Maricopa Community Colleges  POS110   19946-99999 

Official Course Description: MCCCD Approval: 5-24-1994

POS110  1994 Fall – 2011 Summer II

LEC  3.0 Credit(s)  3.0 Period(s)  3.0 Load  Acad

American National Government

Study of the historical backgrounds, governing principles, and institutions, of the national government of the United States.

Prerequisites: None.

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MCCCD Official Course Competencies:


POS110  1994 Fall – 2011 Summer II

American National Government



State the causes of the American Revolution. (I)


Explain why the American Revolution is consistent with British constitutional values. (II)


List the main weaknesses of the government of the United States that operated under the Articles of Confederation. (III)


Identify three historians who interpreted the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention, and state briefly their main concepts or theories. (IV)


Identify the four major compromises agreed to by the participants at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention. (IV)


Indicate the votes in the "big four" states for and against the adoption of the new constitution. (IV)


State the titles held by persons elected to leadership positions in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. (V)


Trace the steps involved when a bill becomes a law in the U.S. Congress. (V)


State the main aspects of the Congressional support staff and describe their general duties. (V)


Identify constitutional duties of the chief executive officer of the United States, and indicate whether they make high, moderate, or low demands on the office. (VI)


Identify the five major support systems of the President of the United States. (VI)


List the major steps involved in the formation of the U.S. national budget from its beginning in the Office of Management and Budget to its final passage by Congress. (VI)


Describe the composition of a "typical" U.S. board or commission, and the general powers given to such a board or commission by congress. (VI)


Explain the process by which a person is nominated and appointed to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court bench. (VII)


Present the main points in the judicial review case, Marbury vs. Madison. (VII)


Describe the structure of the lower federal courts. (VII)


Explain how an amendment is added to the U.S. Constitution. (VIII)


Explain how procedural rights differ from substantive rights. (IX)


Indicate values held by each of the two major political parties in the United States. (X)

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MCCCD Official Course Outline:


POS110  1994 Fall – 2011 Summer II

American National Government


I. Causes of the American Revolution

II. The American Revolution as a constitutional revolution

III. The U.S. government under the Articles of Confederation

IV. The Philadelphia Constitutional Convention of 1787

A. Sources and interpretations of the Philadelphia convention

B. Compromises at the Philadelphia convention

C. The ratification struggle

V. The U.S. Congress

A. Leadership and voting systems

B. The lawmaking process

C. Lobbies and support staff roles in Congress

VI. The executive branch of government

A. Powers of the office

B. Organization of the office

C. Budget and finance from the oval office

D. The 44 standing U.S. Commissions

VII. The U.S. judicial system

A. The Supreme Court

B. Judicial review

C. The lower federal court system

VIII. Constitutional change and the formal amending process

IX. Civil liberties in the United States

X. American political parties and participatory politics


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