The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the politics of state and local governments through the prism of political science. At the course's conclusion, students should be able to identify and discuss the operation of major political actors and institutions common to many political situations in the American states and their constituent subdivisions. Moreover, students should develop a reasonably comprehensive framework to analyze and understand political systems and information that may fall beyond the scope of this course. As such, this course will encompass a basic introduction to the field of political science. This material will also serve as an important foundation for students who pursue more advanced studies in political science.