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U. S. Government and Citizenship, 1st Quarter

00.0 Welcome (Citizenship)

Course Description

The goal of this course is to foster informed, responsible participation in public life. Knowing how to be a good citizen is essential to the preservation and improvement of United States democracy.

Upon completion of this course the student will understand the major ideas, protections, privileges, structures, and economic systems that affect the life of a citizen in the United States political system.

This course is recommended for seniors due to their proximity to voting and draft age.

Class Overview

Welcome to Government and Citizenship! Before starting any assignment, please read the following:

  • Most assignments include links to the US Government HippoCampus website. These videos help you understand the main ideas in this class.  If you can't get the video to play, you can also read the material instead.
  • If you have a problem or question, inform the teacher immediately; don't wait. The teacher's contact information is under the link Teacher Contact Information.
  • You must have an active email address with the same address you registered with at the Electronic High School. You must answer all inquiries by the instructor. Failure to comply results in a lower grade.
  • When you write an essay, it must be long enough to cover all aspects of the question.
  • Keep copies of all the work you submit. This protects your work in an emergency. You may need to resubmit the work.
  • Every assignment must be completed in the order that they appear in the course syllabus. You must complete each assignment with 60% or better in order to pass the class.  You can redo assignments for a higher score if you would like.
  • You must finish the course within ten weeks.  There are pacing suggestions at the end of each assignment, to help you stay on track to finish in the ten weeks or less.
  • Please use a word document to create your assignments so you can copy and paste your finished work into the assignment submission form, always saving a copy for yourself. If you have specific concerns, e-mail the instructor. Never share your copy with another student.

Assignment Format and Rules

Top of the page:

  • the name of student
  • the unit number
  • the name of the assignment
  • the number and question written out with the answer

Body of the assignment:

  • questions written out (properly numbered and ordered)
  • answers in complete sentences listed with questions (properly numbered and ordered)
  • proper writing mechanics


  • do your own work
  • document your information sources
  • you signed up as an individual, do your work as an individual
  • plagiarism is against the law and the honor code at EHS

Scoring Procedures and Grading:

  • The teacher will leave feedback for each assignment in the comments section or on the rubric.  Check these comments to make sure you are doing the assignment correctly.
  • The first essay assignment for each unit is a "Warm Up" activity for that unit. Use facts to back up your opinion. Use the internet or a high school government textbook to help you research and write the answer to the essay questions.
  • Make sure that you put research you have found on the internet in your own words.  If you copy and paste answers from the internet, you will receive a zero.
  • You are required to complete a quiz as you complete each unit. As soon as you have completed that quiz, you get immediate feedback showing you which questions you answered correctly. This score is automatically recorded in the grade book. Retaking each quiz until you have scored at least 85% will ensure you are ready for the final test.
  • When you complete the final assignment for the course, submit the "Ready" assignment to let your teacher know you think you have finished. When the teacher marks that assignment with a score of "1", you may set up your final test. Then follow the procedure outlined by EHS for that proctored exam. Your final is graded automatically and you can check your score when you finish. Your teacher will let you know your final grade for the course.
  • You must finish the class, including taking the final, in ten weeks or less.  At the end of ten weeks, you will be dropped from the class.
  • Your assignments and quizzes count for 75% of your grade. The final test counts for 25%.  The final is made up of questions from the quizzes and exams in that quarter.  The final has fifty multiple-choice questions and each question is worth eight points.

Grading Scale: 
95-100 A
94-90 A-
89-87 B+
86-83 B
82-80 B-
79-77 C+
76-73 C
72-70 C-
69-67 D+
66-63 D
62-60 D-
No credit - below 60

I look forward to working with you. This will be a terrific quarter!

00.00 *Student supplies for U.S. Government and Citizenship

Needed Materials

  • Internet: You must have access to the internet in order to take this course. The answers to all questions can be found on the internet or in a high school government textbook. Each lesson or assignment will list suggested links. We suggest you read or view the material found on the provided links. As you work through your assignment, feel free to choose other links on your own to find needed information.
  • Powerpoint: Microsoft Powerpoint Viewer - download If you don't have Powerpoint on your computer, you can download a free viewer from Microsoft.
  • Online Textbook: A free online textbook, American Government and Politics is available online (see link below) If you would like a print textbook to help you, we suggest this following.

Optional Print Textbook: American Government: a Complete Coursebook, by Ethel Wood and Stephen C. Sansone. Great Source Education Group Houghton Mifflin Copyright: 2000. ISBN #0-669-46795-2. May be purchased directly from the sites listed below or from the Mountain State Schoolbook Depository in Clearfield, Utah by calling 1-800-995-1444 and use reference #046795 or Depository Reference #GRS-10116 or call "Great Source" directly at 1-800-289-4490 and use reference #046795 to order book. You could also get the book from,, or from a local bookstore. Approximate price is $33.10 and price may vary and may or may not include tax or handling fee.

00.00 Welcome (Citizenship)

00.00.01 About Me (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 15 minutes

This assignment will make sure I have all the contact information I need to stay in touch with you throughout the course. Also, It will give me an opportunity to get to know you a little better before you begin. Please submit the following information for your About Me assignment:


  • Name of high school where you take most of your classes,
  • Your year in school,
  • Date you enrolled in this class,
  • The reason you enrolled in this class (make-up credit, free up room for elective, graduate early, etc.),
  • Your email address,
  • Parent or counselor e-mail address.

Next, write two short paragraphs to the teacher. In the first paragraph introduce yourself to me. Tell me about any hobbies or activities you are involved in.

In the second paragraph discuss plagiarism. What is it, and why is it unfair to everyone involved in its use?

Lastly, the EHS Honor Code states:  "As a student of the Electronic High School, I agree to turn in my assignments in a timely manner, do my own work, not share my work with others, and treat all students, teachers, and staff with respect."

Please type up and include the following sentence with your assignment:

“I have read the EHS Honor Code and agree to abide by its principles.  I understand the ten week timeline to finish this class and commit to finish it in ten weeks or less in order to earn credit.”


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 1 of your enrollment date for this class.

00.01.01 Student Software Needs


Students need access to a robust internet connection and a modern web browser.

This class may also require the Apple QuickTime plug-in to view media.

For students using a school-issued Chromebook, ask your technical support folks to download the QuickTime plug-in and enable the plug-in for your Chromebook.


01.00 Unit 1 (Citizenship)

David Maiolo image, Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 UnportedDavid Maiolo image, Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

The first quarter of US Government and Citizenship includes three units:

  • Unit 1 covers basic principles of government, the colonial background leading up to the formation of the United States, and an in-depth look at our Constitution.
  • Unit 2 covers political parties, elections, voting, and political ideology.
  • Unit 3 covers the legislative and executive branches of the US government

These three units develop ideas from the Utah State Core Curriculum Standards for this class:

Standard One: Students will understand the significance and impact of the Constitution on everyday life.

Objectives: Investigate the ideas and events that influenced the creation of the United States Constitution. Assess the essential ideas of United States Constitutional Government. Determine the importance of popular sovereignty and limited government in a democratic society. Investigate the organization and functions of the United States Government.

Standard Two: Students will understand the distribution of power among the national, state and local governments in the United States federal system.

Objectives: Determine the relationship between the national government and the states. Analyze the role of local government in the United States federal system.

Standard Three: Students will understand the responsibilities of citizens in the United States.

Objectives: Investigate the responsibilities and obligations of citizens. Assess methods for respectfully dealing with differences.

Standard Five: Students will understand the relationship between the United States and the international system.

Objectives: Examine major government structures and functions outside the United States. Evaluate how United States foreign policy affects the world and explore how the United States influences other nations and how other nations influence the United States.

01.00.01 Warm-up Activity (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 20 points possible 25 minutes

Write a two-paragraph answer to the following question:

1. Why would the State of Utah mandate that all high school students take a U.S. Government and Citizenship class in order to graduate?

NOTE: A complete paragraph in this course means at least five to seven sentences.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 1 of your enrollment date for this class.

01.01 Sovereignty and Government (Citizenship)

The Magna Carta: Public domainThe Magna Carta: Public domain

We all have times when we wish we could just do without a government, like when we have to pay taxes, or apply for a building permit, or send in a passport application four months before going on a trip out of the country. However, for better or worse, it seems that people have always needed some kind of government to help them get along.

When humans lived in small, scattered, family groups of hunters and gatherers, their 'government' was probably informal--the strongest or smartest were in charge. When people began to settle down and farm the land, and towns and cities first formed, a lot more people were involved. They needed a more formal arrangement. Probably some decisions were made by consensus, and others were made and enforced on the principle of "might makes right." In other words, whoever can win a fight or war is in charge until someone else comes along and defeats or kills that leader.

This lesson is about the different kinds of government, and the purpose of having a government at all. The following topics and vocabulary are those you will need to understand this lesson.

"Power Elite" Magna Carta
autocracy oligarchy
democracy (direct and indirect) federated
confederated sovereignty
social contract theory government



Please go to the websites (links below) about Sovereignty and Government to further study this topic.

01.01 Study Questions - Sovereignty & Government (Citizenship)

This is from Hippocampus under usage rights for Utah Education Network

01.01.01 Study Questions - Sovereignty & Government (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 30 points possible 45 minutes

Before you answer the following questions, please click through the five pages on "The Nature of Government" (see link above). This presentation will last between four and five minutes. *********************************************************************************************************


Define the following terms:

1) Sovereignty

2) Government


List four purposes of government





Federal Government

7) What is a federal government?

8) What is a confederated government (not the Confederacy of the Civil War Era)?


9) Define autocracy

10) Define oligarchy

11) Define democracy

12 & 13) What is the difference between a direct and indirect democracy?

14) We say we live in a democracy, but what kind of government do we really have? Explain your answer.

From the Presentation Above (or search the internet)

15) In what ways did the colonists and their historical English documents influence the foundation of government in America?


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 1 of your enrollment date for this class.

01.01.02 Sovereignty and Gov Exam (Citizenship)

computer-scored 50 points possible 30 minutes

Sovereignty & Government This test will assess your understanding of the concepts of sovereignty and government in Unit 1. You must score at least 85%.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 1 of your enrollment date for this class.

01.02 Colonial America (Citizenship)

The original thirteen states, 1784: Public domainThe original thirteen states, 1784: Public domain
Three hundred years ago, the United States did not yet exist. The area now included in the United States was populated by various tribes of native Americans, some Spanish and French explorers, trappers and colonists, and (mostly on the east coast) some English and Dutch colonists. There were also a few colonists or immigrants from various other countries and some slaves, mostly from Africa. There was no large central government in North America, and most countries that did have organized central governments had monarchies--they were ruled by kings (or, more rarely, queens) who inherited the throne or took it by force. The English king thought of the American colonies as a nice source of extra income and natural resources, and a place to send undesirable people (criminals, the poor and groups who caused trouble).

How did we get from that situation to having a new country under a government elected by the people? Please go to the websites about Colonial America (below) to further learn about this topic.

You will need to know the topics and vocabulary, below. Define each of these for future reference so you can better understand this lesson.

corporate colony royal colony
proprietary colony Declaration of Independence
John Locke consent of the governed
self-evident Revolutionary War

John Locke: public domainJohn Locke: public domain

01.02 Study Questions - Colonial America (Citizenship)

01.02.01 Study Questions - Colonial America (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 20 points possible 30 minutes

Colonial America - the Historical Background of the United States American Colonies

Copy and paste the section between the lines of asterisks into a word-processing document on your computer. Complete your work and save a copy for yourself. Then submit your work by pasting it into the assignment submission window for this assignment.


American Colonies

Define each of the following terms:

1) Corporate Colony

2) Royal Colony

3) Proprietary Colony


4) Why did America go to war against England?

Declaration of Independence

5) Why is the Declaration of Independence called the Cornerstone of Democracy for everyone in the world?

6) Who was the main author of the Declaration of Independence?


7) How did John Locke and other political philosophers help influence the writing of the Declaration of Independence?

8) Who else was on the committee to write the Declaration of Independence? (Name at least three)

9) Define "consent of the governed," as Jefferson used it.

Consent of the Governed

10) This sentence is in the Declaration of Independence--"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal..." What does this sentence mean today? How has its interpretation changed since it was first written?


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 1 of your enrollment date for this class.

01.02.02 Colonial America Exam (Citizenship)

computer-scored 50 points possible 30 minutes

Colonial America This test will assess your understanding of the concepts concerning Colonial America in Unit I. You may take this quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 85%.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 1 of your enrollment date for this class.

