Summary & Significance

In this lesson, we'll learn about 'Federalist No. 10.' We'll learn who wrote it, why it was written, and what its core themes are. We'll also explore the political context behind this document and see why it's important.

Anti-Federalist Papers: Summary & Analysis

9. Anti-Federalist Papers: Summary & Analysis

The U.S. Constitution is an important document, but one that almost wasn't approved. In this lesson, we'll talk about the Anti-Federalists and their essays arguing against the proposed Constitution in the years after the American Revolution.

The American Enlightenment: Intellectual and Social Revolution

10. The American Enlightenment: Intellectual and Social Revolution

For a thousand years, Europe had been living in the Dark Ages until a series of philosophical, religious and scientific movements helped turn on the lights. The Enlightenment began in Europe, but quickly spread throughout America in the 1700s and helped set the stage for a revolution against British rule.

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

11. 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

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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

15. 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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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