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Bryan · Social Sciences · Government - GOVT

American Government

  • Spring 2019
  • Section 413 CRN-24990
  • 3 Credits
  • 01/14/2019 to 05/09/2019
  • Modified 01/10/2019

Meeting Times


  • Tuesday, Thursday, 10:35 AM to 11:50 AM, A Building - 109

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Jeffrey Crean

Office Hours

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, B-104


Government 2305 is a study of the organization, functions, and administration of the several branches and agencies of the national government, including a study of the federal constitution. The primary factors considered relate to the three branches of government -- judicial, executive, legislative -- major historical documents, the events that shaped the nation, and current events. Emphasis will be placed on the interaction of these subsystems. 48 contact hours. Credit: Three semester hours.


Student must be college reading ready according to Texas Success Initiatives Standards (TSI). Please see the Catalog section under Texas Success Initiative.

Core Curriculum Statement

Through the Texas Core Curriculum, students will gain a foundation of knowledge in human cultures and the physical and natural world, develop principles of personal and social responsibility for living in a diverse world, and advance intellectual and practical skills that are essential for all learning. For details relating to this core course, please see:


Explain the origin and development of constitutional democracy in the United States.

Demonstrate knowledge of the federal system.

Describe separation of powers and checks and balances in both theory and practice.

Demonstrate knowledge of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government.

Evaluate the role of public opinion, interest groups, and political parties in the political system.

Analyze the election process.

Describe the rights and responsibilities of citizens.

Analyze issues and policies in U.S. politics.




  • EDITION:   11E
  • ISBN:   9780393622850


Course Requirements

Four Exams: Each exam will focus on material covered in the lectures, which in turn will follow the textbook. The first three exams are non-cumulative, while the final exam will be comprehensive, covering material from the entire course. To aide you in your studying, lecture slides will be posted the evening before each class on the course’s eCampus page. In addition, a study guide will be posted before each exam.


Two Essays: You will have to complete two essays of between 500 and 1000 words. If you are not satisfied with your grades, will have an opportunity to rewrite and resubmit one or both of your essays. A superior grade on that essay or essays will replace your previous grade or grades. If you receive a lesser grade on the makeup essay, you will keep your first original grade. Essay questions and detailed instructions for the essays will be posted on the course’s eCampus page.


Class Participation: Lectures will be interspersed with discussions of relevant current events issues as well as the specific subject material of that day’s lecture. This grade will be based on the level and quality of your participation throughout the semester.


Attendance: See the Course Policies section for detailed information on the attendance policy for this course.


Quizzes: There will be three unannounced quizzes at the start of classes during the semester. Quizzes will briefly cover major points in the textbook reading assigned for that particular class. Unexcused absences on the day of a quiz will result in a grade of zero for that quiz.


Extra Credit: Each student will have the opportunity to write an essay of at least 800 words on a suggested topic. Essays can count for a maximum of five bonus points on the student’s final course grade.


Exams One, Two, and Three: 45% total (15% each)

Final Exam (comprehensive): 22.5%

Two Essays: 20% total (10% each)

Participation: 10%

Quizzes: 2.5%

Blinn College Policies

All policies, guidelines, and procedures in the Blinn College CatalogBlinn College Board Policies, and the Blinn College Administrative Regulations are applicable to this course.

Specific information on civility, attendance, add/drop, scholastic integrity, students with disabilities, final grade appeal, alternative retailers, campus carry and proctoring arrangements and cost.

Notice of any action taken under these protocol and procedures, by Blinn College or its employees, may be delivered by hand, through the U.S. Postal Service, or electronically to the student’s Blinn Buc e-mail account. Notice shall be deemed received upon actual receipt, on deposit in the U.S. Mail, or upon entering the information processing system used by Blinn College for Blinn Buc e-mail accounts, whichever first occurs.

Course Policies

Attendance Policy: Seats will be assigned at the start of the second class. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of all subsequent classes.


0-1 unexcused absence: +3 points on final course grade

2 unexcused absences: +2 points on final course grade

3 unexcused absences: +1 points on final course grade

4+ unexcused absences: Dropped from class


Absences for which you bring a valid excuse note will not count against you. I must be notified in advance of all excused absences from exams.


Week One: 3 Hours

Tuesday, January 15: Course Introduction (no assigned reading)    

Thursday, January 17: American Political Culture (3-32)


Week Two: 3 Hours

Tuesday, January 22: America’s Founding (39-51)

Thursday, January 24: Constitutional Ratification (52-68)


Week Three: 3 Hours

Tuesday, January 29: Federalism (75-106)

Thursday, January 31: Civil Liberties (113-146)


Week Four: 3 Hours

Tuesday, February 5: Civil Rights (153-192)

Thursday, February 7: Exam One


Week Five: 3 Hours 

Tuesday February 12: Public Opinion (199-242)

Thursday, February 14: The Media (249-280)

            PAPER ONE DUE, Thursday February 14


Week Six: 3 Hours

Tuesday, February 19: Political Participation (287-320)

Thursday, February 21: Political Party Organization (327-350)


Week Seven: 3 Hours

Tuesday, February 26: Party History (350-362)

Thursday, February 28: Elections (368-412)


Week Eight: 3 Hours

Tuesday, March 5: Interest Groups (419-450)

Thursday, March 7: Exam Two




Week Nine: 3 March 19 23: Congressional Organization (457-480)

Thursday, March 21: Congressional Lawmaking (480-498)

            PAPER TWO DUE, Thursday March 21


Week Ten: 3 Hours

Tuesday, March 26: The Executive Branch (505-526)

Thursday, March 28: Presidential Power (528-538)


Week Eleven: 3 Hours

Tuesday, April 2: The Bureaucracy (545-578)

Thursday, April 4: The Federal Courts (585-620)


Week Twelve: 3 Hours

Tuesday, April 9: Exam Three

Thursday, April 11: Economic Policy (627-664)


Week Thirteen: 3 Hours

Tuesday, April 16: Welfare Policy (671-704)

Thursday, April 18: Social Issues (no assigned reading)

            MAKEUP PAPERS DUE, Thursday, April 18


Week Fourteen: 3 Hours

Tuesday, April 23: Populism, Then and Now (no assigned reading)

Thursday, April 25: Immigration, Trade and Globalization

            Q-DROP DEADLINE: FRIDAY April 26


Week Fifteen: 3 Hours

Tuesday, April 30: Foreign Policy (711-742)

            EXTRA CREDIT PAPER DUE, Tuesday April 30

Thursday, May 2: Final Exam Review Session


Week Sixteen: Finals Week – 3 Hours

Final Exam: Tuesday May 7, 10:15 am - 12:30 pm


Total Contact Hours: 48