American Government

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Open Chapter Ch. 1: The Democratic Republic
Lesson #1 Politics and Government
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Lesson #2 Democracy and Other Forms of Government
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Lesson #3 What Kind of Democracy Do We Have?
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Lesson #4 Fundamental Values
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Lesson #5 Political Ideologies
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Open Chapter Ch. 2: Forging a New Government: The Constitution
Lesson #6 The Colonial Background
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Lesson #7 An Independent Confederation
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Lesson #8 The Constitutional Convention
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Lesson #9 The Difficult Road to Ratification
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Lesson #10 Altering the Constitution
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Open Chapter Ch. 3: Federalism
Lesson #11 Federalism and Its Alternatives
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Lesson #12 The Constitutional Basis for American Federalism
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Lesson #13 Defining Constitutional Powers -- The Early Years
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Lesson #14 The Continuing Dispute over the Division of Power
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Lesson #15 Federalism and Today’s Supreme Court
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Exam Exam 1
Open Chapter Ch. 4: Civil Liberties
Lesson #16 The Constitutional Bases of Our Liberties
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Lesson #17 Freedom of Religion
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Lesson #18 Freedom of Expression
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Lesson #19 The Right to Privacy
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Lesson #20 The Great Balancing Act: The Rights of the Accused versus the Rights of Society
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Open Chapter Ch. 5: Civil Rights
Lesson #21 The African American Experience and the Civil Rights Movement
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Lesson #22 Civil Rights and the Courts
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Lesson #23 Experiences of Other Minority Groups
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Lesson #24 Women’s Struggle for Equal Rights
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Lesson #25 The Rights and Status of Gay Males and Lesbians
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Open Chapter Ch. 6: Public Opinion, Political Socialization, and the Media
Lesson #26 Public Opinion and Political Socialization
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Lesson #27 The Influence of Demographic Factors
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Lesson #28 Measuring Public Opinion
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Lesson #29 Public Opinion and the Political Process
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Lesson #30 The Media in the United States
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Lesson #31 The Media and Political Campaigns
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Open Chapter Ch. 7: Interest Groups and Political Parties
Lesson #32 A Nation of Joiners
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Lesson #33 Types of Interest Groups
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Lesson #34 Interest Group Strategies
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Lesson #35 Political Parties in the United States
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Lesson #36 A History of Political Parties in the United States
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Lesson #37 Why Has the Two-Party System Endured?
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Exam Midterm Exam
Open Chapter Ch. 8: Campaigns and Elections
Lesson #38 The Twenty-First-Century Campaign
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Lesson #39 Financing the Campaign
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Lesson #40 Running for President: The Longest Campaign
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Lesson #41 How Are Elections Conducted?
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Lesson #42 How Do Voters Decide?
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Open Chapter Ch. 9: The Congress
Lesson #43 The Nature and Functions of Congress
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Lesson #44 House-Senate Differences and Congressional Perks
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Lesson #45 Congressional Elections and Apportionment
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Lesson #46 How Congress Is Organized
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Lesson #47 Law Making and Budgeting
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Open Chapter Ch. 10: The Presidency
Lesson #48 Who Can Become President?
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Lesson #49 The Many Roles of the President
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Lesson #50 Presidential Powers
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Lesson #51 The Executive Organization
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Lesson #52 The Vice Presidency
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Exam Exam 3
Open Chapter Ch. 11: The Bureaucracy
Lesson #53 The Nature and Scope of the Federal Bureaucracy
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Lesson #54 The Organization of the Federal Bureaucracy
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Lesson #55 Staffing the Bureaucracy
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Lesson #56 Modern Attempts at Bureaucratic Reform
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Lesson #57 Bureaucrats as Politicians and Policymakers
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Open Chapter Ch. 12: The Judiciary
Lesson #58 Sources of American Law
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Lesson #59 The Federal Court System
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Lesson #60 The Supreme Court at Work
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Lesson #61 The Selection of Federal Judges
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Lesson #62 Policymaking and the Courts
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Open Chapter Ch. 13: Domestic and Economic Policy
Lesson #63 The Policymaking Process: Health Care as an Example
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Lesson #64 Immigration
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Lesson #65 Energy and the Environment
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Lesson #66 The Politics of Economic Decision Making
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Lesson #67 The Politics of Taxation
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Open Chapter Ch. 14: Foreign Policy
Lesson #68 Facing the World: Foreign and Defense Policies
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Lesson #69 Terrorism and Warfare
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Lesson #70 U.S. Diplomatic Efforts
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Lesson #71 Who Makes Foreign Policy?
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Lesson #72 The Major Foreign Policy Themes
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Exam Final Exam

Assignments:

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Lesson Objectives:

- The vice president's job
- Presidential succession
- When the president becomes incapacitated
- When the vice presidency becomes vacant



In the Constitution, the vice president's only real role is to preside over the Senate. Most of the time, he does not even have to do that as the President Pro Tempore fills that capacity.

Vice Presidents have been chosen by Presidents traditionally to reach more voters. A president from the city does well to choose one who is known in rural settings. A president from the North might choose a vice president from the South. A female has been chosen several times to attempt to draw the female voters.

Beyond their role in attracting voters, the Vice President normally does not have much responsibility, although some presidents have allowed Vice Presidents to be powerful, as was the case with Dick Cheney when George W. Bush was president.



Throughout history, there have been eight instances where the Vice President has become President when the office became vacant as a result of death.

Death is not the only reason a vice president might need to step up into the office; a president can also become incapacitated. This has happened several times throughout history when the president fell ill, such as when Woodrow Wilson had a stroke in 1919 and Dwight D. Eisenhower became ill in 1958.

In 1967, the 25th Amendment was passed to give guidance for how to handle these situations. It establishes procedures for filling presidential and vice-presidential vacancies and makes provisions for presidential incapacity.



When possible, the president must inform Congress in writing that he is incapable of fulfilling his duties in office. At that time, the vice president steps up and acts as president until the president can return.

If the president cannot communicate that he is unable to fulfill his duties, that decision is to be made by a majority of the cabinet along with the vice president.



When the office of the vice president becomes vacant, Section 2 of the 25th Amendment provides that the president will nominate a vice president who must then be confirmed by a majority vote in Congress.

There is an entire line of succession established by the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 that ranks offices that will replace the office of the president and the vice president in the unlikely scenario that those offices keep becoming vacant. The Speaker of the House will become president in the case that the offices of president and vice president become vacant. The President Pro Tempore of the Senate is next in line, and the list keeps going.