Understanding the Politics of the United States of America

The "how" and "why" behind the headlines
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  • Lectures 32
  • Length 3.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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About This Course

Published 2/2016 English

Course Description

Welcome to my introduction to the government and politics of the United States of America. It is designed for anyone that wants to understand the system in the US without getting too complicated.

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

This course is 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

What are the requirements?

  • Intermediate-mid level English

What am I going to get from this course?

  • 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

What 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

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: How to use this course
04:25

This lecture explains the process and procedure for this course.

01:44

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.

Adding an article to Wikipedia in your native language
Article
Section 2: North America before the United States
Europeans brought civilization to the America's, eh?
Preview
09:31
So why did the colonists revolt?
10:00
5 questions

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

Section 3: The Constitution
Prequel to the Constitution
02:03
The Philosophy Behind the Constitution
Preview
07:51
7 questions

This quiz is about the main components of the Constitution

Section 4: Civil Liberties
Defining Civil Liberties
Article
The Great Shame: Slavery
Preview
08:15
Why the number,"3/5" is the worst part of the Constitution
02:51
How the Bill of Rights came to be
10:39
6 questions

This quiz reviews the Bill of Rights and civil liberties

Section 5: Civil Rights
Defining 'civil rights'
02:23
Get to know the people of the civil rights movement
15:30
How is protest changing in today's world?
06:27
6 questions

The civil rights movement

Section 6: Media and Public Opinion
Introduction to the Media's role in the US
09:22
How does the media affect public opinion?
03:42
How 'new media' is changing political campaigns (Hint: Raising Money)
06:47
Issue profile: Net Neutrality
06:59
7 questions

Media and Public Opinion

Section 7: Political Parties and Interest Groups
Introduction to Political Parties in the US
08:22
Interest Groups and Lobbyists
06:01
4 questions

Political Parties and Interest Groups

Section 8: Campaigns and Elections
The primary election system
06:12
The Electoral College
06:34
4 questions

Campaigns and Elections

Section 9: Congress
Introduction to the US' Bicameral (two-house) Legislature
11:05
Congress Explained
04:34
Legislative Roadblocks
09:50
Lyndon Johnson, The Master of the Senate
04:53
9 questions

Congress

Section 10: The Presidency
Introduction to the Presidency and the Federal Bureaucracy
16:08
The Presidency and Foreign Affairs
08:29
Other Important Presidential Advisors (National Security and Economic Policy)
Article
8 questions

The Presidency

Section 11: Judiciary
Introduction to the Judicial system
09:51
Two important principles in the US justice system
Article
The Supreme Court, it's members and functions.
16:48
8 questions

The Judiciary

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Instructor Biography

Steven Ward, M.P.A., 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!

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