POL 201 Entire Course

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timer Asked: Jul 9th, 2015

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POL201.Online.CG.2015.V8.0610.ep.pdf 

POL201 American National Government Course Guide This course is a survey of government at the national level. Emphasis is placed on the constitutional basis of American government, federalism, the sources and forms of political behavior, the operation of the three branches of government, and the making of national policy. POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS ........................................................................................................................................................................ 1 COURSE AT A GLANCE ...................................................................................................................................................................... 5 COURSE DESCRIPTION..................................................................................................................................................................... 5 COURSE DESIGN ................................................................................................................................................................................ 5 PREREQUISITES ................................................................................................................................................................................. 5 COURSE LEARNING OUTCOMES ................................................................................................................................................... 5 COURSE MATERIALS .......................................................................................................................................................................... 6 REQUIRED TEXT ................................................................................................................................................................................ 6 REQUIRED RESOURCES ................................................................................................................................................................... 6 Articles .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 6 Multimedia ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 7 Websites ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 7 Supplemental Materials .................................................................................................................................................................... 8 RECOMMENDED RESOURCES ........................................................................................................................................................ 8 Articles .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 8 Website .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 9 COURSE GRADING............................................................................................................................................................................. 10 DISCUSSIONS ................................................................................................................................................................................... 10 QUIZZES ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 10 LEARNING ACTIVITIES .................................................................................................................................................................. 10 FINAL PAPER .................................................................................................................................................................................... 11 GRADING PERCENT BREAKDOWN.............................................................................................................................................. 11 WEEK ONE ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 12 COURSE CONTENT .......................................................................................................................................................................... 12 Overview ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 12 Weekly Learning Outcomes ............................................................................................................................................................. 12 Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 12 Required Resources ......................................................................................................................................................................... 13 Discussions...................................................................................................................................................................................... 14 Quiz ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 17 2 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE Learning Activity ............................................................................................................................................................................. 17 WEEK TWO .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 19 COURSE CONTENT .......................................................................................................................................................................... 19 Overview ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 19 Weekly Learning Outcomes ............................................................................................................................................................. 19 Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 19 Required Resources ......................................................................................................................................................................... 20 Recommended Resources ................................................................................................................................................................ 22 Discussions...................................................................................................................................................................................... 22 Quiz ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 24 Learning Activity ............................................................................................................................................................................. 25 WEEK THREE ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 27 COURSE CONTENT .......................................................................................................................................................................... 27 Overview ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 27 Weekly Learning Outcomes ............................................................................................................................................................. 27 Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 27 Required Resources ......................................................................................................................................................................... 28 Recommended Resources ................................................................................................................................................................ 29 Discussions...................................................................................................................................................................................... 30 Quiz ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 32 Learning Activity ............................................................................................................................................................................. 33 WEEK FOUR ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 34 COURSE CONTENT .......................................................................................................................................................................... 34 Overview ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 34 Weekly Learning Outcomes ............................................................................................................................................................. 34 Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 34 Required Resources ......................................................................................................................................................................... 35 Recommended Resource .................................................................................................................................................................. 37 Discussions...................................................................................................................................................................................... 37 Quiz ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 39 Learning Activity ............................................................................................................................................................................. 40 WEEK FIVE .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 41 COURSE CONTENT .......................................................................................................................................................................... 41 3 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE Overview ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 41 Weekly Learning Outcomes ............................................................................................................................................................. 41 Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 41 Required Resources ......................................................................................................................................................................... 42 Discussions...................................................................................................................................................................................... 43 Final Paper ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 45 COURSE MAP ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 48 4 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE COURSE AT A GLANCE COURSE DESCRIPTION This course is a survey of government at the national level. Emphasis is placed on the constitutional basis of American government, federalism, the sources and forms of political behavior, the operation of the three branches of government, and the making of national policy. COURSE DESIGN This course is a study of the national government of the United States, including its roots in the Constitution. The course begins by outlining the political ideologies that inspired the U.S. political system. Students explore the structure and process of the federal system and the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government to learn the expressed and implied powers of each branch. Having gained an appreciation for the key actors and responsibilities within the government, students will learn how politicians campaign, participate in political parties, and are elected to office and how the voters respond. Political processes and the factors that influence these processes are recurring themes throughout the course. The summative assessment focuses on critically analyzing the primary features of the American national government. The course design includes the use of multimedia, spirited dialogue in the discussion forums, readings, research, and written assignments. Students are prompted to enrich the discussions while enhancing their library search skills by selecting from a broad array of pre-selected articles available from the Ashford University Library. PREREQUISITES There are no prerequisites for POL201. COURSE LEARNING OUTCOMES Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to 1. Explain the historical and constitutional basis for the American Government’s structure. 