US Government

US Government

Course Features

Course Details

Course Overview

The Acellus U.S. Government course presents the history, theory, structure, and mechanics of the United States Government, as well as the responsibilities and impact of its citizens. Course topics include:
  • Foundations of Government
  • Historical Foundations
  • Formation of the Constitution
  • Overview of the Constitution
  • Checks and Balances
  • Federalism
  • Bill of Rights and Amendments
  • Supreme Court Cases
  • Political Participation and Political Parties
  • Process of Elections and Influence of Mass Media
  • Public Opinion and Domestic and Foreign Policy
Acellus U.S. Government is taught by Acellus Instructor Todd Edmond. Acellus U.S. Government is A-G Approved through the University of California.
A new version of this course is now available: US Government and Civics

Course Objectives & Student Learning Outcomes

The students learn about the foundations of the U.S. Government. They study the impact of English documents that shaped the U.S. Constitution, and the philosophies of great thinkers that influenced its principles. Historical events at the time of the writing of the Constitution are explored, and the move from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution is examined. Each Article of the Constitution is studied. The importance of “checks and balances” to provide separation of power is emphasized. Each branch of government and its limits and powers are studied. The course covers the amendment process and the twenty-seven amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Examples of Supreme Court cases are presented as evidence of the laws of the land in process. The fact that the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land is emphasized. The development of political analysis skills is encouraged through the use of writing assignments and group projects. The importance of understanding the U.S. Constitution and the protection it provides for the U.S. nation and its citizens is a focus of this course.
This course was developed by the International Academy of Science. Learn More

Scope and Sequence

Unit 1 – Foundations of Government This unit discusses unlimited and limited government, Hobbes and Locke, and Rousseau and Montesquieu. Unit 2 – Historical Foundations This unit discusses the English documents that shaped the U.S. Constitution, the French and Indian War, British acts towards the Colonists in America, the reaction of the Colonists, the “Shot Heard Round the World” on April 19, 1775, and an overview and breakdown of the Declaration of Independence. Unit 3 – Formation of the Constitution This unit discusses the structure, weakness, and downfall of the Articles of Confederation, Shay’s Rebellion, compromises at the Constitutional Convention, Federalists and anti-Federalists, and the Federalist Papers. Unit 4 – Overview of the Constitution This unit discusses why it is important to study the constitution, the major principles of the Constitution, and the five articles of the Constitution, including the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches, relations among the States, and the amendment process. Unit 5 – Checks and Balances This unit discusses the branches of government, how a Bill becomes a Law, qualifications of Congress and of the Executive and Judicial Branches, the impeachment process, the Electoral College, leadership positions in Congress, and Presidential Succession. This unit is followed by the Mid-Term Review and Exam. Unit 6 – Federalism This unit provides an overview of Federalism, the Supremacy Clause in Article 6, and the structure of State and Local Government. Unit 7 – Bill of Rights and Amendments This unit provides an overview of the Bill of Rights, then offers in-depth examination of the Bill of Rights one through ten, followed by the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, Amendments 11 through 20, and Amendments 21 through 27. Unit 8 – Supreme Court Cases This unit discusses the Supreme Court Cases of New Jersey versus TLO, Plessy versus Ferguson, Brown versus the Board of Education, Gideon versus Wainwright, and Miranda versus Arizona. Unit 9 – Political Participation and Political Parties This unit discusses political bias, responsibilities and participation, expansion of voter’s rights, the purpose and functions of parties, and the significance of third parties. Unit 10 – Process of Elections and Influence of Mass Media This unit discusses the order of electing a President, the impact of media on elections and on public policy, and media during the Internet Age. Unit 11 – Public Opinion and Domestic and Foreign Policy This unit discusses the role of public opinion, domestic and foreign policy, and funding public policy with taxes. This unit is followed by the Final Review and Exam.

More Courses by this Instructor