Political Science | Intro to American Politics
Y103 | 4586 | Wagner


After the events of September 11th and the 2000 presidential
elections, anyone who says “politics doesn’t matter” should be
smacked upside the head with a banjo.  That pleasant imagery aside,
this class is designed to give you the power to be a politically
knowledgeable, aware and active critical thinker.  In other words,
this class will help you be a better citizen.  The course will give
you the tools you need to understand our system of government, how
the branches fit together and the factors that are involved to ensure
representation of the people. When this class ends you will have a
strong, basic knowledge of our system of government, and you will be
able to ask critical questions about what politicians and the media
tell you, what political players actually do, and the national and/or
global implications of what they do.
	This course has four main parts (all of which you will be
tested on this summer). First, we will look at the founding of our
nation, asking who was involved and how did the Constitution actually
manifest itself into the long-lasting, living, breathing document it
is today? Next, we will examine current issues in politics (civil
rights and civil liberties) in order to fully grasp the actual
influence and breadth the government has on people’s lives.  Third,
we will spend some time getting to know the three branches of
government- the executive, legislative, and judicial, paying
particular attention to the interaction between them. Lastly, we will
analyze the outside factors that influence governance.  You will also
be graded on two short essay assignments and participation through
quizzes, discussion, and the writing of short memos.