This course has not as yet been taught.

POLI 220 The U. S. Constitution: Where It Came From and What It Says (SS). [3]

This course examines the circumstances leading to the Federal Convention of 1787 that drafted the U.S. Constitution, the deliberations and decisions of the Convention, the basic structure of the document, the campaign for (and against) its ratification, and the establishment of the U.S. government in 1789. It also examines the provisions of the Constitution and their impact on U.S. political institutions. This is not a course in constitutional law. Prerequisite: POLI 100 or sophomore standing.


Heretofore the Political Science program has lacked an American Politics course at the 200-level (partly because POLI 100 [Introduction to American Government and Politics] has been one of two introductory-level courses). The revised program designates "subfield survey courses" at the 200-level in each major subfield of the discipline. Of the variety of possible American Politics 200-level survey courses that might designed to fill this slot, a comprehensive course on the U. S. Constitution appeared to be the best option. In addition to providing a useful option for Political Science majors, such a course is a distinctly suitable general education course.

GER: The Course's Role in Relation to the Discipline

The general nature of the course should be clear from the proposed catalog description. Political science is in large measure the study of political institutions: their origins, design, evolution, and effects on political behavior, public policy, and public life. Thus this course addresses many fundamental questions in political analysis. It also provides important substantive knowledge about the American political system. The sequence of POLI 100 plus POLI 220 will provide an especially coherent "two courses in the same discipline" option for students completing the Social Science GER/GFR requirement.

GER: The Course's Role in Relation to the Student

University graduates surely should have a historical and theoretical understanding of the political system in which they live and of the political institutions through they will (we hope) act as citizens. Thus POLI 220 appears to be distinctly appropriate as a general education course, quite apart from its value in exposing students to the discipline of political science.