2. Define the system of checks and balances. 3. Examine the role of public opinion, media, and special interest groups with respect to public policy and elections. 4. Analyze our voting system and the election process. 5. Evaluate policymaking and government program administration. 5 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE COURSE MATERIALS REQUIRED TEXT Levin-Waldman, O. M. (2012). American government [Electronic version]. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.  This text is a Constellation™ course digital materials (CDM) title. REQUIRED RESOURCES Articles Bates, N. (2004, October 26). What are the arguments made in favor – and against – the Electoral College? History News Network. Retrieved from http://hnn.us/articles/8163.html Campbell, A. L. (2012, September/October). America the undertaxed: U.S. fiscal policy in perspective. Foreign Affairs, 91(5): 99-112. Retrieved from http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/137838/andrea-louise-campbell/americathe-undertaxed Cohen, A. (2012, March 16). How voter ID laws are being used to disenfranchise minorities and the poor. The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/03/how-voter-id-laws-are-being-used-todisenfranchise-minorities-and-the-poor/254572/ Gizzi, J. (2011, May 18). GOP leaders united in defense of the Electoral College. Human Events, 67, 5. Retrieved from http://humanevents.com/2011/05/18/gop-leaders-united-in-defense-of-electoral-college/ Hyde, K. (2008, October 13). Fraught with fraud. The New American, 24(22), 18-20. Retrieved from http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/2442-fraught-with-fraud Madonna, G. T. (2005). Why the Electoral College is bad for America. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 35(2), 411-412. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/%28ISSN%291741-5705 Norquist, G. G., & Campbell, A. L. (2012, November/December). Are taxes too damn high? The debate about the rate. Foreign Affairs, 91(6): 156-162. Retrieved from http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/138242/grover-gnorquist-and-andrea-louise-campbell/are-taxes-too-damn-high Pew Research Center. (2013, December 3). Section 4: The threat of terrorism and civil liberties. In Public Sees U.S. Power Declining As Support For Global Engagement Slips. Retrieved from http://www.peoplepress.org/2013/12/03/section-4-the-threat-of-terrorism-and-civil-liberties/ 6 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE Pew Research Center. (2014, June 26). Key facts from Pew Research’s political typology. In Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology. Retrieved from http://www.people-press.org/2014/06/26/key-facts-from-pew-researchspolitical-typology/ Pew Research Center. (2014, June 26). Overview. In Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology. Retrieved from http://www.people-press.org/2014/06/26/the-political-typology-beyond-red-vs-blue/ Underhill, W. (2011, July). Proof at the polls. State Legislatures, 37(7), 58-60. Retrieved from http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/proof-at-the-polls.aspx Multimedia Hinck, T., & Buchanan, C. (Producers). (2013, May 7). Episode I - A more perfect union [Series episode]. In Constitution USA with Peter Sagal. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/tpt/constitution-usa-peter-sagal/watch/a-more-perfectunion/ Hinck, T., & Buchanan, C. (Producers). (2013, May 14). Episode II - It’s a free country [Series episode]. In Constitution USA with Peter Sagal. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/tpt/constitution-usa-peter-sagal/watch/its-a-freecountry/ Hinck, T., & Buchanan, C. (Producers). (2013, May 28). Episode IV - Built to last [Series episode]. In Constitution USA with Peter Sagal. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/tpt/constitution-usa-peter-sagal/watch/built-to-last/ Klein, J. H. [JamesEducationMedia]. (2012, January 29). Quick study of Federalism part 1 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn54hCIxF3Q Klein, J. H. [JamesEducationMedia]. (2012, January 29). Quick study of Federalism part 2 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX88g3wJTCw Klein, J. H. [JamesEducationMedia]. (2012, January 29). Quick study of Federalism part 3 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0Z6idma-CM Pew Research Center. (2014). Political typology quiz [Online quiz]. Retrieved from http://www.peoplepress.org/quiz/political-typology/ Websites Constitution Party. (2015). Seven principles. Retrieved from http://www.constitutionparty.com/our-principles/sevenprinciples/ DNC Services Corporation. (2015). Our party. Retrieved from http://www.democrats.org/about/our_party 7 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE Green Party of the United States. (2015). The Ten Key Values of the Green Party. Retrieved from http://www.gp.org/tenkey.php Libertarian Party. (2015). Issues. Retrieved from http://www.lp.org/issues Republican National Committee. (2014). Our party|GOP. Retrieved from https://gop.com/our-gop/ Supplemental Materials Ashford University Library (n.d.). POL201 research guide. Retrieved from http://outboundsso.next.ecollege.com/default/launchWithoutCache.ed?ssoType=AULibraryEzP&ur l=http%253A//ashfordonline.libguides.com/POL201 RECOMMENDED RESOURCES Articles (2008, November 3). Electoral College 101. New York Times Upfront, 141(5), 6-7. Retrieved from http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/indepth/upfront/features/index.asp?article=f110308_Electoral_Colle ge Barnett, A. (2009). Selecting the nation’s CEO: A risk assessment of the Electoral College. Journal of Management Issues, 21(4), 443, 447-460. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40604663?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents Huang, C-C., & Frentz, N. (2014, February 18). What really is the evidence on taxes and growth? A reply to the tax foundation. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Retrieved from http://www.cbpp.org/research/what-really-isthe-evidence-on-taxes-and-growth McBride, W. (2012, December 18). What is the evidence on taxes and growth? Tax Foundation, 207. Retrieved from http://taxfoundation.org/article/what-evidence-taxes-and-growth Will, G. (2011, October 15). George Will: Electoral College reform tilts presidential balance. San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.sgvtribune.com/opinion/20111015/george-will-electoral-college-reform-tiltspresidential-balance Wolverton, J. (2011, September 19). What’s wrong with a National Popular Vote (NPV)? The New American, 27(18), 2528. Retrieved from http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/8094-what-s-wrong-with-anational-popular-vote-npv 8 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE Website Freedom House. (2008). Today's American: How free? Retrieved from https://freedomhouse.org/report/specialreports/todays-american-how-free#.VRl7ght0zm4 9 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE COURSE GRADING Multiple measures of assessment are used in the course, allowing students opportunities to demonstrate their learning in more than one way and giving consideration to individual learning styles. Course components that will be assessed include: DISCUSSIONS Each week students will participate in online discussions with classmates, which are related to the week’s readings. These discussions replace the interactive dialogue that occurs in the traditional classroom setting. Each week, students’ initial discussion posts are due by 11:59 p.m. (in the time zone in which each student resides) on Day 3 (Thursday). Students will have until 11:59 p.m. on Day 7 (the following Monday) to make the required minimum number of response posts to classmates. Discussions represent 34% of the overall course grade. QUIZZES In Weeks One through Four, students will demonstrate and reinforce their understanding of the week’s content by taking open-book quizzes. Students have 12 hours to complete a quiz once they begin. The quiz must be completed in no more than two sittings, by Day 7 of the week in which it is due. The questions are multiple choice and true/false. Each quiz is worth five percent. Quizzes represent 20% of the overall course grade. LEARNING ACTIVITIES In Weeks One through Four, students will complete written assignments using worksheets to work towards the Final Paper in Week Five. These assignments must reflect college-level writing. Learning Activities represent 21% of the overall course grade. 10 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE FINAL PAPER The final assignment for this course is a Final Paper on America’s Democracy: Your Report Card. The purpose of the America’s Democracy: Your Report Card is for you to culminate the learning achieved in the course by critically analyzing the primary features of our national government. The Final Paper represents 25% of the overall course grade. GRADING PERCENT BREAKDOWN Grading Activity Percent Discussions 34 Quizzes 20 Learning Activities 21 Final Paper 25 Total 100 11 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE WEEK ONE COURSE CONTENT To be completed during the first week of class. Overview Activity Post Your Introduction The U.S. Constitution Week One Reflection Grading Due Date Format Day 1 Discussion 4 Discussion 4 Discussion 2 Day 3 st (1 post) Day 3 st (1 post) Percent Week One Quiz Day 7 Quiz 5 The Constitution Day 7 Learning Activity 5 Weekly Learning Outcomes This week students will 1. Discuss personal political philosophies based on the Pew Research Center’s Political Typology Quiz. 2. Explain why the separation of powers and the system of checks and balances are important for our democracy. 3. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. Constitution. Introduction Week One provides you with insights into your own personal political philosophy using the Pew Research Center’s Political Typology Quiz. The results of the Quiz will expand understanding of the varied political philosophies that guide the thought processes of most Americans. In addition, essential constitutional concepts related to separation of powers and checks and balances that constitute the national government will be analyzed this week. The focus is on applying these political philosophies and concepts to issues being debated in contemporary policy arenas at the national level and at the 12 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE personal level involving individual jobs and careers. Additionally, the week begins the investigation and evaluation of the main features of the U.S.’s national government with an in-depth examination of the U.S. Constitution. Please review the Discussion Post Tip Sheet (available in your online classroom) for tips on developing a quality discussion. Required Resources Text Levin-Waldman, O. M. (2012). American government [Electronic version]. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.  