01.03 Framing the Constitution (Citizenship)

A page of an early draft of the Constitution, with handwritten revisions: Public domainA page of an early draft of the Constitution, with handwritten revisions: Public domain

Just a few years after winning its independence, the young United States was in trouble. The weak central government, formed by the Articles of Confederation, couldn't manage the basic functions of government without the help of the states, and the states often couldn't agree. Would the new nation survive, or break up into several smaller countries? Could a country really run on the basis of leaders who were elected by the people and served for only a few years at a time? The Revolutionary War had been easy compared with trying to build a government and run a nation.

In the spring of 1787, fifty-five delegates from twelve states assembled in Philadelphia. They were tasked with revising the Articles of Confederation. Getting the delegates to agree on anything, let alone a new government, must have seemed impossible--but we know they succeeded.

The people who argued out the ideas and framework of our Constitution were creating a new form of government, but they did not have to create it completely 'from scratch.' They had read many classic works on philosophy, history, and government, and they tried to avoid the mistakes of the past.

The Founding Fathers argued passionately about what should and should not be part of the new Constitution. Their negotiations anything from the wording of the main ideas to a single word or phrase. We are the beneficiaries of their hard work, and of their eventual willingness to compromise.

Please go to the websites for information on framing the constitution to further study about this topic. Topics and vocabulary you will need to understand for this lesson include the following (This is not part of the assignment you turn in to me, but keep for your own information to help understand this lesson better).


Articles of Confederation Constitutional Convention
Great Compromise 3/5's Compromise
ratify Father of the Constitution
Federalist Papers Supreme Law of the Land
Checks and balances Separation of powers
Preamble of the Constitution articles of the Constitution

A page of an early draft of the Constitution, with handwritten revisions: Public domainA page of an early draft of the Constitution, with handwritten revisions: Public domain

Just a few years after winning its independence, the young United States was in trouble. The weak central government, formed by the Articles of Confederation, couldn't manage the basic functions of government without the help of the states, and the states often couldn't agree. Would the new nation survive, or break up into several smaller countries? Could a country really run on the basis of leaders who were elected by the people and served for only a few years at a time? The Revolutionary War had been easy compared with trying to build a government and run a nation.

In the spring of 1787, fifty-five delegates from twelve states assembled in Philadelphia. They were tasked with revising the Articles of Confederation. Getting the delegates to agree on anything, let alone a new government, must have seemed impossible--but we know they succeeded.

The people who argued out the ideas and framework of our Constitution were creating a new form of government, but they did not have to create it completely 'from scratch.' They had read many classic works on philosophy, history, and government, and they tried to avoid the mistakes of the past.

The Founding Fathers argued passionately about what should and should not be part of the new Constitution. Their negotiations anything from the wording of the main ideas to a single word or phrase. We are the beneficiaries of their hard work, and of their eventual willingness to compromise.

Please go to the websites for information on framing the constitution to further study about this topic. Topics and vocabulary you will need to understand for this lesson include the following (This is not part of the assignment you turn in to me, but keep for your own information to help understand this lesson better).


Articles of Confederation Constitutional Convention
Great Compromise 3/5's Compromise
ratify Father of the Constitution
Federalist Papers Supreme Law of the Land
Checks and balances Separation of powers
Preamble of the Constitution articles of the Constitution


01.03 Framing the Constitution - American Documents (Citizenship)

01.03 Study Questions - Framing the Constitution (Citizenship)

01.03.01 Study Questions - Framing the Constitution (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 50 points possible 45 minutes

Copy and paste the section between the rows of asterisks into a word processing-document on your computer. Complete your work and save a copy for yourself. Then, submit your work using the assignment submission window. ******************************************************************************************************

Articles of Confederation Our first true constitution was called the Articles of Confederation.

1) What differences are there between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution in regards to the Legislative branch of government?

2) What differences are there between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution in regards to the Executive branch of government?

A More Perfect Union

3) What led up to the calling of a constitutional convention?

4) When and where did the Constitutional Convention meet?

Constitutional Convention

5) What political experiences (prior to attending the Convention) did the delegates to the Constitutional Convention have?

6) What was the main occupation of those people who attended the Constitutional Convention? (i.e. what job did most of the delegates have before attending?  Remember, politics was only a 1-2 month a year job at the time)

7) Where was Thomas Jefferson at the time the Constitution was written?


8) What is the Great Compromise?

9) List other compromises that occurred during the Convention.


10) What does it mean to ratify something?

11) How many states needed to ratify the Constitution to make it the law of the land?


12) Who is called the Father of the Constitution?

13) List other major players at the Constitutional Convention and their contributions.


14) What were the Federalist Papers?

15) Who wrote the Federalist Papers?

16) Watch the video (link above) about Alexander Hamilton, one of the writers of the Federalist Papers. What did you learn or find interesting?

Supreme Law

17) What is called "the Supreme Law of the Land"? Why is it called that?

18) What do we call changes in the Constitution that have occurred in the past 200 years?

19) Explore the US Constitution website (link above). Which parts of the website did you click on and what did you learn?


20) List the six basic principles of the Constitution.

Checks and Balances

21) What is meant by Checks and Balances?

22) What is meant by Separation of Powers? Explain how that works in our government.


23) Write the meaning of the Preamble of the Constitution in your own words.


24-25) List the articles of the Constitution with a brief explanation of what each one does.


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 2 of your enrollment date for this class.

01.03.02 Constitution Exam (Citizenship)

computer-scored 75 points possible 30 minutes

Framing the Constitution This test will assess your comprehension of the materials found in the "Framing the Constitution" section of Unit 1. You may take this quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 85%.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 2 of your enrollment date for this class.

01.04 Federal vs. State's Rights (Citizenship)

(See also the links below this lesson for more, in-depth information)

In the early 1780's, the United States had won their independence from England, but there were many challenges ahead. The first federal government of the United States was weak; the individual states had most of the power, and when they disagreed with the national leaders, problems arose that could easily have torn the new nation apart. Each state was jealous of the nation's power. The people remembered how much they disliked being controlled by the English central government and were afraid of giving up too much local and state control. It soon became clear that the loose confederation of states was not working. Somehow, they needed to form a stronger central government that could keep the young country together without destroying the rights citizens had just gained.

This debate continues today. How much control should the federal (that is, national) government have over what happens at a state or local level? This was one of the key arguments at the Constitutional Convention.
Painting of the signing of the 1787 Constitutional Convention: Junius Brutus Stearns, 1856, public domainPainting of the signing of the 1787 Constitutional Convention: Junius Brutus Stearns, 1856, public domain
Constitutional History

The Federal Convention convened in the State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia on May 14, 1787, to revise the Articles of Confederation. Because the delegations from only two states were at first present, the members adjourned from day to day until a quorum of seven states was obtained on May 25. Through discussion and debate it became clear by mid-June that, rather than amend the existing Articles, the Convention would draft an entirely new frame of government. All through the summer, in closed sessions, the delegates debated, and redrafted the articles of the new Constitution. Among the chief points at issue were how much power to allow the central government, how many representatives in Congress to allow each state, and how these representatives should be elected--directly by the people or by the state legislators. The work of many minds, the Constitution stands as a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise.

Bill of Rights

During the debates on the adoption of the Constitution, its opponents repeatedly charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolution. They demanded a "bill of rights" that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions in their formal ratification of the Constitution asked for such amendments; others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would be offered.

On September 25, 1789, the First Congress of the United States therefore proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution that met arguments most frequently advanced against it. The first two proposed amendments, which concerned the number of constituents for each Representative and the compensation of Congressmen, were not ratified. Articles 3 to 12, however, ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures, constitute the first 10 amendments of the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.[Quoted from webpages of the National Archives and Records Administration, public domain]


Federalism is a political philosophy in which a group of members are bound together (Latin: foedus, covenant) with a governing representative head. The term federalism is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units (like states or provinces). Federalism is a system in which the power to govern is shared between national and state governments, creating what is often called a federation. Proponents are often called federalists.

Full Faith -
the provision in Article IV, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution which states: "Full faith and credit shall be given in each State to the public acts, records and judicial proceedings of every other state." Thus, a judgment in a lawsuit or a criminal conviction rendered in one state shall be recognized and enforced in any other state, so long as the original judgment was reached by due process of law. Each state has a process for obtaining an enforceable judgment based on a "foreign" (out-of-state) judgment.

Topics and vocabulary you will need to understand for this lesson include the following (This is not part of the assignment you turn in to me, but keep for your own information to help understand this lesson better):

Elastic clause
inherent powers
McCulloch V. Maryland
full faith and credit
necessary and proper clause
Bill of Rights
the Great Compromise

01.04 Study Questions - Federal vs. States' Rights (Citizenship)

Using this link, select "American Government" under "Presentations." Scroll down under the "Search" box, and click on "Defining Federalism." Finally, click the "Start Topic" button on the right.

01.04.01 Study Questions - Federal vs. States' Rights (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 40 points possible 60 minutes

To begin this assignment, be sure to watch the presentation on Federalism (link above). This presentation will last between four and five minutes. Question 20 will ask about a topic from the video. You may also find answers, to the following questions, through your own research. If you are not able to watch the video, you still must answer the related questions. Copy and paste the section between the rows of asterisks into a word-processing document on your computer. Complete your work, and save a copy for yourself. Then submit your work using the assignment submission window for this assignment. ***************************************************************************************************************

Constitutional History/Bill of Rights/Amendments

1) What is the Bill of Rights?

2) Which of the first ten amendments to the Constitution do you think is the most important? Why?

3) How is an amendment to the Constitution created?

4) How many amendments are there to the Constitution?

Miracle at Philadelphia

5) Why is the writing of the Constitution called "The Miracle at Philadelphia"?

6) Explain why the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are generally considered to be the greatest documents in American and World History.


7) Name one problem (disadvantage) that can arise with democracy.

8) Name one asset (advantage) that can develop with democracy.


9) Define federalism.

10) Delegated powers are specially expressed or w___________ in the constitution.

11) Define the “necessary and proper clause” of the Constitution, which is found in Article 1 Section 8.

12) Are there concurrent powers that are shared by both the Federal Government and the States?

13) If Congress wanted to carve out a new state from the area of an existing state, what would they have to do first? (Hint: Check the Constitution, Article 4)


14) Name one power that is reserved to the states.

15) Name one power that is shared by national and state government.

16) Name one power that states do NOT have (what may a state NOT do?).

17) Name one power that is a Federal responsibility.

18) Name one power that is a state responsibility.

Full Faith

19) Define the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution.

McCulloch V. Maryland

20) When understanding what Federalism actually is, one can describe it like a food divided into two parts. What is that food the government is compared to and why?[see presentation]


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 2 of your enrollment date for this class.

01.04.02 Federal vs. States' Rights exam (Citizenship)

computer-scored 55 points possible 30 minutes

Federal vs. State's Rights This test will assess your comprehension of the materials presented in the "Federal vs. State's Rights" section of Unit 1. You may take this quiz multiple times until you score at least 85%.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 2 of your enrollment date for this class.

01.05 Unit 1 exam (Citizenship)

computer-scored 50 points possible 40 minutes

This test will assess your comprehension of the materials presented in Unit 1. You may take this quiz multiple times until you score at least 85%.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 2 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.00 Unit 2 (Citizenship)

Political Behavior and Participation

In a monarchy or dictatorship citizens have one main responsibility--to obey the laws created by the country's leader. If the laws are bad, that isn't the fault of the citizens.

In creating a new form of government, the United States also created new responsibilities for citizens--for us. We need to participate in our government by educating ourselves, voting in elections, organizing groups to support fair legislation, communicating with our elected representatives and sometimes, by running for office ourselves.

02.00.01 Warm-up Activity - Tips for Creating an Evidence-based Essay (Citizenship)

02.00.01 Warm-up Activity (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 30 points possible 60 minutes

One of the purposes of this class is to prepare you to vote. Write an essay (at least 250 words) and tell me why you think people closest to your age group (18-24) have the worst record in voting of any age group. State your position (the reason why you think 18-24- year-olds vote less than other age groups), and support it with evidence, examples and reasons. You will need to do some research to find evidence, but you should also think about it yourself, and use your experiences to help you understand this issue.

