All Courses

  • American Institutions III: The Presidency and the Constitution

    The aim of this course is to enable each of you to better understand the nature of the debates that have swirled around the assertions and exercise of presidential power for more than two centuries.

  • Slavery and the Constitution

    Slavery and the Constitution will attempt to trace the intricate and often painful history of slavery and the Constitution: how the institution of slavery influenced the Constitution and how the Constitution influenced the institution of slavery. It will begin with a broad history of slavery in the American colonies and how the institution became a matter left to the superintendence of each state. It will describe the inhuman experience of slavery as it developed in different parts of the country, and the inconsistencies of holding some men as property in a country that declared all men to be free and equal. And it will explore the concomitant problem of racism, which made American slavery both more virulent than many historic forms of enslavement and also more difficult to eradicate.

  • American Institutions II: Congress, the Constitution, and Contemporary Politics

    This course explores the theoretical foundations of the legislative branch, from the representative bodies of ancient Rome and Greece to the expansion and change of congressional power over time.

  • Constitutional Amendment: the Bill of Rights

    Do we know our rights? Do we even know what a 'right' is? This online course explores the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution: the Bill of Rights.

  • Constitutional Foundations

    The longest operating written charter of government in the world, the U.S. Constitution was deemed necessary due to the insufficiencies of the Articles of Confederation. Each article is explored as it lays out the structure, operation, and implementation of constitutional government.

  • Creation of the Constitution

    This explores the political, social, and historical background of the U.S. Constitution--drafted by 55 delegates, in force today after more than 200 years, and amended only 27 times.

  • Suffrage in America

    This course explores some of the key moments in the changing story of suffrage--much of which unfolded in state governments, from the late 18th century through the 1960s and beyond.

  • The Federal Judiciary: From Idea to Institution

    This course explores "the judiciary" as one of the three branches of government, including its creation, evolution, and contemporary issues involving the role of the federal courts in the American political system.