Chapter 1: American Politics and Founding Principles  Chapter 2: The U.S. Constitution Articles Pew Research Center. (2014, June 26). Key facts from Pew Research’s political typology. In Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology. Retrieved from http://www.people-press.org/2014/06/26/key-facts-from-pew-researchspolitical-typology/  This article provides informative background details about the Pew Research Center’s Typology Quiz. The information provided will help students understand their own political beliefs, norms, and values and will be applied in future weekly forums. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Pew Research Center. (2014, June 26). Overview. In Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology. Retrieved from http://www.people-press.org/2014/06/26/the-political-typology-beyond-red-vs-blue/  This article introduces the Political Typology terms, concepts, and methods. This article provides additional information on the political typologies that are utilized in the quiz. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Multimedia Hinck, T., & Buchanan, C. (Producers). (2013, May 28). Episode IV - Built to last [Series episode]. In Constitution USA with Peter Sagal. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/tpt/constitution-usa-peter-sagal/watch/built-to-last/  This video discusses how the U.S. Constitution has processes and procedures built in to endure political confrontations and conflicts over time. This video provides students with basic information about the U.S. Constitution and how the Constitution has become a flexible and adaptable document that is still relevant in their own lives and jobs. The video will prepare students for the discussion, “The U.S. Constitution.” 13 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Pew Research Center. (2014). Political typology quiz [Online quiz]. Retrieved from http://www.peoplepress.org/quiz/political-typology/  Students will take this quiz to find out which one of the Political Typology groups is their best match. Students will use this quiz to complete the discussion, “The U.S. Constitution.” Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Supplemental Materials Ashford University Library (n.d.). POL201 research guide. Retrieved from http://outboundsso.next.ecollege.com/default/launchWithoutCache.ed?ssoType=AULibraryEzP&ur l=http%253A//ashfordonline.libguides.com/POL201  This resource can be accessed through the online classroom. Discussions Participate in the following discussions: 1. Post Your Introduction. 1st Post Due by Day 1. Prepare: Prior to posting your introduction, read the two articles provided by the Pew Research Center on Political Typology: “Key Facts from Pew Research’s Political Typology” and “Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology.” Next, take the Political Typology Quiz by clicking on “Begin Quiz” at the bottom of the web page. Respond to the questionnaire to get information about your political philosophy or ideology. Save your results for future reference in this course. Reflect: Once you complete the quiz, look over the results and evaluate if they reflect your personal political beliefs and how accurate the quiz is at identifying your views on American politics. Write: Post your two-paragraph introduction. In the first paragraph, tell a little about your personal and professional interests. In the second paragraph, describe your political philosophy based on the results of the Political Typology Quiz. If you disagree with the results, please discuss what you found inaccurate about the results and what you contend is your personal, political ideology. 14 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE Respond to Peers: By Day 7, respond to at least three classmates’ introductions. Compare and contrast your political ideology with your classmates’ political ideologies. * For an alternate accessible quiz for use with assistive technology, please reach out to your instructor. 2. The U.S. Constitution. 1st Post Due by Day 3. Prepare: Prior to writing your initial post, read Chapters 1 and 2 of American Government. In addition, watch the video provided on the U.S. Constitution, Episode IV - Built to Last. Reflect: The U.S. Constitution is the cornerstone of our federal government. The Constitution establishes a basic operational framework that enables the three branches of government – executive, legislative, and judicial – to interact and function as a unit. Embedded in this operational framework are two key principles: separation of powers and a system of checks and balances. Write: In your initial post, explain why the separation of powers and the system of checks and balances are important for our democracy. Provide recent, real-world examples of the separation of powers and checks/balances in action (one example each). Also, discuss how the Constitution protects individual and group rights. Again, provide a recent real-world example of these Constitutional protections being applied here in the U.S. You must fully respond to all parts of the prompt and write your response in your own words. Support your position with APA citations from two or more of the assigned resources required for this discussion. Please be sure that you demonstrate understanding of these resources, integrate them into your argument, and cite them properly. Your initial post should be 200 to 250 words and be written in complete sentences. Respond to Peers: By Day 7, respond to at least two of your classmates' initial posts. Your peer responses should be 75 to 100 words each. Demonstrate your understanding of the topic by respectfully asking questions, raising new points for consideration, or requesting clarification from your fellow students. For example, you may want to compare your real-world examples to those of your classmates and see how they are similar or different and discuss why. 15 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE 3. Week One Reflection. 1st Post Due by Day 3. Prepare: Prior to beginning your reflection this week, complete all course readings, your introduction, and the Discussion, “The U.S. Constitution.” Reflect: Once you have completed these assignments think about how American politics have and could affect your career aspirations. The Founding Fathers created an amazing governmental structure that affects almost every aspect of our lives even today. For instance, if you are a criminal justice major, what parts of the U.S. Constitution are applicable to what you are learning in your major? If you are a business major, which branch of government – executive, legislative, or judicial – has, or will have, the greatest influence on your business ambitions? If you are a political science major, how does separation of powers in the U.S. government affect the operations of most economic, social, and political processes throughout the United States? Write: In your initial post, based on your current academic major (declared or not), complete one of the following:  Describe which actions of the Founding Fathers are continuing to affect your future career goals.  Discuss how separation of powers is influencing your current or future job.  Explain why checks and balances are important to know in your future employment positions.  Expound on how the Constitution is still relevant to the career you want to pursue. Fully respond to all parts of the prompt and write your response in your own words. Support your position with APA citations from two or more of the assigned resources required for this discussion. Please be sure that you demonstrate understanding of these resources, integrate them into your argument, and cite them properly. Your initial post should be 200 to 250 words. Respond to Peers: By Day 7, respond to at least two of your classmates' initial posts. Your peer responses should be 75 to 100 words each. Comment on a peer response that you did not select to respond to and extend the conversation by examining their claims or arguments in more depth. Keep the discussion on target and try to analyze things in as much detail as you can. For instance, you might consider comparing your perspectives on how the Constitution affects your career goals to how it affects a classmate with different career goals. 16 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE Quiz 1. Week One Quiz. Due by Day 7. Complete the quiz on the assigned readings for the week. What should I do to prepare for this quiz? Carefully read and critically reflect on this week’s readings before attempting this quiz. Keep in mind that you may use your book as you complete this quiz. How many chances do I have to take the quiz? You will have two opportunities to take this quiz. This quiz utilizes a test bank so each attempt may contain different questions. Please note that your last attempt will be the grade recorded in the gradebook. How can I improve my score between each attempt?  Review the quiz feedback available in the gradebook.  Review chapters and resources related to quiz topics. How much time do I have to take this quiz? Once you open this quiz, it will remain open for 12 hours. However, you must finish it in one sitting, as it will time out after 45 minutes of inactivity. When finished, click on Save Answers and then on Submit for Grade. The amount of time the quiz will take to complete will vary by individual. Learning Activity 1. The Constitution. Due by Day 7. The weekly worksheets will help you build all the necessary parts for your Final Paper. This week, you will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the most important document for America’s national government, the U.S. Constitution. In your worksheet, you will describe one strength and one weakness of the Constitution. In addition, you will need to recommend a way to maintain the strength of this amazing document and a way to correct a weakness. This effort begins the process of critically analyzing key features of our national government. To complete the assignment, save the Week One Learning Activity Worksheet (available in the online classroom) to your computer, fill it out, and submit it. Develop a detailed outline of your first main point using the Week One Learning Activity Worksheet. 17 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE 1. The Constitution: a. Provide a topic sentence that briefly describes one strength and one weakness of the U.S. Constitution. b. Provide a topic sentence that recommends one option to maintain the strength and one to correct the weakness. 2. Scholarly Support: (Please access the Ashford Writing Center’s Sample Annotated Bibliography) a. Provide two credible sources in APA format to support your main points. b. Briefly discuss how these sources support your main point. c. Briefly evaluate your sources for bias, validity, and reliability. View the POL201 Research Guide (available in the online classroom) for help on how to find and evaluate sources for assignments in this course. 18 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE WEEK TWO COURSE CONTENT To be completed during the second week of class. Overview Activity Policy and Your Life Week Two Reflection Due Date Day 3 st (1 post) Day 3 st (1 post) Format Grading Percent Discussion 4 Discussion 2 Week Two Quiz Day 7 Quiz 5 Federalism Day 7 Learning Activity 5 Weekly Learning Outcomes This week students will 1. Discuss challenges to federalism that emerge when policies are implemented. 2. Describe how federalism and the U.S. Congress have or will affect your life. 3. