About This Chapter
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the NES Middle Grades Social Science (202): Practice & Study Guide course
- NES: Historical Research & Writing
- NES: Early Civilizations
- NES: Major Religions
- NES: Byzantine Empire & Islamic Civilization
- NES: Development of Europe
- NES: The Renaissance
- NES: Reformation in Europe
- NES: Aztec & Inca Civilizations
- NES: The Age of Exploration
- NES: The Scientific Revolution & Enlightenment
- NES: Industrialization
- NES: Causes & Effects of Revolutions
- NES: Political Developments in Europe & Asia
- NES: Imperialism in the 19th & 20th Centuries
- NES: World War I
- NES: Between the World Wars
- NES: World War II
- NES: Western Civilization Since 1945
- NES: First Contacts in the Americas
- NES: Settling North America
- NES: Road to the American Revolution
- NES: The American Revolution
- NES: The Making of a New Nation
- NES: The Virginia Dynasty
- NES: Jacksonian Democracy
- NES: Life in Antebellum America
- NES: Manifest Destiny
- NES: American Civil War
- NES: Reconstruction
- NES: Westward Expansion, Industrialization & Urbanization
- NES: American Imperialism
- NES: The Progressive Era
- NES: The Roaring 20s in America
- NES: The Great Depression
- NES: Post-War World
- NES: The Cold War
- NES: Protests, Activism & Civil Disobedience
- NES: The 1970s in America
- NES: America in the 1980s
- NES: America from 1992 to the Present
- NES: Introduction to Geography
- NES: Tools Used by Geographers
- NES: The Origin & Dispersal of Humans & Culture
- NES: Effects of Population on the Environment
- NES: Spatial Processes
- NES: Geography of Land Resources
- NES: Impacts of Humans on the Environment
- NES: Settlement Patterns
- NES: Ethnicity & Geography
- NES: Culture, Socialization & Social Interaction
- NES: Social Groups & Organizations
- NES: Basic Terms & Concepts of Political Science
- NES: Political Ideologies & Philosophy
- NES: Constitutional Democracy
- NES: Federalism in the United States
- NES: Civil Liberties
- NES: Civil Rights
- NES: Electoral Systems
- NES: Types of Legislatures in Government
- NES: The American Presidency
- NES: Congressional Powers & Representation
- NES: The Federal Judicial System
- NES: Foreign Policy
- NES: Consumer Economics
- NES: Personal Finance
- NES: Types of Business Organization
- NES: Scarcity, Choice & the Production Possibilities Curve
- NES: Demand, Supply & Market Equilibrium
- NES: Aggregate Demand & Supply
- NES: Measuring the Economy
- NES: Inflation Measurement & Adjustment
- NES: Understanding Unemployment
- NES: Macroeconomic Equilibrium
- NES: Inflation & Unemployment
- NES: Money, Banking & Financial Markets
- NES: Central Bank & the Money Supply
- NES: Economic Policies
- NES Middle Grades Social Science Flashcards