Special interest groups are often blamed publicly for trying to exert too much control on the federal government. The reality, as always, is a little more complex. We will take a look at what interest groups are and how they function in our society. We will also analyze the factors that lead to interest group success and question whether or not they have too much influence.
Assignment 1: Introduction to Interest Groups
Assignment 2: Interest Group Membership
Assignment 3: Economic Interest Groups
Assignment 4: Other Interest Groups
Assignment 5: Interest Group Success
Assignment 6: Interest Groups and Public Policy
Assignment 7: Prepare for the Test
Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics
Summer Reading Assignment for the 2017-2018 year:
Summer Assignment for 2017 in Word
Summer Assignment for 2017 as PDF
Summer Reading Assignment for the 2016 -2017 year: The Surge: 2014's Big GOP Win and What it Means for the Next Presidential Election
The textbook is American Government, 13th edition by James Q. Wilson and John DiIulio - 13th Edition
The readings book for this class is Lanahan Readings in the American Polity- 6th edition
You may want to order the Lanahan Readings book from Amazon and save money. Be sure to order the 6th Edition which just came out in the Spring of 2016.
Every student will also need a pocket copy of the Constitution. It doesn't matter which one you use. Here is the one that we recommend.
Political Culture, Public Opinion, and Political Participation
Study Guide and Assignments for Unit One
"The Big Sort" by Bill Bishop
Quiz: Do you live in a bubble? Some of these questions are geared toward adults. You might want to ask your parents how they would answer those questions or you can just guess. You might also ask your parents to take the quiz themselves.
Why Polls Don't Work
Larry Sabato and Glenn Simpson: "Dirty Little Secrets"
Turnout in the 2012 Presidential Election
Primary Turnout in 2016
"73 Rules for Running for President as a Republican"
Michael Barone: "Polls are part of the air that Politicians Breathe"
Study Guide for Unit Two: Chapter 9 - Political Parties
"How a little-known task force helped create Red State/Blue State America"
"How American Politics Went Insane"
Earl and Merle Black: "The Rise of Southern Republicans"
No Longer a 'Solid South' of all-red or all-blue
"No, America's Not Divided"
"America Vs. Third Parties"
Fiorina article: "The Decline of Collective Responsibility in American Politics
Elections and Campaigns
Study Guide for Unit Three: Chapters 8 Elections and Campaigns
My Vote Means Nothing: How Presidential Primaries Backfired" by David Greenberg
Wikipedia entry on Citizens United v. FEC
Wall Street Journal editorial on the Citizens United ruling.
New York Times editorial on the Citizens United ruling.
Scotusblog on Citizens United - Scroll down for responses in the media and blogosphere
Go to the Links Page for more links on the case.
"Why Obama is Better at Getting Out the Vote" by Sasha Issenberg
The Creepiness Factor: How Obama and Romney Are Getting to Know You
Living Room Candidate 2016 -Follow the links at the bottom to view ads
Study Guide for Unit Four: Chapter 10 The Media
Top Ten Campaign Gaffes
Top Ten Political Gaffes
Top 10 Worst Debate Gaffes
Journeys with George - Part 1, Part 4 (watch 7:46), Part 5 (watch 6:54), Part 6
Study Guide for Interest Groups
Interest Groups Assignment
"More than Money"
"Interest Groups in American Politics"
"Lobbying is Democracy in Action"
"Washington's Once and Future Lobby"
"5 Myths about Lobbyists"
Open Secrets Scavenger Hunt
The Study of American Government and The Constitution
Study Guide on The Constitution
Excerpts from John Locke
Excerpts from Federalist 10 and 51
Richard Hofstadter Article
Questions on Federalist 10 and 51 plus Worksheet Federalist vs Antifederalist
Ratification Debate Activity
Constitution Scavenger Hunt
Self-Checking Quizzes on the Amendments to the Constitution
Study Guide - Federalism
Link to find information on Supreme Court Cases
Selections from Randy Barnett's Proposed Constitutional Amendments
Constitutional Convention Assignment
Midterm Review Study Guide
Midterm Review Questions
Study Guide - CongressAdjusted for Snow
Edmund Burke's Speech to the Electors of Bristol
Hit “Play the Game.” Then choose Partisan Gerrymander - Basic Level. (If you get the message about Java, click on “This link.") Play the game for a bit. It’s not necessary that you complete the mission. Just try to figure out what you would need to do in order to complete the mission. If you have time, try some of the other missions. I’m more interested in your figuring out how to achieve each mission than in your actually completing the mission. (Use this link if the other link doesn't work: Redistricting Game.)
