While the American system of politics has generally been defined as a two-party system, occasionally a third party emerges, influencing elections and siphoning important votes from the major parties. Third parties often begin as single-issue parties that oppose or promote a certain social, economic, or political topic. For example, the Republican Party formed in the 1850’s as a third party in opposition to slavery. Similarly, in 2000, Ralph Nader formed the Green Party that focused on environm
A History of Political Parties in the U.S.
Great teachers from outstanding universities give instruction on federalism in this video from Thinkwell's online American Government series. In this video we discuss: A History of Political Parties in the U.S. The video uses lecture format, pictures, and a whiteboard to aid in the explanations. Run time 11:12.
Counterculture of the 1960's
While President Johnson was simultaneously rolling out his Great Society blueprints and entering ever deeper in the conflict in Vietnam, a cultural rebellion was gathering strength in American universities. The affluence of the 1950s allowed an unprecedented number of young people to attend college in the 1960s. This growing demographic had little real-world experience, and they looked critically at a society that had provided prosperity for them and their families. Many university students and
Thomas Paine's "Common Sense"
As late as January 1776, months before American independence was declared, many colonists still pledged their loyalty to the Crown. These loyalists comprised a large segment of the population, including important leaders. They considered the colonies an extension of Great Britain and generally discarded the idea of becoming a self-governing country
The Declaration of Independence: Ideas for a New Age
This 17 minute examines the basic principles and concepts set forth in the Declaration of Independence, as well as the American leaders, their ideas and the historical events that resulted in the document. Good details. Best used with a timeline and a word list. Many items need a great deal more explanation, but the video is a good start.
Has video quiz, too.
Campaign Finance Reform
Congress enacted campaign finance reform due to criticism directed toward interest groups and Political Action Committees (PACs). Federal Election Campaign Acts were passed in 1971, 1974, and 1976. Early legislation limited individual donations to candidates to $1,000 and $5,000 to PACs. PACs in turn may only donate $5,000 to individual candidates (Video is narrated with slides and speeches.)
Primaries, Caucuses, and Conventions
Political parties determine their presidential candidates through primaries, caucuses, and conventions. Until the early part of the twentieth century, every state used caucuses to choose a candidate. Caucuses began to lose favor because many of the “political machines” that controlled the caucuses were corrupt and did not necessarily carry out the will of the people. Still, caucuses continue to be used in 12 states. (Video is narrated with slides and speeches.)
While the president is limited to serving two terms in office, members of Congress can serve an unlimited number of terms. In the mid-nineteenth century, most congressional representatives served only a single term because at that time politics was not considered a career. However, by the mid-twentieth century, congressional representatives began to view holding congressional office as a prestigious career. (Video is narrated with slides and speeches.)
Andrew Jackson: Reinventing the Presidency
Video discusses how Jackson fought in the Revolutionary War when he was just thirteen, how Jackson led the American army to the most surprising victory in its history in the Battle of New Orleans, how Jackson was the first great champion of the common white man -- but also "owned" over a hundred black Americans; how Jackson dramatically expanded the United States -- by brutally wresting vast regions of the south from Native Americans; how Jackson, in one of the boldest political strokes in histo
The Stamp Act
Video accompanied with text dealing with the Stamp Act. "The peace treaty that ended the French and Indian War in 1763 eliminated New France as a military threat to the British colonists, and marked the start of the march toward American independence. The war effort, and British Prime Minister William Pitt’s decision to retain large numbers of troops in the American colonies after the conflict, doubled Great Britain’s national debt.
In an effort to raise revenues, Parliament enforced
The Townshend Duties
History video for high school. "The repeal of the Stamp Act did not end Britain’s plan to tax the colonies. In 1767, Chancellor of the Exchequer Charles Townshend proposed enacting new customs duties on the most popular items imported by the colonies. Parliament approved The Townshend duties (also referred to as the Townshend Revenue Act), which taxed a wide variety of imports, including glass, lead, paints, paper, silk, and tea. Unlike the Stamp Act, the new levy was an indirect tax payable a
This video is accompanied by text and it is about the political situation and political causes of the American Revolution. "The Revolution generated radical changes in the principles, opinions, and sentiments of the American people. New ideas and issues affected social customs, political ideals, and gender and racial roles as the thirteen colonies evolved into the United States. Debate and conflict over government authority, diverse state economies, federal control of western territories, and th
This is a video accompanied by text. It is about the social situation and the social causes of the American Revolution. Although the concept of forming an autonomous American nation was not new, Thomas Paine’s call to create a democratic republic resonated with a growing number of colonists. By the late eighteenth century, many towns, particularly in Massachusetts, experienced republicanism firsthand in the form of town meetings and elections. Terminating the British monarch’s arbitrary auth
From Colonies to Constitution: The War for Independence
'This program traces the key events of the American
Revolutionary War from its outbreak at Lexington, Massachusetts in 1775 to the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783." This 15 minute video goes over the major points, but does not add a lot of depth to what isn't in a basic textbook. Does have good visuals where students can get a better feel for the time.
American History: The Revolutionary War Begins
The Revolutionary War began in Lexington after the Continental Congress failed to remove BritainÕs Coercive Acts, which the colonists called the Intolerable Acts. This two minute video goes into the causes of the Revolutionary War and early battles and colonial actions.
The Effects of the Stamp Act on Colonists and Early American History
An explaination the Stamp Act, a British tax on all printed material, from marriage licenses to playing cards, which infuriated early American colonists.The role of this video is to explain why this act helped to cause a war. A word wall is important as well as a timeline to help students place the events in correct order. Very through and great for explaining early American History (Running Time 3:52).
The Colonial Economy
Economic conditions of the 1700s were a contributing factor to the discontent felt by the American colonies towards Great Britain and were not easily overcome after independence. This is how the British used a shortage of money to their advantage. A three minute video that gives some depth to the causes of the Revolution. Well worth viewing. Shows the importance of a common currency to a nation's success.
Declaration of Independence - Remember this.
Reading of the Declaration of Independence we need to put this into practice. The beginning is the reading of letters from those who were present or involved. This is followed by the reading of the declaration by NFL football players past and present and others. (This video was filmed in the early 2000's)
The Declaration of Independence
July 4, 1776 marks the day that forever changed the direction of American history. On that day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, delegates of the Second Continental Congress declared that the thirteen British colonies were a free nation by signing the Declaration of Independence. In this video, we present a detailed account of the courage and determination of such founding fathers as Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and John Adams. From the Stamp Act to the Boston Tea Party, from Paine's Common Sen
How to Fold an American Flag
Explicit directions on the correct (and respectful) way to fold the American flag.