Learn US Politics with Film
4.2 (31 ratings)
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Learn US Politics with Film

A fun way to reach a new understanding of the United States' Political System
4.2 (31 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
100 students enrolled
Last updated 1/2017
Current price: $10 Original price: $185 Discount: 95% off
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  • 4.5 hours on-demand video
  • 4 Articles
  • 13 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Figure out whether a US policy would be a good idea in your country
  • Discuss the pros and cons of the US system socially
  • Make informed decisions in the voting booth
View Curriculum
  • Intermediate-mid level English

Welcome to Learn US Politics Through Film! This course is designed for anyone that wants to understand the system in the US without getting too complicated, and using popular movies and TV shows as a guide.

Learn How the System Works in the Most Powerful Nation on Earth.

  • The purpose of the three branches of government.
  • Why the US Congress has two separate law-making organizations.
  • The Presidential election system (Electoral College and Primary elections) fully explained.
  • How the justice system sometimes produces strange results.
  • And much much more!

I am not trying to change your mind about the US' System; I just want to help you understand the 'how' and the 'why' behind it.

I love teaching about the system in my home country to students abroad. I have been doing this at a university now for almost five years and I am excited about bringing it to Udemy now as well.

Nearly every country in the world is affected by U.S. policies. If you look closely enough, you can surely find some aspect of the government where you are that is based on the U.S. system. Are your politicians talking about adopting a US-style medical care, jury trial, or lobbying system and you are not sure if that is a good or bad idea? This class will help you to figure it out for yourself.

Course Format

Every unit of the course begins with an introduction of that unit's homework: a list of films to try and borrow, rent, or buy that are all chosen to illustrate a specific aspect of the US political system. The main lectures for the course are taught in screen-cast format. I give overviews of each topic and relevant case studies where appropriate. Links are provided to resources used in the lecture sessions, so you may check it out for yourself (and possibly in your native language if you need to). There is also a short quiz for each section.

Topics Covered

  1. North America before the United States
  2. The Constitution
  3. Civil Liberties
  4. Civil Rights
  5. Media and Public Opinion
  6. Political Parties and Interest Groups
  7. Campaigns and Elections
  8. Congress
  9. The Presidency
  10. The Judiciary
  11. Foreign Policy
Who is the target audience?
  • College students preparing for a more intensive course in the US system
  • English as a Second Language students looking for a challenge outside of the ESL environment
  • Anyone that wants to understand the system in the US
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Curriculum For This Course
44 Lectures
How to use this course
4 Lectures 08:39

This lecture explains the process and procedure for this course.

Preview 04:25

I decided to record these lectures in screencast format relying heavily on Wikipedia because of the various language options in Wikipedia. If an article I use does not currently have a local language version, it could soon.

In fact, if students are interested in earning extra credit by volunteering to translate the wikipedia articles, I would be open to the idea.

Preview 01:44

Adding an article to Wikipedia in your native language
North America before the United States
3 Lectures 23:39

So why did the colonists revolt?

This quiz is about the historical context in which the U.S. was created.

Quiz #1
5 questions
The Constitution
3 Lectures 13:18

Prequel to the Constitution

This quiz is about the main components of the Constitution

Quiz #2
7 questions
Civil Liberties
5 Lectures 27:03
Slavery in Film

Defining Civil Liberties

The Great Shame: Slavery

Why the number,"3/5" is the worst part of the Constitution

How the Bill of Rights came to be

This quiz reviews the Bill of Rights and civil liberties

Quiz #3
6 questions
Civil Rights
4 Lectures 28:56
The Civil Rights Movement in Film

Defining 'civil rights'

Get to know the people of the civil rights movement

How is protest changing in today's world?

The civil rights movement

Quiz #4
6 questions
Media and Public Opinion
5 Lectures 32:12
Portrayals of the Media in Film

Introduction to the Media's role in the US

How does the media affect public opinion?

How 'new media' is changing political campaigns (Hint: Raising Money)

Issue profile: Net Neutrality

Media and Public Opinion

Quiz #5
7 questions
Political Parties and Interest Groups
3 Lectures 17:03
Political Parties and Lobbying in Film

Introduction to Political Parties in the US

Interest Groups and Lobbyists

Political Parties and Interest Groups

Quiz #6
4 questions
Campaigns and Elections
3 Lectures 15:02
Campaigns and Elections in Film

The primary election system

The Electoral College

Campaigns and Elections

Quiz #7
4 questions
5 Lectures 32:50
Congress in Film

Introduction to the US' Bicameral (two-house) Legislature

Congress Explained

Legislative Roadblocks

Lyndon Johnson, The Master of the Senate


Quiz #8
9 questions
The Presidency
4 Lectures 30:24
The Presidency and Bureaucracy in Film

Introduction to the Presidency and the Federal Bureaucracy

The Presidency and Foreign Affairs

Other Important Presidential Advisors (National Security and Economic Policy)

The Presidency

Quiz #9
8 questions
2 More Sections
About the Instructor
Steven Ward, M.P.A.
4.2 Average rating
31 Reviews
100 Students
1 Course
US Politics Instructor

Hi! I'm Steven and I teach the Introductory US Politics course here on Udemy.

After finishing graduate school (M.P.A. University of Missouri--Columbia) and working for the State of Missouri as a Performance Auditor (making sure other government agencies are following the rules), I decided to come to South Korea for an adventure. That was ten years ago. Now I teach Korean students about the US political system in a way that helps them connect the topic with their own lives.

I am very excited to be publishing my first course on Udemy, and I have plans to publish a couple more as soon as possible. Thank you!