This class introduces students to the basic principles on which the American Government is based and the responsibilities we have as citizens. Students will gain insights into the origin, history, structure and functions of the American political system as well as develop the knowledge and skills necessary for competent citizenship in the complex representative democracy of the United States. Students will increase their awareness of the roles of the political system of the USA within the global community and understand the interaction between the three branches and different levels of the United States government. Topics covered include introduction to government/civics, citizenship and immigration, foundations of government and the core democratic values, The Constitution, Amendments, and the Bill of Rights, along with other basics of government. Throughout this course, students will be challenged to understand their own political ideologies along with differing ideas of others. Students are encouraged to discuss ideas openly and without judgment. The course culminates in a formal student debate over controversial social issues Americans face in the U.S. today.