• Political Campaigns: Crash Course Government and Politics #39
    Articles,  Blog

    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
    Articles,  Blog

    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
    Articles,  Blog

    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
    Articles,  Blog

    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…

  • Articles

    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
    Articles,  Blog

    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
    Articles,  Blog

    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…

  • The Bicameral Congress: Crash Course Government and Politics #2
    Articles,  Blog

    The Bicameral Congress: Crash Course Government and Politics #2

    Hi. I’m Craig, and this is Crash Course Government. Uh. It’s been a dream of mine to be on Crash Course since I was a little kid. Speaking of acting like a little kid, today, we’re gonna talk about the U.S. Congress, which, according to the Constitution, is the most important branch of government. That was probably written by Congress. It wasn’t. They didn’t So when I say that Congress is supposed to be the most important branch of government, I’m talking about the national government, not the state government. There’s a difference, okay? I know this, because the Constitution, which consists of seven articles and 28 amendments, mentions Congress…

  • Equal Protection: Crash Course Government and Politics #29
    Articles,  Blog

    Equal Protection: Crash Course Government and Politics #29

    Hi I’m Craig and this is Crash Course Government and Politics, and today we’re going to finally get into why many people, including me, think that the Fourteenth Amendment is the most important part of the Constitution. At the same time, we will attempt – successfully, I hope – to unravel the difference between civil liberties and civil rights, and also try to figure out how the Supreme Court actually looks at civil rights and civil liberties cases. So that’s a lot. Let’s get this out of the way because we’re not gonna have time later. Let’s get started. [Theme Music] So we’ve been talking a lot in the past…

  • Articles

    Search and Seizure: Crash Course Government and Politics #27

    Hi, I’m Craig, and this is Crash Course Government and Politics, and today, we’re gonna continue our discussion of the Bill of Rights, and talk about something that may actually be useful to you. We’re gonna talk about when the police are allowed to search your house, your car, and even you. But not me. I have immunity. I’m on YouTube. Right, is that how it works, Stan? It’s not how it works? I’m in trouble. You might think that this only matters if you are, you know, a criminal, and if you are, then you should be paying close attention, but even if you haven’t committed any crimes and…