• American National Experience 

    DCC GOV 121


    Donde McIlwee


    Office: 845-897-6700 ext. 30062


    Course Description – Govt 121 American National Experience is a course dealing with the philosophy, structure, functions and processes of our national government. Topics include the methods of political and historical analysis, the machinery of government, the political process and political behavior. Historical events and personalities in American politics will be used to illustrate the issues and processes of American government. The course will fulfill the History, Government, Economics requirement for Liberal Arts and Humanities majors and may be designated as either a GOV or a HIS course depending on the needs of the student for transfer.


    Topics Covered:


    1. The role of political culture, values, and the very diverse social environment of politics in the 

        United States in the development of social and foreign policy. 

    1. The Constitution as the foundation of our political structure and how it has developed to the   


    1. Federalism as an aspect of the constitutional political structure and its historical development. 

        New York State and Local Government of the present day. 

    1. Public opinion and mass media as linked institutions.
    2. Interest groups and linkage institutions.
    3. The historical development of American political parties and their role as linkage institutions. 
    4. The role of money, media, parties, and interest groups in campaigns and elections. 
    5. Congress as a political institution and its effectiveness in representing the public interest.
    6. The role of the President in American politics and the development of the presidency as a 

         political institution. 

    1. The presidency and the bureaucracy-how the executive branch functions.
    2. The role of the Supreme Court as a political institution and the role of the Federal court system.
    3. The role of our political institutions and our linkage institutions in the development of our civil 


    1. The development of our civil liberties. 



    1. Foundations


    Chapter 2 The Ideas that Shape America

    Chapter 3 The Constitution

    Chapter 4 Federalism and Nationalism

    Chapter 5 Civil Liberties


    1. Institutions


    Chapter 13 Congress

    Chapter 14 The Presidency

    Chapter 15 Bureaucracy

    Chapter 16 The Judicial Branch


    III.  Political Behavior 


    Chapter 7  Public Opinion

    Chapter 8 Political Participation

    Chapter 9 Media, Technology, and Government

    Chapter 10 Campaigns and Elections

    Chapter 11 Political Parties

    Chapter 12 Interest Groups


    1. Policymaking


    Chapter 17 Public Policymaking and Budgeting

    Chapter 18 Foreign Policy  

    Class Assignments


    There will be frequent homework assignments that will be written responses to question prompts from the textbook.


    -Research Paper

    -legislative bill project

    -Policy Position Paper



    Required Text:


    James A. Monrone and Rogan Kersh,  By The People: Debating American Government, 4th edition 

    NewYork/Oxford: Oxford University Press  


    DCC Institutional Student Learning Outcomes (ISLOs)  


    • Written Communication: Students will produce writing that is well organized, well developed, and clear.


    • Critical Analysis and Reasoning: Students will formulate or evaluate arguments, problems or opinions and arrive at a solution, position or hypothesis based on carefully considered evidence.




    Papers/Exams 60%

    Class Participation 10%

    Quizzes/Homework 30%

    DCC Grading Scale


    A 93-100

    A-     90-92

    B+    83-86

    B 83-86

    B-     80-82

    C+    77-79

    C 70-76

    D 60-69

    F 0-59


    Academic Honesty: 


    Any form of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and subject to the WCSD and Dutchess Community College Code of Conduct.

    Title IX 


    Dutchess Community College is committed to maintaining a positive campus climate and will not tolerate any form of sexual harassment including sexual assault, sexual violence, and sexual misconduct. It is the responsibility and obligation of all members of the College community to reportand/or to assist others in reporting incidents of sexual harassment. Please direct all Inquiries and reports related to sexual harassment and sexual violence to: Title IX Coordinator: Director of Human Resources Dutchess Community College, Bowne Hall, Room 220 53 Pendell Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 

    All academic accommodations will be honored in this class.