American Legislative System – GOVT 322

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

The U.S. Congress and state legislatures, their powers and organization, and how liberal and conservative forces exert influence through lobbying and elections.

Prerequisite

GOVT 200

Rationale

A basic knowledge of the American legislative system is essential in order to equip the student with a strong foundation of knowledge and skills in conducting the business of government, politics, policy making, public administration, public safety, and military service. This course offers knowledge of the U.S. Congress, its relationship to state legislatures, their powers and organization, the legislative and policy making processes, and how liberal and conservative forces exert influence through lobbying and elections.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. List and explain the constitutional provisions dealing with Congress.
  2. Describe the institutional changes in Congress since the adoption of the Constitution.
  3. Explain the factors which determine how congressmen make decisions.
  4. Analyze the impact that political parties and philosophy have had on congressional policy making.
  5. Explain the way in which Congress passses legislation and formulates budgets.
  6. Evaluate congressional representation and structure in light of biblical principles.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be a minimum of 250 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. Each thread must cite at least 2 sources from the course materials in current Turabian format. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be a minimum of 150 words and engage with course-related knowledge. Each reply must also cite 1 source from the course materials in current Turabian format.

Congressional Profile

The student will write a 3–5-page description of a local congressman and his/her relationship with his/her district. The paper must be formatted in current Turabian format. A title page and bibliography page are required, but they do not count toward the required length of the assignment. A total of 6–10 citations is required.

Book Review

The student will write a 3–5-page Book Review in current Turabian format on Bring Back the Bureaucrats: Why More Federal Workers Will Lead to Better (and Smaller!) Government. The review must include the following sections: introduction, summary, critique, personal response, and conclusion. The student must quote from the book in the summary while laying a foundation for the subsequent sections. A minimum of 2 additional scholarly sources must be cited in current Turabian format. A title page and bibliography page are required, but they do not count toward the required length of the assignment.

Reflection Essay

The student will write a 3–5-page research-based paper in current Turabian footnote-bibliography format that focuses on creating and defending a framework for evaluating good representation and oversight. The paper must include at least 2 scholarly references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible. A title page and bibliography page are required, but they do not count toward the required length of the assignment.

Tests (3)

Each test will cover the Reading & Study material for the modules/weeks in which it is assigned. Each test will: be open-book/open-notes; contain 50 multiple-choice, true/false, and/or multiple-answer questions as well as 1 essay question; and have a 2 hour time limit.