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages to a national policy implemented by agencies of the federal bureaucracy. Introduction Week Two closely examines the national and individual impacts of federalism and congressional operations. The emphasis is on discussing and describing how the federal structure of our government and the actions of Congress (legislating, delegating, oversight, etc.) impact national issues, individual citizens, and how these impacts can be positively enhanced. Additionally, national policies that are implemented by federal agencies will be critically analyzed and evaluated for strengths and weaknesses. Each American is affected by national policies passed by Congress and 19 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE implemented by the federal bureaucracy, and investigating some of these impacts will broaden knowledge and awareness of how and why American lives are affected. Please review the Discussion Post Tip Sheet (available in your online classroom) for tips on developing a quality discussion. Required Resources Text Levin-Waldman, O. M. (2012). American government [Electronic version]. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.  Chapter 3: Federalism  Chapter 4: Congress and Policy Making Articles Campbell, A. L. (2012, September/October). America the undertaxed: U.S. fiscal policy in perspective. Foreign Affairs, 91(5): 99-112. Retrieved from http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/137838/andrea-louise-campbell/americathe-undertaxed  This article provides information to support arguments that Americans are not taxed excessively. The information provided should enable students to better understand both sides of the taxation argument in the U.S., which is core area of conflict concerning the powers of the federal government. This information will help students in the Discussion, “Week Two Reflection.” Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Norquist, G. G., & Campbell, A. L. (2012, November/December). Are taxes too damn high? The debate about the rate. Foreign Affairs, 91(6): 156-162. Retrieved from http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/138242/grover-gnorquist-and-andrea-louise-campbell/are-taxes-too-damn-high  This article provides information to support arguments that Americans are taxed excessively. The information provided should enable students to better understand both sides of the taxation argument in the U.S., which is core area of conflict concerning the powers of the federal government. This information will help students in the Discussion, “Week Two Reflection.” Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Multimedia Hinck, T., & Buchanan, C. (Producers). (2013, May 7). Episode I - A more perfect union [Series episode]. In Constitution USA with Peter Sagal. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/tpt/constitution-usa-peter-sagal/watch/a-more-perfectunion/ 20 POL210: American National Government  COURSE GUIDE This video examines one of the “revolutionary” features of the Constitution, federalism, and how this system contributes to the strength of the United States’ government. The video provides students with several different views of how federalism affects the U.S. and how it can affect their lives. This video will provide additional background material for the Discussion, “Policy and Your Life.” Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Klein, J. H. [JamesEducationMedia]. (2012, January 29). Quick study of Federalism part 1 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn54hCIxF3Q  Part One will explain basic concepts of American federalism. This three-part video (15 minutes) describes historical debates about the division of power between national and state government and describes concepts used in modern debates about federalism. This information should expand student’s understanding and appreciation for the complexities and conflicts that involve the U.S.’s federal system of government. Accessibility Statement Privacy Policy Klein, J. H. [JamesEducationMedia]. (2012, January 29). Quick study of Federalism part 2 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX88g3wJTCw  Part Two will explain early Supreme Court decisions about American federalism. This three-part video (15 minutes) describes historical debates about the division of power between national and state government and describes concepts used in modern debates about federalism. This information should expand student’s understanding and appreciation for the complexities and conflicts that involve the U.S.’s federal system of government. Accessibility Statement Privacy Policy Klein, J. H. [JamesEducationMedia]. (2012, January 29). Quick study of Federalism part 3 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0Z6idma-CM  Part Three explains later Supreme Court decisions about American federalism: dual federalism and cooperative federalism. This three-part video (15 minutes) describes historical debates about the division of power between national and state government and describes concepts used in modern debates about federalism. This information should expand student’s understanding and appreciation for the complexities and conflicts that involve the U.S.’s federal system of government. 21 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE Accessibility Statement Privacy Policy Supplemental Materials Ashford University Library (n.d.). POL201 research guide. Retrieved from http://outboundsso.next.ecollege.com/default/launchWithoutCache.ed?ssoType=AULibraryEzP&ur l=http%253A//ashfordonline.libguides.com/POL201  This resource can be accessed through the online classroom. Recommended Resources Articles Huang, C-C., & Frentz, N. (2014, February 18). What really is the evidence on taxes and growth? A reply to the tax foundation. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Retrieved from http://www.cbpp.org/research/what-really-isthe-evidence-on-taxes-and-growth  This article provides information on the impacts of taxes on economic growth in the U.S. This article also provides additional material on how taxes can affect growth and give students insights into the impacts taxes can have on the overall economy. The perspective provided is counter to the perspective found in the McBride (2012) article. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy McBride, W. (2012, December 18). What is the evidence on taxes and growth? Tax Foundation, 207. Retrieved from http://taxfoundation.org/article/what-evidence-taxes-and-growth  This article discusses the impacts of taxes on economic growth in the U.S. This article provides additional material on how taxes can affect growth and give students insights into the impacts taxes can have on the overall economy. The perspective provided is counter to the perspective found in the Huang & Nathaniel (2014) article. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Discussions Participate in the following discussions: 1. Policy and Your Life. 1st Post Due by Day 3. 22 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE Prepare: Prior to beginning work on this discussion question, read Chapters 3 and 4 in American Government. In addition, watch the videos provided on federalism: Quick Study of Federalism Part 1, Quick Study of Federalism Part 2, and Quick Study of Federalism Part 3, and the U.S. Constitution: Episode I - A More Perfect Union. Reflect: The U.S. government's expansive role in public policy is caught in a swirl of conflicting crosscurrents. On the one hand, popular expectations about government's responsibility to solve problems often exceed the capacity of state and local authorities to respond effectively. On the other hand, policies developed at the national level may not sufficiently reflect the great diversity of interests across the U.S. to be effective at the local level. Moreover, the search for effective policy is further complicated by theoretical debates about the constitutional framework of federalism, that is, what limits on national power can be derived from the Tenth Amendment? Write: Select a policy or piece of legislation that involves the program you are seeking a degree in (i.e., your major). In your initial post, discuss the federalism challenges that this policy is creating or facing. For example:  If you are an education major, how are local, state, and federal government policies affected by the No Child Left Behind legislation or some other piece of education-related legislation?  If you are a criminal justice major, how does recent legalization of marijuana in some states affect local, state, and federal control over this issue?  If you are a business major, how does the insurance mandate in the Affordable Care Act affect local, state, and national businesses and their employees?  If you are a political science major how has the recent Citizen’s United ruling affected the amount of money available for campaigns at the local, state, or federal levels? Fully respond to all parts of the prompt and write your response in your own words. Your initial must be 200 to 250 words. Support your position with APA citations from two or more of the assigned resources required for this discussion. Please be sure that you demonstrate understanding of these resources, integrate them into your argument, and cite them properly. Respond to Peers: By Day 7, respond to at least two of your classmates' initial posts. Your peer responses each should be 75 to 100 words. As your reply to your classmates, attempt to take the conversation further by examining their claims or arguments in more depth or responding to the posts that they reply to you with. Keep the discussion on target and try to analyze things in as much detail as you can. For instance, you might consider 23 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE reflecting on why the legislation selected by one of your classmate’s is impacted differently than the one you selected. 2. Week Two Reflection. 1st Post Due by Day 3. Prepare: Prior to beginning your reflection this week, complete all course readings and assigned videos, and the Discussion, “Policy and Your Life.” Reflect: Once you have completed these assignments, think about how federalism and the U.S. Congress have or will affect your life. The federal structure ensures that there is a clear line between local, state, and federal government regulations, policies, and oversight—sometimes! Think about how federal statues affect your work or will affect your work in the future. Does Congress have oversight of any of the processes or products in your workplace? Do the government regulations, policies, and oversight sometimes conflict with local or state regulations, policies, and oversight? Write: In your initial post of, based on your current or desired job, complete the following:  Describe how a federal policy affects your current or desired workplace.  