Structure Content Points possible
Introduction (one paragraph) Begin with the percentage of voters 18-24 compared to other age groups. (You will need to do some research to find this.) Then state your position (what you think is the most important reason). 5 points
Evidence (one paragraph) Explain at least one piece of evidence you find in your research that helps support your position. Be sure to document your sources. 5 points
Evidence or examples (one paragraph) Explain another piece of evidence, or specific examples from your own observations or research, that help support your position. Be sure to document your source. 5 points
Defend your position (one paragraph) Explain one piece of evidence or an example that seems to disprove your position, and why your position is still correct in spite of this. Be sure to document your sources. 5 points
Conclusion (one paragraph) Sum up your argument, and suggest at least one thing that could be done to improve voting participation among 18-24 year olds. 5 points
Works cited List all books and websites you used in researching this issue 5 points


A credible source of research is the EBSCO database in the Utah Pioneer Library.  Login into the Pioneer Library using the username and password found on the page the main announcement page (the one that pops up first before you click on your class when you first login).  Click on EBSCO, then click on "Student Research Center (High School and Middle School)."  You can use keywords such as "voter apathy" or  subject headings such as "Voting, Statistics" to get to relevant research.  You can also use other search engines, just make sure you have academic, credible research.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 3 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.01 Political Parties (Citizenship)

Political Parties
Political cartoon featuring the Republican symbol (the elephant): "Judge" magazine, 1904, public domainPolitical cartoon featuring the Republican symbol (the elephant): "Judge" magazine, 1904, public domainPolitical cartoon featuring the Democratic symbol (the donkey): from "Harper's Weekly" magazine, 1870, public domainPolitical cartoon featuring the Democratic symbol (the donkey): from "Harper's Weekly" magazine, 1870, public domain

Political parties are not an 'official' part of our government. You may have noticed they are not mentioned in the Constitution. In fact, some of our Founding Fathers didn't like the idea of political parties, at least in theory.

In practice, though, political parties have always been part of the process of governing the United States. Forming groups of like-minded people seems to be human nature (think about the way students at your school seem to group themselves, and the gatherings of different religious groups in the world).

In the United States, we nearly always seem to have two major political parties (though, if you look back through history, it hasn't always been the same two, and if you look at other countries, some have only one major political party, and some have more than two). There are advantages and disadvantages to a two-party system.

For over a hundred years now, the Democrats and Republicans have been the two major parties in the United States. 'Red states' usually vote Republican, and 'blue states' usually vote Democratic. Each party tends to blame the other for whatever is currently going wrong. This is nothing new--it's been going on since early in our history.

Read/view the information at the links below to learn more about political parties, and why they are important.

Define each of the topics and vocabulary below to better understand this lesson:

political party two-party system
one-party system proportional representation
coalition independent voter
political patronage representative democracy
major parties minor parties

02.01 Political Party (Citizenship)

02.01.01 Study Questions - Political Parties (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 30 points possible 30 minutes

You will find the "Political Party Eras" and "The Function of Parties in America" presentations at the HippoCampus link especially helpful for this assignment. Copy and paste the section between the rows of asterisks below into a word-processing document on your computer. Complete your work and save a copy for yourself. Then, submit your work by pasting it into the assignment submission window. **********************************************************************************************************

Political Parties

1. What is a political party?

2. Name the two main political parties in this country today.

3. Why is it not good to have just a one party system?

Purpose and Functions

4. What is the purpose of a political party?

5. What are the four essential functions of political parties? (see the website labelled "Functions of Political Parties")

Proportional Representation

6. What is proportional representation? Do we use that system?

Coalitions 7. What are coalitions? Are they necessary for government to work?

Independent Party/Independent Voter

8. Most voters say they are independent. Is that the name of a political party? Then what do they mean by saying they are independent?


9. What is patronage? Could that ever benefit you if you donated money to help a political candidate? How?

History of our Political Parties

10. Did the Founding Fathers think that political parties were a good thing? Why?

11. George Washington was our first president. What political party did he belong to? Why?

12. We believe in representative democracy. What does that mean?

13. During early American history did the two major political parties we have today exist? Why? What were the two original parties?

Minor Parties

14. Do we have many minor parties? Name one.

15. Minor parties usually form for what reason?


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 3 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.01.02 Political Parties Exam (Citizenship)

computer-scored 50 points possible 30 minutes

Political Parties This test will assess your understanding of the concepts presented in the "Political Parties" section of Unit 2. You may take this quiz multiple times, but your final score must be at least 85%.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 3 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.02 Elections (Citizenship)

2008 election electoral college votes: Image from Wikimedia Commons, Gage, public domain2008 election electoral college votes: Image from Wikimedia Commons, Gage, public domain

Elections and Voting

In this lesson, you will learn more about U.S. elections and the voting process. Be sure to visit the links listed below the lesson for more in-depth information.

Primary from Wikipedia, CC Share-Alike license

A primary election (nominating primary), also referred to simply as a primary, is an election in which voters in a jurisdiction select candidates for a subsequent election. In other words, primary elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for the following general election. Primaries are common in the United States, where their origins are traced to the progressive movement. In the U.S., primary elections are conducted by the government on behalf of the parties. Elsewhere in the world, the nomination of candidates is usually the responsibility of the political party organizations themselves and does not involve the general public.

In addition to primaries there are other ways that parties may select candidates. These processes include caucuses, conventions and nomination meetings. Historically, Canadian political parties chose their candidates in party meetings in each constituency. Canadian party leaders are elected at leadership conventions, although some parties have abandoned this practice in favor of one-member, one-vote systems.

Presidential Requirements copyright ©1997 The Java Cafe; Text material contained within may be copied and freely distributed for informational and educational purposes only.

The Constitution requires that a candidate for the presidency must be a "natural-born" citizen of the United States, at least 35 years of age, and a resident of the United States for at least 14 years.

An understanding of the nation is essential for the role of President. The framers of the Constitution strongly believed that a person must be born in the United States in order to fully understand the country.

*35 Years of Age
Personal experience was very important to the framers. They felt that unless a person had reached the age of thirty-five, it was highly unlikely for that person to have experienced enough to govern a nation.

*14-Year Residency
Part of being President involves dealing with both domestic and foreign problems. In order to face these problems, previous knowledge of the nation's history in these matters is necessary. The framers decided that fourteen years was an adequate time span to comprehend these issues.

FAQs about U.S. presidential candidacy

Is a person born abroad to parents who are U.S. citizens eligible to be President?
Yes. A child born of U.S. citizens anywhere in the world is considered a natural born U.S. citizen and is eligible.

What exactly does "natural-born" mean?
Persons born citizens of the United States are considered natural-born. Therefore, a child born of illegal immigrants or one that was born on U.S. soil yet lived his or her life out of the nation could still be President. A naturalized citizen could not.

Does a person need to be married to be President?
Nope. There have been several Presidents who were not married at the time of their election or during their term of office.

Financing Campaigns: Federal law rules how funds may be raised

(The following article is taken from the U.S. Department of State publication, USA Elections in Brief.)

Federal law dictates how candidates for the federal offices of president, senator, and representative--and certain of their political allies--may raise funds, as well as from whom, and in what amounts. Federal campaign finance laws are separate from state laws that regulate elections for state and local offices.

In the American system, presidential candidates raise hundreds of millions of dollars for a campaign directed at a nation of more than 100 million voters. Though in many cases the fund-raising is from private sources, the process by which they raise and spend the money is highly regulated.

A candidate for president must establish a campaign organization, called a political committee. The political committee must have a treasurer and must register with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Notwithstanding its name, the FEC only supervises and enforces campaign finance laws; it does not actually conduct the elections. (The process of registering voters, conducting the balloting, and counting the votes is the responsibility of state and local election officials.)

Political Action committees can lobby and raise money in all kinds of ways, including over the phone. (© Andy Kropa/The New York Times)
Various types of political committees are registered with the FEC. In addition to the candidates, political parties must register their own committees with the agency. In addition, any group of private citizens may form a political committee. For example, groups of individuals from corporations, labor unions, and trade associations often form such committees (although use of corporate or labor union treasury funds is prohibited). These political committees are often referred to as PACs, or political action committees, and must also register with the FEC.

Once registered, political committees may start raising campaign funds. Such funds, as well as expenses, are reported to the FEC on either a quarterly or monthly basis. The reports may also be filed electronically and are available to the public on the FEC's web site []. Numerous private organizations also maintain web sites to monitor contributions and expenses of the candidates, political parties and PACs. The point of this is to make it easier for the press and the voters to know which groups are giving money to which candidates and causes. There are legal limits to how much money individual citizens and individual committees can give to candidates they favor. Accordingly, a candidate for president who needs to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for a presidential campaign must attempt to find thousands of contributors.

To campaign for office, a candidate needs to hire staff; arrange for office space and travel; conduct research; issue position papers; advertise on radio and television, in publications, and on the internet; and conduct numerous public appearances and fundraising events. A candidate for the House of Representatives will base these activities in his or her specific congressional district, while a Senate candidate will do likewise throughout his entire state. (Congressmen and senators may also conduct specific fund-raising events elsewhere, such as Washington, D.C.). Candidates for president have the daunting task of organizing their primary campaigns state by state and then, if nominated, their general election campaign throughout the nation.

Public Financing

Since 1976, candidates for president have been eligible to participate in a public financing system. Until the 2000 elections, all candidates nominated for president participated in this system by accepting government funds in exchange for a promise not to spend more than a specified amount. However, this system has become increasingly unappealing to candidates because the imposed spending limit is considered too low – and less than the amount that major candidates can often easily raise from private sources. Consequently, many major candidates have been opting out of public funding.

Spending invariably increases from one election to the next. In addition to candidate spending, the political parties, PACs, and other interest groups will spend money to influence elections. A recent development in funneling money for elections, for example, is the "527 political organization," named for a section of the U.S. tax code. These groups are organized primarily for the purpose of influencing the selection, nomination, election, or appointment of an individual to a federal, state, or local public office. 527 political organizations, such as MoveOn and Swiftboat Veterans for Truth, are not regulated by the Federal Election Commission or by a state elections commission, and are not subject to the same contribution limits as PACs. Critics of these and similar groups have long asserted that high spending in U.S. elections, combined with the reliance on private sources for funds, raises the specter of undue influence over public policy by wealthy donors and powerful interest groups.

Proposed reforms have been opposed by those who see election spending as proportionate with both the costs of goods and services in today's economy. In this regard, election spending is seen as the price a democracy pays for electoral competition, with large contributions and expenditures by interest groups as the contemporary expression of America's long-standing pluralism. It is hard to prove any specific connection between interest-group donations and government policy. Courts have also questioned whether further restrictions on campaign giving and spending might unduly limit donors' constitutionally protected right to free speech in the political arena. Given the immense expense of modern campaigning, certain extremely wealthy individuals simply fund their own campaigns for public office--there is no rule against it. Sometimes they win, sometimes they don't.

PEC from Wikipedia, CC Share-Alike license

The Presidential election campaign fund checkoff appears on US income tax return forms as "Do you want $3 of your federal tax to go to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund?"
Originally, this suggested donation was $1 when it was implemented in the 1970s as an attempt to increase the public funding of elections. This money provides for the financing of Presidential primary and general election campaigns and national party conventions. Beginning with the 1973 tax year, individual taxpayers were able to designate $1 to be applied to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.[1] Both the Republican and Democratic nominees in the general election receive a fixed amount of checkoff dollars. Nominees from other political parties may qualify for a smaller, proportionate amount of checkoff funds if they receive over five percent of the vote. The national parties also receive funds to cover the costs of their national conventions. Matching funds are also given for primary candidates for small contributions. The campaign fund reduces a candidate's dependence on large contributions from individuals and special-interest groups. This program is administered by the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
Requirements to be declared eligible include agreeing to an overall spending limit, abiding by spending limits in each state, using public funds only for legitimate campaign-related expenses, keeping financial records and permitting an extensive campaign audit.
Checking the box does not change the amount of an individual's tax or refund.

Incumbent from Wikipedia, CC Share-Alike license

The incumbent, in politics, is the holder of a political office. This term is usually used in reference to elections, in which races can often be defined as being between an incumbent and non-incumbent. For example, in the 2004 United States presidential election, George W. Bush was the incumbent, because he was the president in the current term while the election sought to determine the president for the following term.
In politics
In general, incumbents have structural advantages over challengers during elections. The timing of elections may be determined by the incumbent instead of a set schedule. For most political offices, the incumbent often has greater name recognition due to their previous work in the office. Incumbents also have easier access to campaign finance, as well as government resources (such as the franking privilege) that can be indirectly used to boost a campaign. An election (especially for a legislature) in which no incumbent is running is often called an open seat; because of the lack of incumbency advantage, these are often amongst the most hotly-contested races in any election.
In the United States, incumbents traditionally win their party's nomination to run for office. Unseating an incumbent president, senator or other figure during a primary election is very difficult. In particular, barring major scandal or controversy, about 95% of congressional incumbents win re-election to their seats[citation needed]. However, shifts in congressional districts due to reapportionment or other longer-term factors may make it more or less likely for an incumbent to win re-election over time. For example, a Democratic incumbent in historically conservative Texas would have less chance of winning than a Democratic incumbent in liberal New York City, because Texas has shifted away from the Democratic Party in terms of voting (see also Congressional stagnation in the United States).
However, there exist scenarios in which the incumbency factor itself leads to the downfall of the incumbent. Popularly known as the anti-incumbency factor, situations of this kind occur when the incumbent has proven himself not worthy of office during his tenure and the challenger demonstrates this fact to the voters. An anti-incumbency factor can also be responsible for bringing down incumbents who have been in office for many successive terms, in spite of good performance indicators, simply because the voters are convinced by the challenger of a need for change.
When newcomers vie to fill an open office, voters tend to compare and contrast the candidates' qualifications, issues, positions, and personal characteristics in a relatively straightforward way. Elections featuring an incumbent, on the other hand are, as Guy Molyneux puts it, "fundamentally a referendum on the incumbent." Voters will first grapple with the record of the incumbent. Only if they decide to 'fire the incumbent do they begin to evaluate whether the challenger is an acceptable alternative.

