Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Films on Demand
Films on Demand contains educational streaming videos from Films Media Group. Special features allow users the ability to organize and bookmark clips, create and share playlists, personalize folders, and manage their collection through a robust administrative reporting system.
Videos of Interest
The Legislative Branch
Although the office of the president personifies American leadership, the legislative branch was actually designed to hold at least as much power as the executive, if not more. Many Founding Fathers envisioned Congress as the primary governing body, given its closeness, politically speaking, to the people. This program examines the origins, history, and activities of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Topics include the roots of today’s legislative branch in the Continental Congress of the Revolutionary period; the reasons why a bicameral legislature was ultimately deemed necessary; the unique characteristics of both legislative chambers; the specific functions of Congress, from writing and passing bills to ratifying treaties to declaring war; and more. A viewable/printable instructor’s guide is available online. A Films for the Humanities & Sciences Production. A part of the series U.S. Government: How It Works. (26 minutes)
How a Bill Becomes a Law
This program deciphers the legislative process by explaining how an idea metamorphoses into a law. In interviews, prominent legislators and lobbyists explain how a bill is conceived, moved through the House and Senate or killed in committee, amended, prepared for a vote, and sent to the president or governor for a signature. A Cambridge Educational Production. (27 minutes)
Evolution of the Congress
The United States Congress is among the most influential political bodies in the world. While it adheres steadfastly to many procedures and traditions, Congress is nonetheless a markedly different institution today than might have been envisioned by our Founding Fathers. This program examines how the legislative branch of the government has evolved, exploring the intended purpose of Congress and what challenges it faces in trying to remain an essential part of our democracy. Experts featured in the program include Dick Baker, Senate Historian; Ray Smock, former Historian of the House; and Dr. Michael Gillette of the Center for Legislative Archives. (29 minutes)