Mrs. Newmark's Page of American History, Government, and Politics


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What Historians Do

This Day in U.S. History

Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics

Summer Reading Assignment for the 2018 - 2019 year:

Summer Assignment for 2018 in Word

Summer Assignment for 2018 as PDF

The textbook is American Government, 13th edition by James Q. Wilson and John DiIulio - 13th Edition

The readings book for this class is Lanahan Readings in the American Polity - 6th edition

You may want to order the Lanahan Readings book from Amazon and save money. Be sure to order the 6th Edition which just came out in the Spring of 2016.

Every student will also need a pocket copy of the Constitution. It doesn't matter which one you use. Here is the one that we recommend.


Political Culture, Public Opinion, and Political Participation

Study Guide and Assignments for Unit One

"The Big Sort" by Bill Bishop

Quiz: Do you live in a bubble? Some of these questions are geared toward adults. You might want to ask your parents how they would answer those questions or you can just guess. You might also ask your parents to take the quiz themselves.

New York Times Interactive: Do You Live in a Political Bubble?

Instructions for setting up your Google Drive

Why Polls Don't Work

Larry Sabato and Glenn Simpson: "Dirty Little Secrets"

New report finds that voter turnout in 2016 topped 2012

Class Activities

1. Reasons Given for Not Voting

2. Voter Turnout in Demographic Groups

3. Practice Essay Question

4. Voter Turnout: Midterm and Presidential Elections


Turnout in the 2012 Presidential Election

Primary Turnout in 2016

"73 Rules for Running for President as a Republican"

Michael Barone: "Polls are part of the air that Politicians Breathe"

Who Wants to be an A Student?


Political Parties

Study Guide for Unit Two: Chapter 9 - Political Parties

PowerPoint on Political Parties

"How a little-known task force helped create Red State/Blue State America"

Class Activities

U.S. Party Identification


Party Ideology by State

Election Results

"How American Politics Went Insane"

Earl and Merle Black: "The Rise of Southern Republicans"

No Longer a 'Solid South' of all-red or all-blue

"No, America's Not Divided"

"America Vs. Third Parties"

"Two's Company"

Ideology Survey

Fiorina article: "The Decline of Collective Responsibility in American Politics

Elections and Campaigns

Study Guide for Unit Three: Chapters 8 Elections and Campaigns

My Vote Means Nothing: How Presidential Primaries Backfired" by David Greenberg

Election Slides

Wikipedia entry on Citizens United v. FEC

Wall Street Journal editorial on the Citizens United ruling.

New York Times editorial on the Citizens United ruling.

Scotusblog on Citizens United - Scroll down for responses in the media and blogosphere

Go to the Links Page for more links on the case.

"Why Obama is Better at Getting Out the Vote" by Sasha Issenberg

The Creepiness Factor: How Obama and Romney Are Getting to Know You

How Social Media Can Enhance Political Campaigns

Campaign Ads

Living Room Candidate 2016 -Follow the links at the bottom to view ads

Powerpoint: Who Wants to Be an A Student?

Election Project 2018


The Media

Study Guide for Unit Four: Chapter 10 The Media

Trust in the Media

Media Revenue

Media and Candidate-Centered Campaigns

How Liberal or Conservative Media Sources are

Media warm-up

Top Ten Campaign Gaffes

Top Ten Political Gaffes

Top 10 Worst Debate Gaffes


Interest Groups

Study Guide for Interest Groups

Interest Groups Assignment

"More than Money"

"Interest Groups in American Politics"

Interest Groups and Politics

Charts on Spending

"Lobbying is Democracy in Action"

"Washington's Once and Future Lobby"

"5 Myths about Lobbyists"

Open Secrets Scavenger Hunt


The Study of American Government and The Constitution

Study Guide on The Constitution

Excerpts from John Locke

Excerpts from Federalist 10 and 51

Excerpts from Brutus 1

Richard Hofstadter Article

De Tocqueville quote

Worksheet: Federalist vs Antifederalist

Ratification Debate Activity

Constitution Scavenger Hunt

Self-Checking Quizzes on the Amendments to the Constitution

Discussion Questions: Election Results


Study Guide - Federalism

Supreme Court Cases on Federalism

Link to find information on Supreme Court Cases

Selections from Randy Barnett's Proposed Constitutional Amendments

Constitutional Convention Assignment


Midterm Review

Midterm Review Study Guide

Midterm Review Questions



Study Guide - Congress

Edmund Burke's Speech to the Electors of Bristol

Podcast: "Constitutionally Speaking: The Congressional Beast" Listen the sections from 12:56--15:33 and from 27:21--29:35

Ideological Distribution in Congress

Approval Ratings of Congress

Gerrymandering 101

Redistricting Game:

Hit “Play the Game.” Then choose Partisan Gerrymander - Basic Level. (If you get the message about Java, click on “This link.") Play the game for a bit. It’s not necessary that you complete the mission. Just try to figure out what you would need to do in order to complete the mission. If you have time, try some of the other missions. I’m more interested in your figuring out how to achieve each mission than in your actually completing the mission.

