Virginia Government and Politics

Course Code
PLAP 3420
Kenneth S. Stroupe
Mary Brown

The course focuses on government at the state and local levels and introduces students to key political figures and policymakers (past and present) who influence the politics and political culture of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Students begin the course in Jamestown, the birthplace of American democracy, and conclude with a behind-the-scenes look at opening day of the Virginia General Assembly and go behind-the-scenes for the Governor’s annual State of the Commonwealth address. Along the way students also explore the complex history of the Civil War, its culmination in Appomattox and how circumstances of the Civil War influenced the next 150 years, including the long entrenchment of the Byrd organization as well as the resurgence of first the Republican Party and then the modern Democratic Party.