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Domestic Policy
Guide: Making and Shaping Domestic Policy

These resources explore the challenges and complexities of domestic policymaking in the United States. Issues, interest groups, and the role of the president and Congress are highlighted in articles, videos, documents, and photographs. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Theme Key Understandings

  • Governments' approaches to regulation change over time based on domestic and global circumstances
  • American domestic policies span a spectrum from a free-market approach to a highly regulatory approach
  • A citizen's opinion on the need for regulation generally depends on his or her role in society
  • Social and economic policies form the basis of domestic policy
  • Through social policy, government officials can provide programs and services to maintain and improve citizen welfare
  • Through economic policy, the government seeks to maintain stability for the national economy
  • Foreign policies are influenced by the accepted doctrine of a time period, which is often shaped in reaction to world events
  • The executive branch plays the leading role in directing foreign policy

Key Questions

  • How does the diverse population of the United States create challenges for the government when it seeks to shape domestic policy?
  • What is the primary role of the president in regard to domestic policy? Describe how the president works with Congress in establishing domestic policy.
  • Identify two ways citizens seek to directly impact domestic policy decisions.


  1. Overview: Making and Shaping Domestic Policy
  2. Timelines: Immigration: Timeline
  3. Outlines: Outline
  4. Transcripts: Transcript
  5. Lesson: Introduction
  6. Lesson: 1-Making Policy for a Diverse Country
  7. Lesson: 2-The President's Role in Domestic Policy
  8. Lesson: 3-Congress's Role in Domestic Policy
  9. Lesson: 4-The People's Role in Domestic Policy
  10. Lesson: Closing
  11. Investigate Activities: War on Drugs
  12. Photos & Illustrations: Health care protest
  13. Photos & Illustrations: Health care reform: House of Representatives votes on reform bill (2010)
  14. Reference Articles: Immigration Debate
  15. Reference Articles: Legal Punishment
  16. Reference Articles: Gun Control: Congressional Attitudes toward
  17. Reference Articles: Drug Policy: Nixon Administration
  18. Reference Articles: Drug Policy: Reagan Administration
  19. Reference Articles: Drug Policy: Clinton Administration
  20. Speeches: Obama, Barack: Remarks on signing health care reform bill (2010)

MLA Citation

"Making and Shaping Domestic Policy." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Support/Content/2156177?cid=256. Accessed 6 Dec. 2019.

Entry ID: 2156177

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