American Government/Politics Exam #1
Terms in this set (156)
What is government?
The institutions and procedures through which a territory and it's people are ruled
Who is Thomas Hobbes? What did he stand for?
"State of Nature": ***
thought life without government would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short."
Wanted STRONG central government
People must form a social contract with a sovereign authority to form a civil society
Who is John Locke? What does he stand for?
"Natural Rights": Life, liberty & property.
-The laws of nature govern people (innate morals)
-Government must be built on the "consent of the governed"
Called for LIMITED government that only sought to protect the natural rights of citizens
Trade off theory
Liberty & Freedom versus Protection
Why do we need government?
Protect property (Locke)
Supply public goods & services
What does public goods & services require?***
No formal limits on people
Eliminates all challenges
No formal limits but can be restrained by others
Formal limits (constitution)
Ruled by small group of people
Ruled by few who are chosen by birth into noble families
A system of rule that permits citizens to play a part in the governmental process- elections
Advances to having political knowledge...
Fosters civic virtues, helps citizens identify beneficial policies and informs voting, promotes participation
Freedom from government control
Equality, equal opportunity or equal results?
Equality of Opportunity
Everyone has a CHANCE
Equality of Results
Everyone should win
becoming your own
Limited be constitution, provides goods and services, Laisse-faire capitalism (government is handsoff)
The will of more than half voters should be followed
guarantees rights to those who don't belong in majority
principle of democracy in which political authority rests in the hands of the people
conflicts over leadership, structure and policies, Lasswell- "Who gets what? When? and How?"
Having influence is power
Emphasizes that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own preferred policies.
Elite & Class theory
Society is divided along class lines and upper class elite will rule, regardless of government organization.
Top 1% is accounted for 10% in total income in 1981 & 21.8% in 2005
Elite and Class theory
The theory posits that a small minority, consisting of members of the economic elite and policy-planning networks, holds the most power
Events leading to the Constitution
Britain raised taxes, tightened trade regulations, colonists lacked representation, wanted religious freedom and Common Sense came out
Declaration of Independence
Formed when continental congress met, wrote by Jefferson, rooted with the natural rights by Locke
John Hanson but 1st elected President is George Washington
Articles of Confederation
1st Constitution (adopted in 1777) (enacted in 1781), established continental congress but authority rested in the states
Problems of the Articles of Confederation
Had one house (7 delegates from each state, counted for 1 vote), no national court, weak legislature (no power to tax, or regulate commerce), no executive, different currency between states, states rights differed, financial turmoil
1st address to the problems of the Articles
Shay's Rebellion (farmer's riot, burned courts)
May 1787 - Constitutional Convention
12 States - Rhode Island did not send
Purpose of revising AoC- Not actually the plan
What and how many delegates came to the Constitutional Convention (1st)?
55 people, 12/13 states (RI did not come)
Major issues at Constitutional Convention...
Representation (Large v Small states), slaves, voting, economy, individual rights, strong national v states rights (party split)
New Jersey Plan
WIlliam Patterson, benefit small states, one house, all equal repersentation
James Madison, benefit large states, one house, representation based on population
The Great Compromise (Connecticut Compromise)
Established our congress, House of Representatives (# of reps based on population of the state), Senate (2 reps from each states)
Laws made in Constitutional Convention about salvery
Limited future importing of slaves, Fugitive Slave Provision (required runaways to return), representation (3/5th compromise)
What were the Democratic limitations made in Convention?
