The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the American political system, primarily on the national level. The American Constitutional framework will be examined, taking into consideration the reasons for its establishment as well as its subsequent development. The three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial – all major parts of the U.S. constitutional framework – will be a principle focus. In addition; although they are considered extra-constitutional features of the American political system, the party and pressure group systems will be explored since they are integral to its functioning. Lastly, we will examine the federal-state governmental relationship and the changing role of political participation.