Guide to AP® U.S. Government

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Constitutional Underpinnings of the US Government

The United States Constitution is one of the most important documents to have been written in our modern world. How did it become law and on what democratic theories does it rest?

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Ideologies and ConsiderationsFree

Delve into the ideologies behind our government's founding documents.
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Checks and Balances and the Separation of Powers

Learn about the powers of each branch of government and how checks and balances are outlined in the Constitution.
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Federalism

Explore the underpinnings of federalism and how it has impacted our founding documents and governmental practices today.
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Theories of Democratic Government

Examine the underlying principles that inspired the founding fathers' creation of the U.S. Constitution.
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Political Beliefs and Behaviors

Why are some states red and other states blue? What drives our political behaviors, beliefs, and opinions? Explore both the foundations and contemporary implications of public opinion.

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Beliefs about Governments and Leaders

Explore where our beliefs come from and how they impact our political culture, the candidates that we elect, and the policies that we create.
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Processes of Learning about Politics

Dig into how we engage with politics on a daily basis through our voting patterns, political socialization, and other types of political engagement.
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Public Opinion

Learn about how public opinion polls work — how do they reflect our political ideologies and what do biases say about how we interpret public opinion data?
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Participation in Political Life

Look at the laws that have both encouraged and discouraged participation in political life for many different groups throughout history.
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Differences in Political Beliefs and Behaviors

Explore the political leanings of different subsets of the population and the typical voting patterns within these groups.
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Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media

Our government is influenced by so many different entities — from the media, to interest groups, to election outcomes. What impact do they really have and how do they shape public policy and the political landscape?

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Your weighted accuracy is based on your most recent attempts compared to everyone else’s first attempts.

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Political Parties and Elections

Learn about the intricacies of U.S. elections — primaries, the electoral college, and the popular vote — and how parties engage with the elections.
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Interest Groups and PACs

Explore the tactics of interest groups and political action committees — what makes them effective or ineffective?
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Mass Media

Delve into how the media impacts our understanding of politics and the biases that the media presents.
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Institutions of National Government

Explore the inner workings of Congress, the presidency, the courts, and the federal bureaucracy. How are these institutions operate independently and in harmony, or discord, with one another?

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Arrangements of Power

Look at the powers of federal institutions and how each institution uses its power to contribute to a functioning government.
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Congress

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The courts

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The presidency

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The bureaucracy

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Relationships Between Institutions and Balance of Power

Explore the relationships between federal institutions and their connection to the media — what conflicts often arise out of these relationships?
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Congress

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The courts

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The presidency

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The bureacracy

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Linkages with External Parties

Explore the impact of external parties and the involvement of money in the political world.
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Public opinion and voters

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Interest groups

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State and local governments

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Public Policy

How does government solve problems? How does it define what is in the public interest? Uncover the principles and imperatives that drive governmental action, and explore their impact on society.

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Policymaking in a Federal System

Examine some of the most influential policies of the 20th century and how policies are created and implemented at the national level.
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The Formation of Policy Agenda

Learn about why specific policies are put on Congress's agenda and how political leaders can speed up or slow down their process through the legislature.
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The Role of Institutions

Explore how institutions have changed based on the impacts of war and fluctuations in the economy.
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Policy Processes

Examine how policies become law and how our two-party system impacts policy creation.
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Political institutions and federalism

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Political parties

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Interest groups

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Public opinion

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Elections

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Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

The words "civil rights" and "civil liberties" are often used interchangeably —but how do they differ from one another? Examine how rights and liberties have expanded, or been suppressed, over time. What has been their impact on minority groups and society at large?

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Your status is based on your weighted accuracy which accounts for the difficulty of the questions.

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Re-answering questions correctly will improve your weighted average status.

Development by Judicial Interpretation

Examine defining Supreme Court cases that set important precedents in the 20th century.
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Substantive Rights and Liberties

Learn about the rights and freedoms that have helped promote equality under the law.
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Impact of the 14th Amendment

Dig into the 14th Amendment specifically — what laws and policies have furthered its impact on an increasingly diverse society?
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