AP US Government and Politics

Unit 3: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights 

Unit 4: American Political Ideologies and Beliefs 

Unit 5: Political Participation 

BIG IDEA 1: CONSTITUTIONALISM  The U.S. Constitution establishes a system of checks and balances among branches of government and allocates power between federal and state governments. This system is based on the rule of law and the balance between majority rule and minority rights. 

BIG IDEA 2: LIBERTY AND ORDER  Governmental laws and policies balancing order and liberty are based on the U.S. Constitution and have been interpreted differently over time. 

BIG IDEA 3: CIVIC PARTICIPATION IN A REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY  Popular sovereignty, individualism, and republicanism are important considerations of U.S. laws and policymaking and assume citizens will engage and participate. 

BIG IDEA 4: COMPETING POLICY-MAKING INTERESTS  Multiple actors and institutions interact to produce and implement possible policies. 

BIG IDEA 5: METHODS OF POLITICAL ANALYSIS  Using various types of analyses, political scientists measure how U.S. political behavior, attitudes, ideologies, and institutions are shaped by a number of factors over time