Explain what role Congress has in establishing workplace conditions in your current or desired job. Fully respond to all parts of the prompt and write your response in your own words. Your initial post should be 200 to 250 words. Support your position with APA citations from two or more of the assigned resources required for this discussion. Please be sure that you demonstrate understanding of these resources, integrate them into your argument, and cite them properly. Respond to Peers: By Day 7, respond to at least two of your classmates' initial posts. Your peer responses should be 75 to 100 words each. As your reply to your classmates, extend the conversation by examining their claims or arguments in more depth or by responding to the posts that they reply to you with. Keep the discussion on target and try to analyze things in as much detail as you can. For instance, you might consider comparing how federal policies affect your workplace to how they affect a different workplace of one of your classmates. Quiz 1. Week Two Quiz. Due by Day 7. Complete the quiz on the assigned readings for the week. 24 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE What should I do to prepare for this quiz? Carefully read and critically reflect on this week’s readings before attempting this quiz. Keep in mind that you may use your book as you complete this quiz. How many chances do I have to take the quiz? You will have two opportunities to take this quiz. This quiz utilizes a test bank so each attempt may contain different questions. Please note that your last attempt will be the grade recorded in the gradebook. How can I improve my score between each attempt?  Review the quiz feedback available in the gradebook.  Review chapters and resources related to quiz topics. How much time do I have to take this quiz? Once you open this quiz, it will remain open for 12 hours. However, you must finish it in one sitting, as it will time out after 45 minutes of inactivity. When finished, click on Save Answers and then on Submit for Grade. The amount of time the quiz will take to complete will vary by individual. Learning Activity 1. Federalism. Due by Day 7. This week, we continue completing the worksheets in preparation for the Final Paper. One of the most important structures in the national government is federalism. Understanding the relationship between local, state, and national level governments is critical in being able to understand all of the key features of our national government. Describe an advantage and a disadvantage to a national policy that an agency in the federal bureaucracy must implement. In addition, recommend an option to maintain the advantage and one to improve the disadvantage. To complete the assignment, save the Week Two Learning Activity Worksheet (available in the online classroom) to your computer, fill it out, and submit it. Develop a detailed outline of your second main point using the Week Two Learning Activity Worksheet. 1. Federal Policies: 25 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE a. Provide a topic sentence that briefly describes one advantage and one disadvantage to a national policy that must be implemented by one agency of the federal bureaucracy. b. Provide a topic sentence that recommends one option to maintain the advantage and one to improve the disadvantage. 2. Scholarly Support: (Please access the Ashford Writing Center’s Sample Annotated Bibliography) a. Provide two credible sources in APA format to support your main points. b. Briefly discuss how these sources support your main point. c. Briefly evaluate your sources for bias, validity, and reliability. View the POL201 Research Guide (available in the online classroom) for help on how to find and evaluate sources for assignments in this course. 26 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE WEEK THREE COURSE CONTENT To be completed during the third week of class. Overview Activity The Electoral College Week Three Reflection Due Date Day 3 st (1 post) Day 3 st (1 post) Format Grading Percent Discussion 4 Discussion 2 Week Three Quiz Day 7 Quiz 5 Branches of Government Day 7 Learning Activity 5 Weekly Learning Outcomes This week students will 1. Analyze the Electoral College’s process for electing presidents. 2. Explain how and why the actions of the executive and judicial branches can affect individual citizens. 3. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the three branches of the American national government. Introduction Week Three investigates the Presidency, the executive branch, and the judicial branch. The elections of U.S. presidents are not a straightforward process where the candidate with the most votes wins. A complex system where the voting in every state has a direct impact on who becomes president is imbued in the Electoral College. Understanding how the Electoral College works, some of the pros/cons of this system, and how some critics would change the system will help you better understand U.S. presidential elections. Additionally, the executive and judicial branches of our government implement and evaluate laws passed by Congress and signed by the president. These laws often have no direct impact on 27 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE our lives, but sometimes they do. If you understand why they affect your lives, you will learn more about the U.S. government and how it works, or does not. In sum, understanding how the three branches work, and sometimes do not work, will ensure you have a deeper knowledge and insight into a key feature of America’s government. Please review the Discussion Post Tip Sheet (available in your online classroom) for tips on developing a quality discussion. Required Resources Text Levin-Waldman, O. M. (2012). American government [Electronic version]. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.  Chapter 5: The Presidency  Chapter 6: The Executive Branch  Chapter 7: The Judiciary Articles Bates, N. (2004, October 26). What are the arguments made in favor – and against – the Electoral College? History News Network. Retrieved from http://hnn.us/articles/8163.html  This article provides arguments for and against the Electoral College process and background information on the origins of the process. The article exposes students to a pro/con style of discussion concerning the Electoral College that is supported by factual and relevant information. This information will prepare students for the Discussion, “The Electoral College.” Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Gizzi, J. (2011, May 18). GOP leaders united in defense of the Electoral College. Human Events, 67, 5. Retrieved from http://humanevents.com/2011/05/18/gop-leaders-united-in-defense-of-electoral-college/  This brief article reviews pro and con arguments about the Electoral College. This article also provides students with a pro/con style of discussion concerning the Electoral College. This information will prepare students for the Discussion, “The Electoral College.” Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Madonna, G. T. (2005). Why the Electoral College is bad for America. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 35(2), 411-412. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/%28ISSN%291741-5705  The full-text version of this article can be accessed through the ProQuest database in the Ashford University Library. This brief article reviews a book of the same name, which argues that the historical 28 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE purposes of the Electoral College are irrelevant to contemporary American politics. This information will prepare students for the Discussion, “The Electoral College.” Multimedia Hinck, T., & Buchanan, C. (Producers). (2013, May 7). Episode I - A more perfect union [Series episode]. Constitution USA with Peter Sagal. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/tpt/constitution-usa-peter-sagal/watch/a-more-perfectunion/  This video examines one of the “revolutionary” features of the Constitution, federalism, and how this system contributes to the strength of the United States’ government. The video provides students with several different views of how federalism affects the U.S. and how it can affect their lives. This video will prepare students for this week’s discussions. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Hinck, T., & Buchanan, C. (Producers). (2013, May 14). Episode II - It’s a free country [Series episode]. Constitution USA with Peter Sagal. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/tpt/constitution-usa-peter-sagal/watch/its-a-freecountry/  This video explores the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights and how the various branches of government protect and preserve these rights. The interplay between the branches of government highlights the various powers that each branch possesses and utilizes. This video will prepare students for this week’s discussions. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Supplemental Materials Ashford University Library (n.d.). POL201 research guide. Retrieved from http://outboundsso.next.ecollege.com/default/launchWithoutCache.ed?ssoType=AULibraryEzP&ur l=http%253A//ashfordonline.libguides.com/POL201  This resource can be accessed through the online classroom. Recommended Resources Articles (2008, November 3). Electoral College 101. New York Times Upfront, 141(5), 6-7. Retrieved from http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/indepth/upfront/features/index.asp?article=f110308_Electoral_Colle ge 29 POL210: American National Government  COURSE GUIDE This short article gives an overview of the Electoral College process. Barnett, A. (2009). Selecting the nation’s CEO: A risk assessment of the Electoral College. Journal of Management Issues, 21(4), 443, 447-460. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40604663?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents  This academic article analyzes the probabilities that the winner of the Electoral College vote will not also win a majority of the national popular vote. Will, G. (2011, October 15). George Will: Electoral College reform tilts presidential balance. San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.sgvtribune.com/opinion/20111015/george-will-electoral-college-reform-tiltspresidential-balance  This brief article critiques two proposals for changing the winner-take-all system for determining how a state's electoral votes are cast for a presidential candidate. Wolverton, J. (2011, September 19). What’s wrong with a National Popular Vote (NPV)? The New American, 27(18), 2528. Retrieved from http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/8094-what-s-wrong-with-anational-popular-vote-npv  This short article critiques the proposed National Popular Vote compact that has been approved by several state legislatures. Discussions Participate in the following discussions: 1. The Electoral College. 1st Post Due by Day 3. Prepare: Prior to beginning work on this discussion question, read Chapters 5 and 6 in American Government. In addition, read the following articles: “What Are the Arguments Made in Favor – and Against – the Electoral College?,” “GOP Leaders United in Defense of the Electoral College,” and the ProQuest article “Why the Electoral College is Bad for America.” Also, please watch this week’s videos, Episode I - A More Perfect Union and Episode II - It’s a Free Country regarding the U.S. Constitution. Reflect: As the textbook author asserts, the Framers intentionally designed a process for selecting presidents that would minimize the president’s political power – the Electoral College. They hoped this institution would insulate the chief executive from the public because they feared the power of presidents who might be elected by the people. However, the Electoral College has also spawned a long ongoing debate about whether the Electoral 30 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE College should be abandoned in favor of new methods, which would ensure that the candidate elected has the most popular votes. The controversy over the Electoral College must be understood in order to better understand how and why U.S. presidents are elected. Write: In your initial post, summarize how the Electoral College works. Explain some of the main pros and cons in the debate about whether to keep or abolish the current Electoral College process. In addition, evaluate one proposal to change how the system works without formally abolishing it. Would this proposal effectively address some of the cons that you identified earlier in your post? Please explain your response. Fully respond to all parts of the question and write your response in your own words. Your initial post must be 200 to 250 words. Support your position with APA citations from two or more of the assigned resources required for this discussion. Please be sure that you demonstrate understanding of these resources, integrate them into your argument, and cite them properly. Respond to Peers: By Day 7, respond to at least two of your classmates' initial posts. Your peer responses should be 75to 100 words each. As your reply to your classmates, attempt to take the conversation further by examining their claims or arguments in more depth or responding to the posts that they make to you. Keep the discussion on target and try to analyze things in as much detail as you can. For instance, you might consider comparing your classmates’ proposals for changing the Electoral College against your own proposal. 