The following resources contain the remaining available Free Response Questions and Scoring Guidelines for the AP United States Government and Politics Exam. To access the files below, you need to log into your College Board account. If you do not have a College Board account, you can create one by selecting ‘Sign In’ in the header and following the prompts to Sign-Up.
Thursday's rhetorical shift is tiny, possibly fleeting, and likely does not reflect any change in Ryan's policy preferences. But the small change in tune fits with a broader strategic shift that congressional Republicans adopted earlier this year on food stamps, one of the federal government's largest antipoverty initiatives. In previous years, Republicans attacked food stamps head-on with tales of undeserving people abusing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Now the House Agriculture Committee, which oversees the program, is undertaking what chairman Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) has described as a thoughtful, thorough review. The committee has held a series of hearings on SNAP, and Conaway has repeatedly asked former food stamp recipients and program advocates to testify.
The study of modern politics in the United States requires students to examine the kind of government established by the Constitution, paying particular attention to federalism and the separation of powers. Understanding these developments involves both knowledge of the historical situation at the time of the Constitutional Convention and an awareness of the ideological and philosophical traditions on which the framers drew. Such understanding addresses specific concerns of the framers: e.g., Why did Madison fear factions? What were the reasons for the swift adoption of the Bill of Rights? Familiarity with the Supreme Court's interpretation of key provisions of the Constitution will aid student understanding of theoretical and practical features of federalism and the separation of powers. Students should be familiar with a variety of theoretical perspectives relating to the Constitution, such as democratic theory, theories of republican government, pluralism, and elitism.
Individual citizens hold a variety of beliefs about their government, its leaders, and the U.S. political system in general; taken together, these beliefs form the foundation of U.S. political culture. It is important for students to understand how these beliefs are formed, how they evolve, and the processes by which they are transmitted. Students should know why U.S. citizens hold certain beliefs about politics, and how families, schools, and the media act to perpetuate or change these beliefs. Understanding the ways in which political culture affects and informs political participation is also critical. For example, students should know that individuals often engage in multiple forms of political participation, including voting, protest, and mass movements. Students should understand both why individuals engage in various forms of political participation and how that participation affects the political system.
The AP U.S. Government and Politics course involves the study of democratic ideas, balance of powers, and tension between the practical and ideal in national policymaking. Students analyze and discuss the importance of various constitutional principles, rights and procedures, institutions, and political processes that impact us as citizens.
Students must become familiar with the organization and powers, both formal and informal, of the major political institutions in the United States — the Congress, the presidency, the bureaucracy, and the federal courts. The functions these institutions perform and do not perform, as well as the powers that they do and do not possess, are important. It is necessary for students to understand that power balances and relationships between these institutions may evolve gradually or change dramatically as a result of crises. Students are also expected to understand ties between the various branches of national government and political parties, interest groups, the media, and state and local governments. For example, a study of the conflicting interests and powers of the President and Congress may help explain recent and repeated struggles to adopt a national budget.
Finally, it is essential that students understand what leads citizens to differ from one another in their political beliefs and behaviors, and the political consequences of these differences. To understand these differences, students should focus on the different views that people hold of the political process, the demographic features of the American population, and the belief and behavior systems held by specific ethnic, minority, and other groups.
Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, in order to gain political power, capitalized on the fear of communism in the United States in the early 1950's by falsely accusing innocent citizens of political corruption, thus creating a lasting impact on the government, entertainment industry, and history of America....
Clearly, these reform movements as well as the busting of trusts move away from the traditional aspect of politics and promotes autonomy of the individual as well as strong government to remedy the defects of capitalism, both liberal ideals....
The political, social, and economic reforms of the Progressive Movement addressed many of the problems of the Gilded Age through government regulation of business and a more democratic political system; however, the movement failed to address the problems of racial inequality....
Some of these problems were no government control on big business, unsafe working conditions, child labor, gender inequality, corrupted politics, and racial inequality.
Students should understand the mechanisms that allow citizens to organize and communicate their interests and concerns. Among these are political parties, elections, political action committees (PACs), interest groups, and the mass media. Students should examine the historical evolution of the U.S. party system, the functions and structures of political parties, and the effects they have on the political process. Examination of issues of party reform and of campaign strategies and financing in the electronic age provides students with important perspectives. A study of elections, election laws, and election systems on the national and state levels will help students understand the nature of both party and individual voting behavior. Treatment of the development and the role of PACs in elections and the ideological and demographic differences between the two major parties, as well as third parties, form an important segment of this material.