POLI 100   Introduction to American Government and Politics     This is an introductory course, intended primarily for students who have no prior background in political science.  It is designed to serve both as a first political science course for prospective majors and as a survey and general education course for non-majors.

Grades on First Midterm Test   

Grades on Second Midterm Test  

Due to a quirk in the Fall 2010 calander, our last day of class is Monday, December 13 and the Combined Final Exam for both of my sections of POLI 100 is scheduled for Wednesday, December 15.  Therefore, I think it makes sense to hold the Third Midterm Test on the second-to-last day of class, Friday, December 10, to give you more time to study for the final exam.  We can use Monday 12/13 for going over both Test2 and Test 3 and/or other review purposes.  Major Codes

COMBINED FINAL EXAM: Wednesday, December 15, 10:30 AM-12:300 PM, in PUP 105 (not our regular classroom but the Lecture Hall downstairs).   Important: You may have another course (e.g., CHEM 101, ECON 102) that has a combined final exam at the same time.  If you have such a time conflict, check with me as we approach the end of the semester; I can be flexible in arranging alternate exam times on an individual basis.

Updated for Fall 2010:  Guide to the Third Test and Final Exam

Grades on Third Midterm Test

Grades for Second Writing Assignment, Final Exam, and Course


Course Syllabus (with links to Course Pack Readings)

Course Syllabus [PDF]   

Guide to Midterm Tests

Instructions for Writing Assignments

       Questions for First Writing Assignment

       Questions for Second Writing Assignment

       General Comments on Writing Assignments

Guide to the Third Test and Final Exam

Bulletin Board (Q & A)

Logic of American Politics home page

The Declaration of Independence

The Articles of Confederation

James Madison's Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention

The Constitution of the United States (National Archives)

The Constitutional Convention (TeachingAmericanHistory.org)

Celebrating Constitution Day (September 17, 2005) from CQ Press in Context

The Federalist Papers

The Founders' Constitution

The U.S. Constitution (including all amendments)

UMBC Political Science Department

Instructor's Homepage (bio, research, other courses, etc.)

Study Guides  (Topics are numbered by class day, as shown in syllabus)
PowerPoint slides used in class will be posted with each topic. 
To preview or review PowerPoint slides, click on [PPT] following the topic name.  Note: you must have Microsoft PowerPoint on your computer to view these slides.

        No Topic #1    Overview
        No Topic #2    Instructor Out-of-Town
        Topic #3         
Philosophical Origins of American Government   [PPT]
        Topic #4          The Declaration of Independence   [PPT]
        Topic #5          The Articles of Confederation     [PPT] 
        Topic #6          Framing the Constitution    [PPT]
        Topic #7          Ratifying the Constitution     [PPT]
        Topic #8          Democracy and the Constitution   [Summary]
        Topic #9          The Political Theory of the Constitution   [PPT]
        Topic #10        Amending the Constitution   [PPT]
        Topic #11        The Origins of Judicial Review   [PPT]
        Topic #12        The Judical Branch: Structure and Procedures   [PPT]
        Topic #13        The Judical Branch: Appointments, Tenure, and Philosophies  [PPT]
        Topic #14        American Federalism [Enhanced Study Guide]
        No Topic #15  FIRST TEST
        Topic #16        Jucial Review: Federalism and Economic Regulation  [PPT]
        Topic #17        Judicial Review: Civil Liberties     [PPT]
Topic #18        Judicial Review: The 14th Amendment and Nationalization of the Bill of Rights   [PPT]
        Topic #19        Judicial Review: Civil Rights    [PPT]
        Topic #20        Congress as a Representative Assembly: The Concept of Representation   [PPT]
        Topic #21        Congress as a Representative Assemby: Apportionment, Election Methods, and Districting  [PPT]
        Topic #22        Congress as a Legislative Assembly: Organization and Procedures  [PPT]
        Topic #23       
Congress as a Legislative Assembly: Organization and Procedures [cont.]   [PPT]
        Topic #24        Congress as a Representative and Legislative Assembly   [PPT]
        Topic #25        The Executive Branch: The Office of President    [PPT]
        Topic #26        The Executive Branch: Presidential Leadership   [PPT]
        Topic #27        The Executive Branch: Bureaucracy  [Enhanced Study Guide]
        No Topic #28 
        Topic #29        American Political Culture [Enhanced Study Guide]
        Topic #30        Survey Research, Public Opinion, and the Media  [PPT]    
        Topic #31        Public Opinion: Consensus and Conflict    [PPT]
        Topic #32        Public Opinion: Partisanship and Ideology   [PPT]
        Topic #33        Political Participation, Opinions, and Democracy  [PPT]
        Topic #34        Interest Groups     [PPT]
Topic #35        The Electoral College   [PPT]
        Topic #36        The Origins of Political Parties and the Transformation of the Electoral College [PPT]
        Topic #37        Presidential Nominations   [PPT]
Topic #38        Suffrage and Voting Turnout   [PPT] 
        Topic #39        Presidential Campaigns and Elections  [PPT]
        Topic #40
       The American Party System  [PPT]
        Topic #41        Contemporary Party Politics  [PPT]
        No Topic #42  Catch Up and/or Review
        No Topic #43  THIRD TEST

Current Events

        Washington Post On Politics
        New York Times on the Web (requires free registration)
        CNN All Politics
        PBS NewsHour
        BBC World Service
        The Times (London)

U.S. Government 

        U.S. Congress
                House of Representatives
                U.S. Senate
        The White House
        U.S. Courts
                U.S. Supreme Court

Supplementary Documents 
(Additional documents are available at the Logic of American Politics home page.) 