2. Week Three Reflection. 1st Post Due by Day 3. Prepare: Prior to beginning your reflection this week, read chapters 5, 6, and 7 in American Government. Review the videos, Episode I - A More Perfect Union and Episode II - It’s a Free Country regarding the U.S. Constitution. Reflect: The executive and judicial branches of the U.S. national government often seem to operate independently and with little conflict. Many laws are signed by the President and then implemented without a word from the judicial branch. However, there are times when executive decisions are challenged by the judicial branch in a process called judicial review. In addition, there are times when a judicial review has direct impact on your life. For example, when the Supreme Court declared the Affordable Care Act constitutional, many people without health care insurance were finally able to purchase health care insurance. Additionally, when the Supreme Court 31 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE declared sections of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, some of the constraints that prevented many gay and lesbian couples from marrying were eliminated. Executive Order 13658 on February 20, 2014 also had a direct impact on many business people that contract with the federal government by increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Clearly, the actions of the executive and judicial branches often directly affect our lives. Write: In your initial post, explain how and why the actions of the executive and/or judicial branches have personally affected your life. Fully respond to all parts of the question. Write in your own words. Support your position with APA citations to two or more of the assigned resources required for this discussion. Fully respond to all parts of the prompt and write your response in your own words. Your initial post must be 200 to 250 words. Please be sure that you demonstrate understanding of these resources, integrate them into your argument, and cite them properly. Respond to Peers: By Day 7, respond to at least two of your classmates' initial posts. Your peer responses should be 75 to 100 words each. As your reply to your classmates, attempt to take the conversation further by examining their claims or arguments in more depth or responding to the posts that they make to you. Keep the discussion on target and try to analyze things in as much detail as you can. For instance, you might consider contrasting the impacts of the executive and/or judicial branches on your life with the impacts of these branches described by your peers on their lives. Quiz 1. Week Three Quiz. Due by Day 7. Complete the quiz on the assigned readings for the week. What should I do to prepare for this quiz? Carefully read and critically reflect on this week’s readings before attempting this quiz. Keep in mind that you may use your book as you complete this quiz. How many chances do I have to take the quiz? You will have two opportunities to take this quiz. This quiz utilizes a test bank so each attempt may contain different questions. Please note that your last attempt will be the grade recorded in the gradebook. How can I improve my score between each attempt?  Review the quiz feedback available in the gradebook. 32 POL210: American National Government  COURSE GUIDE Review chapters and resources related to quiz topics. How much time do I have to take this quiz? Once you open this quiz, it will remain open for 12 hours. However, you must finish it in one sitting, as it will time out after 45 minutes of inactivity. When finished, click on Save Answers and then on Submit for Grade. The amount of time the quiz will take to complete will vary by individual. Learning Activity 1. Branches of Government. Due by Day 7. The three branches of our government each play crucial roles in the U.S. national government. Each branch has specific power, duties, and responsibilities that are the most apparent features of our system of separate powers. Nevertheless, each branch has been critiqued for having definite strengths and weaknesses that become obvious in certain situations. Analyzing these strengths and weaknesses will enable you to evaluate and recommend ways to enhance and correct these fundamental assets and deficiencies of the branches of our national government. To complete the assignment, save the Week Three Learning Activity Worksheet (available in the online classroom) to your computer, fill it out, and submit it. Develop a detailed outline of your third main point using the Week Three Learning Activity Worksheet. 1. Branches of Government: a. Provide a topic sentence that briefly describes one strength and one weakness of one branch of our government: executive, legislative, or judiciary. b. Provide a topic sentence that recommends one option to maintain the strength and one to correct the weakness. 2. Scholarly Support: (Please access the Ashford Writing Center’s Sample Annotated Bibliography) a. Provide two credible sources in APA format to support your main points. b. Briefly discuss how these sources support your main point. c. Briefly evaluate your sources for bias, validity, and reliability. View the POL201 Research Guide (available in the online classroom) for help on how to find and evaluate sources for assignments in this course. 33 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE WEEK FOUR COURSE CONTENT To be completed during the fourth week of class. Overview Activity Individual Rights and the Obligations of Government Week Four Reflection Week Four Quiz Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Elections Due Date Format Day 3 Grading Percent Discussion 4 Discussion 2 Day 7 Quiz 5 Day 7 Learning Activity 6 st (1 post) Day 3 st (1 post) Weekly Learning Outcomes This week students will 1. Describe the obligations the U.S. government has towards all American citizens and how these obligations affect individual and group rights. 2. Compare and contrast the stated goals of major U.S. political parties. 3. Evaluate the stated goals of major U.S. political parties based on results from the Political Typology Quiz. 4. Evaluate the positive and negative impacts of political parties, interest groups, and federal elections. Introduction Week Four continues the investigation into the U.S. national government by first discussing some of the critical obligations the government has in protecting the individual and group rights of all American citizens. In addition, the goals and objectives of the major political parties in the U.S. will be evaluated this week using the results of the Pew Center’s Political Typology Quiz as criteria for analysis. The discussions should reveal more insights into how well the 34 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE goals of the major political parties align or do not align with individual political ideologies. Additionally, the analysis will expand to include not only political parties but interest groups and federal elections, as the discussions will center on the negative and positive impacts of these political processes and actors on the federal government. Please review the Discussion Post Tip Sheet (available in your online classroom) for tips on developing a quality discussion. Required Resources Text Levin-Waldman, O. M. (2012). American government [Electronic version]. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.  Chapter 8: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights  Chapter 9: Political Parties  Chapter 10: Elections and Public Opinion Articles Pew Research Center. (2013, December 3). Section 4: The threat of terrorism and civil liberties. In Public Sees U.S. Power Declining As Support For Global Engagement Slips. Retrieved from http://www.peoplepress.org/2013/12/03/section-4-the-threat-of-terrorism-and-civil-liberties/  This website provides data and statistical information concerning the public’s views on the intersection of terrorism and civil liberties. This background information highlights some of the rights U.S. citizens have along with some of the obligations of the federal government. This website will aid students in this week’s discussions. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Pew Research Center. (2014, June 26). Overview. In Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology. Retrieved from http://www.people-press.org/2014/06/26/the-political-typology-beyond-red-vs-blue/  This article introduces the Political Typology terms, concepts, and methods. The additional information will enable students to expand their insights into their own personal political norms, beliefs, and values. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Multimedia Hinck, T., & Buchanan, C. (Producers). (2013, May 14). Episode II - It’s a free country [Series episode]. In Constitution USA with Peter Sagal. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/tpt/constitution-usa-peter-sagal/watch/its-a-freecountry/ 35 POL210: American National Government  COURSE GUIDE This video from PBS explores the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, how they were developed, how they have been expanded, how they continue to be challenged, and how they have been enforced. This video will prepare students for this week’s discussions. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Websites Constitution Party. (2015). Seven principles. Retrieved from http://www.constitutionparty.com/our-principles/sevenprinciples/  This page presents national policy goals of the Constitution Party. Scroll down on page to select a specific policy area. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy DNC Services Corporation. (2015). Our party. Retrieved from http://www.democrats.org/about/our_party  This page presents national policy goals of the Democratic Party. Click on the “Issues” tab and select a specific policy area. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Green Party of the United States. (2015). The Ten Key Values of the Green Party. Retrieved from http://www.gp.org/tenkey.php  This page presents national policy goals of the Green Party. Scroll down on page to select a specific policy area. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy does not exist. Libertarian Party. (2015). Issues. Retrieved from http://www.lp.org/issues  This page presents national policy goals of the Libertarian Party. Scroll down on page to select a specific policy area. