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Ch 51: Intro to American Government - ORELA Middle Grades Social Science

About This Chapter

Review the role, purpose, and format of American government by studying this chapter. An understanding of the subject matter explained in this chapter will help prepare you for government-related questions on the ORELA Middle Grades Social Science test.

Intro to American Government: ORELA Middle Grades Social Science - Chapter Summary

This chapter will describe the function, roles, principles, and overall history of American government in an attempt to equip you for the ORELA Middle Grades Social Science test. Subjects covered in this chapter's lessons include:

  • The definition and main functions of government in the United States
  • Types of government
  • Principles and ideals of American government
  • History of American democracy
  • American Enlightenment
  • Self-government, liberty, and equality in American government
  • Politics and their role in government
  • Constitutionalism, capitalism, and democracy as American ideals
  • Political power and democracy
  • Writings of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes
  • Factors responsible for shifting power

As you view each video lesson, be sure to follow along with the transcripts. Make note of the highlighted key words and take the self-assessments at the end of each lesson. Studying these lessons carefully and testing your knowledge on the quizzes will help equip you with the information and confidence necessary to succeed on the ORELA Middle Grades Social Science test.

Intro to American Government - ORELA Middle Grades Social Science Objectives

The ORELA Middle Grades Social Science test is meant for teachers who hope to become certified to lead middle school social science courses. The approximately 150 multiple-choice questions are split between four separate domains, with 19% focused on government topics. The objectives of the government questions include an understanding of political systems, political science, and principles of American government. The lessons of this chapter thoroughly detail this information and other similar content to better prepare you for the questions you may be asked on the exam. By taking the practice quizzes and paying attention to the video lessons, you can get ready to take this exam.

12 Lessons in Chapter 51: Intro to American Government - ORELA Middle Grades Social Science
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.

The Core Principles of American Government

3. 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

4. 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.

The American Enlightenment: Intellectual and Social Revolution

5. 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

6. 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

7. 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

8. 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

9. 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.

What is Democracy? - Definition, Types & Principles

10. 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.

Thomas Hobbes & John Locke: Political Theories & Competing Views

11. 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

12. 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.

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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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the ORELA Middle Grades Social Science: Practice & Study Guide course

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