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The Three Branches of Government in the 20th and 21st Centuries: Do They Form a "More Perfect Union"?

The US Constitution established the American government with separation of powers and checks and balances among the three branches in order to prevent the accumulation of too much power in any one branch. From the earliest days of the Republic to the present, there has been tension or outright conflict among the branches, as one or the other either tries to expand or is forced to cede some of its authority. This course explores the history of those relationships in the 20th and 21st centuries, examining how well the American experiment has worked—or hasn’t. This course can be taken alone or as a complement to The Three Branches of Government/HIST1-CE9062, which considers similar questions in an earlier historical context.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • Knowledge of the roles of and dynamics between the three branches of government in the 20th and 21st centuries
  • Historical context for contemporary debate over questions of executive power, judicial overreach, and congressional authority

Ideal for

  • Anyone with an interest in legal, political, or US history
  • Those seeking to contextualize historical or contemporary political tensions
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.