Quiz: Gerrymandered US Congressional District or Rorschacch Inkblot?

The Senate Syndrome by Steven Smith

David Price's Daily Schedule

Article: "The 60 Vote Senate" by Barbara Sinclair

Why Woodrow Wilson Hated the Filibuster by Joyce Appleby

The Senate Loses Its Tradition of Consensus by Fred Bauer

"Why Can't Congress Get More Done?"

"Pork is Still King of the Hill"

McCain Tweets

Powers, Separated on Purpose by Charles C. W. Cooke

The Shutdown is the Constitution's Fault by Dylan Matthews

Scalia Testimony

Essay Assignment: Checks and Balances

The Basics of the Budget Process

Kahoot on Congress


The Presidency and The Bureaucracy

Study Guide for Unit Eight - The Presidency and the Bureaucracy

Federalist #70

Presidential Vetoes

Restraining the Imperial Presidency

Kenneth Mayer "With the Stroke of a Pen"

Links for Arguments on the Electoral College

How to Pick a Veep by Carl M. Cannon

Articles: “A Question of Power: The Robust Presidency” and “A Question of Power: The Imperial Presidency.”

Article on Bureaucracy by James Q. Wilson

The Rise of the Fourth Branch of Government by Jonathan Turley

"A Government of Strangers" by Hugh Heclo

From Administrative State to Constitutional Government by Joseph Postell

Presidents and Presidential Elections

Gallup: Presidential Approval

Rasmussen Reports: Presidential Approval Index (scroll down for the table)

Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

Study Guide for Unit Ten - Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

Handout on Incorporation

Powerpoint on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

Ex-Day Handout on Hate Speech and Speech Codes

Handout on Privacy

"Letter from a Birmingham Jail" excerpts

List of Supreme Court Cases

Supreme Court Writing Assignment

Links for exploring cases

Exploring Constitutional Law (Scroll down to find links to cases based on topic)

First Amendment Center (Click on the links to the parts of the First Amendment that interest you. Use the links right below the title.)

Exemplary Supreme Court paper

Government Printing Office Style Manual on capitalization rules


The Judiciary

Study Guide - The Judiciary

Federalist 78 - Excerpts

Antifederalist Essay Excerpts from Brutus XI, XII, and XV

The Warren through the Rehnquist Courts

Judicial Nominations

Wikipedia information on judicial nominations

Antonin Scalia

Anthony Kennedy

Clarence Thomas

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Stephen Breyer

John Roberts

Samuel Alito

Sonia Sotomayor

Elena Kagan

Neil Gorsuch

Brett Kavanaugh

PBS video on the President and the Judiciary

Senate Nomination Hearing

Senate votes on John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Neil Gorsuch

How the Supreme Court Arrives at Decisions by William Brennan

The Supreme Court by William Rehnquist

Scalia's Speech in NC

Justice Souter's Harvard Commencement Address

Links on Neil Gorsuch

Video Discussion between Justices Scalia and Breyer (start at 2:00 and end at 37:28) Here's another link for the video if the first one doesn't work for you.

Video Questions on Scalia-Breyer Discussion

Laurence H. Tribe on "The Myth of Strict Constructionism"

Select Smart Quiz on which Supreme Court justices you are closest to



Policy Making

Study Guide: Policy Making

Powerpoint on Economic Policy

Reading on Social Security

Reading on the Federal Reserve

Video: The Fed Today

Video Questions: The Fed Today

50 Dead-Simple Ways for the US to Cut Its Budget - slideshow

Sample Free-Response Question

Balance the Budget yourself

Federal Budget Challenge

Stabilize the US Debt

Budget Simulation

iCivics People's Pie (You can play this without having to register)

Budget Puzzle from the New York Times

Handout on Welfare and Education Policy

Handout on Economic Policy and the Budget Process


Review for the AP Exam

Review Schedule

Review Study Guide (You can copy and write on as a Google Doc.)

Final Project

Planning a Budget

Google Sheets Worksheet that you can use for your budget assignment - just copy it and fill in your results.

Moot Court Project

Links for Cases

Rucho v. Common Cause at Scotusblog

Oral Argument for Rucho v. Common Cause

Department of Commerce v. New York at Scotusblog

Oral Argument for Department of Commerce v. New York