The Top Five Ugliest Districts
Quiz: Gerrymandered US Congressional District or Rorschacch Inkblot?
The Senate Syndrome by Steven Smith
David Price's Daily Schedule
Article: "The 60 Vote Senate" by Barbara Sinclair
Why Woodrow Wilson Hated the Filibuster by Joyce Appleby
The Senate Loses Its Tradition of Consensus by Fred Bauer
"Why Can't Congress Get More Done?"
"Pork is Still King of the Hill"
Powers, Separated on Purpose by Charles C. W. Cooke
The Shutdown is the Constitution's Fault by Dylan Matthews
The Basics of the Budget Process
The Presidency and The Bureaucracy
Study Guide for Unit Eight - The Presidency and the Bureaucracy
Restraining the Imperial Presidency
Kenneth Mayer "With the Stroke of a Pen"
Links for Arguments on the Electoral College
How to Pick a Veep by Carl M. Cannon
Articles: “A Question of Power: The Robust Presidency” and “A Question of Power: The Imperial Presidency.”
Article on Bureaucracy by James Q. Wilson
The Rise of the Fourth Branch of Government by Jonathan Turley
"A Government of Strangers" by Hugh Heclo
From Administrative State to Constitutional Government by Joseph Postell
Presidents and Presidential Elections
Gallup: Presidential Approval
Rasmussen Reports: Presidential Approval Index (scroll down for the table)
Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
Study Guide for Unit Ten - Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
Handout on Incorporation
Ex-Day Handout on Hate Speech and Speech Codes
Handout on Privacy
List of Supreme Court Cases
Supreme Court Writing Assignment
Links for exploring cases
Exploring Constitutional Law (Scroll down to find links to cases based on topic)
First Amendment Center (Click on the links to the parts of the First Amendment that interest you. Use the links right below the title.)
Exemplary Supreme Court paper
Government Printing Office Style Manual on capitalization rules
Study Guide - The Judiciary
Federalist 78 - Excerpts
Antifederalist Essay Excerpts from Brutus XI, XII, and XV
The Warren through the Rehnquist Courts
Wikipedia information on judicial nominations
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
PBS video on the President and the Judiciary
Senate Nomination Hearing
Senate votes on John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Neil Gorsuch
How the Supreme Court Arrives at Decisions by William Brennan
The Supreme Court by William Rehnquist
Scalia's Speech in NC
Justice Souter's Harvard Commencement Address
Links on Neil Gorsuch
Video Discussion between Justices Scalia and Breyer (start at 2:00 and end at 37:28) Here's another link for the video if the first one doesn't work for you.
Video Questions on Scalia-Breyer Discussion
Laurence H. Tribe on "The Myth of Strict Constructionism"
Select Smart Quiz on which Supreme Court justices you are closest to
Study Guide: Policy Making
50 Dead-Simple Ways for the US to Cut Its Budget - slideshow
Handout on Economic Policy and the Budget Process
Balance the Budget yourself
Federal Budget Challenge
Stabilize the US Debt
iCivics People's Pie (You can play this without having to register)
Budget Puzzle from the New York Times
Handout on Welfare and Education Policy
Video: The Fed Today
Video Questions: The Fed Today
Review for the AP Exam
Review Questions and Schedule
AP Score Calculator
Massive Review Study Guide
Planning a Budget
Excel Worksheet that you can use for your budget assignment - thank you to Sam Rust
Moot Court Project
Scotusblog links for Lee v. Tam
Oral Argument for Lee v. Tam (Click on the Oral Argument link and you can scroll down for the transcript)
Scotusblog links for Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer
Oral Argument for Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer(Click on the Oral Argument link and you can scroll down for the transcript)