About This Chapter
U.S. Government Structure & the Democratic Process- Chapter Summary
This chapter contains lessons that provide a thorough explanation of the structure of the American government and the democratic process. Lessons cover the three types of government and the system used to balance the government. This chapter will also help you review:
- Significance of the separation of powers
- Constitutional provisions
- Three branches of the federal government
- System that creates checks and balances among the branches
- Two types of court systems, including federal courts
- Makeup of Congress
- Pros and cons of voting
- Reasons for low voter turnout
- Types of interest groups that influence government
- Five common American beliefs about politics
Our instructors will walk you through each lesson using real-world examples to increase retention. They present these lessons to you in fun and engaging ways. As you work your way through the chapter, watching the video lessons, reading the lesson transcripts and taking the self-assessment quizzes, know that our instructors are there every step of the way. If you are struggling to understand a concept at any time, you can ask our instructors any questions you may have.
1. Separation of Powers: Definition & Examples
Separation of powers is the distribution of political authority within a government. Learn more about how separation of power works in the United States, then check your understanding of this topic with a quiz.
2. Constitutional Provisions for Limited Government
The United States Constitution lays out a limited federal government. Our federal government is based on federalism, with a separation of powers. This lesson explores constitutional provisions for a limited government.
3. The 3 Branches of Government: Executive, Legislative, Judicial
In 1787, leaders from each of the states gathered to write the United States Constitution. The Constitution sets out how our nation is governed and creates a system that separates powers between different branches. This lesson explores the three branches of our federal government.
4. System of Checks & Balances: Purpose, Importance & Examples
This lesson will cover the system of checks and balances that exist among the three branches of the federal government. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check for understanding.
5. The Federal Court System of the United States: Definition, Structure & Levels
The United States has two separate court systems: the federal and the state. This lesson explores the federal court system of the Unites States, including its structure and jurisdiction.
6. How Congress Represents the American Public: Demographic Makeup
In this lesson, we will review how the 113th United States Congress represents the demographics of the American people. We will take a closer look at the demographic makeup of Congress and how it relates to those representations in the population.
7. Voting: Costs and Benefits
In a country as large as the United States, it's highly unlikely that one person's vote will decide the outcome of a presidential election. Does this mean the costs of voting outweigh the benefits? This lesson explores this question.
8. 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.
9. What Are Interest Groups in the United States? - History & Types
The following lesson will discuss the history and types of interest groups that exist in the American political system. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check for your understanding.
10. Frames of Reference: How America Views the Political System
Americans use a unique frame of reference to perceive and evaluate our political system. This lesson explores five common beliefs Americans hold about the American political system.
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