Government Links

  1. Foundations of American Government
  2. Legislative Branch
  3. Executive Branch
  4. Judicial Branch
  5. Political Parties and Political Behavior
  6. Economics
  7. Foreign Policy and World Affairs
  8. Geography


Foundations of American Government

Constitution of the United States
Discover why the Constitution is still a living breathing document. Excellent site for learning about the amendments and those that were never ratified.

The Annotated Constitution  A clause by clause description of the document with legal precedents. High reading level. Can be viewed or downloaded in PDF by chapter.

Constitutional Issues  Part of the National Archives Teaching With Documents series, these two lessons analyze the stresses on the constitution by using primary source documents:

The Federalist Papers  from the Library of Congress

National Governors' Association  Contains information on every governor and general issues that state governments handle.

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Legislative Branch

U.S. House of Representatives
Learn about who makes our laws and the process they go through. Students can also study current laws and bills being introduced and read about the daily progress.

The U.S. Senate
Students can visit the web pages of individual Senators or send them email. This site is also a virtual tour of the United States Senate Building.

Historical Congressional Documents
Conduct online searches for any historical document.

In Congress Assembled: Continuity and Change in the Governing of the United States
Lesson plans and activities that use primary resources to examine "continuity and change in the governing of the United States." One lesson asks to grapple with the issues from the first Congress.

Social Security Teachers Kit
Five lessons for learning about the social security system. A free video can also be obtained.

Congress.Org  A site that lists all congressional reps by state - You choose which state you want from a menu, then click "go". It then gives you a listing of the reps. If you choose one of the reps it gives you a picture and contact information for them. This site also has many other ways to contact congress and includes committee lists.

Maryland Elected Officials  Enter a Maryland address and get us and a list of Maryland elected officials

Roll Call Online The slightly irreverent insiders newspaper for Capitol Hill.

THOMAS: Legislative Information on the Internet

U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates 1774-1873  The Library of Congress' massive database on the first century of U.S. lawmaking.

The Affirmative Action and Diversity Project  Sponsored by the University of California, Santa Barbara, this site contains numerous contemporary essays on all aspects of the affirmative action dedate. Also contains some primary source documents related to the topic.

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Executive Branch

American Memory: By Popular Demand: Portraits of Presidents and First Ladies (1789-Present)
Looking for copyright-free images of Presidents and First Ladies for a school report? The Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress has selected this set of more than 150 images from its collections and made them available through the library's American Memory Web site. The digitized images include portraits, photographs, prints, and other media. Some of the images include other notables such as Sojourner Truth. Users can browse a subject index, access images through a timeline or theme essay, or search by keyword. The site includes many links to related image collections within the American Memory Project. Suitable for grades 6 to 12.

The American Presidency
The American Presidency Web site, created by Grolier International, offers a virtual encyclopedia on the most powerful office in United States government. Select the appropriate grade level (and corresponding encyclopedia) to access articles, essays, images, and facts about individual Presidents and First Ladies, Vice Presidents, and the key issues that affected their administrations. Users can access biographical essays, inaugural addresses, video and audio clips, and election results for each President. Other topics such as political parties and suffrage are also discussed. Suitable for grades 3 to 12.

The American President
The American President Web site is an online companion to the 10-episode PBS series that first aired in 2000. The site, which targets high school through adult users and was developed in collaboration with the National Council for the Social Studies, provides teachers and students with tools and resources to explore the United States Presidency. It includes biographies on each President (through Bill Clinton); a trove of lesson plans and classroom resources; a Web resource guide; a glossary of political history terminology; essays by historians, journalists, and educators; and an in-depth analysis of the 2000 election. Several features (an election simulation, a student magazine, and a polling booth) are no longer active, but this hardly detracts from the overall usefulness of the site. Suitable for grades 7 to 12.

IPL: Internet Public Library: POTUS (Presidents of the United States)
The Internet Public Library's POTUS (Presidents of the United States) site offers convenient at-a-glance information on each United States President with links to even more information. Readers can quickly learn each President's party affiliation, election results, cabinet officers, and notable events. Links to biographies, historical documents, presidential trivia, and other online resources round out this informative site. Suitable for grades 5 to 12.

American Presidents: Life Portraits
C-SPAN, the television network that specializes in public affairs programming, created this site as an online companion to its 1999 Peabody Award-winning television series of the same name. The Web site contains a complete video archive of its 41 episodes, plus additional resources such as lesson plans, bibliographies, primary sources, information on historic sites identified with Presidents, and at-a-glance biographical notes. A media player plug-in is required to view the video clips. Suitable for grades 4 to 12.

Central Intelligence Agency
This website has information on the mission of the CIA as well as an excellent kids page.

