About This Chapter
United States Government: Foundation & Structure - Chapter Summary
If you would like to better understand American politics, a good place to start would be with studying up on the foundations and structure of the United States government. Included in this chapter are several informative video lessons that will teach you about crucial topics related to the various aspects of the U.S. system of government and its historical background.
These lessons will break down the evolution of American government over different periods in American history as well as highlight the major roles and responsibilities of different types of government in the U.S. Our lesson instructors will share their expertise with you on these subjects, going over all topics in a clear and comprehensive manner. Some of the specific topics you will learn about are:
- The Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence
- Local government boundaries
- Federalism in the U.S.
- The division of powers in the U.S.
- Federal government powers over state governments
- The definition, responsibilities and challenges of local governments
- State governments
- The economic functions of government
Each video contains helpful tags that have bookmarked the main points in each of the lessons. The chapter also offers you complete transcripts of each video, should you wish for hard copies of the lessons to read over on your own time. The chapter's practice quizzes and final exam will help you test your understanding of these topics once you have completed all of the lessons.
1. From the Magna Carta to the American Declaration of Independence
In this lesson, we will trace the legacy of democratic ideals from the Magna Carta to the Declaration of Independence. We will highlight the key developments of democracy throughout the Medieval period and into the modern age.
2. Local Government Boundaries: Cultural & Political Influence
This lesson will explain the characteristics of local governments. In doing so, it will define the terms delimitation, redistricting, constituency, and gerrymandering as well as the role these terms play in local governance.
3. 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.
4. The Evolution of American Federalism: 1787-1937
Though federalism is written into the United States Constitution, federalism hasn't always worked the same way. It has evolved over the course of American history. This lesson takes a look at the evolution of federalism through the Great Depression.
5. The Evolution of American Federalism: 1937-Present
Federalism is written into the United States Constitution, but it hasn't always worked the same way. It has evolved over the course of American history. This lesson takes a look at the evolution of federalism from the Great Depression to today.
6. Division of Powers Between the National Government and the States
The U.S. Constitution uses federalism to divide governmental powers between the federal government and the individual state governments. This lesson explores this division of powers by looking at Supreme Court decisions.
7. Federal Controls on State Governments: Mandates and Federal Court Rulings
Though we have federalism, the federal government still controls certain aspects of state government. This lesson takes a look at the ways the federal government controls state government, such as federal court decisions and mandates.
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.
9. 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.
10. What Are the Economic Functions of Government?
Find out what the six economic functions of government are in the United States. See some examples in each of the categories and find out how you benefit from them.
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 Pennsylvania Grades 4-8 - Social Studies Subject Concentration (5157): Practice & Study Guide course
- Early United States History Overview
- Causes & Impact of the Revolutionary War
- United States Constitution & Bill of Rights
- United States Territorial Expansion
- The Importance of Manifest Destiny
- Sectionalism & the Start of the Civil War
- End of the Civil War & Reconstruction
- Industrialization, Urbanization & Immigration
- The Progressive Era & Amendments
- World War I Summary
- United States in the 1920s
- The Great Depression & the New Deal
- World War II Summary
- Understanding the Cold War
- The Post-Cold War World
- The United States (1940s-1960s)
- The United States (1970s-1990s)
- Technology in the Late 20th Century
- History of Pennsylvania
- Early Civilizations Overview
- Classical Civilizations Overview
- Civilizations & Change
- Early Eastern Religions Overview
- Renaissance, Reformation & Enlightenment Periods
- Global Interactions (1200-1750)
- Revolutions & Imperialism (1750-1914)
- Terrorism & the United States
- Branches of the U.S. Government
- United States Election Process
- Political Parties, Interest Groups, Bureaucracy & Media
- Rights, Responsibilities & Duties of U.S. Citizens
- American Political Systems & Ideologies
- Economics, Taxation & GDP
- The Federal Reserve System
- Personal Finance & Investments
- Geography, Maps & Waterways
- Physical Geography of Earth
- The Environment & Human Activity
- Human Geography & Migration
- Political Geography & Geographic Factors
- Pennsylvania Grades 4-8 - Social Studies Subject Concentration Flashcards