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US Government Course (Gold Package)

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US Government Course (Gold Package)

The Standards Plus History Academy US Government class introduces students to the  foundational principles of the U.S. Constitution, teaching them how our government is designed  to operate. Students will examine the Enlightenment ideas that provoked colonial resistance,  inspired an independence movement, and ultimately authored America’s governing documents. Students will study the three branches and the three levels of government, the role of the “Fourth  Estate” (mass media), the franchise, including the rights and duties of American citizens, and the Watergate Scandal. 

Barry Jones 

Barry Jones has been a high school history and government teacher in the state of Tennessee  since 1997. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo and a Master of  History Education degree from Liberty University. He currently teaches in a high school near  Nashville, TN. Known for his storytelling, Mr. Jones’ trademark JFK Assassination and  Watergate lessons have long been student favorites. Mr. Jones is also an author. Among his  works are several books on the JFK assassination, including Coup d’ Etat (2014), Wilderness of  Mirrors (2017), and Treasonous Cabal (2018). 

Course Guide / Pacing Guide 

Unit 1 – Week 1; Unit 2 – Week 2; Unit 3 – Week 3; Unit 4 – Weeks 4-5; Unit 5 – Week 6; Unit 6 – Week 7; Unit 7 – Midterm Exam: Week 8; Unit 8 – Week 9; Unit 9 – Week 10; Unit 10 – Week 11; Unit 11 – Weeks 12-13; Unit 12 – Weeks 14-15; Unit 13 – Final Exam: Week 16


  1. SILVER clients: It is recommended that you pace yourself, adhering to this schedule for  each unit. It has been set up in such a way that each day’s lesson (PowerPoint and guided  notes) fills an approximate 60-minute time frame. Additional assignments can be factored  into the end of each unit because extra time has been built into the schedule. 
  2. GOLD clients: This is the overall schedule Mr. Jones will adhere to in his online sessions.  Weekly modules will be posted, pacing the content accordingly.  


Scope and Sequence 

Unit 1 – Foundations of Government 

This unit examines unlimited and limited government, as well as the political theories of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Montesquieu. 

Unit 2 – Underpinnings of the Constitution  

This unit examines the English documents that shaped the U.S. Constitution, the French and  Indian War, British acts towards the Colonists in America and their reaction. It discusses the  events of April 19, 1775, that came to be known as “The Shot Heard Round the World” and  provides an analysis of the Declaration of Independence. 

Unit 3 – Formation of the Constitution 

This unit examines the early Articles of Confederation, its structure, weakness, and eventual  downfall. It addresses Shay’s Rebellion, the compromises reached at the Constitutional  Convention, the Federalists and anti-Federalists, and the Federalist Papers written to promote the  ratification of the United States Constitution. 

Unit 4 – Overview of the Constitution 

This unit examines the major principles contained in the Constitution. It also explores the five  articles of the Constitution, including the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches, relations  among the States, and the amendment process. 

Unit 5 – Checks and Balances 

This unit examines the different branches of government and how a bill becomes a law. It  discusses the qualifications of Congress and of the Executive and Judicial Branches, as well as the impeachment process, the Electoral College, leadership positions in Congress and  Presidential Succession.  

Unit 6 – Federalism 

This unit provides an analysis of Federalism, the Supremacy Clause in Article 6, and how State  and Local Government are structured. 

Unit 7 – Midterm Exam 

This unit includes a Mid-Term Review and Exam.  

Unit 8 – Bill of Rights and Amendments 

This unit provides an overview of the Bill of Rights’ concept, followed by an in-depth  examination of the Bill of Rights Amendments 1 – 10, Amendments 11 – 20, and Amendments 21 – 27. 

Unit 9 – Supreme Court Cases 

This unit examines precedent-setting Supreme Court cases, including New Jersey v. TLO, Plessy  v. Ferguson, Brown v. the Board of Education, Gideon v. Wainwright, and Miranda v. Arizona

Unit 10 – Political Participation, Political Parties, and the Election Process  

This unit addresses political bias, citizenship and its’ rights, responsibilities, and participation,  the expansion of voter rights, the purpose and functions of parties, and the significance of third  parties. Also included is an examination of the process of electing a President, the impact of  media on elections, and media during the Internet Age. 

Unit 11 – Democracy and Civics 

This unit discusses the role of public opinion, domestic and foreign policy, and funding public  policy with taxes. It discusses new democracies in the world, theories of democracy, and  democracy in America. This unit also explores Human and Constitutional rights, Personal  Interest Groups, and Civil Liberties and Rights in the United States. It discusses how to register  to vote, how to run for public office, active Citizenship, and how to become a citizen of the  United States.  

Unit 12 – The Watergate Scandal 

This unit examines the Watergate Scandal in-depth, juxtaposing the largely fictional public  narrative against the CIA conspiracy against the President, Watergate’s connections to the JFK  assassination, and the capture of the Executive Branch by the military, industrial, and intelligence  complex – the “Deep State”.  

Unit 13 – Final Exam 

This unit includes a Final Review and Exam.

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