AP U.S. Government & Politics
AP U.S. Government and Politics provides a college-level, nonpartisan introduction to key political concepts, ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the constitutional system and political culture of the United States. Students will study U.S. foundational documents, Supreme Court decisions, and other texts and visuals to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions among political institutions, processes, and behaviors. They will also engage in disciplinary practices that require them to read and interpret data, make comparisons and applications, and develop evidence-based arguments. In addition, they will complete a political science research or applied civics project.
Unit 1: Foundations of American Democracy
Unit 2: Interactions Among Branches of Government
Unit 3: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
Unit 4: American Political Ideologies and Beliefs
Unit 5: Political Participation
Foundational Documents: The AP U.S. Government and Politics course features nine required foundational documents to help students understand the philosophies of the founders and their critics. Most of these documents were written in the late 18th century and contain some high- level language. It is important for students to be able to read and accurately interpret these documents.
* The Declaration of Independence
*The Articles of Confederation
*Federalist No. 10
*Brutus No. 1
*Federalist No. 51
*The Constitution of the United States
*Federalist No. 70
*Federalist No. 78
*Letter from a Birmingham Jail
Supreme Court Cases
The following listing represents required Supreme Court cases and their holdings as related to the enduring understandings in the content outline. AP U.S. Government and Politics students should be familiar with the structure and functions on the U. S. Supreme Court, as well as how the court renders its decisions. This includes how holdings are decided and that justices who are in the minority often write dissents that express their opinions on the case and the Constitutional questions. While students will not need to know any dissenting (or concurring) opinions from the required cases, it is important for students to understand the role of dissenting opinions, especially as they relate to future cases on similar issues.
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)-Established supremacy of the U.S. Constitution and federal laws over state laws
United States v. Lopez (1995)-Congress may not use the commerce clause to make possession of a gun in a school zone a federal crime
Balancing Bill of Rights and Protections:
Engel v. Vitale (1962)-School sponsorship of religious activities violates the establishment clause
Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972)- Compelling Amish students to attend school past the eighth grade violates the free exercise clause
Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969)- Public school students have the right to wear black armbands in school to protest the Vietnam War
New York Times Co. v. United States (1971)- Bolstered the freedom of the press, establishing a “heavy presumption against prior restraint” even in cases involving national security
Schenck v. United States (1919)- Speech creating a “clear and present danger” is not protected by the First Amendment
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)-Guaranteed the right to an attorney for the poor or indigent in a state felony case
Roe v. Wade (1973)-Extended the right of privacy to a woman’s decision to have an abortion
McDonald v. Chicago (2010)- The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for self-defense is applicable to the states
The 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause as well as other constitutional provisions have often been used to support the advancement of equality.
Brown v. Board of Education (1954)- Race-based school segregation violates the equal protection clause
Campaigning and electoral rules
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010)- Political spending by corporations, associations, and labor unions is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment
The republican ideal in the U.S. is manifested in the structure and operation of the legislative branch.
Baker v. Carr (1961)- Opened the door to equal protection challenges to redistricting and the development of the “one person, one vote” doctrine by ruling that challenges to redistricting did not raise “political questions” that would keep federal courts from reviewing such challenges
Shaw v. Reno (1993)- Majority minority districts, created under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, may be constitutionally challenged by voters if race is the only factor used in creating the district
The design of the judicial branch protects the Supreme Court’s independence as a branch of government, and the emergence and use of judicial review remains a powerful judicial practice.
Marbury v. Madison (1803)- Established the principle of judicial review empowering the Supreme Court to nullify an act of the legislative or executive branch that violates the Constitution
THE TEST :)
I. Multiple Choice 55 Questions. 1 hour and 20 minutes 50% of Exam Score
II. Free Response 4 Questions 1 hour and 40 minutes. 50% of Exam Score
Concept Application 20 minutes (suggested) 12.5%
Quantitative Analysis 20 minutes (suggested) 12.5%
SCOTUS Comparison 20 minutes (suggested) 12.5 %
Argumentative Essay 40 minutes (suggested) 12.5%
Period One: msirbwx
Remind 101: @a938b6
2019-2020 Course Expectations