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6th Form Curriculum Guide - Year 13 Politics
Congress and US PresidencyTerm 3  
2.1 The structure of Congress 2.2 The functions of Congress 2.3 Interpretations and debates around Congress. 3.1 Formal sources of presidential power as outlined in the US Constitution and their use. 3.2 Informal sources of presidential power and their use. • The electoral mandate, executive orders, national events and the cabinet. • Powers of persuasion including the nature/characteristics of each president. • Executive Office of the President (EXOP), including the role of the National Security Council (NSC), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the White House Office (WHO). 3.3 The presidency 3.4 Interpretations and debates of the US presidency
Assessment: Two essays. 1 on Congress and another on PresidencyKey Words and Terms
Democracy and Participation Term 5
5.1 Electoral systems in the USA. 5.1.1 Presidential elections and their significance. • The main processes to elect a US president, including the constitutional requirements, the invisible primary, primaries and caucuses, the role of National Party Conventions and the electoral college, and the resulting party system. • The importance of incumbency on a president seeking a second term. 5.1.2 Campaign finance. • The role of campaign finance and the current legislation on campaign finance, including McCain-Feingold reforms 2002 and Citizens United vs FEC 2010. Democrats • progressive attitude on social and moral issues, including crime • greater governmental intervention in the national economy • government provision of social welfare. Republicans • conservative attitude on social and moral issues • more restricted governmental intervention in the national economy while protecting American trade and jobs • acceptance of social welfare but a preference for personal responsibility.
Assessment: Mock examinationKey Words and Terms
Optional Ideology - NationalismTerm 1   
Students will examine the phenomenon of nationalism, from its rise with the works of Jean Jacques Rousseau in the late 18th century and its roots in the French Revolution. Students will also analyse the rise of a more cultural form of nationalism, particularly through the works of Herder and Fichte. Students will compare the different forms of nationalism throughout history, particularly the liberal nationalism prevalent in most Western democracies, the expansionist nationalism evident in the 19th century and the more virulent forms of racial nationalism during the short twentieth century. There will also be an examination of the future of nationalism in modern politics and the effects a recent rise in nationalism may have on supranational bodies such as the UN and EU.
Assessment: Students to sit a complete Paper 2. This will be one source question, one essay question and one essay question on ideologies.Key Words and Terms
Supreme Court and Civil RightsTerm 4   
4.1 The nature and role of the Supreme Court 4.2 The appointment process for the Supreme Court 4.3 The Supreme Court and public policy 4.4 The protection of civil liberties and rights in the US today. 4.5 Race and rights in contemporary US politics 4.6 Interpretations and debates of the US Supreme Court and civil rights.
Assessment: Two essays, one on affirmative action and another on the supreme courtKey Words and Terms
US Constitution and FederalismTerm 2  
1.1 The nature of the US Constitution. • Vagueness of the document, codification and entrenchment. • The constitutional framework (powers) of the US branches of government. • The amendment process, including advantages and disadvantages of the formal process. 1.2 The key features of the US Constitution (as listed below) and an evaluation of their effectiveness today. • Federalism. • Separation of powers and checks and balances. • Bipartisanship. • Limited government. 1.3 The main characteristics of US federalism. • The nature of the federal system of government and its relationship with the states. 1.4 Interpretations and debates around the US Constitution and federalism. • The extent of democracy within the US Constitution, its strengths and weaknesses and its impact on the US government today. • The debates around the extent to which the USA remains federal today
Assessment: Two essays on the US constitutionKey Words and Terms