AP® United States Government and Politics


Andrew Caldwell, BA, BS, MA

Course Description:

This class is designed to broaden your understanding of how Governments work and operate. Throughout this class we will primarily study the North American form of Democracy as found in the United States with less attention given to Taiwan’s (R.O.C.) government, being an American and Christian school in Taiwan with a multi-national cliental from around the world. The structure of other forms of government such as Communism, Fascism, and other forms of Democracy will be very briefly discussed to give context to the structure and policy making abilities of the United States government. Throughout this course we will study the political theories behind democratic governments, the development of the United States Constitution, the different branches of government, the Bill of Rights, the voting and election process, the role of political parties and special interest groups, and the different policies government plays in both the domestic and foreign fields. This course will meet your one semester graduation requirement of a course in American Government.

Course Objectives:

  • Recognize that ultimately God gives and takes sovereignty and power to and from nations.
  • Understand how governments are set up and run throughout each branch of the federal government and within federalism.
  • Analyze the varying philosophies behind the formation of a democratic government.
  • Examine the development and interpretation of the United States Constitution.
  • Analyze the process through which laws are formed and elections take place.
  • Explore the political science behind voter demographics and the effect this has on elections past and present.
  • Explore the significance of a two party political system through its historical past along with the present, in the way that it operates at both the grass roots level as well as in the federal government, and how special interest groups and PAC’s influence them.
  • Interpret various charts, tables, political cartoons, media sound bites, and subjective opinion within politics as they appear in the textbook, in news media on current government policies, and in data needed to complete various projects.
  • Analyze the effect and bias media exhibits towards politics and government policy through regular examination of Fox, CNN, and BBC news feeds through their iPad Apps.
  • Examine the Civil Rights and Liberties all Americans regardless or ethnicity or sex as exhibited in the 27 Amendments to the Constitution within its modern day implications.
  • Examine the role government has in creating both domestic and foreign policy.
  • Explore the far reaching effects Supreme Court Cases have had in interpreting the Constitution.
  • Examine and study your civic role as a citizen and as a Christian in a Democracy.
  • Where practicable, compare the United States Government with the Taiwanese Government


  • O’Connor, Karen; Larry J. Sabato; Alixandra B. Yanus. American Government: Roots and Reforms. AP 2011 National Edition. Taipei: Longman, 2011.
  • McClenaghan, William A. Magruder’s American Government. Needham, MA: Prentice Hall, 2009.
  • Woll, Peter. American Government: Readings and Cases. Eighteenth Edition. Taipei: Longman, 2010.
  • AP® Test Prep Workbook: O’Connor American Government: Roots and Reforms. Taipei: Longman, 2011.
  • Other handouts and resources.

Required Class iPad Apps:

  • Capital Bells, Tap into Democracy. Capital Bells, Inc.
  • Supreme Court Cases v. 1.0, Andrew Rosenblum, 2010. (This is an iPhone App but will work on your iPad.
  • BBC News  BBC World Ltd.
  • CNN App for iPad, CNN Interactive Group, Inc.
  • Fox News for iPad, Fox News Digital
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