HST403: U.S. Government and Politics (Comprehensive)

This list is representative of the materials provided or used in this course. Keep in mind that the actual materials used may vary, depending on the school in which you are enrolled, and whether you are taking the course as Independent Study.

For a complete list of the materials to be used in this course by your enrolled student, please visit MyInfo. All lists are subject to change at any time.

Scope & Sequence : Scope & Sequence documents describe what is covered in a course (the scope) and also the order in which topics are covered (the sequence). These documents list instructional objectives and skills to be mastered. K12 Scope & Sequence documents for each course include:

Course Overview

This course studies the history, organization, and functions of the United States government. Beginning with the Declaration of Independence and continuing through to the present day, students explore the relationship between individual Americans and our governing bodies. Students take a close look at the political culture of our country and gain insight into the challenges faced by citizens, elected government officials, political activists, and others. Students also learn about the roles of political parties, interest groups, the media, and the Supreme Court, and discuss their own views on current political issues.

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Course Length

One Semester

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HST303: U.S. History is recommended, but not required.

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Course Outline

Unit 1: Principles of Government

Students identify the purposes of government and evaluate theories about its origins. They compare and contrast power and authority, describe types of government, and learn the basic ideas of American democracy.

  • The Purposes and Origins of Government, Part 1
  • The Purposes and Origins of Government, Part 2
  • Power and Government, Part 1
  • Power and Government, Part 2
  • Types of Government, Part 1
  • Types of Government, Part 2
  • Types of Government, Part 3

Unit 2: Constitutional Underpinnings

Students learn about the Enlightenment, the ideas of John Locke and Thomas Jefferson, the American Revolution, and the Constitutional Convention. They compare and contrast the views of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, discuss the five major principles of the Constitution, and learn about the Bill of Rights and other important amendments.

  • American Government, Part 1
  • American Government, Part 2
  • American Government, Part 3
  • Creating and Ratifying the Constitution, Part 1
  • Creating and Ratifying the Constitution, Part 2
  • The Constitution, Part 1
  • The Constitution, Part 2
  • The Constitution, Part 3
  • Federalism, Part 1
  • Federalism, Part 2

Unit 3: Institutions of Government

Students learn about the basic structure of the U.S. government, and the purpose and functions of Congress, the presidency, bureaucracy, and the federal court system. They study the significance of Marbury v. Madison and learn the steps the Supreme Court follows in selecting, hearing, and deciding cases.

  • The National Government, Part 1
  • The National Government, Part 2
  • Congress, Part 1
  • Congress, Part 2
  • Congress, Part 3
  • The Presidency
  • The Executive Branch, Part 1
  • The Executive Branch, Part 2
  • The Executive Branch, Part 3
  • The Judicial Branch, Part 1
  • The Judicial Branch, Part 2

Unit 4: Political Beliefs and Behaviors

Students learn about the expansion of suffrage in the United States, opportunities for citizen participation in the political process, and demographic factors that influence political participation and political attitudes. They are introduced to the two-axis model of the political spectrum and study the development of liberal and conservative positions in the U.S. They learn about the history of opinion polling and the methods used to measure public opinion.

  • Political Participation, Part 1
  • Political Participation, Part 2
  • Political Opinions, Part 1
  • Political Opinions, Part 2
  • Political Opinions, Part 3
  • America's Political Landscape, Part 1
  • America's Political Landscape, Part 2
  • America's Political Landscape, Part 3

Unit 5: Linkage Institutions

Students learn about the two-party system, the history of political parties in America, and the role of the media in American elections. They study the process by which presidents are elected, how interest groups and lobbyists work, how the media can impact political agenda, and the evolution of the press in the United States.

  • Political Parties, Part 1
  • Political Parties, Part 2
  • Political Parties, Part 3
  • Elections and Campaigns, Part 1
  • Elections and Campaigns, Part 2
  • Elections and Campaigns, Part 3
  • Interest Groups, Part 1
  • Interest Groups, Part 2
  • Interest Groups, Part 3
  • The Media, Part 1
  • The Media, Part 2
  • The Media, Part 3

Unit 6: The Art of Policymaking

Students learn about policymaking and the economic, social, and foreign policies of the United States. They learn about the typical issues addressed and the powers of state and local government.

  • Policymaking, Part 1
  • Policymaking, Part 2
  • Policy Realms, Part 1
  • Policy Realms, Part 2
  • Policy Realms, Part 3
  • State and Local Levels, Part 1
  • State and Local Levels, Part 2
  • State and Local Levels, Part 3
  • State and Local Levels, Part 4

Unit 7: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

Students learn about individual rights and liberties found in the Bill of Rights. They look at how the establishment clause and the free exercise clause have been interpreted to protect freedom of religion; trace the ever-evolving interpretation of freedom of speech; and learn about freedom of the press, assembly, and petition and the right to privacy. They study major steps in the fight for equality for African Americans, women, and other minority groups.

  • American Rights, Part 1
  • American Rights, Part 2
  • American Rights, Part 3
  • First Amendment, Part 1
  • First Amendment, Part 2
  • First Amendment, Part 3
  • Privacy Rights, Part 1
  • Privacy Rights, Part 2
  • Privacy Rights, Part 3
  • Rights for Minorities, Part 1
  • Rights for Minorities, Part 2
  • Rights for Minorities, Part 3
  • Rights for Minorities, Part 4

Unit 8: U.S. Government and Politics Review and Exam

Students review what they have learned and take the final exam.

  • Review
  • Exam
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Lesson Scheduling

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K12 Scope & Sequence documents for each course include:

  • Course Overview (as seen above)
  • Course Outline
  • Lesson Time and Scheduling