Civics 101 | New Hampshire Public Radio

Civics 101

Sara Plourde/NHPR

Today we're answering a listener question about certifying the Electoral College vote. Namely: what is with all of the downtime between the date when the electors meet to vote and the day those votes get counted in Congress? Is it a holdover from the days of slow travel and horse drawn carriage? Is it about our molasses bureaucracy? 

Read on or listen to this short episode for the answer.

Beginning immediately after Election Day and through the end of January 2021, NHPR’s award-winning podcast Civics 101 will answer questions from listeners, teachers, students, and readers on a near-daily basis. For the next 100 days, the team behind the podcast will provide timely information for educators, students, and anyone interested in the foundations of U.S.

 It's the highest court in the land. An entity with so much influence over federal law that the appointment of a new justice can cause an almost existential reaction among lawmakers and the public alike. How is it possible, then, that Alexander Hamilton thought of the Supreme Court as "beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power"?

 

 

The hosts of NHPR's Civics 101, a podcast refresher course on the basics of our democracy, have written a new book, A User's Guide to Democracy: How America Works.  We talk with them about what people should, and often don't, know about American government, and we hear from leaders in NH who are working to improve civics education for students and new Americans. 

Air date: Monday, September 28, 2020. 

Educators can continue to look to Civics 101 as a valuable educational aid for both remote teaching and in-classroom learning. Beginning August 31, NHPR is launching an “Ask Civics 101” segment each Monday during All Things Considered on NHPR (weekdays 4 – 6:30 p.m.).

Beginning this Sunday NHPR is airing special seasons of the Civics 101 podcast. History buffs, teachers, and students can tune in to learn more about the basics of American democracy. 

NHPR’s Emily Quirk spoke with Nick Capodice, co-host of the Civics 101 podcast.

N. Mendal Shafer

The United States government spreads power across three branches of government: the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Why three branches? What does each branch do that the others cannot? And how do they work together? 

Today’s Civics Short, designed for middle schoolers but fun for all, takes a closer look at the who, what, where, and whys of the Census.

US Census Bureau

Every ten years the United States government tries to count every person in the country with a census. What is the census? Why does the government need to count people? Who is it doing the counting? Today’s Civics Short, designed for middle schoolers but fun for all, takes a closer look at the who, what, where, and whys of the Census.

Centers for Disease Control

The CDC, or the Centers for Disease Control, have been in the news a lot lately. But what is the CDC? And what does it do? Today’s Civics Short, designed for middle schoolers but fun for all, takes a closer look at the who, what, where, and whys of the CDC.

Pete Souza/Wikimedia

A presidential election occurs every four years in this country. But how do you actually run for president? Who gets to do it? How do you launch a campaign? NHPR’s own Civics 101 has the answer with a new series of “civics shorts,” quick lessons and stories aimed at middle schoolers…but a good refresher for us all. Find more Civics 101 episodes.

Impeachment is something we're hearing a lot about in the news. But where are we actually in the process? What's the difference between impeachment and an impeachment inquiry? And how helpful is it to compare what's happening now to impeachments past?

NHPR has a podcast for that. It's called Civics 101.

NHPR's Peter Biello sat down with Civics 101 co-host Nick Capodice to learn more. 

This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity. 

What's nearly triangular, fiercely litigated, and often just rivers? The state border, of course. This week, we look at how New Hampshire fought for its borders. And how the borders inside the state determine how we are represented.

 

Forest and the Trees

Jun 14, 2019

Running for office in NH is more than kissing babies and shaking hands. There are qualifications to meet, paperwork to be filed, yard signs to be placed… and town dumps to visit.  Then, we'll head into the woods to discover the department that manages the state's forests.

Who Needs Counties

May 3, 2019
Library of Congress; New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station

Counties are the "forgotten" part of government, but why do they matter?

New Hampshire like every other state has its own Supreme Court. It’s not the all-powerful arbiter of justice that the name would imply. A primer on the New Hampshire Surpreme Court from Civics 101: NH. Then, the controversial start to our Constitution.

Town Meeting Explained

Mar 15, 2019

Town meetings are a New Hampshire institution. It’s where all the year’s business is voted on by citizens in town halls, gyms, and community centers around the state. But for the uninitiated, town meeting can be confusing. Civics 101: New Hampshire helps break it down.

Then, Sam Evans-Brown introduces us to pirate trails.

Lobbying All The Way

Mar 1, 2019

When you visit the State House in Concord, you might notice some well-dressed people sporting bright orange name tags: lobbyists. What do lobbyists do and how does lobbying work?

Then we’re going inside drug court, a program designed to divert people with substance use disorders from prison.

Civics 101: New Hampshire, our local look at how state government works, brings us a look at the governor. Not our current governor specifically, but the office of the governor itself. What does the NH state governor do? And what makes our governor position different than in other states?

Then, a thought experiment: How fast could people go before the combustion engine and other technologies drastically increased the speed of the human race? And how did they pull it off?

flickr cc

Nashua is the most diverse city in New Hampshire, with the state’s largest population of foreign-born residents.  Today on Word of Mouth, we’re exploring how immigrants decide to build a life in Nashua… and what that has meant for them and for the city.

 

Then, we’re going way back in time to look at how Magna Carta shaped the American democratic project.

There's only one place in the world that you can find the axolotl—the Mexican salamander—in the wild. This creature is the living embodiment of the Aztec god of heavenly fire, of lightning and the underworld.But the wild axolotl’s fate might be bound to the Aztecs by more than myth in a story from Outside/In.

Then, the Executive Council. What is it? Why do we have it? And what does it do?

There's no easy way to ask for money. Just ask the governor of New Hampshire. In just a few weeks, Governor Sununu will present his proposed budget to the state legislature. All of this got us wondering.... what is the budget? Who writes it, and what do we spend money on? And how are New Hampshire’s spending decisions different from other states? For answers, we're turning to something new here at NHPR, Civics 101: New Hampshire, a local offshoot of our popular Civics 101 podcast.

Get Swole

Dec 14, 2018

Today, two stories about different kinds of ambition: one a desire to sculpt the body and the other a desire to sculpt legislation. NHPR reporter Todd Bookman followed one amateur bodybuilder as he prepared for his first competition. Then, we learn all about propositions - the civic kind - from Civics 101.