This College Board designed curriculum encompasses the study of the founding, institutions and political processes of American government along with the basic concepts of the discipline of political science. The founding and principles of American government will be examined and analyzed using primary source documents such as the Federalist Papers. Issues of civil liberties and civil rights will be examined in the context of the U.S. Constitution, as well as in the current context of minorities and gender. Key institutions of American government—Congress, the President, the Judicial branch and the Bureaucracy—will be examined in the context of checks and balances and separation of powers. Students will evaluate the role of the citizens in the political process, including elections, political parties, the political culture and the role of public opinion and they will study the complexity of the policy process especially with regard to economic and foreign policy. Throughout the year, students will learn to accurately identify, define and apply political terms in preparation for the mandatory AP exam. Finally, the issue of American democracy or “Who rules to what ends?” will serve as a theme throughout the course. Beyond preparation for a successful national exam result, the student will become an astute observer of the American political system and elections. Two college texts and a reading of daily news stories are required.