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The USA. Study Plan. Country & Western Song Titles. How Can I miss You When You Won’t Go Away? I’m So Miserable Without You, It’s Like You’re Still Here You’re The Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly If I Had Shot You When I Wanted To, I’d Be Out By Now.

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The usa l.jpg

The USA

Study Plan


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Country & Western Song Titles

  • How Can I miss You When You Won’t Go Away?

  • I’m So Miserable Without You, It’s Like You’re Still Here

  • You’re The Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly

  • If I Had Shot You When I Wanted To, I’d Be Out By Now


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Descriptor breaks the syllabus down into three chunks:

  • Part One (7 lessons + home study): The USA Political System

  • Part Two: (7 lessons + home study): USA Political Issues

  • Part Three: (7 lessons + home study): USA Social/Economic Issues


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Part 1: The USA Political System

The role and powers of the US Government at federal, state and local levels:

  • Role and Powers of the President

  • The Separation of Powers

  • Relations between the President and Congress and the Supreme Court (checks and balances)

  • The Division of powers between federal and state governments


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The USA Political System Checklist

  • Constitutional powers of the branches of Government: President, Congress, Supreme Court

  • President Bush’s and Obama’s relations with Congress

  • Compare Bush’s early post 9/11 phase with his latter “lame duck” phase

  • How does party composition in Congress affect Presidential power?

  • What examples are there of the Supreme Court playing its constitutional role?

  • How has Obama used his presidential powers. Examples? Supreme Court Appointment, Guantanamo, health care reform etc.


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Resources

Articles

  • Democracy The American Way

  • Classical Definitions of Presidential Power

  • Assessment of George W Bush (Pt. 1)

  • Assessment of George W Bush (Pt. 2)

  • Congress

  • The Supreme Court

  • Media Updates

  • Powerpoints

  • Higher Conference 2008

  • Essay Tutorial

YouTube Clips

  • Congress Overturns Presidential Veto

  • Rep Joe Wilson: Obama, You Lie!

  • Obama Supreme Court Nominee Sotomayor

  • Sotomayor Over-ruled on White Firefighters

  • Supreme Court on Death Penalty

ESSAY OF THE WEEK:

Examine the effectiveness of Congress and the Supreme Court at limiting the powers of the President.


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Debate

Prepare a power point presentation on the main issues influencing the 2008 USA elections.

“The American President is more powerful than the other branches of Government”

Focus: To what extent is power shared in the USA?

Balanced comment. Reasons? Examples?


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Part 2: Political Issues

Descriptor:

  • Participation and representation

  • Immigration

  • Political Parties and support from different groups

  • Political trends

    Coverage:

  • The Democrat and Republican Parties and their electoral support

  • Voter Registration, turnout and representation: factors affecting these

  • The political debate over immigration


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Political Issues Checklist

  • Who are the Democrats and Republican core and floating voters?

  • What are the influences on voters in USA? Guns, God and Gays? Others? Global Issues, The Economy (stupid)?

  • Who should Joe the Plumber vote for?

  • Look at 2008 results

  • Immigration: What are the arguments in the debate? Who are the participants, what methods do they use? What is the current legal situation?


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Resources

Articles

  • Why Obama won

  • Voting Behaviour in the USA

  • Donkeys and Elephants

  • The Democratic Party

  • The Republican Party

  • Why so few Black Republicans?

  • Coded racism

  • The Immigration Debate

  • Media Updates

YouTube Clips

  • 2008 Election Results (Wikipedia)

  • Obama Girl

  • Dear Mr Obama

  • Joe the Plumber

  • Obama wants Immigration Reform

ESSAY OF THE WEEK:

Discuss the view that immigration is beneficial to the USA.

To what extent does ethnicity influence the outcome of elections in the USA?


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Presentation

Prepare a power point presentation on the main issues influencing the 2008 USA elections.

Focus: What are the key ‘wedge issues’ in American politics? In what ways, if any, does the chosen issue impact on how people vote?

Balanced comment. Reasons? Examples?


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Part 3: Social and Economic Issues

Descriptor:

  • The nature and extent of social and economic inequalities

  • Demands for Change

  • The effectiveness of government responses and the consequences for different groups

    Coverage:

    Inequalities and their consequences and the effectiveness of government responses at federal, state and local level in relation to:

  • Employment

  • income and wealth/poverty

  • Health

  • Education

  • crime and the law

  • housing

  • immigration


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Social and Economic Issues Checklist

  • Awareness of the concept of the American Dream

  • Socio-economic status of African Americans, Hispanics, others (?) in relation to white Americans

  • Assessment of the success or otherwise of Affirmative Action and other government initiatives to promote equality of opportunity

  • Examples of minority successes, avoiding crude racial stereotypes

  • Knowledge of specific minority groups in specific cities/states

  • Perspective in assessing the degree of progress


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Resources

Articles

  • Hurricane Katrina

  • Hispanics

  • Media Updates

YouTube Clips

  • We The People: Race

  • Hispanics and Healthcare Reform

  • The King Stay The King

Powerpoints

  • Will African Americans Ever Achieve The American Dream?

  • Capitalism and Inequality in the USA

ESSAY OF THE WEEK:

“The American Dream is more accessible than ever to ethnic minorities in the USA.”

Discuss.


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“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of democracy, tonight is your answer”.

Barack Obama

Focus: To what extent do ethnic minorities achieve the American Dream?

Balanced comment. Reasons? Examples?


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“President Obama is an intelligent man, different from the previous president.”

Hugo Chavez, 18th April 2009

Great Presidential Speeches


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