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Ch 59: MTEL Middle School Humanities: U.S. Government & Politics

About This Chapter

Look over this chapter to review the fundamentals of the government and politics of the United States. These lessons aim to prepare you for the government portion of the MTEL Middle School Humanities exam.

MTEL Middle School Humanities: U.S. Government & Politics- Chapter Summary

This chapter will expound upon the basics of American government and politics to help you study for the MTEL Middle School Humanities exam. Information that will be addressed in these lessons includes:

  • Representative government and democratic politics
  • Core values and principles of the American government
  • The Declaration of Independence and other noteworthy documents of the U.S. government
  • Federalism and why the U.S. uses this policy
  • Responsibilities and powers of state, local, and federal governments
  • Differences between local, state, and federal ordinances
  • The U.S. electoral system and its impact on political parties
  • Function and organization of political parties in American politics
  • Development of interest groups
  • Influences on and alternative types of voter participation
  • Process of attaining U.S. citizenship

This chapter was developed by an expert in U.S. government whose aim was to present significant information in a clear and comprehensible manner. Each brief video lesson is accompanied by a full transcript that enables you to review the content at your own pace. Additionally, if you wish to skip to a specific topic within the videos, you may utilize the Timeline feature found below the videos.

MTEL Middle School Humanities: U.S. Government & Politics - Chapter Objectives

The MTEL Middle School Humanities exam assesses your knowledge of pertinent facts to determine your candidacy for certification to teach middle school humanities courses in Massachusetts. Of the multiple-choice questions on the exam, 15% relate directly to government, geography, and economics. By studying the content of these lessons carefully and utilizing the practice quizzes and cumulative chapter exam, you should be familiar with the topics the MTEL Middle School Humanities exam will present.

15 Lessons in Chapter 59: MTEL Middle School Humanities: U.S. Government & Politics
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Representative Government: Definition & Examples

1. Representative Government: Definition & Examples

Through this lesson, you will learn what defines a representative government and gain insight into how it operates in democratic political systems. You'll also learn the benefits and challenges of a representative government.

The Core Principles of American Government

2. 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.

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.

Significant Documents of the U.S. Government

4. Significant Documents of the U.S. Government

The U.S. government is well-defined by certain documents. In this lesson we'll explore a few documents that define the government's shape and power, as well as its ideology.

What is Federalism? - Definition & Factors of U.S. Adoption

5. What is Federalism? - Definition & Factors of U.S. Adoption

The United States government is based on federalism, with governmental power divided between several entities. This lesson explores federalism and explains the factors that led to its use in the U.S.

What is a Federal Government? - Definition, Powers & Benefits

6. What is a Federal Government? - Definition, Powers & Benefits

A federal government is a system that divides up power between a strong national government and smaller local governments. We'll take a look at how power plays out between the national and local government, and the benefits of a federal government.

What Is State Government? - Powers, Responsibilities & Challenges

7. What Is State Government? - Powers, Responsibilities & Challenges

The United States has a federal government and each of the 50 states has a state government. This lesson explains the organization of state governments, and explores the powers and responsibilities of state governments.

What Is Local Government? - Definition, Responsibilities & Challenges

8. What Is Local Government? - Definition, Responsibilities & Challenges

Each of the 50 states has a state government. Within those states, each county and municipality also has a government. This lesson explains the organization of local governments and explores the powers and responsibilities of local governments.

Local, State & Federal Ordinances: Definitions and Differences

9. Local, State & Federal Ordinances: Definitions and Differences

In the United States, people are subject to the powers of several governmental units. Citizens must comply with federal, state and local laws - all at the same time. This lesson explores the definitions and differences between federal, state and local laws.

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: Definition, Function, Organization & Mobilization

11. 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.

Interest Groups: History, Types, Development & Maintenance

12. Interest Groups: History, Types, Development & Maintenance

In this lesson, you will explore the history and workings of an interest group and even have the opportunity to start your own interest group. Then, test your knowledge with a brief quiz.

Political Participation in the United States: Influences & Voter Turnout

13. Political Participation in the United States: Influences & Voter Turnout

Despite an increase in the number of eligible voters, political participation in the United States seems to be on the decline. This lesson discusses influences on political participation and voter turnout.

Alternative Forms of Political Participation: Role & Types

14. Alternative Forms of Political Participation: Role & Types

Americans participate in government by voting, but they also participate in many other ways. This lesson discusses the role alternative forms of political participation play in our political involvement.

US Citizenship: Process & Responsibilities

15. US Citizenship: Process & Responsibilities

This lesson will delineate the procedure of U.S. naturalization. It will also explain the responsibilities and mandatory duties of citizenship, as well as the Selective Service Act.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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