American Politics and Society

U.S. Citizenship Test (different from the one I showed in class...much better!)


Click on a link to see the pdf file of the pages from that reading and the notes.

Reading 1: Limited versus Active Government in an Uncertain Age

Reading 2: Federalism and the U.S. Constitution

The U.S. Constitution (original text)

Reading 3: American Political Parties

Reading 4: Interest Groups

Reading 5: Voting & Elections

Reading 6: The Media in American Politics



Vocabulary Lists


Three Branches of the Federal Government

Legislative (Congress)

The House of Representatives

Official Website

The Senate

Official Website

Congressional Committees (Wikipedia list of current committees)

Executive (President)

Official Website

Judicial (Supreme Court)

Official Website

Social and Political Issues in Contemporary America

1. Gun Control/NRA
2. Voting Issues
3. Prayer in schools
4. The abortion issue
5. The War on Terror
6. Affirmative Action, Busing, etc.
7. Poverty in America
8. Immigration
9. Health Care
10. Women's Rights
11. The Race Issue
12. Income Inequality
13. Money In Politics
14. Political Campaigning
15. Social Security

Articles and Video on Various Other Issues:

Infinite Debt

The High Times' 2012 Presidential Straw Poll

How the GOP Is Saving Gay Marriage

Wisconsin: A Bruising Fight, Where Everyone Lost Something

President Obama's presidency: the failure of bipartisanship (PBS Frontline film with good English captions)

No Class: The Supreme Court's Arbitration Ruling

The $4.7 Trillion Pyramid: How Social Security Will Not Save Wall Street

Trends in American Values (Pew Research Center report-PDF file)

The Electoral College

Democratic Donkey and Republican Elephant origins

Graphical Illustrations of American Government and Politics

Libertarianism, the Tea Party and the Constitution

The Right-wing Attack on Social Security

The Koch Brothers Exposed

Brave New Films (many documentaries on contemporary American politics with good subtitles)

Jeff Smith TED Talk

Capital Flight and Increasing Inequality (Globally)


On Political Ideology:

Political Ideology

The World's Smallest Political Quiz (a very short test to calculate your political ideology)

The Political Compass (a longer test to calculate your political ideology)

My Translation of the Political Compass test into Japanese

Progressive/Liberal Commentary:

Bill Moyers

Conservative/Rightwing Commentary

The National Review

Public Opinion Polls and Surveys

Pew Research Center

Conservative Think Tanks

Heritage Foundation

Cato Institute

Liberal Think Tanks

Center For American Progress

Center for Economic and Policy Research