Principles of Democracy - Theme: How the American people govern themselves at national, state and local levels of government is the basis for this course.
Topic: Civic Involvement
Students can engage societal problems and participate in opportunities to contribute to the common good through governmental and nongovernmental channels.
1. Opportunities for civic engagement with the structures of government are made possible through political and public policy processes
.2. Political parties, interest groups and the media provide opportunities for civic involvement through various means.
Topic: Civic Participation and Skills
Democratic government is enhanced when individuals exercise the skills to effectively participate in civic affairs.
3. Issues can be analyzed through the critical use of information from public records, surveys, research data and policy positions of advocacy groups.
4. The processes of persuasion, compromise, consensus building and negotiation contribute to the resolution of conflicts and differences.
Topic: Basic Principles of the U.S. Constitution
Principles related to representative democracy are reflected in the articles and amendments of the U.S. Constitution and provide structure for the government of the United States.
5. As the supreme law of the land, the U.S. Constitution incorporates basic principles which help define the government of the United States as a federal republic including its structure, powers and relationship with the governed.
6. The Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers framed the national debate over the basic principles of government encompassed by the Constitution of the United States.
7. Constitutional government in the United States has changed over time as a result of amendments to the U.S. Constitution, Supreme Court decisions, legislation and informal practices.
8. The Bill of Rights was drafted in response to the national debate over the ratification of the Constitution of the United States.
9. The Reconstruction Era prompted Amendments 13 through 15 to address the aftermath of slavery and the Civil War.
10. Amendments 16 through 19 responded to calls for reform during the Progressive Era.
11. Four amendments have provided for extensions of suffrage to disenfranchised groups.
12. Five amendments have altered provisions for presidential election, terms, and succession to address changing historical circumstances.
13. Amendments 11, 21 and 27 have addressed unique historical circumstances.
Topic: Structure and Functions of the Federal Government
Three branches compose the basic structure of the federal government. Public policy is created through the making of laws, the execution of the laws and the adjudication of disputes under the laws.
14. Law and public policy are created and implemented by three branches of government; each functions with its own set of powers and responsibilities.
15. The political process creates a dynamic interaction among the three branches of government in addressing current issues.
Topic: Role of the People
The government of the United States protects the freedoms of its people and provides opportunities for citizens to participate in the political process.
16. In the United States, people have rights which protect them from undue governmental interference. Rights carry responsibilities which help define how people use their rights and which require respect for the rights of others.
17. Historically, the United States has struggled with majority rule and the extension of minority rights. As a result of this struggle, the government has increasingly extended civil rights to marginalized groups and broadened opportunities for participation.
Topic: Ohio’s State and Local Governments
The State of Ohio acts within the framework of the U.S. Constitution and extends powers and functions to local governments.
18. The Ohio Constitution was drafted in 1851 to address difficulties in governing the state of Ohio.
19. As a framework for the state, the Ohio Constitution complements the federal structure of government in the United States.
20. Individuals in Ohio have a responsibility to assist state and local governments as they address relevant and often controversial problems that directly affect their communities.
Topic: Public Policy
Federal, state and local governments address problems and issues by making decisions, creating laws, enforcing regulations and taking action.
21. A variety of entities within the three branches of government, at all levels, address public policy issues which arise in domestic and international affairs.
22. Individuals and organizations play a role within federal, state and local governments in helping to determine public (domestic and foreign) policy.
Topic: Government and the Economy
The actions of government play a major role in the flow of economic activity. Governments consume and produce goods and services. Fiscal and monetary policies, as well as economic regulations, provide the means for government intervention in the economy.
23. The federal government uses spending and tax policy to maintain economic stability and foster economic growth. Regulatory actions carry economic costs and benefits.
24. The Federal Reserve System uses monetary tools to regulate the nation’s money supply and moderate the effects of expansion and contraction in the economy.