Checks and Balances
A two minute video that traces the checks and balance system. Delegates agreed that the federal government should be able to act independently, apart from the states. James Madison proposed a government structure with three branches. This video lacks depth, but does give an overall idea of how this system works.
Federalism is a system in which two or more governments share power over the same constituents. Ultimate political authority, or sovereignty, is shared between the governments. The national government is supreme and holds powers on certain issues, and the state governments have the same sovereignty over different issues. The workings of the federal system and how national, state, and local governments relate is described as intergovernmental relations. (Video is narrated with slides and speeches
Fiscal federalism is the model of spending, taxing, and providing grants in the federal government system. The national government’s primary means of influencing state governments is giving money to states in the form of grants-in-aid. Grants-in-aid have a long history in the United States, dating back to the Confederation period. The nation’s leaders originally designed them to help fund agriculture, land grant colleges, and farm-related education. They grew to encompass many other types of
Short video that explains what federalism is. (A combination of a confederation and a unity system.
Units of Measure
Chemistry uses the metric system. Let's take a look at the metric system and SI units.
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
Schoolhouse Rock: How a Bill Becomes a Law
A simple but concise description of how a bill becomes a law (in the U.S. federal legislative system). (3:01)
Frustration of some Americans over the policy of segregation and resistance by other Americans to integration eventually gave rise to the acts of civil disobedience that would mark the beginning of the civil rights movement. In demonstration after demonstration one or more individuals would inspire others to take a stand against a system based on prejudice.
The Impact of mobile learning
Phase one of MoLeNET (2007/08) involved 75 colleges and 18 schools, approximately 10,000 learners and 2,000 staff, in 32mobile learning projects. The Learning and Skills Council provided funding for h...
The Electoral College
The Framers of the Constitution worked diligently to establish an effective system for electing a president and vice president. The members of the Constitutional Convention were reluctant to allow a popular vote because information dissemination, in their time, was very limited. They rejected direct election of the president by Congress because it would give too much power to the federal government. Likewise, they felt that presidential elections held by the various state assemblies would result
The Electoral College
This original video from Disney Educational Productions tackles one of the most interesting elements of U.S. presidential elections - the Electoral College. Follow students Sarah and Joe as they learn about the history of the Electoral College, how it works today, and how it affected the outcome of the dramatic Bush vs. Gore 2000 election. The pros and cons of the Electoral College system are also covered. This video is suitable for middle school students and high school students.
Committees and the Iron Triangle
The committee system dominates the House of Representatives. It is within committees that much of the daily work of the House is completed. Committees meet to discuss specific policies, work to control the congressional agenda, and guide legislation as it progresses through Congress until it is either signed or vetoed by the president. Representatives can be members of several different committees during any given session. (Video is narrated with slides and speeches.)
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
The Articles of Confederation Weaknesses: Why Constitution Needed
After several failed attempts at creating a government, a 1787 convention is called to draft a new legal system for the United States. This new Constitution
provides for increased federal authority while still protecting the basic rights of its citizens.
Hamiltonians vs. Jeffersonians
This video about the two party system is accompanied by text. "After the new United States Congress completed its first task of creating a Bill of Rights, it turned its attention to the issue of financing the new government. President George Washington appointed Alexander Hamilton as the Treasury Secretary, and Hamilton took it upon himself to develop an economic structure for the United States that would give the public confidence in the government’s financial affairs..."
Federalists and Democratic-Republicans
This video is accompanied by text. "With the two-party system of government in its founding stages in the United States, a continent away events were taking place that would further the evolution of the Federalist and the Democratic-Republican parties. The people of France were taking their cues from the American Revolution and rebelling against the authoritarian leadership of King Louis XVI. As war ensued between France and Great Britain in 1793, conflict arose in America as the Federalists and
New Political Parties in 1828
This video is accompanied by text. "The political revolution stirred up by Jackson’s alternative staffing methods also resulted in the shift from a one-party political system to a two-party system. Although both Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams called themselves Republicans in the 1824 election, it was apparent that their political beliefs were not aligned. Between 1824 and 1828, the supporters of each candidate polarized into two political parties—the National-Republicans, those who sup
Thinkwell American Government: The American Two-Party System, Part 1 of 2
This is an excellent presentation that helps to define the United States two-party system. The lecturer also talks about the Electoral College. The presentation is done in lecture style with a chart that accents the lecture. (04:53) This is a clip from a larger segment.
Thinkwell American Government: The American Two-Party System, Part 2 of 2
This is an excellent presentation that helps to define the United States' two-party system. The presentation is done in lecture style with charts that accents the lecture. (05:29) This is a clip from a larger segment.
Jackson and the Bank War
Video accompanied by text. "In its first years, the Second Bank of the United States weathered an economic panic and an important court case. These were not, however, to be the last of its troubles. Other forces were at work that would oppose and eventually destroy the Second Bank of the United States..."
Early in the 1820s, Henry Clay, a representative from Kentucky and political rival of Jackson, advocated and helped implement what became known as the American System for developing a st