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Republican National Committee. (2014). Our party|GOP. Retrieved from https://gop.com/our-gop/  This page presents national policy goals of the Republican Party. Scroll down on page to select a specific policy area. 36 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Supplemental Materials Ashford University Library (n.d.). POL201 research guide. Retrieved from http://outboundsso.next.ecollege.com/default/launchWithoutCache.ed?ssoType=AULibraryEzP&ur l=http%253A//ashfordonline.libguides.com/POL201  This resource can be accessed through the online classroom. Recommended Resource Website Freedom House. (2008). Today's American: How free? Retrieved from https://freedomhouse.org/report/specialreports/todays-american-how-free#.VRl7ght0zm4  This report from Freedom House provides several chapters on various aspects of politics, freedom, liberty, and rights in America and if they are being negatively impacted by the war against terrorism. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Discussions Participate in the following discussions: 1. Individual Rights and the Obligations of Government. 1st Post Due by Day 3. Prepare: Prior to beginning work on this discussion, read chapters 8, 9, and 10 in American Government and watch the video, Episode II - It’s a Free Country. Reflect: Our political system is characterized by certain fundamental features to include a system of laws, rights, and liberties. The laws, created and supported by the Constitutional framework, are designed to protect and secure the rights and liberties of individuals and groups throughout the U.S. However, the government also has an obligation to provide for the security of its citizens from serious internal and external threats that could cause grave or severe damage to our country. The need for homeland and national security can create a dilemma where conflicts emerge between these security needs and the demands for civil rights and liberties. 37 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE Write: In your initial post, explain what obligations the U.S. government has towards its citizens and how can these obligations impact individual and group rights? Provide real-world examples to support your explanation. Fully respond to all parts of the prompt and write your response in your own words. Your initial response must be 200 to 250 words. Support your position with APA citations to two or more of the assigned resources required for this discussion. Please be sure that you demonstrate understanding of these resources, integrate them into your argument, and cite them properly. Respond to Peers: By Day 7, respond to at least two of your classmates' initial posts. Your peer responses should be 75 to 100 words each. As your reply to your classmates, attempt to take the conversation further by examining their claims or arguments in more depth or responding to the posts that they make to you. Keep the discussion on target and try to analyze things in as much detail as you can. For instance, you might consider if your classmate’s arguments are well supported with valid sources and logically argued. 2. Week Four Reflection. 1st Post Due by Day 3. Prepare: Prior to beginning work on this discussion, read chapters 8, 9, and 10 in American Government, watch the video, Episode II - It’s a Free Country, and review your results from the Political Typology Quiz. Reflect: Political parties mobilize voters to win elections and implement policy goals. Parties use their stated policy goals (i.e., their platforms) as a way to mobilize voter support. Generally, in order to be successful in a two-party system, parties must have policy goals across a broad range of issue areas to appeal to a broad range of voters. Write: Identify one issue area that you want investigate. Use the assigned resources required for this discussion to gather information about the goals and proposals, in that issue area, of three U.S. political parties – the Democratic and Republican parties and a third party. Summarize each of the three parties’ policy goals in your issue area. Evaluate each party's goals from two perspectives:  According on your own political philosophy, values, or ideology based on the Political Typology Quiz results, which party’s position on this issue is closest to your own and which is furthest and why?  Does each party currently have national popular support on this issue? If so, why, and if not, why not? 38 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE For example, if you are a ‘Steadfast Conservative,’ what do the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and a third party have to say about your position on taxation? If you are a ‘Solid Liberal,’ what do Democrats, Republicans, and a third party say about your views on environmental issues? Who is the closest? Furthest away? Why? Your initial response must be 200 to 250 words. Justify your conclusions with facts and persuasive reasoning. Fully respond to all parts of the question and write your response in your own words. Support your position with APA citations to two or more of the assigned resources required for this discussion. Please be sure that you demonstrate understanding of these resources, integrate them into your argument, and cite them properly. Respond to Peers: By Day 7, respond to at least two of your classmates' initial posts. Your peer responses should be 75 to 100 words each. They must demonstrate critical thinking. For example, ask a relevant question about your peer's post while explaining why your question is significant, or state a perspective that contrasts with your peer's while explaining or justifying your position. Quiz 1. Week Four Quiz. Due by Day 7. Complete the quiz on the assigned readings for the week. What should I do to prepare for this quiz? Carefully read and critically reflect on this week’s readings before attempting this quiz. Keep in mind that you may use your book as you complete this quiz. How many chances do I have to take the quiz? You will have two opportunities to take this quiz. This quiz utilizes a test bank so each attempt may contain different questions. Please note that your last attempt will be the grade recorded in the gradebook. How can I improve my score between each attempt?  Review the quiz feedback available in the gradebook.  Review chapters and resources related to quiz topics. How much time do I have to take this quiz? 39 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE Once you open this quiz, it will remain open for 12 hours. However, you must finish it in one sitting, as it will time out after 45 minutes of inactivity. When finished, click on Save Answers and then on Submit for Grade. The amount of time the quiz will take to complete will vary by individual. Learning Activity 1. Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Elections. Due by Day 7. The various political actors involved in the processes, activities, and policies of the U.S. government each have evolving goals and objectives. In addition, these actors have produced differential effects, both positive and negative, on the processes, activities, and policies of the federal government. In this last weekly worksheet, you will assess the positive and negative impacts of political parties, interest groups, or federal elections on the national government. In addition, you will recommend one option to enhance the positive impact and one to diminish the negative impact. This final effort will conclude the process of critically analyzing key features of our national government and prepare you for completion of your Final Paper in Week Five. To complete the assignment, save the Week Four Learning Activity Worksheet (available in the online classroom) to your computer, fill it out, and submit it. Develop a detailed outline of your fourth main point using the Week Four Learning Activity Worksheet. 1. Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Elections: a. Provide a topic sentence that briefly describes the one positive impact and one negative impact of one of the following: political parties, interest groups, or federal elections. b. Provide a topic sentence that recommends one option to accentuate the positive impact and one to lessen the negative impact. 2. Scholarly Support: (Please access the Ashford Writing Center’s Sample Annotated Bibliography) a. Provide two credible sources in APA format to support your main points. b. Briefly discuss how these sources support your main point. c. Briefly evaluate your sources for bias, validity, and reliability. View the POL201 Research Guide (available in the online classroom) for help on how to find and evaluate sources for assignments in this course. 40 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE WEEK FIVE COURSE CONTENT To be completed during the fifth week of class. Overview Activity Voting and Voter Turnout Week Five Reflection America’s Democracy: Your Report Card Due Date Day 3 st (1 post) Day 3 st (1 post) Day 7 Format Grading Percent Discussion 4 Discussion 2 Final Paper 25 Weekly Learning Outcomes This week students will 1. Explain the debate over voter turnout and voter registration requirements. 2. Review and organize the four weekly learning activity worksheets for completeness and readability. 3. Write a paper that incorporates all four weekly learning activity worksheets. Introduction The final week of class will concentrate on two fascinating discussions and your efforts to complete the Final Paper. First, a robust debate on the pros and cons of voter turnout and voter registration laws will expand our understanding of one of the most important political activities in a democracy: voting. The examination of the U.S. democracy will continue with a discussion of the most significant facets of our democracy that you have investigated over the last four weeks. These discussions will culminate with concluding preparations for the Final Paper. All of the efforts of the last four weeks should provide all the knowledge and insights needed to produce a valid critical analysis of the U.S. national government's primary features. Please review the Discussion Post Tip Sheet (available in your online classroom) for tips on developing a quality discussion. 41 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE Required Resources Text Levin-Waldman, O. M. (2012). American government [Electronic version]. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.  Chapter 9: Political Parties  Chapter 10: Elections and Public Opinion Articles Cohen, A. (2012, March 16). How voter ID laws are being used to disenfranchise minorities and the poor. The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/03/how-voter-id-laws-are-being-used-todisenfranchise-minorities-and-the-poor/254572/  This short article critiques voter ID laws as a partisan effort to suppress voter turnout. The article provides information on one side of the debate concerning voting and voter turnout in America. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy Hyde, K. (2008, October 13). Fraught with fraud. The New American, 24(22), 18-20. Retrieved from http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/2442-fraught-with-fraud  This short article defends voter ID laws as a strategy to discourage election fraud. The article provides information on a different side of the debate concerning voting and voter turnout in America. