Segments in this Video

The Election of 2000 (02:18)


The election of 2000 exposed the American electoral process and the unusual event of the winning candidate having received fewer popular votes than the runner-up.

The Origin of Political Parties (02:47)

The Federalist Party is one of the first political parties established in the United States. The Democratic Republican Party was established by Thomas Jefferson in 1792.

Republican vs. Democratic (01:31)

The two major political parties today are the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.

Third Parties (02:25)

Although third party candidates rarely win national elections, they have proven to be influential by drawing attention to issues that may be ignored by the majority parties.

Presidential Campaigns (02:09)

Campaigns help candidates showcase their ideals and skills directly to the voting public.

Modern Campaigns (01:50)

Modern technology has contributed to the transformation of today's campaign.

Elections and Voting (01:54)

Primary elections are used to elect a party's nominee. Political conventions are a national forum in which candidates are officially announced.

Electoral College (02:04)

Candidates are not chosen from direct election but rather from the Electoral College.

The Right to Vote (01:48)

The Voting Act of 1965 banned the use of discriminatory practices used to prevent certain groups from voting.

Responsibility of All Citizens (03:31)

Nominating and electing our candidates is a fundamental right of all American citizens.

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Elections and Political Parties

Part of the Series : U.S. Government: How It Works
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



A government of the people, by the people, and for the people isn’t possible without the laborious process of nominating and electing candidates, in a manner fair and free to all citizens. How did this process begin and how has it evolved over the course of American history? Does it even remotely resemble—for better or for worse—the manner in which the Founding Fathers gained high office? Using the 2000 election of George W. Bush and the uncertainties it exposed in the American electoral process as a departure point, this program examines how political parties were started, and why; methods and campaigns that were launched to elect different Presidents to office; and the history of voting and the constitutional amendments that made voting possible for all Americans. A viewable/printable instructor’s guide is available online. A Films for the Humanities & Sciences Production. A part of the series U.S. Government: How It Works. (24 minutes)

Length: 24 minutes

Item#: BVL39965

ISBN: 978-1-61616-027-2

Copyright date: ©2010

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

“Cuts through the complexities of American democracy without sacrificing substance. Succinct yet comprehensive, the series is a good primer on how American government operates....  Designed as a teaching tool, each episode is clearly organized around a basic three-point model — introduction, explanation, and summarization.... Convenient for classroom use. Recommended for academic, public, and school libraries.” —Educational Media Reviews Online

“This series offers an easy-to-understand overview of the key aspects of the U.S. government... Each film defines the topic, explores how it is relevant to the governmental process, gives examples of significant events, and provides historical context....  the content is very current and pertinent to today's issues.” —School Library Journal (Starred Review)

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