Ch 1: Principles and Origins of the American Government

About This Chapter

The Principles and Origins of the American Government chapter of this Civics Study Guide course is the simplest way to master the American government's principles and origins. This chapter uses simple and fun videos that are about five minutes long, plus lesson quizzes and a chapter exam to ensure you learn the essentials of American government.

Who's It For?

Anyone who needs help learning or mastering American government material will benefit from the lessons in this chapter. There is no faster or easier way to learn about the principles and origins of the American government. Among those who would benefit are:

  • Students who have fallen behind in understanding the philosophical influences on early American government or the factors affecting contemporary politics
  • Students who struggle with learning disabilities or learning differences, including autism and ADHD
  • Students who prefer multiple ways of learning political science (visual or auditory)
  • Students who have missed class time and need to catch up
  • Students who need an efficient way to learn about the principles and origins of the American government
  • Students who struggle to understand their teachers
  • Students who attend schools without extra political science learning resources

How It Works:

  • Find videos in our course that cover what you need to learn or review.
  • Press play and watch the video lesson.
  • Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
  • Test your understanding of each lesson with short quizzes.
  • Verify you're ready by completing the chapter exam on the principles and origins of the American government.

Why It Works:

  • Study Efficiently: Skip what you know, review what you don't.
  • Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
  • Be Ready on Test Day: Use the chapter exam on the American government's principles and origins to be prepared.
  • Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any American government question. They're here to help!
  • Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any web-ready device.

Students Will Review:

This chapter helps students review the concepts in an introductory American government unit of a standard civics course. Topics covered include:

  • Functions and types of government
  • Direct and representative democracy
  • Sources and types of political power
  • The political theories of Hobbes and Locke
  • Ideas of the American Enlightenment
  • Modern democracy's 'permanent campaign'
  • The American government's core values
  • Politics and governmental conflict
  • The rules of American politics
  • Factors causing shifts in political power

12 Lessons in Chapter 1: Principles and Origins of the 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.

What is Democracy? - Definition, Types & Principles

3. 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.

Political Power: Definition, Types & Sources

4. 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.

Thomas Hobbes & John Locke: Political Theories & Competing Views

5. 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.

The American Enlightenment: Intellectual and Social Revolution

6. 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.

The New American Democracy: Definition & History

7. 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 Core Principles of American Government

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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

11. 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.

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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