Studying the American political process is a lifelong pursuit of even the most respected political scholars. The subject matter is too overwhelming to completely master. However, anyone with free time, desire and some dedication can begin to learn what makes the American democracy work. Read on to learn more.

1. Start with the basics of the American political process by reading Encyclopedia Britannica’s overview article. From Encyclopedia Britannica’s website, search for “United States Political Process.” Alternatively, visit your local library for the print version of Encyclopedia Britannica and ask the librarian for additional literature on the basics of the American political process.

2. Read the United States Constitution once you know a few of the basics. The constitution outlines the political process followed in America today. The language can be challenging because of the time period the document was written in, but you might be surprised how concise the document is. It can be read in about 30 minutes. To read the document, go to the National Archives website, click on “Charters of Freedom” and then “The Constitution.”

3. Get to know the major political parties and what they advocate. You can do this by reading the platforms of the parties. For the Democratic Party platform, go to the official website of the Democratic Party, click on “Our Party,” then “What We Stand For” and then “Party Platform. To read the Republican Party platform, go to the official website of the Republican Party, click on “About the GOP” and then “Party Platform.”

4. Enroll in a course at your local community college covering the American political process. Most community colleges allow people to enroll in only one course. Find other people who are interested in the political process and take the course as a group.

5. Follow current events in American politics with C-Span. C-Span is a series of cable channels covering American politics. Visit the C-Span website for details on programming and other coverage of the American political process.

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