What is the benefit of taking a foundational course (Gov 10, 20, 30 or Gov 40) rather than a 1000-level course to fulfill the distribution requirement?

The foundational courses are designed to provide you with a firm grounding in the fundamental concepts and themes of the subfield. If you are unfamiliar with the subfield, or intend to study it in greater depth later, you may find it useful to take the foundational course rather than a 1000-level course in order to ensure that you have a good overview of the subject matter. This breadth of study will give you a firm base for upper-level work in the subfield, and will help you if you need to take oral exams for your final honors determination.