Electorate from Wikipedia, CC Share-Alike license

In politics, an electorate is the group of entities entitled to vote in an election. The term can refer to:
1. the totality of voters or electors (the electorate has the opportunity to express its will)
2. the partisans of a particular individual, group or political party (Gospodin Putin played to the prejudices of his personal electorate)
3. the collection of the voters enrolleded in a geographically-defined area (the electorate of Finchley retuned the Tory candidate again)
4. the geographically-defined area which returns (elects) a representative (the electorate of Finchley borders on the electorate of Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh, splitting the new housing estate of Royal Cupolas).

The term was also sometimes used to refer to the dominion of an Elector in the Holy Roman Empire, who was a prince or bishop able to participate in the selection of the Emperor. One particularly well known electorate of this type was the Electorate of Hanover. In this usage, the word refers to a realm controlled by a single elector, rather than a collective of multiple electors (as in the other usages given).

Ethnic Voting Patterns of Young People by Race and Ethnicity, 1988 to 2004

By Mark Hugo Lopez1, Research Director
May 2005 © 2005 The Pew Charitable Trusts

Preliminary estimates suggest that voter turnout among young people has surged to its
highest level in a decade.2 While participation among young people rose, there appear
to have been larger surges for some groups. This fact sheet presents patterns of voter
participation by race and ethnicity based on estimates from national and state exit polls.

The voter turnout statistics presented here are rough estimates and should be
interpreted with caution. There exists no official record of voters that tracks race,
ethnicity and age. This is why we must rely on estimates derived from polls and
surveys. The estimates presented here are based on national and state exit polls
conducted during the November 2, 2004 election. It is unlikely that these numbers will
match precisely the results obtained from the Census Bureau’s Current Population
Survey (CPS), the other major source for voting statistics. Finally, while this fact sheet
is useful for what it tells about voting levels for various groups, it cannot explain why the
upsurge in voter participation rates occurred.3

Voter Turnout Among Different Racial/Ethnic Groups, 2000 and 2004

There was a large surge in turnout between 2000 and 2004 among young African
Americans and Latinos, based on estimates generated from aggregated state exit poll
results.4 Between 2000 and 2004, voter turnout among young African Americans rose by
15 percentage points, from 38 percent to 53 percent. Similarly for Latinos, voter turnout
rose by 21 percentage points between 2000 and 2004, from 32 percent to 53 percent.5

As noted in our fact sheet “Youth Voter Turnout 1992 - 2004, Estimates from Exit Polls,”
there is more than one way to estimate voter turnout, though we are limited at this time
to data available from exit polls, both conducted by the polling firm Edison/Mitofsky. The
first is the national exit poll and the second is CIRCLE’s aggregation of exit polls from all
the states and the District of Columbia. Using these two sources, we are able to generate
a range of estimates of voter turnout for 2000 and 2004. For example, there is a range
of four points (from 48 percent to 52 percent) in our turnout estimate for young, non-
Hispanic Whites, depending on whether we use the national exit poll or the aggregated

Topics and vocabulary you will need to understand for this lesson include the following:

election candidate
primary election caucus
grassroots dark horse
delegate national nominating convention
incumbent challenger
fund raising soft money
media electorate
political socialization suffrage
voter registration precinct

02.02.01 Study Questions - Elections(Citizenship)

teacher-scored 70 points possible 60 minutes

Copy and paste the section between the rows of asterisks below into a word processing document on your computer. Complete your work, and save a copy for yourself. Then, submit your work by pasting it in to the assignment submission window. ***************************************************************************************************************


1. Who makes and enforces the rules candidates must follow to be elected to office?

2. What is a primary election? What are the two types, and what makes them different?

3. What's a caucus?

4. What are grassroots movements, and how can they affect elections?


5. In order to run for President, you have to do three basic things. What are they?

Dark Horse

6. Even if you do all those three things, is it possible for a dark horse candidate to win? Explain.

7. Why/how would a dark horse candidate have won?

National conventions

8. How do you win delegates to the national nominating convention?

9. What does a national nomination convention do?

Campaign Finance

10. What are the two main sources of money for political campaigns?

11. What is a PAC? What is a Super PAC? What role do Super PACs play in national elections?

12. What is the Presidential Election Campaign Fund? Can you give to that fund? How?

13. What are the conditions under which a candidate of a major party can receive public financing?

14. But if you are a third party candidate, what must you do to receive public financing?


15. What is an incumbent?

16. How much advantage does the incumbent have compared to the challenger? Why?

Money in Elections

17. Why do campaigns cost so much money?

18. Are there not laws regulating how much a person can spend or even receive? What are they?

19. Can you win without spending money to get your message across? Why?

20. How do candidates do fund-raising?

21. What is soft money?

22. Does the federal government regulate soft money? Explain.


23. Does the media play a very big role in the election process? What is it?


24. Who are the electorate?


25. What is political socialization? How does it apply in your case?

26. What are three reasons people participate in the political process?

Voting patterns

27. Who votes the most among racial and ethnic groups? Who votes the least?

28. What age group votes the most? the least?

29. What is the relationship between the amount of education a person has and their likelihood of voting?

30. Which minority group has been discriminated against the most to prevent them from voting? Why?


31. What does suffrage mean? What groups enjoyed suffrage when the Constitution was first adopted?


32-33. What are the three qualifications to be voter eligible?

34. What is the main thing you have to do in order to vote in an election?

35. When (in what year) will you be eligible to vote?


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 4 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.02.02 Elections Exam (Citizenship)

computer-scored 50 points possible 30 minutes

Elections This test will assess your understanding of the "elections" section of Unit II. You may take this quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 85%.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 4 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.03 Political Ideology (Citizenship)

Conservatives, liberals, socialists, libertarians, environmentalists, communists, fascists, the tea party, anarchists... Turn on any talk radio program, and you are likely to hear some of these terms batted around. Which are considered positive and which are considered negative depends on the political ideology of the station or show host you hear. Given a choice, most people listen only to those with whom they mostly agree with; thus, the political rhetoric rarely changes anyone's mind once they have an opinion on an issue! It can be very difficult to sort out fact from opinion or even total fiction--yet we have a responsibility as voters to try.

The following list contains topics and vocabulary you will need to understand for this lesson.

ideology political ideology
liberal conservative
moderate spectrum
radical "right wing"
"left wing" public opinion
poll mass media
interest group lobbying

We begin learning political attitudes early.: image by Harry Walker, CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain DedicationWe begin learning political attitudes early.: image by Harry Walker, CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

The links below will help you complete the assignment on political ideology.

02.03.01 Study Questions - Political Ideology (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 40 points possible 30 minutes

Copy and paste the section between the rows of asterisks below into a word processing document on your computer. Complete the work and save a copy for yourself. Submit your work by pasting it in to the assignment submission window. ************************************************************************************************************

Political ideology Definitions

1. Most Americans have some form of political ideology; what does that mean?

2. What is a liberal?

3. What is a conservative?

Political Spectrum

4. What is a moderate?

5. Where are you on the political ideology spectrum? On what do you base your answer?

6. What determines where we are on that spectrum?

7. What is a radical?

8. When people say "right" and "left" in reference to the political spectrum, what are they talking about?

Public Opinion

9. What is public opinion?

10. What six factors determined how we got that opinion?

11. Which one is the most dominant?

12. We read about public opinion polls all the time; what are they?

13. How reliable are polls?

Mass Media

14. What are the five types of the mass media?

15. Right now, which one is the most dominant?

16. Which one is growing the fastest?

17. Does the government protect the media? How?

Interest Groups and Lobbying

18. What is an interest group?

19. What four things do interest groups do?

20.What is lobbying? Then what is a lobbyist?


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 5 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.03.02 Political Ideology Exam (Citizenship)

computer-scored 40 points possible 30 minutes

Political Ideology This test will assess your understanding of the concepts taught in the "political ideology" section of Unit 2. You may take this quiz multiple times, but you must finish it with at least an 85%.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 5 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.04 Unit 2 exam (Citizenship)

computer-scored 50 points possible 40 minutes

Citizenship This test will assess your comprehension of the materials presented in Unit 2. You may take this quiz multiple times, but you must finish it with at least 85%.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 5 of your enrollment date for this class.

03.00 Unit 3 (Citizenship)

Unit 3
The Legislative Branch, Congress, and the Presidency

From our study of the Constitution, you probably recall that our government has three main branches: legislative, executive and judicial. In this unit we will look at the legislative branch (mainly, Congress, or otherwise known as the Senate and the House of Representatives) and begin looking at the executive branch with an overview of the office of the President.

03.00 Warm Up Activity (Citizenship)

03.00.01 Warm Up Activity (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 30 points possible 30 minutes

Warm Up #3

Answer the following questions, using the url links above, and submit the answers to me for grading.

Who authored the Federalist Papers, including the actual name(s) and the penname(s).

What are the Federalist Papers and what was their purpose?

In Federalist Paper #51, which is mainly written by James Madison, what were to be the branches of government, and which one did he believe would be the most dominant and why?

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 6 of your enrollment date for this class.

03.01 House of Representatives (Citizenship)

This content is from the website

Established by Article I of the Constitution, the Legislative Branch consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which together form the United States Congress. The Constitution grants Congress the sole authority to enact legislation and declare war, the right to confirm or reject many Presidential appointments and substantial investigative powers.

The House of Representatives is made up of 435 elected members, divided among the 50 states in proportion to their total population. In addition, there are six non-voting members, representing the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and five territories of the United States. The presiding officer of the chamber is the Speaker of the House, elected by the Representatives. He or she is third in the line of succession to the Presidency.

Members of the House are elected every two years and must be 25 years of age, a U.S. citizen for at least seven years and a resident of the state (but not necessarily the district) they represent.

The House has several powers assigned exclusively to it, including the power to initiate revenue bills, impeach federal officials and elect the President in the case of an electoral college tie.

The Senate is composed of 100 Senators, two for each state. Until the ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913, Senators were chosen by state legislatures, not by popular vote. Since then, they have been elected to six-year terms by the people of each state. Senator's terms are staggered so that about one-third of the Senate is up for reelection every two years. Senators must be 30 years of age, U.S. citizens for at least nine years, and residents of the state they represent.

The Vice President of the United States serves as President of the Senate and may cast the decisive vote in the event of a tie in the Senate.

The Senate has the sole power to confirm those of the President's appointments that require consent, and to ratify treaties. There are, however, two exceptions to this rule: the House must also approve appointments to the Vice Presidency and any treaty that involves foreign trade. The Senate also tries impeachment cases for federal officials referred to it by the House.

In order to pass legislation and send it to the President for his signature, both the House and the Senate must pass the same bill by majority vote. If the President vetoes a bill, they may override his veto by passing the bill again in each chamber with at least two-thirds of each body voting in favor.

The Legislative Process

The first step in the legislative process is the introduction of a bill to Congress. Anyone can write it, but only members of Congress can introduce legislation. Some important bills are traditionally introduced at the request of the President, such as the annual federal budget. During the legislative process, however, the initial bill can undergo drastic changes.

After being introduced, a bill is referred to the appropriate committee for review. There are 17 Senate committees, with 70 subcommittees, and 23 House committees, with 104 subcommittees. The committees are not set in stone, but change in number and form with each new Congress as required for the efficient consideration of legislation. Each committee oversees a specific policy area, and the subcommittees take on more specialized policy areas. For example, the House Committee on Ways and Means includes subcommittees on Social Security and Trade.

A bill is first considered in a subcommittee, where it may be accepted, amended, or rejected entirely. If the members of the subcommittee agree to move a bill forward, it is reported to the full committee, where the process is repeated again. Throughout this stage of the process, the committees and subcommittees call hearings to investigate the merits and flaws of the bill. They invite experts, advocates, and opponents to appear before the committee and provide testimony and can compel people to appear using subpoena power if necessary.

