• Georgia Standards of Excellence, SSCG1-17

    American Government/CivicsThe government course provides students with a background in the philosophy, functions, and structure of the United States government. Students examine the philosophical foundations of the United States government and how that philosophy developed. Students also examine the structure and function of the United States government and its relationship to states and citizens.
    Unit 1: Forms of Government, Political Philosophies
    SSCG1Compare and contrast various systems of government. a.Determine how governments differ in geographic distribution of power,particularly unitary, confederal, and federal types of government.b.Determine how some forms of government differ in their level of citizen participation particularly authoritarian (autocracyand oligarchy) and democratic.c.Determine howthe role of the executive differs in presidential and parliamentary systems of governments. d.Differentiate between a direct democracy, representative democracy, and/or a republic.
    SSCG2 Demonstrate knowledge of the political philosophies that shaped thedevelopment of United States constitutional government.a.Analyze key ideas of limited government and the rule of law as seen in the Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, and the English Bill of Rights. b.Analyze the impact of the writings of Hobbes (Leviathan), Locke (Second Treatise on Government), Rousseau (The Social Contract),and Montesquieu (The Spirit of the Laws) on our concept of government.c.Analyze the ways in which the philosophies listed in element 2b influenced the Declaration of Independence.
    Activities: Create Your Own Government project, Primary Source Document Analysis, Political Cartoon Analysis, Literacy
    Unit 2: Constitution
    SSCG3 Demonstrate knowledge of the framing and structure of the United States Constitution.a.Analyze debates during the drafting of the Constitution, including the Three-Fifths Compromise, the Great Compromise, and the Commerce Clause.b.Analyze how the Constitution addresses the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.c.Explain the fundamental principles of the United States Constitution, including limited government, the rule of law, federalism, separation of powers, checks and balances, and popular sovereignty. d.Explain the key ideas in the debate over ratification made by the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists.
    SSCG4 Demonstrate knowledge of the organization and powers of the national government.a.Describe the structure, powers, and limitations of thelegislative, executive, and judicial branches, as described in the Constitution. b.Analyze the relationship between the three branches in a system of checks and balances and separation of powers.
    SSCG5 Demonstrate knowledge of the federal system of government described in the United States Constitution.a.Explain and analyze the relationship of state governments to the national government.b.Define and provide examples of enumerated, implied, concurrent, reserved, and denied powers.c.Analyze the ongoing debate that focuses on the balance of power between state and national governments as it relates to current issues.d.Analyze the Supremacy Clause found in Article VI and the role of the U.S. Constitution as the “supreme law of the land.”e.Describe the roles of Congress and the states in the formal process of amending the Constitution.
    SSCG6 Analyze the meaning and importance of each of the rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights and how each is secured.
    SSCG7 Demonstrate knowledge of civil liberties and civil rights.a.Define civil liberties as protections against government actions (e.g., First Amendment).b.Define civil rights as equal protections for all people (e.g., Civil Rights Act, Brown v. Board of Education, etc.)c.Analyze due process of law as expressed in the 5thand 14thamendments, as understood through the process of incorporation.d.Identify how amendments extend the right to vote.
    Unit 3: Legislative Branch
    SSCG8 Demonstrate knowledge of the legislative branch of government.a.Cite the formal qualifications for representatives and senators listed in the Constitution.b.Describe the election process for representatives and senators and how the 17th Amendment impacted the election of senators.c.Compare the terms of office for each chamber of Congress and explain the Founders’ intent.d.Compare and contrast the powers of each chamber of Congress (e.g., power of the purse, 16th Amendment, treaties, etc.)e.Explain the steps in the legislative process.f.Explain the functions of various leadership positions and committees within the legislature. g.Analyze the positive and negativerole lobbyists play in the legislative process.
    SSCG9 Explain the impeachment and removal process and its use for federal officials as defined in the U.S. Constitution.
    Unit 4: Executive Branch
    SSCG10 Demonstrate knowledge of the executive branch of government. a.Cite the formal qualifications listed in the Constitution for President of the United States. b.Describe informal qualifications common to past presidents. c.Identify term of office and describe the line of succession (e.g., 20th, 22nd, and 25th amendments).d.Analyze the role of the Electoral College in electing the President and the clarification provided in the 12thAmendment.e.Distinguish between the roles of the President, including Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, chief executive, chief agenda setter, chief of state, chief diplomat, and party leader.
    SSCG11 Explain the functions of the departments and agencies of the federal bureaucracy.a.Compare and contrast the organization and responsibilities of independent regulatory agencies, government corporations, and executive agencies.b.Explain the functions of the President’s Cabinet.
    SSCG12 Describe the tools used to carry out United States foreign policy,including diplomacyand treaties;economic, military, and humanitarian aid; andsanctions and military intervention.
    Unit 5: Judicial Branch
    SSCG13 Demonstrate knowledge of the operation of the judicial branch of government.a.Describe the selection and approval process for federal judges.b.Explain the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, federal courts and the state courts.c.Examine how John Marshall established judicial review through his opinion in Marbury v. Madisonand relate its impact.d.Describe how the Supreme Court selects and decides cases.e.Compare the philosophies of judicial activism and judicial restraint and provide relevant examples (e.g., marriage, 2nd Amendment, death penalty, etc.)
    SSCG14 Demonstrate knowledge of the criminal justice process.a.Explain an individual’s due process rights (e.g., 4th, 5th, 6th, and 14th amendments).b.Categorize different types of crimes.c.Analyze the procedures in the criminal justice process.d.Examine the different types of sentences a convicted person can receive.e.Contrast the procedures related to civil suits with criminal proceedings.
    Unit 6: Civics
    SSCG15 Demonstrate knowledge oflocal, state, and national elections.a.Describe the historical development, organization, role, and constituencies of political parties.b.Describe the nomination and election process.c.Examine campaign funding and spending and the influence of special interest groups on elections.d.Explain how recent policy changes and Supreme Court rulings have impacted the campaign finance process.e.Analyze the influence of media coverage, campaign advertising, and public opinion polls.
    SSCG16 Analyze the difference between involuntary and voluntary participation in civic life. a.Describe how and why citizens are required by law to pay taxes, serve on a jury, and register for military duty. b.Describe how citizens voluntarily and responsibly participate in the political processby voting, performing public service, being informed about current issues, and respecting differing opinions. c.Explain the meaning and history of the Pledge of Allegiance.
    SSCG17 Demonstrate knowledge of the organization and powers of state and local government described in the Georgia Constitution.a.Examine the structure of local governments with emphasis on counties and cities.b.Analyze the relationship among state and local governments.c.Examine sources of revenue received by local governments.d.Analyze the services provided by state and local governments.e.Analyze limitations on state and local government that may be exercised by the citizens (e.g., the initiative, referendum, and recall).