This is a colleciton of video resources from the Crash Course Government and Politics series.

Collection Contents


In which Craig Benzine introduces a brand new Crash Course about U.S. Government and Politics! This course will provide you with an overview of how the government of the United States is supposed to function, and we\'ll get into how it actually does function. The two aren\'t always the same thing. We\'ll be learning about the branches of government, politics, elections, political parties, pizza parties, and much, much more! by CrashCourse Published on Jan 23, 2015
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In which Craig Benzine teaches you about the United States Congress, and why it\'s bicameral, and what bicameral means. Craig tells you what the Senate and House of Representatives are for, some of the history of the institutions, and reveal to you just how you can become a representative. It\'s not that easy. But an eagle gets punched, so there\'s that. by CrashCourse Published on Jan 30, 2015
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In which Craig Benzine teaches you about the US Governments Separation of powers and the system of checks and balances. In theory, the Legislative Branch, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Brach are designed to keep each other in check, and to keep any branch from becoming too powerful. In reality, the system was designed to keep the president from becoming some kind of autocrat. For the most part, it has worked. Craig will call in the clones to explain which powers belong to which branches, and to reveal some secret perks that the Supreme Court justices enjoy. by CrashCourse Published on Feb 6, 2015
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In which Craig Benzine teaches you about federalism, or the idea that in the United States, power is divided between the national government and the 50 state governments. Craig will teach you about how federalism has evolved over the history of the US, and what powers are given to the federal government, and what stuff the states control on their own. And he punches an eagle, which may not surprise you at all. by CrashCourse Published on Feb 14, 2015
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In which Craig Benzine teaches you about the compromises met in ratifying the U.S. Constitution. The United State’s didn’t always have its current system of government. Actually, this is it’s second attempt. Craig will delve into the failures (and few successes) of the Articles of Confederation, tell you how delegates settled on a two-house system of representation, discuss the issues of slavery and population that have been imbedded into our constitution, and fire up the clone machine to discuss how federalists and anti-federalist opposition provided the U.S. a Bill of Rights. And who knows, maybe all this talk of compromise will even inspire Craig and eagle to find some middle ground. by CrashCourse
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This week Craig Benzine talks about the importance of elections. But he isn’t going to focus on presidential elections, but instead those of the strongest part of our government: congressional elections. Craig will talk about the frequency of elections in the Senate and House, typical characteristics of a candidate, and the motivating factors our congresspeople follow to get re-elected. by CrashCourse
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This week Craig Benzine clears up the role of committees in Congress. We’ll talk about standing committees, joint committees, conference committees, and caucuses (and not the candidate-choosing kinds) as well as the staff agencies that help advise these committees and congresspeople. As most bills never even make it to the house and senate floors for a vote, the role of committees, and their respective chairpersons as gatekeeper is pretty important. There’s a lot to demystify here as the legislative process can seem pretty arcane at times, but the model, at least in theory, helps Congress run more efficiently. by CrashCourse
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This week Craig Benzine explores the leadership structure of congress. We’ll break out the clone machine to examine the responsibilities of the speaker of the house, the majority and minority leaders as well as the majority and minority whips in both the Senate and the House. As the leadership heavily influences assignments to committees and acts as the primary point of contact with the media, they wield significant power in influencing the public dialog. by CrashCourse
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The process of how a bill becomes a law can be pretty complex, fraught with potential bill-death at every corner. As if just getting through committee isn’t difficult enough, bills have to navigate a series of amendments and votes in both houses, potentially more committees, further compromise bills, and even more floor votes, just to end up on the chopping block of the president. And then in one fell swoop the president can stop a bill in its tracks with a veto! But then again, a presidential veto isn’t necessarily a bill’s end either. by CrashCourse
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This week Craig breaks out the crystal ball to try and figure out why our congresspeople do the things that they do. We’ll talk about the three motivating factors of congressional decisions - constituency, interest groups, and political parties - and we’ll break down how each of these factors motivate certain actions like casework, public opinion polls, and logrolling. Craig will even weigh in on which of these factors probably contributes most significantly to the actions and decisions of our congresspersons and he\'ll do it without even a touch of cynicism! by CrashCourse
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This week Craig looks at the expressed powers of the President of the United States - that is the ones you can find in the Constitution. From appointing judges and granting pardons, to vetoing laws and acting as the nation’s chief diplomat on foreign policy, the Commander in Chief is a pretty powerful person, but actually not as powerful as you might think. The Constitution also limits presidential powers to maintain balance among the three branches of government. Next week we\'ll talk about the president\'s powers NOT mentioned in the Constitution - implied powers. by CrashCourse
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This week Craig continues our conversation on presidential powers by looking at those NOT found in the Constitution - implied or inherent powers. We’ll talk about how the president uses his or her power to negotiate executive agreements, recommend legislative initiatives, instate executive orders, impound funds, and claim executive privilege in order to get things done. Implied powers are kind of tough to tack down, as they aren’t really powers until they’re asserted, but once the they are, most subsequent presidents chose not to give them up. So we’ll try to cover those we’ve seen so far and talk a little bit about reactions to these sometimes controversial actions from the other branches of Congress. by CrashCourse
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Craig Benzine teaches you about delegation, and informal powers. What are all these federal agencies about? Well, the president has a lot of stuff to do as the chief executive, and as much as Americans like to talk about personal responsibility, the president can\'t really do all this stuff alone. Because it\'s a huge job! Same deal with Congress. So, they delegate authority. This is where all the government agencies and stuff come from. The Congress creates them to actually get around to enforcing laws. You\'ll learn about stuff like OSHA, and the FDA, and maybe even the FCC. Although you hear an occasional complaint about bureaucracies and such, the business of government wouldn\'t get done without agencies and delegation. by CrashCourse
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This week Craig Benzine talks about how the president gets things done. Filling the role of the executive branch is a pretty big job - much too big for just one person. It\'s so big that the president employs an entire federal bureaucracy! Today, we’re just going to focus on those closest to the president, like the vice president, the Cabinet, and the Executive Office of the President. We’ll figure out which strategy is most useful in helping the president make things happen and we’ll discuss the controversy around the president’s gradual increase in power. Oh, and as many of you noticed - last episode eagle got off too easy. Let’s see if we can make it up to you.
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