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Civics 101

What's the difference between the House and the Senate? How do congressional investigations work? What is Federalist X actually about? Civics 101 is the podcast refresher course on the basics of how our democracy works.

Education
Government
History
1
The Democratic Party
My how things have changed.
19 min
2
Third Parties
When not winning is part of the strategy.
24 min
3
Becoming a U.S. Citizen
Why is it a breeze for some and the doldrums for others?
19 min
4
Census
It's about people, money and power.
19 min
5
Student Contest Announcement: Stump Speech
Give us your 60 second pitch for president
2 min
6
Electoral College
The intentional barrier between the people and who they want to be President.
19 min
7
Introducing: Stranglehold
A new podcast by New Hampshire Public Radio about primaries, political power and the most stubborn statespeople you'll ever meet.
5 min
8
Conventions
Spring break for political elites with a sprinkling of nomination on top.
33 min
9
Impeachment
The history, the process, and some fancy robes.
19 min
10
Primaries and Caucuses
Choosing who we're gonna choose.
27 min
11
How to Run for President
Almost anyone can do it... but what does it actually take?
31 min
12
Student Contest Winner: On the Bench
Guest episode on representation in the Supreme Court
19 min
13
Starter Kit: How A Bill (really) Becomes a Law
4% of bills become laws. 90% die in committee. Here's why.
24 min
14
Starter Kit: Federalism
One big government and the fifty little governments that comprise it.
24 min
15
Starter Kit: Judicial Branch
They used to meet in a basement.
20 min
16
Starter Kit: Legislative Branch
Rules, roles and representation in the People's branch
23 min
17
Starter Kit: Executive Branch
From President to Postal Worker
21 min
18
Starter Kit: Checks and Balances
The glue that slows us down and holds us together.
15 min
19
Upcoming Series: Civics Starter Kit
But what do I REALLY need to know?
1 min
20
Life Stages: Death
Or How I Stopped Grieving and Learned to Love Bureaucracy
29 min
21
Life Stages: Retirement
How do we prepare for life after work?
27 min
22
Life Stages: Marriage
Love had nothing to do with it.
33 min
23
Life Stages: Work
What are your employment rights and where did they come from?
33 min
24
Life Stages: School
How the government and schools have danced together for 400 years. And do you have to even go?
30 min
25
Life Stages: Birth
What does it mean to be born a U.S. citizen?
29 min
26
Founding Documents: Bill of Rights
A "nauseous project" becomes a bulwark of liberty.
23 min
27
Special Announcement: Student Contest
Make a podcast about a 'thing'. Deadline May 15th!
1 min
28
Founding Documents: The Federalist and Anti-Fed...
The all-out op-ed battle over the U.S. Constitution.
28 min
29
Founding Documents: The Constitution
A summer of grimy compromise.
37 min
30
Founding Documents: Articles of Confederation
So you've declared independence. Now what?
20 min
31
Founding Documents: Declaration of Independence
The shortest document with the biggest possible job.
26 min
32
Founding Documents: Magna Carta
The obscure English parchment that has nothing -- and everything -- to do with our idea of freedom.
28 min
33
Special Announcement: Upcoming Season
Our nation was built on paper and ink. So for our next series, we’re tackling the documents that serve as the foundation of our country.
2 min
34
Midterm Edition: Why Vote?
Because Election Day is just the beginning.
27 min
35
Midterm Edition: Propositions
A stark look at the pros and cons of direct democracy.
25 min
36
Midterm Edition: Campaigning
Shaking Hands, Kissing Babies and Capitalizing on Disillusionment
29 min
37
Midterm Edition: House v Senate
What's the difference?
25 min
38
Midterm Edition: State and Local Elections
The down-ballot offices that hold the reigns of your day-to-day life.
21 min
39
Midterm Edition: 5 Things to Know about the Mid...
A primer on the most important exercise in democracy that you never cared about.
21 min
40
Special Announcement and IRL2 rebroadcast
A word on what we're working on, plus the history of protesting our flag and pledge.
29 min
41
IRL1: Free Speech in Schools [Rebroadcast]
Four Supreme Court cases that changed it all for students
24 min
42
The Death Penalty
The history, and possible future, of government-sanctioned killings
19 min
43
The Equal Rights Amendment
Almost 100 years after it was first proposed, the Equal Rights Amendment has not been ratified.
18 min
44
The Affordable Care Act
Obama's signature healthcare law tried to overhaul American health care. Did it work?
18 min
45
Tariffs
The history of and rationale for (or for not) taxing goods that enter our country.
16 min
46
Contest Winner: Unconventional
A radio drama about the constitutional convention, by Adia Samba-Quee
21 min
47
The Draft
Selective service, conscientious objection, and our American history of military conscription.
20 min
48
The Federal Register
The most important government document you've never heard of.
11 min
49
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
From fighting cancer to exploring the human genome, here's how your taxpayer dollars fund medical science.
13 min
50
Police
What's the role of Police in our government?
