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Stars and Stripes, Justice Dept. Washington, D.C.  Photo © 2007 Scott Hanley

The College American Government Textbook

In contrast to the standard textbook’s overly long chapters, this textbook provides comprehensive coverage with a series of shorter, more focused chapters. To provide a free text I have avoided images that are mere eye-candy and copyrighted images with little informational value. I will add informational graphs and charts as the project develops. To comment, critique, or provide suggestions, please click the contact button above. I welcome feedback as I develop this free textbook.

1. Foundations: Politics, Government, and the American Political System

1.1 What Is Politics?

1.2. What Is the State?

1.3 An Overview of the American Political System

1.4 The Politics of the American Revolution

1.5 The Politics of Constitution Building


2. Institutions that Limit Government Power

2.1 American Federalism in Practice

2.2 Separation of Powers: Battles Between the Branches (not yet available)

2.3 Checks and Balances: Internal Constraints on Government Power

2.4 Civil Liberties 1: Speech and the Press (not yet available)

2.5 Civil Liberties 2: Religion (not yet available)

2.6 Civil Liberties 3: Due Process of Law (not yet available)

2.7 Civil Rights  (not yet aviilable)


3. The Legislative Branch: Congress

3.1 The Structure of Congress

3.2 The Functions of Congress

3.3 The Process of Making Law

3.4 Congress and Elections (American Electoral Politics)


4. The Executive Branch: The Presidency and the Federal Agencies

The Presidency

4.1 The Presidency in International Affairs

4.2 The Presidency in Domestic Affairs

4.3 The Institutional Presidency (not yet available)

4.4 Chapter(s) about federal agencies (not yet available)


5. The Judicial Branch: The Supreme Court and the Inferior Federal Courts

5.1 The Role and Functions of the Judiciary (not yet available)

5.2 The Structure of the American Judicial System (not yet available)

5.3 How the Supreme Court Works (not yet available)

5.4 Judicial Review: The Counter-majoritarian difficulty (not yet available)


6. Citizen Participation

6.1 Political Parties (not yet available)

6.2 American Electoral Politics

6.3 Organized Interests (not yet available)

6.4 Unconventional Participation (not yet available)