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Ch 54: NES: The Study of American Government

About This Chapter

Let us examine the many aspects of American government. The lessons in this chapter will explore a variety of topics that you may come across on the NES: Middle Grades Social Science exam.

NES: The Study of American Government - Chapter Summary

The video lessons in this chapter provide a comprehensive summary of the American political system, with topics ranging from the formation of American government to the sources of political power in America. Reviewing the information in each lesson will help you feel prepared when you encounter questions about government on the NES: Middle Grades Social Science exam. The lessons in this chapter cover the following topics:

  • The role and function of government
  • The different types of governments
  • The core principles and values of American government
  • The American Enlightenment
  • Democracy, constitutionalism and capitalism
  • The types and sources of political power
  • The theories of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke
  • How power has shifted from the many to the few

Use the video lessons for visual learning. There is a timeline at the bottom of each video so that you can return to a section as needed instead of having to review the entire video. Take the self-assessment quizzes at the end of each chapter to see how well you've grasped the information.

NES: The Study of American Government - Chapter Objectives

The NES Middle Grades Social Science exam is designed for teachers hoping to teach middle school social studies courses. A passing grade on the exam will result in professional teaching certification. The exam is scored on four domains including economics, geography and culture, history and government. The lessons in this chapter help you prepare for the government portion of the certification exam, which accounts for approximately 19% of the exam.

The NES Middle Grades Social Science exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and is completed entirely on a computer. The national benchmark passing score is 220.

12 Lessons in Chapter 54: NES: 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.

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 NES Middle Grades Social Science (202): Practice & Study Guide course

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