Ch 5: AP US Government and Politics: Political Parties

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn how and why political parties function within American politics. Use the quizzes at the end of every lesson to evaluate your understanding of the learning materials.

Political Parties - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Understanding how the political party system started in the U.S. and tracing its evolution through today's political culture can help put U.S. government and politics into perspective. In this series of video lessons, you'll gain an overview of how political parties are organized so that they can best achieve their goals within the electoral system.

Political parties sometimes work with advocacy and special interest groups, which has certain risks and benefits. Political parties must also concern themselves with outreach efforts to persuade new members to join; however, there are always people who feel that political party membership isn't for them. In these lessons, you'll learn things like:

  • How political parties are organized to carry out specific functions
  • How political parties evolved from early America to the present day
  • Characteristics of two-party and multi-party systems
  • How political parties interact with special interest groups
  • What motivates people to join a political party

Video Objective
Political Party: Definition, Function, Organization & Mobilization Define what a political party is, and explain its structure, purpose and activities.
The National Parties: Organization & Structure Describe the parts of a political party and their purposes; include national conventions, national committees, congressional campaign committees and national chairs.
History of Political Parties in the United States (Pre-Civil War) Outline the history of the two-party system from America's earliest days up to the Civil War era.
History of Political Parties in the United States (Post-Civil War) Outline the history of the two-party system in America from the Civil War era to the modern era.
Two-Party & Multi-Party Systems: Similarities & Differences Compare and contrast two- and multiple-party systems.
Minor (Third) Parties: Definition, Role & Examples Explain what role minor and third parties play in American politics; provide examples.
The Relationship Between Political Parties & Interest Groups Discuss the differences between special interest and advocacy groups and political parties; describe the relationships between the two types of groups.
The Current State of Contemporary United States Political Parties Discuss political parties in America as they function today; describe realignment and dealignment.
Electoral and Party Systems: Definition & Role Define the electoral system; describe the role political parties play in the electoral system.
Party Identification and Membership Discuss political party membership; include a look at what prompts people to identify with a party, such as ideology, education, gender, etc.; discuss why some people register as independent voters instead.

11 Lessons in Chapter 5: AP US Government and Politics: Political Parties
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Political Party: Definition, Function, Organization & Mobilization

1. Political Party: Definition, Function, Organization & Mobilization

The following lesson will introduce you to the concept of political parties in the United States government. A short quiz will follow to check your understanding.

The National Parties: Organization & Structure

2. The National Parties: Organization & Structure

The following lesson will cover the structure and organization of the Democratic and Republican parties at the national level. A short quiz will follow to check your understanding.

History of Political Parties in the United States (Pre-Civil War)

3. History of Political Parties in the United States (Pre-Civil War)

The following lesson will discuss the history and evolution of the two-party system in the United States. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check your understanding.

History of Political Parties in the United States (Post-Civil War)

4. History of Political Parties in the United States (Post-Civil War)

The following lesson will continue to cover the history of political parties, this time, the history that occurred after the Civil War. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check your understanding.

Two-Party & Multi-Party Systems: Similarities & Differences

5. Two-Party & Multi-Party Systems: Similarities & Differences

The following lesson will cover the similarities and differences between the two-party and multi-party systems of government. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check your understanding.

Minor (Third) Parties: Definition, Role & Examples

6. Minor (Third) Parties: Definition, Role & Examples

The following lesson will introduce the concept of third parties, as well as explain their role in the national political party system. A short quiz will follow to check your understanding.

The Progressive Movement & Mechanisms for Increased Political Participation

7. The Progressive Movement & Mechanisms for Increased Political Participation

The Progressive Movement marked an era of political activism. Reformers sought to strengthen democracy, eliminate corruption and protect laborers. This lesson explains the movement and how it increased political participation.

The Relationship Between Political Parties & Interest Groups

8. The Relationship Between Political Parties & Interest Groups

The following lesson will cover the similarities and differences between political parties and interest groups. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check for your understanding.

The Current State of Contemporary United States Political Parties

9. The Current State of Contemporary United States Political Parties

The following lesson will cover the current state of the two major political parties in the United States and the mechanisms that cause political change. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check your understanding.

Electoral and Party Systems: Definition & Role

10. Electoral and Party Systems: Definition & Role

The following lesson will define and explain the role of the United States' electoral system and how it affects the shape of our party system. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check for your understanding.

Political Party Identification & Membership

11. Political Party Identification & Membership

There are many different factors that can influence a person's political values and that person's political party identification. This lesson discusses political party identification and membership.

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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