Principles of American Democracy

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Principles of American Democracy by Mind Map: Principles of American Democracy

1. Fundamental principles and moral values of American democracy

1.1. Influence of ancient Greek, Roman, English, and leading European political thinkers on American government

1.2. Important Documents

1.2.1. U.S. Constitution

1.2.2. Declaration of Independence

1.3. What is Government and Democracy?

1.3.1. Majority rule vs Individual rights

1.3.2. liberty and equality

2. Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens in a Democracy

2.1. Bill of Rights

2.1.1. Activity: Students will role-play as lawyers. Students will be given various scenarios in which they can utilize their rights outlined in the Bill of Rights.

2.1.2. Importance of each

2.1.3. How it was secured

2.2. individual's legal oblications

2.3. Civic-Mindedness

2.3.1. public service

2.3.2. voting and being informed

2.4. Citizenship and naturalization

3. Civil Society

3.1. Free association

3.1.1. cultural

3.1.2. political

3.1.3. religious

3.1.3.1. History of religion and government

3.1.3.2. Role of religion in democracy

3.1.4. social

3.1.5. economic

3.2. Influence on governemnt

3.3. Authoritarian/Totalitarian vs Democratic Government

4. 3 Branches of Government

4.1. Checks and Balances

4.1.1. Students will be divided into 3 groups, one for each branch of government. Each group will be given the opportunity to exercise their powers. Various historical scenarios will be given in which they can utilize their powers.

4.2. Articles of the Constitution I/II/III

4.3. Powers of each branch

4.4. Responsibilities

4.5. Role

5. Supreme Court

5.1. Judicial review

5.2. Landmark interpretations and cases

5.2.1. Controversial cases

5.3. Changing interpretation

5.4. Judicial activism vs judicial restraint

5.5. SC Justices

5.5.1. Selection, confirmation, powers

6. Elections

6.1. Voter turnout and the Electoral College

6.2. Campainging

6.2.1. Polls, campaign advertising, controversies

6.2.2. Political parties

6.2.3. PACs

6.3. features of direct democracy

6.4. Media: 4th Estate

6.4.1. Students will be broken into groups and given an opportunity to look up events in which media has played a direct role in directing public policy/affecting elections/etc. Each group will be given a goal of finding an example backing up a different aspect of the power of media in government. Examples will be shared in class.

7. Federalism: Levels of Government

7.1. Sources of revenue

7.2. Reserved and concurrent powers

7.3. Division of power

7.3.1. State

7.3.2. Federal

7.3.3. Local

7.3.4. Tribal

7.4. Resolution of conflicts

7.5. Public policy formation

7.6. Major responsibilities of each branch

8. Different Political Systems

8.1. Influence of other philosophies

8.1.1. feudalism

8.1.2. mercantilism

8.1.3. socialism

8.1.4. fascism

8.1.5. monarchy

8.1.6. parliamentary

8.1.7. constitional liberal democracies

8.2. New Democracies

8.3. Opposing Philosophies

8.3.1. Illegitimate powers

8.3.2. Authoritarianism and Totalitarianism

8.3.3. Communism

9. Activity: Students will b