If the full committee votes to approve the bill, it is reported to the floor of the House or Senate, and the majority party leadership decides when to place the bill on the calendar for consideration. If a bill is particularly pressing, it may be considered right away. Others may wait for months or never be scheduled at all.

When the bill comes up for consideration, the House has a very structured debate process. Each member who wishes to speak only has a few minutes, and the number and kind of amendments are usually limited. In the Senate, debate on most bills is unlimited--Senators may speak to issues other than the bill under consideration during their speeches, and any amendment can be introduced. Senators can use this to filibuster bills under consideration, a procedure by which a Senator delays a vote on a bill--and by extension its passage--by refusing to stand down. A supermajority of 60 Senators can break a filibuster by invoking cloture, or the cession of debate on the bill, and forcing a vote. Once debate is over, the votes of a simple majority passes the bill.

A bill must pass both houses of Congress before it goes to the President for consideration. Though the Constitution requires that the two bills have the exact same wording, this rarely happens in practice. To bring the bills into alignment, a Conference Committee is convened, consisting of members from both chambers. The members of the committee produce a conference report, intended as the final version of the bill. Each chamber then votes again to approve the conference report. Depending on where the bill originated, the final text is then enrolled by either the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate, and presented to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate for their signatures. The bill is then sent to the President.

When receiving a bill from Congress, the President has several options. If the President agrees substantially with the bill, he or she may sign it into law, and the bill is then printed in the Statutes at Large. If the President believes the law to be bad policy, he may veto it and send it back to Congress. Congress may override the veto with a two-thirds vote of each chamber, at which point the bill becomes law and is printed.

There are two other options that the President may exercise. If Congress is in session and the President takes no action within 10 days, the bill becomes law. If Congress adjourns before 10 days are up and the President takes no action, then the bill dies and Congress may not vote to override. This is called a pocket veto, and if Congress still wants to pass the legislation, they must begin the entire process anew.

Powers of Congress

Congress, as one of the three coequal branches of government, is ascribed significant powers by the Constitution. All legislative power in the government is vested in Congress, meaning that it is the only part of the government that can make new laws or change existing laws. Executive Branch agencies issue regulations with the full force of law, but these are only under the authority of laws enacted by Congress. The President may veto bills Congress passes, but Congress may also override a veto by a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Article I of the Constitution enumerates the powers of Congress and the specific areas in which it may legislate. Congress is also empowered to enact laws deemed "necessary and proper" for the execution of the powers given to any part of the government under the Constitution.

Part of Congress's exercise of legislative authority is the establishment of an annual budget for the government. To this end, Congress levies taxes and tariffs to provide funding for essential government services. If enough money cannot be raised to fund the government, then Congress may also authorize borrowing to make up the difference. Congress can also mandate spending on specific items: legislatively directed spending, commonly known as "earmarks," specifies funds for a particular project, rather than for a government agency.

Both chambers of Congress have extensive investigative powers, and may compel the production of evidence or testimony toward whatever end they deem necessary. Members of Congress spend much of their time holding hearings and investigations in committee. Refusal to cooperate with a Congressional subpoena can result in charges of contempt of Congress, which could result in a prison term.

The Senate maintains several powers to itself: It ratifies treaties by a two-thirds supermajority vote and confirms the appointments of the President by a majority vote. The consent of the House of Representatives is also necessary for the ratification of trade agreements and the confirmation of the Vice President.

Congress also holds the sole power to declare war.

Government Oversight

Oversight of the executive branch is an important Congressional check on the President's power and a balance against his discretion in implementing laws and making regulations.

A major way that Congress conducts oversight is through hearings. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs are both devoted to overseeing and reforming government operations, and each committee conducts oversight in its policy area.

Congress also maintains an investigative organization, the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Founded in 1921 as the General Accounting Office, its original mission was to audit the budgets and financial statements sent to Congress by the Secretary of the Treasury and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Today, the GAO audits and generates reports on every aspect of the government, ensuring that taxpayer dollars are spent with the effectiveness and efficiency that the American people deserve.

The executive branch also polices itself: Sixty-four Inspectors General, each responsible for a different agency, regularly audit and report on the agencies to which they are attached.


In the process of setting electoral districts, gerrymandering is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating geographic boundaries to create partisan, incumbent-protected districts. The resulting district is known as a gerrymander (/ˈdʒɛriˌmændər/); however, that word can also refer to the process. from Wikipedia, CC Share-Alike license - see links below for more detailed information

US Capitol, south side (where the House of Representatives meets): Wikimedia Commons, Martin Jacobsen/Kulshrax, Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0US Capitol, south side (where the House of Representatives meets): Wikimedia Commons, Martin Jacobsen/Kulshrax, Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0
House of Representatives from Wikipedia, CC Share-Alike license - see links below for more detailed information

The United States House of Representatives, commonly referred to as "the House," is one of the two chambers of the United States Congress; the other is the Senate. Each state receives representation in the House in proportion to its population but is entitled to at least one Representative. The most populous state, California, currently has 53 representatives. The total number of voting representatives is currently fixed at 435. Each representative serves for a two-year term. The presiding officer of the House is the speaker, and is elected by the members of the house.
Because its members are generally elected from smaller (an average of 693,000 residents as of 2007) and more commonly homogeneous districts than those from the Senate, the House is generally considered to be a more partisan chamber. The House was granted its own exclusive powers: the power to initiate revenue bills, impeach officials, and elect the president in electoral college deadlocks.
The House meets in the south wing of the United States Capitol.

History of the United States House of Representatives

Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress was a unicameral (Latin for "one room") body in which each state held one vote. The ineffectiveness of the federal government under the Articles led Congress to summon a Constitutional Convention in 1787; all states except Rhode Island agreed to send delegates. The issue of how Congress was to be structured was one of the most divisive among the founders during the Convention. James Madison's Virginia Plan called for a bicameral (Latin for "two rooms") Congress: the lower house would be "of the people," elected directly by the people of the United States and representing public opinion, and a more deliberative upper house that would represent the individual states, and would be less susceptible to variations of mass sentiment, would be elected by the lower house.
The House is often considered to be the "lower house," with the Senate as the "upper house," although the United States Constitution does not use such language. Both houses' approval is necessary for the passage of legislation. The Virginia Plan drew the support of delegates from large states such as Virginia, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, as it called for representation based on population. The smaller states, however, favored the New Jersey Plan, which called for a unicameral Congress with equal representation for the states.
Eventually, the Convention reached the Connecticut Compromise, or the Great Compromise, under which one house of Congress (the House of Representatives) would provide representation proportional to each state's population, whereas the other (the Senate) would provide equal representation among the states. The Constitution was ratified by the requisite number of states (nine out of the 13) in 1788, but its implementation was set for March 4, 1789. The House began work on April 1, 1789, when it achieved a quorum for the first time.
During the first half of the 19th Century, the House was frequently in conflict with the Senate over regionally divisive issues, including slavery. The North was much more populous than the South, and therefore, dominated the House of Representatives. However, the North held no such advantage in the Senate, where the equal representation of states prevailed.
Regional conflict was most pronounced over the issue of slavery. One example of a provision repeatedly supported by the House but blocked by the Senate was the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to ban slavery in the land gained during the Mexican-American War. Conflict over slavery and other issues persisted until the Civil War (1861–1865), which began soon after several southern states attempted to secede from the Union. The war culminated in the South's defeat and in the abolition of slavery. Because all southern senators except Andrew Johnson resigned their seats at the beginning of the war, the Senate did not have the balance of power between North and South during the war.
The years of Reconstruction that followed witnessed large majorities for the Republican Party, which many Americans associated with the Union's victory in the Civil War. The Reconstruction period ended in about 1877; the ensuing era, known as the Gilded Age, was marked by sharp political divisions in the electorate. Both the Democratic and the Republican Party held majorities in the House at various times.

The late 19th and early 20th Centuries also saw a dramatic increase in the power of the Speaker of the House. The rise of the Speaker's influence began in the 1890s, during tenure of Republican Thomas Brackett Reed. "Czar Reed," as he was nicknamed, attempted to put into effect his view that "The best system is to have one party govern and the other party watch." The leadership structure of the House also developed during approximately the same period, with the positions of Majority Leader and Minority Leader being created in 1899. While the Minority Leader was the head of the minority party, the Majority Leader remained subordinate to the Speaker. The Speakership reached its zenith during the term of Republican Joseph Gurney Cannon, 1903 to 1911. The powers of the Speaker included chairmanship of the influential Rules Committee and the ability to appoint members of other House committees. These powers, however, were curtailed in the "Revolution of 1910" because of the efforts of Democrats and dissatisfied Republicans who opposed Cannon's arguably heavy-handed tactics.
The Democratic Party dominated the House of Representatives during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933–1945), often winning over two-thirds of the seats. Both Democrats and Republicans were in power at various times during the next decade. The Democratic Party maintained control of the House from 1954 until 1995. In the mid-1970s, there were major reforms of the House, strengthening the power of sub-committees at the expense of committee chairmen and allowing party leaders to nominate committee chairs. These actions were taken to undermine the seniority system and to reduce the ability of a small number of senior members to obstruct legislation they did not favor. There was also a shift from the 1970s to greater control of the legislative program by the majority party; in particular, the power of party leaders (especially the Speaker) grew considerably.
The Republicans took control of the House in 1995 under the leadership of Speaker Newt Gingrich. Gingrich attempted to pass a major legislative program, the "Contract with America," on which the House Republicans had been elected, and made major reforms of the House, notably reducing the tenure of committee chairs to three two-year terms. Many elements of the Contract did not pass Congress, were vetoed by President Bill Clinton, or were substantially altered in negotiations with Clinton. The Republicans held on to the House until the United States Congressional elections in 2006, during which the Democrats won back control of both the House of Representatives

and the Senate. Nancy Pelosi was subsequently elected by the House as the first female Speaker.


Under Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, seats in the House of Representatives are apportioned among the states by population, as determined by the census conducted every ten years. Each state, however, is entitled to at least one Representative.
The only constitutional rule relating to the size of the House says: "The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand." Congress has regularly increased the size of the House to account for population growth; but Congress fixed the number of voting House members at 435 in 1911. The number was temporarily increased to 437 in 1959 upon the admission of Alaska and Hawaii (seating one representative from each of those states without changing existing apportionment), and returned to 435 four years later, after the reapportionment consequent to the 1960 census.
The Constitution does not provide for the representation of the District of Columbia or of territories. However, those places elect non-voting delegates or, in the case of Puerto Rico, a Resident Commissioner. The District of Columbia and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are represented by one delegate each. Puerto Rico elects a Resident Commissioner, but other than having a four-year term, the Resident Commissioner's role is identical to the delegates from the other territories. In November, 2008, the Northern Mariana Islands elected their first delegate who took office in January, 2009. Delegates and Resident Commissioners may participate in debates and vote in committees. They may vote in the Committee of the Whole when their votes would not be decisive.


States that are entitled to more than one Representative are divided into single-member districts. This has been a federal statutory requirement since 1967. Prior to that law, general ticket representation was used by some states. Typically, states redraw these district lines after each census, though they may do so at other times. Each state determines its own district boundaries, either through legislation or through non-partisan panels. "Malapportionment" is unconstitutional and districts must be approximately equal in population (see Wesberry v. Sanders). The Voting Rights Act prohibits states from "gerrymandering" districts to reduce racial minorities' voting power.
Using gerrymandering for political gain is not prohibited, even when political gerrymandering incidentally involves the creation of racially concentrated districts. Because of gerrymandering, fewer than 10% of all House seats are seriously contested in most election cycles. Since over 90% of House members are nearly guaranteed reelection every two years because of lack of electoral competition, elections have been criticized as being contrary to fair competition, one of the principles of democracy.


Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution sets three qualifications for representatives. Each representative must: (1) be at least twenty-five years old, (2) have been a citizen of the United States for the past seven years, and (3) be (at the time of the election) an inhabitant of the state they represent. Members need not live in their districts. The age and citizenship qualifications for representatives are less than those for senators. The constitutional requirements of Article I, Section 2 for election to Congress are the maximum requirements that can be imposed on a candidate.[5] Therefore, Article I, Section 5, which permits each House to be the judge of the qualifications of its own members does not permit either House to establish additional qualifications.


Under the Fourteenth Amendment, any federal or state officer who takes the requisite oath to support the Constitution, but later engages in rebellion or aids the enemies of the United States, is disqualified from becoming a representative. This post-Civil War provision, was intended to prevent those who sided with the Confederacy from serving. However, disqualified individuals may serve if they gain the consent of two-thirds of both houses of Congress.