19 min
51
Infrastructure – Water!
What is the story of public water in the United States?
16 min
52
Freedom of Information Act
If you want to get your hands on government documents, there's a law for that.
15 min
53
NASA
Space! The final frontier... for civics?
18 min
54
The White House Press Secretary
The tricky middle ground between press and president.
15 min
55
ICE
What role does ICE play in immigration policy?
17 min
56
The National Guard
What does the National Guard do? Who "calls it in?"
18 min
57
Episode 118: Presidential Transitions
What happens when one president leaves office and another one enters?
18 min
58
Episode 117: Hostages
How does the U.S. handle hostage situations?
13 min
59
Episode 116: Infrastructure - Roads!
Highways, bridges, culverts, and more... Who pays for infrastructure, and who benefits?
18 min
60
Episode 115: Foreign Aid
Where do the billions of dollars spent on U.S. foreign aid go?
15 min
61
Episode 114: The CIA
What is the role of a foreign intelligence service in a democracy?
15 min
62
Episode 113: The Americans with Disabilities Act
One of our broadest, and least appreciated, civil rights laws.
16 min
63
Episode 112: The Eighth Amendment
What does it mean to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment?
15 min
64
Special Announcement: Student Contest!
High School students and classes apply to host and co-produce a full Civics 101 episode
2 min
65
Episode 111: The Department of Justice
What exactly does the Department of Justice do?
15 min
66
Episode 110: The Hatch Act
It's official title is an "Act To Prevent Pernicious Political Activities."
14 min
67
Episode 109: The Fourth Amendment
It protects against searches and seizures... but only those that are unreasonable.
17 min
68
Episode 108: The FBI
What goes on inside the Federal Bureau of Investigation?
18 min
69
Episode 107: Torture
How we treat prisoners of war, and what it says about us.
17 min
70
Episode 106: Department of State & Department o...
The two most powerful positions in the cabinet.
14 min
71
Episode 105: Democratic Norms
The unwritten rules that make or break democracy.
17 min
72
IRL2: The Flag and the Pledge
The history of the American flag and the Pledge of Allegiance. Also, four Supreme Court cases about the flag and free speech.
27 min
73
Episode 104: Voting Rights
The Constitution doesn't explicitly guarantee the right to vote. So, who gets to vote and how did it get that way?
16 min
74
Episode 103: The Fifteenth Amendment
A look into the history and effects of the last reconstruction amendment
16 min
75
Episode 102: The Fourteenth Amendment
The source of due process, equal protection, and citizenship, all in one place.
17 min
76
Episode 101: The Thirteenth Amendment
A look into the history and effects of the first of the reconstruction amendments
15 min
77
Episode 100: DACA
A primer on DACA - the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
15 min
78
Episode 99: First Ladies
What is expected of the First Lady, and who defined the role?
16 min
79
Episode 98: Nuclear Weapons
We have the firepower to end it all. How do we wield it?
15 min
80
Episode 97: Inspectors General
A closer look at the internal watchdogs that oversee various government agencies.
15 min
81
Episode 96: The Federal Election Commission
Who plays referee in U.S. elections?
16 min
82
Episode 95: How We Vote
How our voting method came out of voting madness.
17 min
83
Episode 94: Super PACs
Have super PACs changed the way American elections work?
18 min
84
Episode 93: Welfare
The [contentious] history of welfare and its role today
15 min
85
BONUS: Government Shutdown (Rebroadcast)
What happens when the government shuts down?
11 min
86
Episode 92: Lightning Round
We tear through a whole lot of little questions.
19 min
87
Episode 91: The Two-Party System
A principle called Duverger's law explains why two major political parties dominate American politics.
20 min
88
Episode 90: The Surgeon General
Who's behind those cigarette package warning labels?
15 min
89
Episode 89: Post-Presidency
What happens after the leader of the free world leaves office?
15 min
90
Episode 88: Department of Homeland Security
How the Federal Government reorganized itself in the wake of September 11th.
17 min
91
Episode 87: The National Anthem
Where does our national anthem come from?
11 min
92
Episode 86: Camp David
What is Camp David and what do presidents use it for?
13 min
93
Episode 85: Lobbying [Rebroadcast]
What do lobbyists do day-to-day, and how much power do they have?
14 min
94
Episode 84: FEMA
Earthquakes, hurricanes and nuclear war... how well is FEMA prepared to handle out nation's disasters?
15 min
95
Episode 83: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fir...
What led to the creation of America's vice squad? Liquor taxes.
12 min
96
Episode 82: U.S. Allies
What does it mean to be an ally of the United States?
17 min
97
Episode 81: HUD
Learn about the past, present, and future of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
15 min
98
Episode 80: The National Archives
Where America's important documents are stored forever.
16 min
99
Episode 79: The U.S. Flag Code
The document that outlines how American flags should and shouldn't be handled.
13 min
100
Episode 78: Congressional Committees
When the cameras are off, Congress gets down to work.
10 min