   Topic #

      #1        The Prisoner's Dilemma
      #2        The Levianthan by Thomas Hobbes (1660) 
      #2        Frontispiece illustration for Leviathan
      #2        Second Treatise of Government by John Locke (1690)
      #3        Declaration and Resolves (Continental Congress, 1774)
      #3        The Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms (Continental Congress, 1775)
      #3        The Declaration of Independence Homepage (National Archives)
      #3        Successive drafts of the Declaration of Independence (1776)
      #4        Articles of Confederation (1781-1788)

      #5        Annapolis Convention (1786)
      #5        James Madison, The Vices of the Political System of the U.S. (1787)
      #5        Virginia Plan (1787
      #5        New Jersey Plan (1787)
Connecticut Compromise (1787)
#5        First Draft of the U.S. Constitution (Report of the Committee of Detail, August 6, 1787)
      #5        Penultimate Draft of the U.S. Constitution (Report of the Committee on Style, September 12, 1787)
      #5        Madison's Notes on the Federal Convention (1787)
      #6        Federalist Papers (1788)
      #6        Anti-Federalist Papers (1788)
      #6        James Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance Again Religious Assessments (1785)  
      #6        The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom  (Thomas Jefferson, 1786)   
      #7        Charles Beard's, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the U.S. (1913)
      #8        James Madison's Letter to Thomas Jefferson regarding the proposed Bill of Rights (October 17,1788)
      #8        James Madison, Federalist 10 [highlighted]
      #8        James Madison, Federalist 51 [highlighted]
      #9        Thomas Jefferson's Letter to James Madison, "The Earth Belongs to the Living" (September 6, 1789)
      #9        The Amendment Process and Failed Constitutional Amendments

      #9        Equal Rights Amendment (1972, failed ratification)
    #10        Hamilton, Federalist 78 [highlighted]
    #10        Judiciary Act of 1789
    #10        Marbury v. Madison (1803)
    #11        U.S. Federal District Courts and Circuit Courts of Appeal
    #15        McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
    #15        Gibbons v. Ogden (1924)
    #15        Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918)
    #15        National Labor Relations Act (1935)
    #15        Social Security Act (1935)
    #16        On Liberty (complete pamphlet) by John Stuart Mill (1859)
    #16        Schenck v. United States (1919)
    #16        Dennis v. United States (1951)
    #16        Yates v. U.S. (1957)
    #16        Texas v. Johnson (1989)
    #17        Clarence Earl Gideon's petition for a writ of certiorari  
    #17        Gitlow v. New York (1925)
    #17        Near v. Minnesota (1931)
    #17        Powell v. Alabama (1932)
    #17        Escobedo v. Illinois (1964)
    #17        Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
    #17        Griswold v. Connecticut (1965)
    #17        Roe v. Wade (1973)
    #19        The Northwest Ordinance (1787)
    #19        Dred Scott v. Sanford [including concurring and dissenting opinions] (1857)
    #19        Lincoln-Douglas Debates (1858)

    #19        Abraham Lincoln's Cooper Union Address (1860)
    #19        Confederate Constitution (1861)
    #19        Emancipation Proclamation (1863)
    #19        Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
    #19        Smith v. Allwright (1944)
    #19        Civil Rights Acts (overview) 
    #19        Civil Rights Act (1964)
    #19        Voting Rights Act (1965)
    #19        Sweatt v. Painter (1950)
    #21        Congressional Apportionment (U.S. Census Bureau)
    #21        The Original Gerrymander (1812)
    #21        The Gerry-mander -- the original cartoon (1812)
    #21        Baker v. Carr (1962)
    #21        Wesberry v. Sanders (1964)  
#21        Maryland Congressional Districts (2002)
    #21        Gerry's Gallery
    #19        Thornburg v. Gingles (1986)
    #24        Contract With America (1994)
    #25        Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (1964)
    #25        War Powers Act (1973)
    #25        Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (1952)
    #25        United States v. Nixon (1974)
    #26        The Prince by Machiavelli (1515)
    #27        Pendleton Act (1883)
    #27        Civil Service Reform act (1978)
    #29        Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville (1835)
    #38        People's Party (Populist) Platform (1896)
    #38        "Cross of Gold" speech of William Jennings Bryan (1896)

Links and Resources for Political Research

        U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia Database
        Political Links (UMBC Political Science)
        Resources for Political Science Research on Voting and Elections
        Information and Research on Presidential Elections (for POLI 423 -- includes general resources)
        Albin O. Kuhn (UMBC) Library home page