The United States Constitution was written in 1787. The system of government it created has stayed the same for more than 200 years. Why should you care about the Constitution and the workings of government? Every day the government makes decisions that have an impact on your life. As a United States citizen, you have the opportunity - and the right - to influence the government as well.
This course will give you a basic understanding of the system of government of the United States. First you will learn about the roots of our government. You will discover that the United States system reflects some principles of government that are thousands of years old. Then you will learn how federal, state and local governments work, independently and cooperatively, for the good of all citizens. Perhaps most importantly, you will learn about the freedoms and rights guaranteed to all United States citizens.
You will find several study aids in your textbook (Pacemaker's American Government). At the beginning of every chapter, you will find Learning Objectives. These objectives will help you focus on the important points covered in the chapter. The Words to Know section at the beginning of each chapter will give you a preview of the vocabulary you may find challenging. At the end of each chapter, a Summary will give you a quick review of what you have just learned.
Also, as you read the chapters in your textbook, look for the notes in the margins of the pages. The notes are there to make you stop and think. Some notes comment on the material that you are learning, while others extend your learning. Sometimes, the notes remind you of something you already know.
As you read the chapters, pay attention to the special features. The features will help you to gain new skills and introduce you to government issues. You will also find features that will tell you about court cases and how those decisions have affected your rights.
I hope you enjoy learning about the way our government works.