This website is intended primarily for college professors teaching introductory American Government courses, although I hope it will also be helpful for professors teaching U.S. History as well as secondary-level teachers offering courses on Civics, American Government, and U.S. History. I believe these courses have great civic educational potential and that high quality K-20 civic education is vitally important for the future of American liberal democracy. The odds are that you agree with me on both counts. If you’ve made it to this website, you are likely a professor/teacher who sees the civic educational potential of your courses and who wants to inspire and empower your students to become responsible, knowledgeable, and engaged citizens who contribute positively to democratic self-government. But I also know that, in all likelihood, you feel like you could be doing more. Based on my own experience, I can say a lack of time is the biggest obstacle most teachers face to realizing the civic educational potential of their courses.

This site’s mission is summarized succinctly by the tagline, “Save time saving democracy.” You probably have some questions about this. Here are my answers.

Save Time

What makes you think I need to save time?

Well, strictly speaking, time places a limit on everyone’s ability to teach as effectively as they want. There is always more we can do to inform ourselves about our subject matter, plan engaging lessons, create quality assignments, and design impactful courses. Nearly all the information we need for achieving those goals is available at our fingertips, but most of us lack the time to sift through it. Our team at U.S. Civitas seeks to do the sifting for you and provide other resources that allow you to use your scarce time more productively and unleash your creativity.

How do you help me save time?

Saving Democracy

Saving democracy isn’t in my job description. How does this apply to me?

What does democracy need to be saved from?

How does this site help me contribute to saving democracy?

I don’t think we have a democracy, so what is there to save?

Is democracy really worth saving?

I’m a political scientist. I don’t think my job is to promote one type of regime or another. That’s a normative judgment, and there is no place for that in social science. Instead, I should just teach students what political scientists know about the development of institutions, how they operate, and how they and other factors influence human political behavior. Can I still benefit from this site?