• Congressional Leadership: Crash Course Government and Politics #8
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    Congressional Leadership: Crash Course Government and Politics #8

    Hi, I’m Craig and this is Crash Course Government and Politics, and today we’re going to examine the leadership structure of Congress! I know, pretty exciting stuff! Now calm down, let me explain. [Theme Music] Are you ready to talk about Congressional leadership? You better be. So, the Congressional leadership are the Congresspersons with titles like Majority Leader and Minority Whip, and they have a lot to do with political parties, so we’re going to talk about what the political parties do in Congress as well. Even if you don’t follow politics, you probably have heard of the name and titles, if not the functions, of the various leaders. I’m…

  • Congressional Committees: Crash Course Government and Politics #7
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    Congressional Committees: Crash Course Government and Politics #7

    Hi, I’m Craig and this is Crash Course Government and Politics and today we’re going to get down and dirty wallowing in the mud that is Congress. Okay, maybe that’s a little unfair, but the workings of Congress are kind of arcane or byzantine or maybe let’s just say extremely complex and confusing, like me, or Game of Thrones without the nudity. Some of the nudity, maybe. However, Congress is the most important branch, so it would probably behoove most Americans to know how it works. I’m going to try to explain. Be prepared to be behooved. [Theme Music] Both the House of Representatives and the Senate are divided up…

  • Party Systems: Crash Course Government and Politics #41
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    Party Systems: Crash Course Government and Politics #41

    Hello, I’m Craig and this is Crash Course Government and Politics. And today we’re gonna talk about, well, mostly history. Wait Stan, this isn’t Crash Course History. This must be some kind of exception, like the Mongols. [Mongoltage] Apparently we’re not stepping on anybody’s toes by talking about the history of American political parties, as long as we stay away from history in general. Thank goodness, we wouldn’t want to start a Crash Course interdisciplinary feud. Just kidding, I’m totally feuding with that Phil guy over at Astronomy. [Theme Music] Political historians like to divide America into eras according to which parties were active at the time. These are called…

  • Political Campaigns: Crash Course Government and Politics #39
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    Political Campaigns: Crash Course Government and Politics #39

    Hi I’m Craig and this is Crash Course Government and Politics. And today we’re going to try and untangle the mess that is the American political campaign. One of the things about the American political system that often confuses people who don’t live in America is the way that our politicians run for office. There are two aspects in particular that stand out about American political campaigns: their length and their expense. We’re going to look at both of these today and see that they’re related but before we do we are going to answer a burning question: why do we need political campaigns anyway? [Theme Music] If you ask…

  • Interest Groups: Crash Course Government and Politics #42
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    Interest Groups: Crash Course Government and Politics #42

    Hello, I’m Craig and this is Crash Course Government and Politics and today we’re going to talk about something almost every American has an opinion on: interest groups. Now if you’ve been watching these episodes and reading the comments you might be thinking that we’ve been trying to avoid the issue of money in politics and the role of special interests in the U.S. political system. We have. If you are one those people that wants to talk about money in politics, this episode will not disappoint you. I’m kidding, I know that some of you will still be disappointed. But mainly because I’m still not John Green. [Theme Music]…

  • Election Basics: Crash Course Government and Politics #36
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    Election Basics: Crash Course Government and Politics #36

    Hi, I’m Craig, and this is Crash Course Government and Politics, and today I’m gonna talk about an aspect of American elections that is probably most familiar to you, at least if you’re an American and you sometimes watch TV, or look at the internet, or read a newspaper, or breathe air. I’m talking about elections, which get a lot of attention here in the US, and on Crash Course, possibly because they present a relatively straight forward narrative, and it’s easy for the media to cover. But we’re not going to focus on media coverage today. No, instead, we’re going to look at why we have elections in the…

  • Bureaucracy Basics: Crash Course Government and Politics #15
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    Bureaucracy Basics: Crash Course Government and Politics #15

    Hi, I’m Craig, and this is Crash Course Government & Politics, and today, we’re gonna talk about bureaucracies, just as soon as I finish filling out these forms. Do I really have to initial here, here, and here on all three copies, Stan? Regulations say so? All right. I’m just kidding. I don’t really have to fill out forms in triplicate in order to make an episode of Crash Course, but this kind of stuff is one of the main reasons that people don’t like bureaucracies. Americans tend to associate them with incomprehensible rules and time-wasting procedures and probably most annoying – actual bureaucrats. But bureaucracies are a lot like…

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    Judicial Decisions: Crash Course Government and Politics #22

    Craig: Hello, I’m Craig, and this is Crash Course Government and Politics, and today we’re gonna look at the Supreme Court from a different angle. We’re gonna try to get inside the justices’ heads. Bwahahahahah! Not literally, obviously, but we’re gonna look at the factors that influence the way they decide cases, other than the structure of the court system. So we’re pretty far away from the Constitution here and straddling the nebulous world of government, politics, and dare I say it, history. [Theme Music] Justices, especially on the Supreme Court, are supposed to be independent, but that doesn’t mean they make their decisions in a vacuum. They make them…

  • Freedom of Religion: Crash Course Government and Politics #24
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    Freedom of Religion: Crash Course Government and Politics #24

    Hi, I’m Craig, and this is Crash Course Government and Politics, and I’m excited. I’m excited because today, we start delving into Supreme Court jurisprudence, with the totally controversial topic of freedom of religion. Now, other than being fun to say, jurisprudence means all the important cases on a particular topic, but unfortunately, I’m only going to be talking about a couple of them, because they demonstrate how the Supreme Court reasons its way through a tricky issue. Jurisprudence. Jurisprudence. [Theme Music] So the Constitution deals with religion right there in the First Amendment, which is also the one that deals with speech and the press and assembly and petitions.…

  • Political Parties: Crash Course Government and Politics #40
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    Political Parties: Crash Course Government and Politics #40

    Hi, I’m Craig and this is Crash Course Government and Politics and today we’re gonna talk about parties. Woo! Yeah! No, not those kind of parties. We’re talking about political parties, which can be a lot less fun. Woo. [Theme Music] So, today we’re talking about why we have political parties and the role of parties in American politics. But before we dive into the pool – some would say a cesspool – that is political parties, let’s have a definition. Political party: a team of politicians, activists and voters whose goal is to win control of government. So kind of an important point: the goal of a party is…