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Judicial Branch

Supreme Court Cases
Using this site students and teachers can access all opinions of the court issued since May of 1990. This is a great resource for looking for Supreme Court cases by topic.

Anatomy of a Murder: A Trip Through Our Nation's Legal Justice System
This web site was a winner in a national competition and will insight even the most reluctant reader to follow the murder suspect through the maze of the legal system. Great learning experience for your students!

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
This site shares a variety of resources to assure the survival of the Bill of Rights. Also includes a file of the most Supreme Court cases related to civil liberties.

Eye on the Courts: Newsworthy Decisions Available on the Net

LII/Hermes Supreme Court Decisons Database  A database containing most of the major decions of the Supreme Court.

Oyez, Oyez, Oyez A U.S. Supreme Court Database Need simple summaries of the major cases that high school students can understand? This is the place to go. Also includes bigraphies of Justices and a virtual tour.

Supreme Court Opinions 1937-Present

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Political Parties and Political Behavior

Civics In Action
Target Audience: 6th - 12th grades. Teachers use Civics in Action as a supplement to their curriculum for Character Education, American Government, Current Events, Constitutional Studies, general Social Studies, and Religion classes.

National Election Studies
This is a guide to public opinion and electoral behavior. There are tables and graphs that provides instant access to tables and graphs of public opinion and election results since 1952.

Vote Smart
Project Vote Smart is sponsored by a national organization to provide citizens with information about political issues and elected officials. It is a worthwhile site even during off-election years.

All Politics
This interactive site features an outstanding selection of articles on major contemporary politics.

Current Political Cartoons
This site features an outstanding selection of contemporary political cartoons dealing with national and international events.

Who's In The Lobby?  Every wonder who the "lobbyists" are? This site tracks lobbyists and the interests they represent. Created by the Center For Responsive Politics.

Gallup Poll Data Results of Gallup polls on President Clinton, Congress, and elections from 1936 to 1996

Census Bureau Statistics on Voting and Registering 1964 - Present

Democratic National Committee 

Republican National Committee

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Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Great site for students to gain more information about the FTC and what they do. This site helps support instruction for the Core Learning Goals in Government.

Federal Reserve Board
This is a great web site for students to look for current rate, including bank prime rates, foreign exchange rates. Testimony and speeches from the Federal Reserve Board members and press releases.

Investing For Kids
This is a kid-created site that explains the concept of investing. It is more appropriate for upper elementary. The activities are all broken down into 3 learning levels.

National Debt Clock
This site will allow students to obtain up-to-the-minute information on the amount of the national debt. Have students graph the numbers on chart paper and see how it affects buying power.

Currency Exchange and the Gang of Fifteen
This is a fun site for students to develop skills to understand international exchange rates and their relationship to U.S. currency. Students trace international criminals by tracking down their credit cards.

Consumer World
This is an easy to use collections of over 1,400 consumer related web sites. Great resource for kids to conduct their own research.

The U.S. Treasury Homepage
Students can explore this site to investigate the role of the U.S. Treasury Department. There is also a fun kid's web page.

This site explains the effects of the stock market on our economy and how the New York Stock Exchange works. Students can read the pages of the New York Times and to follow the progress of stocks students are interested in studying.

Pacific Exchange Rate Service
Students can log onto this site to study exchange rates from all over the world.

Economic Statistics Briefing Room
This service provides convenient access to current federal economic indicators, providing links to information generated by several federal agencies.

Employment Briefing Room: Economics Statistics
This is a collection of easy-to-read charts and graphs depicting the most current U.S. employment statistics. Great way for students to make predictions about the economy.

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Foreign Policy and World Affairs

The World Bank
This site provides an excellent description of world economic issues. It also provides numerous resources for geographical study.

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National Geographic Society
This site offers a huge amount of historical information as well as access to excellent maps.

Geography Adventure Online
This is a series of distance-learning expeditions which would excite any middle-schooler. Archives of past trips are available for teachers and students. Examples of past trips are: Running the Nile and Magellan Global Adventure.

Country Studies
An interdisciplinary team of experts analyze the economic, social and political aspects of 70 countries.

The World Bank
This site provides an excellent description of world economic issues. It also provides numerous resources for geographical study.

Bureau of Land Management Environmental Education Homepage
A great collection of resources for students and teachers, from archaeology to environmental ethics. Many lessons were designed in collaboration with social scientists and teachers.

Environmental Protection Agency
This is another excellent resource for environmental issues. Excellent resource for students and teachers to examine the various ways that government plays a part in land management issues.

American Rivers
This site explores and studies rivers, especially those needing protection. The press releases are interesting primary documents to read.

A good collection of materials on map-making.