Elections for representatives are held in every even-numbered year, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November (see Election Day (United States)). Generally, the Republican and Democratic parties choose their candidates for each district in primary elections, which are typically held several months before. Ballot access rules for independent and third-party candidates vary greatly from state to state.
Since 1967, Federal law requires that House races use the single-member-district, first-past-the-post voting system, explicitly banning the use of proportional representation. Louisiana was unique in that it held an all-party "primary election" on the general Election Day, with a subsequent runoff election between the top two finishers (regardless of party) if no candidate receives a majority in the primary. The state now has a system similar to most other states whereby each party nominates candidates in closed primaries, though the state of Washington now uses a similar (though not identical) system. Seats vacated during a term are filled through special elections, though that election will sometimes not take place until the next general election date. A member chosen in a special election usually takes office as soon thereafter as possible.


Representatives and delegates serve for two-year terms, while the Resident Commissioner serves for four years. Once elected, a representative continues to serve until the expiry of their term, death or resignation. Furthermore, the Constitution permits the House to expel any member with a two-thirds vote. In the history of the United States, only five members have been expelled from the House; three of them, John Bullock Clark (D-MO), John William Reid (D-MO), and Henry Cornelius Burnett (D-KY), were removed in 1861 for supporting the Confederate States' secession, which led to the Civil War. Michael Myers (D-PA) was expelled for accepting bribes in 1980, and James Traficant (D-OH) was expelled in 2002 following his conviction for corruption. The House also has the power to formally censure or reprimand its members; censure or reprimand requires only a simple majority, but does not remove a member from office.

Comparison to the Senate

Many of the Founding Fathers intended the Senate (whose members were originally chosen by the state legislatures) to be a check on the popularly elected House, just as the House was to be a check on the Senate. The "advise and consent" powers (such as the power to approve treaties) were therefore granted to the Senate alone. The House, however, can initiate spending bills and has exclusive authority to impeach officials and choose the President in an electoral college deadlock. The Senate and its members generally have greater prestige than the House because Senators serve longer terms (six years), are less numerous, and (in all but seven states) represent larger constituencies than Representatives, serving to represent entire states rather than largely-arbitrary districts. Additionally, the Senate has traditionally been considered a less partisan chamber; senators have greater potential to broker compromises and act more unilaterally than Representatives, and hence hold greater national stature.


As of January 1, 2008, the annual salary of each Representative is $169,300. The Speaker of the House and the Majority and Minority Leaders earn more. The Speaker earned $212,100 during the 109th Congress (January 4, 2005-January 3, 2007) while the party leaders earned $183,500 (the same as Senate leaders). A cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) increase takes effect annually unless Congress votes to not accept it. Congress sets members' salaries; however, the Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits a change in salary (but not COLA) from taking effect until after the next general election. Representatives are eligible for lifetime benefits after serving for five years, including a pension, health benefits, and social security benefits.


Representatives use the prefix "The Honorable" before their names. A member of the House is referred to as a "Representative," " "Congressman," or "Congresswoman." While Senators are technically "Congressman" or "Congresswomen," that term is generally used to refer to Members of the House of Representatives exclusively. The Delegates and the Resident Commissioner use the same styles and titles as Members of the House.


Member Officials
The party with a majority of seats in the House is known as the majority party. The next-largest party is the minority party. The Speaker, committee chairmen and some other officials are generally from the majority party; they have counterparts (for instance, the "ranking members" of committees) in the minority party.
The Constitution provides that the House may choose its own Speaker. Although not explicitly required by the Constitution, every Speaker has been a member of the House. The Constitution does not specify the duties and powers of the Speaker, which are instead regulated by the rules and customs of the House. The Speaker has a role both as a leader of the House and the leader of his or her party (which need not be the majority party; theoretically, a member of the minority party could be elected as Speaker with the support of a fraction of members of the majority party). Under the Presidential Succession Act (1947), the Speaker is second in the line of presidential succession behind the Vice President.
The Speaker is the presiding officer of the House but does not preside over every debate. Instead, he or she delegates the responsibility of presiding to other members in most cases. The presiding officer sits in a chair in the front of the House chamber. The powers of the presiding officer are extensive; one important power is that of controlling the order in which members of the House speak. No member may make a speech or a motion unless he or she has first been recognized by the presiding officer. Moreover, the presiding officer may rule on any "point of order" (a member's objection that a rule has been breached), but the decision is subject to appeal to the whole House.
The Speaker is the chair of his or her party's steering committee, which chooses the chairmen of standing committees. The Speaker determines which committees consider bills, appoints most of the members of the Rules Committee, and appoints all members of conference committees. When the Presidency and Senate are controlled by a different party from the one controlling the House, the Speaker can become the de facto "leader of the opposition." Since the Speaker is a partisan officer with substantial power to control the business of the House, the position is often used for partisan advantage.
Each party elects a floor leader, who is known as the Majority Leader or Minority Leader. While the Minority Leader is the full leader of his party, the same is not true of the Majority Leader. Instead, the Speaker is the head of the majority party; the Majority Leader is only the second-highest official. Party leaders decide what legislation members of their party should either support or oppose. Each party also elects a whip, who works to ensure that the party's members vote as the party leadership desires. Representatives are generally less independent of party leaders than senators, and usually vote as the leadership directs. Incentives to cooperate include the leadership's power to select committee chairmen. As a result, the leadership plays a much greater role in the House than in the Senate, an example of why the atmosphere of the House is regarded by many as more partisan.

Non-member officials
The House is also served by several officials who are not members. The House's chief officer is the Clerk, who maintains public records, prepares documents, and oversees junior officials, including pages. The Clerk also presides over the House at the beginning of each new Congress pending the election of a Speaker. Another officer is the Chief Administrative Officer, responsible for the day-to-day administrative support to the House of Representatives. This includes everything from payroll to food service.
The position of chief administrative officer (CAO) was created following the 1994 Republican Revolution and replaced the positions of Doorkeeper and Director of Non-Legislative and Financial Services (which had been created only two years prior to provide a nonpartisan management body to administer those functions of the House that should not be under partisan control). The CAO also assumed some of the responsibilities of the House Information Services, which previously had been controlled directly by the Committee on House Administration, at the time headed by Representative Charlie Rose of North Carolina, along with the House "Folding Room."
The Chaplain leads the House in prayer at the opening of the day. There is also a Sergeant at Arms, who as the House's chief law enforcement officer, maintains order and security on House premises. Finally, routine police work is handled by the United States Capitol Police, which is supervised by the Capitol Police Board, a body to which the Sergeant at Arms belongs.


The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States of America, consisting of two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election.
Each of the 435 members of the House of Representatives represents a district and serves a two-year term. House seats are apportioned among the states by population. The 100 Senators serve staggered six-year terms. Each state has two senators, regardless of population. Every two years, approximately one-third of the Senate is elected.
Article I of the Constitution vests all legislative power in the Congress. The House and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process (legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers); however, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers. The Senate is uniquely empowered to ratify treaties and to approve top presidential appointments. Revenue-raising bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which also has the sole power of impeachment, while the Senate has the sole power to try impeachment cases.
The Congress meets in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
The term Congress is also used to refer to a particular meeting of the national legislature, reckoned according to the terms of representatives. Therefore, a "Congress" covers two years.

Congressional Oversight refers to the review, monitoring, and supervision of federal agencies, programs, activities and policy implementation. Congress exercises this power largely through its standing committee system. However, oversight, which dates to the earliest days of the Republic, also occurs in a wide variety of congressional activities and contexts. These include authorization, appropriations, investigative, and legislative hearings by standing committees; specialized investigations by select committees; and reviews and studies by congressional support agencies and staff
Congress’s oversight authority derives from its 'implied' powers in the Constitution, public laws, and House and Senate rules. It is an integral part of the American system of checks and balances.

Oversight is an implied rather than an enumerated power under the U.S. Constitution. The government's charter does not explicitly grant Congress the authority to conduct inquiries or investigations of the executive, to have access to records or materials held by the executive, or to issue subpoenas for documents or testimony from the executive.
There was little discussion of the power to oversee, review, or investigate executive activity at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 or later in the Federalist Papers, which argued in favor of ratification of the Constitution. The lack of debate was because oversight and its attendant authority were seen as an inherent power of representative assemblies which enacted public law.
Oversight also derives from the many and varied express powers of the Congress in the Constitution. It is implied in the legislature's authority, among other powers and duties, to appropriate funds, enact laws, raise and support armies, provide for a Navy, declare war, and impeach and remove from office the President, Vice President, and other civil officers. Congress could not reasonably or responsibly exercise these powers without knowing what the executive was doing; how programs were being administered, by whom, and at what cost; and whether officials were obeying the law and complying with legislative intent.
The Supreme Court of the United States made legitimate the oversight powers of Congress, subject to constitutional safeguards for civil liberties, on several occasions. In 1927, for instance, the High Court found that in investigating the administration of the Justice Department, Congress was considering a subject "on which legislation could be had or would be materially aided by the information which the investigation was calculated to elicit."

Congressional control of agencies

If Congress loses faith in an agency, Congress can respond in a number of ways. Congress can pass a law to overrule agency decisions, or to narrow the agency's jurisdiction. Congress can use its appropriations power to restrict the agency's funding. Congress can also narrow the agency's regulatory authority. For example, in the 1980s Congress narrowed the EPA's regulatory discretion using detailed substantive criteria to limit EPA rulemaking.


The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives.

The Speaker is second in the United States presidential line of succession, after the Vice President and before the President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate. Unlike the Speaker of the British House of Commons, the Speaker of the House is a position of leadership in the majority party and actively works to set that party's legislative agenda. Also unlike the British counterpart, the Speaker of the House does not normally personally preside over debates, instead delegating the duty to other members of Congress of the same political party. Aside from duties relating to heading the House and the majority political party, the Speaker also performs administrative and procedural functions, and remains the Representative of his or her congressional district.


Party leaders of the United States House of Representatives are elected by their respective parties in a closed-door (private) caucus.

The Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives acts as the leader of the party that has a majority of the seats in the house (currently at least 218 of the 435 seats). They work with the Speaker of the House and the Majority Whip to coordinate ideas and maintain support for legislation.

The role of the majority leader has been defined by history and tradition. This officer is charged with scheduling legislation for floor consideration; planning the daily, weekly, and annual legislative agendas; consulting with Members to gauge party sentiment; and, in general, working to advance the goals of the majority party.

The office of Majority Leader was created in 1899 by Speaker David B. Henderson for Sereno Payne. Henderson saw a need for a party leader on the House floor separate from the Speaker, as the role of Speaker had become more nationally prominent and the size of the House had grown from 105 at the beginning of the century to 356. In addition to distributing the responsibility of running the House, the existence of the Majority Leader allows the Speaker to criticize his or her own party when he considers it politically necessary.

Before 1899, the majority party floor leader had traditionally been the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the most powerful committee in the House, as it generates the Bills of Revenue specified in the Constitution as the House's unique power.[1]

The Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives serves as floor leader of the opposition party, and is the minority counterpart to the Majority Leader. Generally, the minority leader is on the ballot for Speaker of the House during the convening of the Congress. He or she is usually the party's top choice for Speaker if party control flips after an election. The minority leader usually meets with the Majority Leader and the Speaker to discuss agreements on controversial issues.

Topics and vocabulary you will need to understand for this lesson include the following (This is not part of the assignment you turn in to me, but keep for your own information to help understand this lesson better):

Legislative branch House of Representatives
apportionment gerrymandering
legislative district term of office
Congress special session
Congressional immunity majority party
minority party delegated power
implied power non-legislative power
Congressional oversight Speaker
whip legislation

03.01 Study Questions House of Representatives (Citizenship)

03.01.01 Study Questions House of Representatives (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 50 points possible 35 minutes

Copy and paste the section below, between the lines of asterisks, into a word processing document on your computer. Complete your work there, and save a copy for yourself. Submit your work by pasting it into the corresponding assignment submission window. **********************************************************************************************************

Legislative Branch

1. What is the purpose of the legislative branch?

2. How is the legislative branch organized and why?

3. How many members make up the U.S. House of Representatives, and how is representation determined in each state?

4. How many U.S. representatives does the state that you live in have?


5. What does "apportionment" mean?

6. What does "gerrymandering" mean?

7. Who is in charge of setting up apportionment lines in a state?

8. Which U.S. representative district do you live in?

House of Representatives

9. What are the three qualifications for being a member of the U.S. House of Representatives?

10. What is the term of office for a member of the House? How many terms may a representative serve?

11. Who are the current members of the U.S. House of Representatives from your state?


12. Where does Congress meet? By law, when does Congress meet?

13. Who can make them meet more often by calling a special session?

14. What is Congressional immunity?

15. Which party is currently the majority party in the House?

16. Name one delegated power of Congress.

17. Name one implied power of Congress.

18. Name a non-legislative power of Congress.

19. What does the word oversight mean to Congress?

20. When you say Congress, what two groups or bodies are you talking about?

House Leadership

21. What is the title given to the most important person in the House?

22. How is that person chosen?

23.What is the majority party leader ?

