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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 Chimpanzee Politics and Legitimate Violence: A Brief Introduction to Politics and States

1.2. Liberal Democracy as a means of Controlling State Violence?

1.3  The Politics of Constitution Building: An Overview of the American Political System


2. Foundational Institutional Structures

2.1 American Federalism in Practice

2.2 Checks and Balances: Internal Constraints on Government Power

3. The Legislative Branch: Congress

3.1 The Structure of Congress

3.2 The Functions of Congress

3.3 The Process of Making Law

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

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

5.1 The Judicial Branch

6. Elections

6.1 American Electoral Politics

7. Political Parties and Ideology

7.1 Parties and Ideology I - The Two Party System and Ideological Representation