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy does not exist. Underhill, W. (2011, July). Proof at the polls. State Legislatures, 37(7), 58-60. Retrieved from http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/proof-at-the-polls.aspx  This short article reviews the various arguments for and against voter ID laws being passed by many state legislatures. The article provides information on both sides of the debate concerning voting and voter turnout in America. Accessibility Statement does not exist. Privacy Policy does not exist. Supplemental Materials Ashford University Library (n.d.). POL201 research guide. Retrieved from http://outboundsso.next.ecollege.com/default/launchWithoutCache.ed?ssoType=AULibraryEzP&ur l=http%253A//ashfordonline.libguides.com/POL201 42 POL210: American National Government  COURSE GUIDE This resource can be accessed through the online classroom. Discussions Participate in the following discussions: 1. Voting and Voter Turnout. 1st Post Due by Day 3. Prepare: Prior to completing this discussion question, review Chapters 9 and 10 in American Government and the following articles: “How Voter ID Laws Are Being Used to Disenfranchise Minorities and the Poor,” “Fraught with Fraud,” and “Proof at the Polls.” Reflect: The U.S. has one of the lowest voter turnout rates among modern democratic political systems. One study ranks the U.S. 120th on a list of 169 nations compared on voter turnout (Pintor, Gratschew, & Sullivan, 2002). During the last decade, many initiatives have been undertaken to increase voter participation, yet concerns about the possibility of election fraud have also increased. Additionally, some political interests feel threatened by the increase in turnout among some traditionally low-turnout ethnic minorities. Several states have recently passed legislation imposing new registration and identification requirements. This has sparked debate about whether these are tactics intended to suppress turnout or to prevent fraud. Write: In your initial post, summarize recent developments in several states enacting voter ID laws. Analyze and describe the pros and cons on both sides of the debate about these laws. Is voter fraud a major problem for our democracy or are some groups trying to make it harder for some segments of society to vote? Draw your own conclusion about the debate over voter ID laws. Justify your conclusions with facts and persuasive reasoning. Fully respond to all parts of the question and write your response in your own words. Your initial post must be 200 to 250 words. Support your position with APA citations from two or more of the assigned resources required for this discussion. Please be sure that you demonstrate understanding of these resources, integrate them into your argument, and cite them properly. Respond to Peers: By Day 7, respond to at least two of your classmates' initial posts. Your peer responses should be 75 to 100 words each. They must demonstrate critical thinking. For example, compare your post to a classmate’s post that takes a contrary position. If you are arguing voter fraud is a major problem then contrast 43 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE your argument to a classmate that argues voter ID laws are designed to suppress voting, or vice versa. 2. Week Five Reflection. 1st Post Due by Day 3. Prepare: Prior to beginning your reflection, review all course readings and videos as required. Reflect: The U.S. national government is based on the framework detailed in the U.S. Constitution. The process that the Founding Fathers used to map out our national government is fascinating and illuminating. The Constitution creates a system of checks and balances and separation of powers that have been focal points for class discussions. In addition, the Constitution identifies three main branches for the national government: the legislative, executive, and judicial, which are tasked, respectively, with the creation of the legislation to guide the country, the implementation and execution of that legislation, and the review of that legislation for constitutionality and legality. Interacting with the federal government includes a variety of different actors and political processes such as the states, political parties, interest groups, and federal elections. All these features create a vibrant and healthy democracy. Write: In your initial post of at least 200 to 250 words, explain how and why one feature of the U.S. government is the most important for America’s democracy. Choose one feature below to discuss in detail:  Written, detailed, flexible Constitution.  Robust checks and balances.  Explicit separation of powers.  Expansive interaction by different political actors and processes with the federal government. Use real-world examples and details to support your arguments. Support your position with APA citations from two or more of the assigned resources required for this discussion. Please be sure that you demonstrate understanding of these resources, integrate them into your argument, and cite them properly. Respond to Peers: By Day 7, respond to at least two of your classmates' initial posts. Your peer responses should be 75 to 100 words each. As you reply to your classmates, attempt to take the conversation further by examining their claims or arguments in more depth or responding to the posts that they make to you. Keep the discussion on target and try to analyze things in as much detail as you can. For instance, you might critique a classmate’s 44 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE argument concerning what they found to be the most important feature of the U.S. government for persuasiveness, accuracy, and logic. Final Paper 1. America’s Democracy: Your Report Card. Due by Day 7. The primary goal of your last assignment is to critically analyze the primary features of the American national government. The results of your analysis will indicate what you have learned over the last five weeks. In order to accomplish this task, it is important to critically evaluate the key facets of our American democracy. You have been preparing for this final assignment each week by constructing a detailed outline of the Final Paper’s main points through the weekly Learning Activities. In addition, you have read the course text and course readings, reviewed videos, and researched additional material for each week’s assignments and for this paper. This week, you will put all of those outlines, readings, reviews, and research together into a one summative paper. As we wrap up our course, reflect back on what you have learned about the key structures, systems, roles, and processes that embody our national government. Focus on the strengths and weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages, and positive and negative impacts of these aspects of our democracy. Use what you have learned so far to evaluate our national government and recommend ways to enhance what works and repair what is not working well. Construct a six-page paper based on the detailed outlines that you created over the last four weeks. Scaffold your paper around the following outline: 1. Title page 2. Introduction (half page): a. Describe the paper’s overall thesis. b. Provide an overview of main points. 3. The Constitution (1-1.5 pages) (Week 1): a. Describe one strength and one weakness of the U.S. Constitution. b. Recommend one option to maintain the strength and one to correct the weakness. 4. Federalism (1-1.5 pages) (Week 2): a. Describe one advantage and one disadvantage of a national policy that must be implemented by one agency of the federal bureaucracy. 45 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE b. Recommend one option to maintain the advantage and one to improve the disadvantage. 5. Branches of Government (1-1.5 pages) (Week 3): a. Describe one strength and one weakness of one branch of our government: Executive, Legislative, or Judiciary. b. Recommend one option to maintain the strength and one to correct the weakness. 6. Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Elections (1-1.5 pages) (Week 4): a. Describe one positive impact and one negative impact of one of the following: political parties, interest groups, or federal elections. b. Recommend one option to accentuate the positive impact and one to lessen the negative impact. 7. Conclusion: a. Review your main points. b. Review your overall thesis. 8. References page Writing the Final Paper The Final Paper: 1. Must be at least six double-spaced pages in length (excluding title and reference pages), and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. 2. Must include a title page with the following: a. Title of paper b. Student’s name c. Course name and number d. Instructor’s name e. Date submitted 3. Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement. 4. Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought. 5. Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis. 6. Must use at least eight scholarly resources, including a minimum of two from the Ashford University Library. 7. Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. 46 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE 8. Must include a separate reference page, formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. 47 POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE COURSE MAP The course map illustrates the careful design of the course through which each learning outcome is supported by one or more specific learning activities in order to create integrity and pedagogical depth in the learning experience. Course Learning Outcome Week Activity 1. Explain the historical and constitutional basis 1  Post Your Introduction – Discussion for the American Government’s structure. 1  Week One Reflection – Discussion 1  Week One Quiz 1  The Constitution – Learning Activity 3  Week Three Quiz 3  Branches of Government – Learning Activity 4  Individual Rights and the Obligations of Government – Discussion 4  Week Four Quiz 4  Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Elections – Learning Activity 5  Week Five Reflection – Discussion 5  America’s Democracy: Your Report Card – Final Paper 2. Define the system of checks and balances. 1  The U.S. Constitution – Discussion 1  Week One Reflection – Discussion 1  Week One Quiz 1  The Constitution – Learning Activity 3  Week Three Quiz 3  Branches of Government – Learning Activity 48 5  Week Five Reflection – Discussion 5  America’s Democracy: Your Report POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE Card – Final Paper 3. Examine the role of public opinion, media, 4  Week Four Reflection – Discussion and special interest groups with respect to 4  Week Four Quiz public policy and elections. 4  Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Elections – Learning Activity 5  Voting and Voter Turnout – Discussion 5  Week Five Reflection – Discussion 5  America’s Democracy: Your Report Card – Final Paper 3 4. Analyze our voting system the election  Presidential Leadership and the Electoral College – Discussion process. 3  Week Three Quiz 4  Week Four Reflection – Discussion 4  Week Four Quiz 4  Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Elections – Learning Activity 5  Voting and Voter Turnout – Discussion 5  Week Five Reflection – Discussion 5  America’s Democracy: Your Report Card – Final Paper 5. Evaluate policymaking and government program administration. 2  Policy and Your Life – Discussion 2  Week Two Reflection – Discussion 2  Week Two Quiz 2  Federalism Worksheet – Learning Activity 3  Week Three Reflection – Discussion 3  Week Three Quiz 4  Individual Rights and the Obligations of Government – Discussion 4 49  Week Four Quiz POL210: American National Government COURSE GUIDE 5  Week Five Reflection – Discussion 5  America’s Democracy: Your Report Card – Final Paper 50

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