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:

- Foreign policy
- National security policy and defense policy
- Idealism versus realism



In order for our nation to get along in this world that constantly challenges our peace and prosperity, we need the right tools. One tool in particular is Foreign Policy, a nation’s external goals and the techniques and strategies used to achieve them.

The Techniques and Strategies necessary to achieve foreign policy begin with Diplomacy. That is the process by which states carry on political relations with each other -- the process of settling conflicts among nations by peaceful means.

Another foreign policy tool is Economic Aid, which is assistance to other nations in the form of grants, loans, or credits to buy the assisting nation’s products.

We can also use Technical Assistance, the practice of sending experts in areas like agriculture, engineering, and business in order to aid other nations.



National Security Policy includes both our foreign and domestic policy designed to protect the nation’s independence and political integrity; it is concerned with the safety and defense of the nation.

Defense Policy is a subset of national security policy and concerns the U.S. armed forces. Defense policies are proposed by the leaders of the armed forces and the Secretary of Defense.

Using peaceful methods to settle disputes between nations is what is specifically meant by diplomacy, but also includes the negotiating techniques employed when it comes to carrying out its foreign policy. Of course, negotiation is only possible if the parties are willing.



Since the United States became a world power, Americans came to believe that our political and moral values should guide our foreign policy.

That established our Moral Idealism, which is a philosophy that views nations as normally willing to cooperate and to agree on moral standards for conduct. Moral idealism has guided many of our foreign policy initiatives. Our foreign aid is one shining example.

But then, there is our Political Realism. That is a philosophy that views each nation as acting principally in its own interest. Realists view the world as one in conflict with each country having its own selfish agenda to get whatever it can get by any means necessary. Our strong military shows the world that we are prepared to protect our interests.



Our foreign policy has often been a mixture of both moral idealism and political realism. The Arab Spring was an example of what happens when the two principles conflict.

Based on political realism, the United States had cultivated long-standing relationships with dictators in various countries in the Middle East. When a series of protests started popping up throughout the Middle East, President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the idealistic perspective and thought we could support democracy. In Egypt, this experiment came to an end when the military seized power, sweeping the dictator Hosni Mubarak from office and ending any notions of democracy. In Libya, the dictator Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed, and the country was divided among multiple rebel factions with rampant violence and religious extremism on the rise. In Syria, the rebellion against the dictator Bashar al-Assad turned into a stalemate with the government inflicting horrifying casualties on the civilian population.

President Obama and Hillary Clinton had believed that idealism and realism were working together in the name of democracy. In the end, however, Obama had to admit that our relations with many of those countries was back to being based on political realism.