InstantCREDIT Course

American Government


This course takes a close look at how our American government works. It reviews our history from the moment the first colonists set foot on American soil to the present day, studying the role of each branch of government as well as other factors involved in government, from interest groups to media.

At a Glance

Course Value: 3 Credit Hours
Course Level: Lower-Level Undergraduate
Course Length: 72 lessons
🗎 Download Syllabus in Word Format

Course Outline

Click on a chapter name below to expand and see the lessons contained in that chapter.

Ch. 1: The Democratic Republic
- 1: Politics and Government
- 2: Democracy and Other Forms of Government
- 3: What Kind of Democracy Do We Have?
- 4: Fundamental Values
- 5: Political Ideologies
Ch. 2: Forging a New Government: The Constitution
- 6: The Colonial Background
- 7: An Independent Confederation
- 8: The Constitutional Convention
- 9: The Difficult Road to Ratification
- 10: Altering the Constitution
Ch. 3: Federalism
- 11: Federalism and Its Alternatives
- 12: The Constitutional Basis for American Federalism
- 13: Defining Constitutional Powers -- The Early Years
- 14: The Continuing Dispute over the Division of Power
- 15: Federalism and Today’s Supreme Court
Ch. 4: Civil Liberties
- 16: The Constitutional Bases of Our Liberties
- 17: Freedom of Religion
- 18: Freedom of Expression
- 19: The Right to Privacy
- 20: The Great Balancing Act: The Rights of the Accused versus the Rights of Society
Ch. 5: Civil Rights
- 21: The African American Experience and the Civil Rights Movement
- 22: Civil Rights and the Courts
- 23: Experiences of Other Minority Groups
- 24: Women’s Struggle for Equal Rights
- 25: The Rights and Status of Gay Males and Lesbians
Ch. 6: Public Opinion, Political Socialization, and the Media
- 26: Public Opinion and Political Socialization
- 27: The Influence of Demographic Factors
- 28: Measuring Public Opinion
- 29: Public Opinion and the Political Process
- 30: The Media in the United States
- 31: The Media and Political Campaigns
Ch. 7: Interest Groups and Political Parties
- 32: A Nation of Joiners
- 33: Types of Interest Groups
- 34: Interest Group Strategies
- 35: Political Parties in the United States
- 36: A History of Political Parties in the United States
- 37: Why Has the Two-Party System Endured?
Ch. 8: Campaigns and Elections
- 38: The Twenty-First-Century Campaign
- 39: Financing the Campaign
- 40: Running for President: The Longest Campaign
- 41: How Are Elections Conducted?
- 42: How Do Voters Decide?
Ch. 9: The Congress
- 43: The Nature and Functions of Congress
- 44: House-Senate Differences and Congressional Perks
- 45: Congressional Elections and Apportionment
- 46: How Congress Is Organized
- 47: Law Making and Budgeting
Ch. 10: The Presidency
- 48: Who Can Become President?
- 49: The Many Roles of the President
- 50: Presidential Powers
- 51: The Executive Organization
- 52: The Vice Presidency
Ch. 11: The Bureaucracy
- 53: The Nature and Scope of the Federal Bureaucracy
- 54: The Organization of the Federal Bureaucracy
- 55: Staffing the Bureaucracy
- 56: Modern Attempts at Bureaucratic Reform
- 57: Bureaucrats as Politicians and Policymakers
Ch. 12: The Judiciary
- 58: Sources of American Law
- 59: The Federal Court System
- 60: The Supreme Court at Work
- 61: The Selection of Federal Judges
- 62: Policymaking and the Courts
Ch. 13: Domestic and Economic Policy
- 63: The Policymaking Process: Health Care as an Example
- 64: Immigration
- 65: Energy and the Environment
- 66: The Politics of Economic Decision Making
- 67: The Politics of Taxation
Ch. 14: Foreign Policy
- 68: Facing the World: Foreign and Defense Policies
- 69: Terrorism and Warfare
- 70: U.S. Diplomatic Efforts
- 71: Who Makes Foreign Policy?
- 72: The Major Foreign Policy Themes

Course Requirements

All of our courses are scored on a 1,000 point scale. You must accumulate a total of 700 points in the course to pass the course. Below is the breakdown of how points are allocated:

Study Questions300 points
Graded Exam #1100 points
Midterm Exam200 points
Graded Exam #2100 points
Final Exam300 points

For additional details on the assignments, exams, and retake policies, check the syllabus for this course (link provided near the top of this page).

Exam Proctoring

The Final Exam for this course is administered in conjunction with a 3rd party online proctoring service, PSI Services' RPNow. RPNow proctoring allows you to take the exam on a desktop or laptop computer from anywhere you have internet access at any time, no scheduling required.

Proctoring costs $15 (paid directly to PSI Services at the time of the exam) and is ONLY required for the final exam.

Earning Credit for this Course

This course has been reviewed by ACE Credit and is recommended for 3 lower-level credit hours. Upon successful completion of this course, it will be added to your ACE transcript which is then sent to your school to be evaluated for transfer credit.

➡ Link to our ACE National Guide profile

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