24. What does the majority party Whip do in Congress?

25.What does the minority party do?


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 6 of your enrollment date for this class.

03.01.02 House of Rep Exam (Citizenship)

computer-scored 50 points possible 30 minutes

House of Representatives This test will assess your understanding of the concepts presented in the "House of Representatives" section of Unit 3. You may take this quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 85% as your final score.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 6 of your enrollment date for this class.

03.02 Senate (Citizenship)

The Senate in session during President Clinton's impeachment trial: Image from Wikimedia Commons, C-SPAN video coverage, public domainThe Senate in session during President Clinton's impeachment trial: Image from Wikimedia Commons, C-SPAN video coverage, public domain
The Senate is the upper house of Congress.
The information below is from the website
(see also the links below for more information)

Floor Leader Responsibilities

The "offices" of the majority and the minority leader, as we know them today, are of recent development in our history. Individual Senators, since 1789, have assumed leading roles in the determination of what the Senate would or would not do. Some of these Senators, at one time or another, have stood high in the ranks of their respective political parties. The power or influence of some Senators, to guide or lead their respective parties and the senate,has been particularly noteworthy.

Caucuses of Senators have been called from time to time from the beginning of the first Senate. These have served all kinds of purposes, such as the determination of the position to be taken on certain proposed legislation or to determine the names and sizes of the committees. Until the latter part of the 19th century, these meetings were not created to act as organized political caucuses to select persons as floor leaders for the parties during the sessions of the Senate


The Committee System

Congress conducts most of its work through two major types of committees. The most common are standing committees, which are usually permanent. Each standing committee takes responsibility for a particular subject area. Congress creates temporary committees, usually called select or special committees, to write bills on a particular topic or to conduct investigations. For example, both chambers have select committees to authorize and oversee the nation’s intelligence-gathering operations, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency.

Most standing committees have the power to authorize government action but cannot commit funding to implement the policy. Before most laws can be carried out, they must receive an appropriation of funding, processed and brought to the floor by the House and Senate appropriations committees. This occurs during Congress’s annual budget process. The amount of money in the budget depends on the level of taxes and other revenues brought in by law processed by the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee.

Much of a committee’s work is handled by a sizable number of professional staff assistants. In 1999 there were nearly 1,300 House committee aides and more than 900 Senate committee aides. Some of the staff are experts in technical areas, such as military weapons, farming, and international finance. They guide lawmakers—especially those who are new or inexperienced—through the web of issues handled by the committee.

After a bill is introduced, the presiding officer,the Speaker of the House or the President of the Senate, refers it to a specialized committee to review the measure. Most bills die at this stage when committee members simply ignore them or vote to take no action or to table (kill) the proposals. Most committees conduct much of their business through subcommittees, in which the subject matter of the committee is further broken down. Complex bills receive attention from several committees and subcommittees. A farm trade bill, for example, might be considered by the House’s agriculture, commerce, and small business committees.

A. Legislation is Introduced - Any member can introduce a piece of legislation

House - Legislation is handed to the clerk of the House or placed in the hopper.

Senate - Members must gain recognition of the presiding officer to announce the introduction of a bill during the morning hour. If any senator objects, the introduction of the bill is postponed until the next day.

The bill is assigned a number. (e.g. HR 1 or S 1)

The bill is labeled with the sponsor's name.

The bill is sent to the Government Printing Office (GPO) and copies are made.

Senate bills can be jointly sponsored.

Members can co-sponsor the piece of Legislation.

B. Committee Action - The bill is referred to the appropriate committee by the Speaker of the House or the presiding officer in the Senate.

Most often, the actual referral decision is made by the House or Senate parliamentarian. Bills may be referred to more than one committee and it may be split so that parts are sent to different committees. The Speaker of the House may set time limits on committees. Bills are placed on the calendar of the committee to which they have been assigned. Failure to act on a bill is equivalent to killing it. Bills in the House can only be released from committee without a proper committee vote by a discharge petition signed by a majority of the House membership (218 members).

Committee Steps:

Comments about the bill's merit are requested by government agencies.

Bill can be assigned to subcommittee by Chairman.

Hearings may be held.

Subcommittees report their findings to the full committee.

Finally there is a vote by the full committee - the bill is "ordered to be reported."

A committee will hold a "mark-up" session during which it will make revisions and additions. If substantial amendments are made, the committee can order the introduction of a "clean bill" which will include the proposed amendments. This new bill will have a new number and will be sent to the floor while the old bill is discarded. The chamber must approve, change or reject all committee amendments before conducting a final passage vote.

After the bill is reported, the committee staff prepares a written report explaining why they favor the bill and why they wish to see their amendments, if any, adopted. Committee members who oppose a bill sometimes write a dissenting opinion in the report. The report is sent back to the whole chamber and is placed on the calendar.

In the House, most bills go to the Rules committee before reaching the floor. The committee adopts rules that will govern the procedures under which the bill will be considered by the House. A "closed rule" sets strict time limits on debate and forbids the introduction of amendments. These rules can have a major impact on whether the bill passes. The rules committee can be bypassed in three ways:
1) members can move rules to be suspended (requires 2/3 vote)
2) a discharge petition can be filed
3) the House can use a Calendar Wednesday procedure.

C. Floor Action

Legislation is placed on the Calendar

House: Bills are placed on one of four House Calendars. They are usually placed on the calendars in the order of which they are reported yet they don't usually come to floor in this order - some bills never reach the floor at all. The Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader decide what will reach the floor and when. (Legislation can also be brought to the floor by a discharge petition.)

Senate: Legislation is placed on the Legislative Calendar. There is also an Executive calendar to deal with treaties and nominations. Scheduling of legislation is the job of the Majority Leader. Bills can be brought to the floor whenever a majority of the Senate chooses.

House: Debate is limited by the rules formulated in the Rules Committee. The Committee of the Whole debates and amends the bill but cannot technically pass it. Debate is guided by the Sponsoring Committee and time is divided equally between proponents and opponents. The Committee decides how much time to allot to each person. Amendments must be germane to the subject of a bill--no riders are allowed. The bill is reported back to the House (to itself) and is voted on. A quorum call is a vote to make sure that there are enough members present (218) to have a final vote. If there is not a quorum, the House will adjourn or will send the Sergeant at Arms out to round up missing members.

Senate: debate is unlimited unless cloture is invoked. Members can speak as long as they want and amendments need not be germane--riders are often offered. Entire bills can therefore be offered as amendments to other bills. Unless cloture is invoked, Senators can use a filibuster to defeat a measure by "talking it to death."

Vote - the bill is voted on. If passed, it is then sent to the other chamber unless that chamber already has a similar measure under consideration. If either chamber does not pass the bill then it dies. If the House and Senate pass the same bill then it is sent to the President. If the House and Senate pass different bills they are sent to Conference Committee. Most major legislation goes to a Conference Committee.

D. Conference Committee

Members from each house form a conference committee and meet to work out the differences. The committee is usually made up of senior members who are appointed by the presiding officers of the committee that originally dealt with the bill. The representatives from each house work to maintain their version of the bill.

If the Conference Committee reaches a compromise, it prepares a written conference report, which is submitted to each chamber.

The conference report must be approved by both the House and the Senate.

E. The President - the bill is sent to the President for review.

A bill becomes law if signed by the President or if not signed within 10 days and Congress is in session.

If Congress adjourns before the 10 days and the President has not signed the bill then it does not become law ("Pocket Veto.")

If the President vetoes the bill it is sent back to Congress with a note listing his or her reasons. The chamber that originated the legislation can attempt to override the veto by a vote of two-thirds of those present. If the veto of the bill is overridden in both chambers then it becomes law.

F. The Bill Becomes A Law - once a bill is signed by the President or his veto is overridden by both houses it becomes a law and is assigned an official number.


Types of Legislation

Bills - A legislative proposal that if passed by both the House and the Senate and approved by the President becomes law. Each bill is assigned a bill number. HR denotes bills that originate in the House and S denotes bills that originate in the Senate.

Private Bill - A bill that is introduced on behalf of a specific individual that if it is enacted into law only affects the specific person or organization the bill concerns. Often, private bills address immigration or naturalization issues.

Public Bill - A bill that affects the general public if enacted into law.

Simple Resolution - A type of legislation designated by H Res or S Res that is used primarily to express the sense of the chamber where it is introduced or passed. It only has the force of the chamber passing the resolution. A simple resolution is not signed by the President and cannot become Public Law.

Concurrent Resolutions - A type of legislation designated by H Con Res or S Con Res that is often used to express the sense of both chambers, to set annual budget or to fix adjournment dates. Concurrent resolutions are not signed by the President and therefore do not hold the weight of law.

Joint Resolutions - A type of legislation designated by H J Res or S J Res that is treated the same as a bill unless it proposes an amendment to the Constitution. In this case, 2/3 majority of those present and voting in both the House and the Senate and ratification of the states are required for the Constitutional amendment to be adopted.

Other Terms

Calendar Wednesday - A procedure in the House of Representatives during which each standing committees may bring up for consideration any bill that has been reported on the floor on or before the previous day. The procedure also limits debate for each subject matter to two hours.

"christmas tree" bill - Informal nomenclature for a bill on the Senate floor that attracts many, often unrelated, floor amendments. The amendments which adorn the bill may provide special benefits to various groups or interests.

Cloture - A motion generally used in the Senate to end a filibuster. Invoking cloture requires a vote by 3/5 of the full Senate. If cloture is invoked further debate is limited to 30 hours, it is not a vote on the passage of the piece of legislation.

Committee of The Whole - A committee including all members of the House. It allows bills and resolutions to be considered without adhering to all the formal rules of a House session, such as needing a quorum of 218. All measures on the Union Calendar must be considered first by the Committee of the Whole.

Co-Sponsor - A member or members that add his or her name formally in support of another members bill. In the House a member can become a co-sponsor of a bill at any point up to the time the last authorized committee considers it. In the Senate a member can become a co-sponsor of a bill anytime before the vote takes place on the bill. However, a co-sponsor is not required and therefore, not every bill has a co-sponsor or co-sponsors.

Discharge Petition - A petition that if signed by a majority of the House, 218 members, requires a bill to come out of a committee and be moved to the floor of the House.

Filibuster - An informal term for extended debate or other procedures used to prevent a vote on a bill in the Senate.

Germane - Relevant to the bill or business either chamber is addressing. The House requires an amendment to meet a standard of relevance, being germane, unless a special rule has been passed.

Hopper - Box on House Clerk's desk where members deposit bills and resolutions to introduce them.

Morning Hour - A 90 minute period on Mondays and Tuesdays in the House of Representatives set aside for five minute speeches by members who have reserved a spot in advance on any topic.

Motion to Recommit - A motion that requests a bill be sent back to committee for further consideration. Normally, the motion is accompanied by instructions concerning what the committee should change in the legislation or general instructions such as that the committee should hold further hearings.

Motion to Table - A motion that is not debatable and that can be made by any Senator or Representative on any pending question. Agreement to the motion is equivalent to defeating the question tabled.

Quorum - The number of Representatives or Senators that must be present before business can begin. In the House 218 members must be present for a quorum. In the Senate 51 members must be present however, Senate can conduct daily business without a quorum unless it is challenged by a point of order.

Rider - An informal term for an amendment or provision that is not relevant to the legislation where it is attached.

Sponsor - The original member who introduces a bill.

Substitute Amendment - An amendment that would replace existing language of a bill or another amendment with its own.

Suspension of the Rules - A procedure in the House that limits debate on a bill to 40 minutes, bars amendments to the legislation and requires a 2/3 majority of those present and voting for the measure to be passed.

Veto - A power that allows the President, a Governor, or a Mayor to refuse approval of a piece of legislation. Federally, a President returns a vetoed bill to the Congress, generally with a message. Congress can accept the veto or attempt to override the veto by a 2/3 majority of those present and voting in both the House and the Senate.