Checks and Balances, Electoral College, Bill of Rights, Separation of Powers (divided the 3 branches), Federalism (state versus national government)
2 or more governments that rule over a land (state & national) --combination of unitary and confederation government
Separation of powers
3 branches of government, Article 1: Legislative, Article 2: Executive, Article 3: Judiciary
Article 1: Legislature
Divided by House and Senate
House of Representatives
Based on the population of each state, elected by the people every 2 years, members have to be 25 years old and a citizen for 7 years
2 representatives from each state, elected by the state legislature, staggered terms, members have to be 30 years old and a citizen for 9 years
Powers of Congress: Article 1 Section 8
Expressed & Enumerated, tax, regulate commerce, borrow and coin money, declare war, maintain army and navy
Requires everyone to have health care, young stay on parents plan longer, subsides for low income, sets up insurance exchanges, businesses with 50+ full time employees must provide healthcare
Necessary and Proper Clause
Aka Elastic clause: leads to all the implied powers (congress can make laws that are necessary and proper) "commerce clause" in expressed powers
describes the enumerated powers
10th Amendment -- everything else is left to the states
all the powers the national and state government have
Article 2: Executive
Represents us all, negotiate treaties, grant pardons, elected by the electoral college
each state gets a number of electors= house members+senators
270=Magic number to win
How your state votes is how your electors vote
Problems with electoral college
there is no federal law requiring the electors to vote the way the state does (157x), president might win electoral vote but not the popular vote (3x), exclusive to only the swing states
Article 3: Judicial
Supreme court system
power to review actions and tell if they are constitutional or not
Marbury v Madison (1803)
established Judicial Review
DC v Heller
Gun law that prohibited people from carrying without a license and kept unloaded (2nd amendment)
Checks and Balances- SHORT ANSWER ?
Each branch looks after one another to keep a balanced system
Article 6: Supremacy Clause
Says National laws are supreme to state and local laws
Article 7: Ratification
4 way to amend the constitution; changed only 27 times
1st way to amend the constitution
done 26 times, House & Senate have to have 2/3 vote and State Legislature have to have 3/4 vote
2 Chambers/2 houses
all power in the central government
no central government, all power to states
Benefits of Federalism
policy experimentation & innovation,
unify nation without breaking down sub-components,
appeased anti federalists
How many governments do we have in the US?
How is federalism formed?
-Expressed Powers (Article 1, Sec. 8)
-Implied Powers (Necessary and Proper Clause)
-Reserved powers (10th Amendment)
-Police Power: regulate health, safety, and morals of its citizens
Police power (same as previous, need to know)
regulate health, safety, and morals of its citizens STATE GOVERNMENT
What are the state obligations to each other?
Full Faith & Credit, Privileges and Immunity Clause
Full Faith and Credit (Article 4, Sec. 1)
states should honor the acts and judicial system that takes place in another state
Privileges & Immunities Clause (Article 4, Sec. 2)
a state cannot discriminate against or give a certain state special privileges
legal doctrine that local government are creatures of the state
power delegated by the state to a local unit of government to manage own affairs
Are local governments talked about in the constitution?
What are the types of federalism?
states and national government remain supreme within their own spheres
states and local governments take on nationally defined goals
responsibilities are left unclear
Things that have changed in the governmental system in the years
expansion of implied powers
redefinition in commerce clause
the new deal
What does the supreme court do?
decides national versus state governments
doctrine that says states have the authority to declare acts of congress unconstitutional
McCulloch v Maryland (1819)
Set national bank-- court ruled yes and it reinforced implied powers; supremacy of national over state
** got rid of Nullification
Gibbons v Ogden (1824)
Commerce clause- still emphasized "interstate commerce"
New Deal & 1930s
Commerce clause expanded
US v Lopez (1995)
Not commerce, states got power
Grants & Aids
congress gives money to the states for specific purposes
Congress gives to state for specific purpose (project & formula)
Project & Formulas
national giving states money for criteria that needs money (broad). Project- competitive
Changes in Federalism
Regulated federalism, unfunded mandates, devolution, block grants
Regulated federalism (1960s-1970s)
congress passing legislation on state government (making tougher laws)
Requires states to abide by tougher federal laws
General Revenue Sharing
The federal government provided money to local government and counties with no strings attached; localities could spend the money as they wished.
congress passes laws and doesn't give states money
(conservative idea) transferring power from national to state
gets money for a broad purpose
What has passed that expands the national power?
obamacare, patriot act, homeland security, no child left behind
Scope of conflict
if you don't get your way, expand the audience
example: perceptions minorities are treated unfair by the law enforcement
What are civil liberties?
areas of personal freedom constitutionally protected that the government cannot violate
Where do we get civil liberties?
