AP United States Government and Civics

key concepts and institutions of the political system and culture of the United States. You’ll read, analyze, and discuss the U.S. Constitution and other documents as well as complete a research or applied civics project.


The American Democracy by Thomas E. Patterson

Comparative Politics: Domestic Responses to Global Challenges by Charles Hauss

Barron’s How to Prepare for the AP US Government and Politics Advanced Placement Examination by Curt Lader

American Government: Readings and Cases by Peter Woll

The AP Comparative Government and Politics Examination by Ken Wedding

Foundational Documents

The AP U.S. Government and Politics course features nine required
foundational documents to help you understand the philosophies of the founders and their critics. You
will use these documents to help you take your first test for the class- Summer Reading Test. These
documents are…
● The Declaration of Independence
● The Articles of Confederation http://www.ushistory.org/documents/confederation.htm
● Brutus No. 1 http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/brutus-i/
● Federalist No. 10 http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/federalist-no-10/
● Federalist No. 51 http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/federalist-no-51/
● Federalist No. 70 http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/federalist-no-70/
● Federalist No. 78 http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/federalist-no-78/
● The Constitution of the United States https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution
● Letter from a Birmingham Jail http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/documents/Letter_Birmingham_Jail.pdf

The 15 Landmark Supreme Court Cases- For each case listed below, you should be able to
explain… 1. The major details of each case, 2. The holding in the majority opinion, 3. The constitutional
principle used by the justices to support their finding, and 4. The overview of the argument(s) by
dissenting justices (if applicable).

You need to read each case brief; learn the facts, question(s), and conclusion/decision for each of the
fifteen landmark Supreme Court cases. You can find information for each case at: www.oyez.org.
● Marbury v. Madison (1803)
● McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
● Schenck v. United States (1919)
● Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
● Baker v. Carr (1961)
● Engel v. Vitale (1962)
● Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
● Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969)
● New York Times Co. v. United States (1971)
● Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972)
● Roe v. Wade (1973)
● Shaw v. Reno (1993)
● United States v. Lopez (1995)
● McDonald v. Chicago (2010)
● Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010)

Additional Reading

How to Read the Constitution–and Why by Kim Wehle

Globalization: the irrational fear that someone in China will take your job by Bruce Greenwald, Judd Kahn

How Soccer Explains the World by Franklin Foer

The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin

Watchdogs of Democracy? The Waning Washington Press Corps and How it Failed the Public by Helen Thomas

The Broken Branch by Thomas Mann & Norman J. Ornstein

Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State By Andrew Gelman

Online Resources

Annotations of the Constitution:
● https://www.congress.gov/constitution-annotated/
● https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution-conan
● https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/articles/article-i#section-1

Score Distribution

Final Score201620172018[13]2019[14]2020[15]2021[16]
% of Scores 3 or Higher50.9%49.5%53.2%55.2%57.5%49%
Mean Score2.642.592.712.732.85
Standard Deviation1.321.301.311.271.34
Number of Students296,108319,612326,392314,825293,196260,941