03.02.01 Study Questions - Senate (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 50 points possible 35 minutes

Copy and paste the section between the rows of asterisks into a word-processing document on your computer. Complete your work and save a copy for yourself. Then, submit your work by pasting it into the assignment submission window. **************************************************************************************************************


1. What are the three qualifications to become a Senator?

2. What is the length of term for a Senator? How many terms may a Senator serve?

3. How many members make up the Senate?

4. Why is that number the way that it is?

5. Who are the current senators from your state?

6. Both House members and Senate members have the franking privilege. What is that?

7. Who is the current majority party in the Senate?

8. Who is the President of the Senate?

9. Who is the President Pro Tempore of the Senate?


10. How many major committees are there in the Senate?

11. Which is probably the most important?

12. How does a Senator get assigned to a committee?

13. What do committees do?

Members of the Congress

14. What is the average age of a Senator?

15. What is the most common occupation of a Congressperson before being elected?

16. How many Senators are women?


17. What are some examples of congressional perks?


18. Is the process for a bill to become a law a long process? What are the major steps?

19. What is a quorum?

20. Which house of Congress has unlimited debate? What is the term called?

21. What does pigeon-holing a bill do?

22. What is a veto override?

23. What is a Christmas Tree bill?

24. What is a rider to a bill?

25. What is an incumbent? Why is this important?


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 6 of your enrollment date for this class.

03.02.02 Senate Exam (Citizenship)

computer-scored 50 points possible 30 minutes

Senate This test will assess your understanding of the concepts presented in the "senate" portion of Unit 3. Go to the testing section to complete this test. You may take this quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 85% as your final score.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 6 of your enrollment date for this class.

03.03 Executive Branch (Citizenship)

President Kennedy in the Oval Office: NARA image, public domainPresident Kennedy in the Oval Office: NARA image, public domain
The executive branch of the US government is headed by the President. In order to be eligible to become President of the United States, a person must be a natural-born citizen, at least 35 years old, and have been a resident of the US for at least 14 years. Note that if a child is born outside the US, but both parents are citizens, that child is considered a 'natural-born' citizen. A President may not serve more than two terms. (This information is from Wikipedia, CC Share-Alike license)

Electoral College

The Electoral College consists of the popularly elected representatives called "electors" who formally elect the President and Vice President of the United States. Since 1964, there have been 538 electors in each Presidential election. Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution specifies how many electors each state is entitled to have and that each state's legislature decides how its electors are to be chosen; U.S. territories are not represented in the Electoral College. The Electoral College is an example of an indirect election.
Rather than directly voting for the President and Vice President, United States citizens vote for electors. Electors are technically free to vote for anyone eligible to be President, but in practice pledge to vote for specific candidates and voters cast ballots for favored Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates by voting for correspondingly pledged electors.
The Twelfth Amendment provides for each elector to cast one vote for President and one vote for Vice President. It also specifies how a President and Vice President are elected.
Critics argue the Electoral College is inherently undemocratic and gives certain swing states disproportionate clout in selecting the President and Vice President. Proponents argue that the Electoral College is an important and distinguishing feature of federalism in the United States and protects the rights of smaller states. Numerous constitutional amendments have been introduced in the Congress seeking a replacement of the Electoral College with a direct popular vote; however, no proposal has ever passed the Congress. (This information is from Wikipedia, CC Share-Alike license)

The Office of President

The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.

Article II of the U.S. Constitution vests the executive power of the United States in the president and charges him with the execution of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic, regulatory, and judicial officers, and concluding treaties with foreign powers, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, and to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. Since the founding of the United States, the power of the president and the federal government have grown substantially and each modern president, despite possessing no formal legislative powers beyond signing or vetoing congressionally passed bills, is largely responsible for dictating the legislative agenda of his party and the foreign and domestic policy of the United States. The president is frequently described as the most powerful person in the world.

The president is indirectly elected by the people through the Electoral College to a four-year term, and is one of only two nationally elected federal officers, the other being the Vice President of the United States. The Twenty-second Amendment, adopted in 1951, prohibits anyone from ever being elected to the presidency for a third full term. It also prohibits a person from being elected to the presidency more than once if that person previously had served as president, or acting president, for more than two years of another person's term as president. In all, 43 individuals have served 55 four-year terms. On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama became the 44th president. (This information is from Wikipedia, CC Share-Alike license)

Topics and vocabulary you will need to learn to help you better understand this lesson include the following:

veto pocket veto
veto override succession
presidential cabinet Commander-in-Chief
secretary (in cabinet) declare war
treaty pardon
line-item veto executive privilege
bipartisan partisan

03.03.01 Study Questions - Executive Branch (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 50 points possible 30 minutes

Copy and paste the section between the rows of asterisks below into a word-processing document on your computer. Complete your work and save a copy for yourself. Then, submit your work by pasting it in to the assignment submission window. ****************************************************************************************************************


1. When a President vetoes a law, what does that mean?

2. The President can pocket veto a bill. What does that mean?

Requirements 3. What are the qualifications for President as stated in the Constitution?

4. How long is a Presidential term?

5. How many terms may a President serve?

6. Who really elects the President?


7. Who is next in line if the President dies?

8. If the President and Vice President die, who becomes President?


9. Is the President's cabinet mentioned in the Constitution?

10. Who formed the first Presidential cabinet?

11. What is the purpose of a cabinet?


12 What are the four main powers of the President?

13. What does it mean that the President is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces?

14. Does he have the power to declare war?

15. What is the process to sign a treaty with a foreign country? Who has to agree to it?

16. What is the process for the President to "get around" Congress and still make a treaty with a country?

17. The President can pardon people accused of crimes, but what is the limitation of that power?

More about vetoes

18. Does a President veto very many bills passed by Congress? Why?

19. Why would a President veto a bill passed by Congress?

20. How can Congress get around a Presidential veto?

21. Is it easy for Congress to do that? Explain.

22. What is a line-item veto?

23. What is the Constitutional status of a line-item veto?


24. Define this term: Executive privilege

25. What does bipartisan mean?


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 7 of your enrollment date for this class.

03.03.02 Executive Branch Exam (Citizenship)

computer-scored 50 points possible 30 minutes

Executive Branch This test will assess your understanding of the concepts presented in the "executive branch" section of Unit 3. You may take this quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 85% as your final score.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 7 of your enrollment date for this class.

03.03.03 US Government first quarter project (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 100 points possible 30 minutes

First Term Project: Children's Book/Presentation You may continue to work on later assignments before you finish this project, but be sure to have this assignment completed before you take your final exam. For this quarter's term project, you will be writing an original children's e-book using Powerpoint (or Keynote if you are using a Mac). This book should be designed to teach an elementary-aged student about an aspect of our government covered in this quarter's government curriculum. Possible book topics:

The American Revolution

Declaration of Independence

How the Constitution came to be

The three branches of government and what they do

Duties of the President

How a bill becomes a law

American political parties and their platforms (what they believe)

Current issues and the Constitution

Other topics (feel free to present another idea of interest to you, that relates to this quarter's content).

Your presentation should include 10-15 slides. Each slide should have at least one picture as well as text and be written on the level of an elementary student. Three of your slides should be "clickable" with a link to more information (something like "click here to see a picture of the President's dog" or "click here to learn about some of the bills that have been discussed in the Senate lately"). At the end of your presentation, you should have a short (3-5 question) quiz for your "reader". The quiz should be clickable. DO NOT copy and paste information--write it all in your own words. If you've never made a Powerpoint or Keynote presentation before, then you will have to spend some time learning how to use one of these products to do your project. To get you started, you can Google "how to use your presentation tool."

If you do not have access to Powerpoint or a program like it, check with your local library or a friend or relative to use theirs. If all your attempts at accessing the program fail, you can draw the “slides” or pages of the book by hand and scan them in to your computer. Instead of the “clickables” you could make pop-up book type windows.

This project is worth 100 points, and must include:

points content
25 10-15 slides, on an appropriate topic for this quarter, edited for correct writing conventions
10 three slides with hyperlinks to more information (clickable)
10 writing on the level of an elementary student- material is easy to understand
10 at least one picture on each slide
10 a 3-5 question quiz (with the correct answer highlighted) at the end of the presentation
05 uniform transitions that don't distract from the contextual information
05 at least one 'sound effect' included
25 factually correct material with references for the sources, listed at the end
Total: 100 For extra credit, you could narrate your presentation or add music.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 7 of your enrollment date for this class.

03.04 Finishing First Quarter (Citizenship)

You have nearly finished the first quarter of US Government and Citizenship! See the review and extra credit assignments below.

03.04.01 Review Questions (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 100 points possible 120 minutes

To finish this unit, you must write a thorough answer for each of the following questions. You may use whatever sources you would like. Each question will be worth 10 points. You need to write enough to adequately answer and discuss each question (AT LEAST a good strong five sentence paragraph--more if you want a high score). You may see some of these same questions on the proctored final, so make sure you know the answers to all of them. Write in your own words! Do not plagiarize. Copy and paste the section between the rows of asterisks below into a word-processing document on your computer. Complete your work, and save a copy for yourself. Then submit your work by pasting it in to the assignment submission window. **********************************************************************************************************

1. List and describe the four purposes of government from our Preamble.
2. In what ways were the American colonies democratic? In what ways were they not democratic?
Framing the Constitution
3. How did the founding fathers hope to prevent any one branch of government from gaining too much power? Why was this such a big concern?
Federal vs. States
4. How does the overall power of the national government compare to that of the states? Give specific examples.
Political Parties
5. How are parties organized on the national, state, and local levels?
6. What are the basic elements of a presidential campaign? Evaluate which are most important.
Political Ideology
7. How do political action committees influence elections? Give examples of when this has happened.
House of Representatives
8. Why is the rules committee one of the most powerful committees in the House?
9. Why does the Senate have fewer rules and a less formal atmosphere than the House?
Executive Branch
10. What qualifications for the office of president do you think are the most necessary for carrying out the duties of the office? Why?


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 8 of your enrollment date for this class.

03.04.02 Extra Credit Assignment (Citizenship)

teacher-scored 30 points possible 30 minutes

The United States Constitution ** Write whether each act listed below is constitutional or not. If it is not, then cite the appropriate article or amendment that made the statement unconstitutional. >>>>(Ex; Art. 1 Sec. 2 Par. 3)

1. A serious economic crisis takes place in the U.S. at the end of the President's second term. He decides his "duty" to the people is to run for a third term.

2. Congress passes a law that it can collect a duty of 10% on lumber being exported.

3. The president declares war on North Korea.

4. Congress passes a law that persons not residing in a state cannot smoke in that state because of the threat to pollution levels.

5. Since Washington D.C. is not in any state, residents there may not vote in national elections.

6. The president is accepting bribes from the Israeli government.

7. The Supreme Court rules that because of our national debt, the U.S. can no longer borrow money.

8. The same court rules that, in order to send a message to terrorists, anyone found guilty of terrorist acts in the U.S. will be tarred and feathered on public television.

9. The President decides that Congress will meet in regular session on Dec. 15th of each year.

10. Congress decides to impeach the president with the president of the Senate presiding.

11. Utah decides to allow one of its Senators to be appointed to the Electoral Collage.

12. The President agrees to let Puerto Rico become become a state in the union.

13. The President names a close friend Speaker of the House of Representatives.

14. The President, who is angry at the first lady for cheating on him, punishes all women in Washington D.C. by not letting them vote in the upcoming election.

15. Congress orders that a mass murderer be sent back to California after he/she was captured on Florida.

16. The President-elect, whose religion doesn't allow him to swear oaths or allegiances, refuses to take the Oath of Office.

17. A member of the House dies during a session of Congress. The House takes four days for bereavement. The Senate says they can only take two days off.

18. The President grants a pardon to his buddy who has 37 parking violations in Utah.

19. The President orders the Treasury Department to coin a 75-cent piece with his face on it.

20. The President, who is concerned about the amount of money spent on court procedures, orders all courts to stop trials by jury for those criminals who have pled guilty.

21. Congress decides to honor Michael Jordan with the title, Sir Michael Jordan, after all his contributions to the game of basketball.

22. Your land is in the middle of a Federal highway. Congress takes your land without compensation.

23. The Vice President dies in office. The President names a Senator from Kentucky as his new Vice President.

24. Mohammed Rashin, who is a citizen of the United States, is denied his right to vote because of recent terrorist acts performed by individuals from the same country as Rashin.

25. Congress decides to change the Constitution to allow the President to be elected one term of six years.

26. Karaj Armitraj, who has been a citizen of the U.S. for six years, is seeking election as a Senator of California.

27. Congress votes to allow the California governor to run for President of the United States.

28. In order to improve voter turnout, the President says that just for the current voting year, any U.S. citizen 16 years or older can vote.

29. The President decides the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment, so he bans it nationwide.

30. The President decides that he will take over the collection of income tax, and a percentage of that tax will go to his yearly salary.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 8 of your enrollment date for this class.