Ch 2: American Government Overview

About This Chapter

Our video lessons can help you obtain an overview of American government in preparation for the MTEL History Exam. Combined with the accompanying self-assessment quizzes, the lessons go over all the relevant topics to help you correctly answer the test questions.

MTEL History: American Government Overview - Chapter Summary

Use the lessons contained in this chapter to review what you learned in college about the American government as you prepare for the MTEL History Exam. The lessons contain every topic you should study, including:

  • Traditional government
  • The American government's core principles and America's core values
  • The New American democracy and political rules
  • Politics and political power
  • Democracy
  • The theories of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke
  • The shift of power from the majority to a few

Our expert instructors review each topic thoroughly, highlighting key points for the exam. Learning the material via video lessons and self-assessment quizzes gives you multiple opportunities to review what you need to know, making retention more likely.

MTEL History: American Government Overview Chapter Objectives

The MTEL History Exam is a structured test that evaluates your knowledge and comprehension of everything within the field of history, including world and American history and geography, government and economics. Your score is used to determine your eligibility for a teacher's license in Massachusetts. The topics in the American Government Overview chapter are part of the Geography, Government and Economics subarea which contributes 25% of the questions. Take the self-assessment quizzes that follow the lessons to gauge your mastery of the material and also to gain exposure to the types of questions found on the exam.

The MTEL History Exam comprises two types of questions: multiple-choice and open-response, giving you opportunities to demonstrate your knowledge in two different ways. The multiple-choice questions present you with a passage and questions followed by several response alternatives. You must select the single correct alternative from the group. The open-response questions give you a chance to express yourself more fully on historical topics. You will want to compose essays that are well organized, logical, and persuasive, demonstrating the breadth of your knowledge about the topics.

11 Lessons in Chapter 2: American Government Overview
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.

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

5. 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

6. 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

7. 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

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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

11. 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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