The purpose of this course is to introduce students to U.S. political systems-government and politics. First, we will study the founding of the American political system; in this we will consider the core concepts and theoretical underpinnings of the U.S. system of government: political culture, the Constitution, and federalism. A solid grasp of these concepts will help you better understand the underlying reasons for the structure of the U.S. political system and distinguish between different forms of government and democracy. Second, we will focus on American political behavior by examining the key components of politics in the U.S. system, including public opinion, the mass media, political parties, interest groups, campaigns, elections, and electoral participation. This should help students distinguish among political ideologies. Third, we will study American political institutions: Congress, the presidency and the bureaucracy, and the courts. Next, we will critically examine civil rights and civil liberties in America by analyzing how the U.S. government shapes and influences the individual freedoms and rights of its citizenship. Finally, we will take a close look at policy-making in the American political system and the ways in which diverse interests and powers have intersected to shape them.