Bill of rights, defined by courts, police, lawmakers and are protected by government action
Bill of Rights
not in original constitution
needed for ratification and to please antifederalists
Barron v Baltimore (1833)
Bill of Rights restrained only national government (NOT state/city gov)
The 14th Amendment
Key step to applying Bill of Rights to state and local governments.
Due Process, equal protection
process that the bill of rights has been applied to the state and local government, nationalizing the bill of rights
Quincy RR v Chicago (1897)
Nationalize the bill of rights, Eminent Domain applying the the local governments (5th amend)
The government may take private property in the interest of the greater public good, but must justly compensate the owner.
Freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition (rapps)
establishment clause and exercise clause
government cannot make a law respecting the establishment of religion
Lemon v Kurtzman
put forth the Lemon test
set criteria to prevent violation of the establishment clause:
stature have secular purpose
can't advance or inhibit religion
not foster excessive government entanglement
Free Exercise Clause
congress should make no law respecting or prohibiting religion
1791 Alien and Sedition Acts (freedom of speech)
made it a crime to say/publish anything that defames the government
1919 Schenk v US
congress can restrict your speech if it has "clear and present" danger
Near v Minnesota (1931)
protects newspapers from prior restraint
New York Times v US (1971)
Pentagon papers are ok to publish
Comstock Act (1873)
crime to mail anything obscene
sexual explicit material, and material about birth control and abortion
"7 Dirty Word" Test
written statement reckless that is damaging to the victim
spoken word that is damaging
Texas v Johnson (1989)
ruled okay to burn the flag
Money as speech law?
restricts how much money one can donate to a campaign
Amendments that are rights for the criminally abused
4, 5, 6, 8, -> due process
rights of every individual against arbitrary use of government
search and seizure & arrest warrants
Mapp v Ohio (1961)
extended the 4th amendment & applied it to states
Exclusionary rule: can't use found evidence is found illegally
Grand jury: says if the case should go to trial
Miranda v Arizona (1966)
made the Miranda Rights: guidelines said for self incrimination and to protect their right to counsel
Persons under arrest must be informed prior to police interrogation of their rights to remain silent and to legal counsel
right to council, confront witness & the right to a speedy and public trial
Gideon v WainWright (1963)
Anyone accused of a felony, however poor he or she might be, has a right to a lawyer
protects against exclusive bail/fines & cruel and unusual punishment, Right to privacy
Right to Privacy
-right to be left alone
-right to die
-not listed in the bill of rights
-a cumulative effect of rights
-entails access to birth controls and abortions
Bowers v Hardwick (1986)
acted on laws against gay marriage 1986-2003
The document that prevents a person from being held in jail indefinitely without being charged.
Bill of attainder
A law allowing an individual to be found guilty of a crime without due process (disallowed by constitution)
Ex Post Facto Laws
A law that makes an action illegal even though it was committed before the law was passed
What are civil rights?
policies designed to protect people against illegal action/
Key Amendments to civil rights
13, 14, 15, 19
African american men voting rights
women voting rights
use of unreasonable or unjust criteria
Jim Crow Laws:
discriminatory laws for slavery in the south
Plessy v Ferguson (1896)
separate but equal
Brown v Board of Education (1954)
struck down separate but equal (14th amendment)
Civil Rights Act (1964)
made racism illegal
Voting Rights Act (1965)
removed barriers of sufferage
De jure v De facto Segregation
De jure = "by law"
De facto = "in reality"
In RACIAL discrimination cases, burden of proof is on the government to show that the law is constitutional
In GENDER discrimination cases, burden of proof is on both challengers and government
Korematsu v US (1994)
-Internment of 100,000 Americans of Japanese descent constitutional during WWII
-Need to prevent espionage overrides the rights of Americans of Japanese descent
Re-drawing electoral districts to give an advantage to one race or political party
Government policies/programs that make special efforts to help members of certain groups gain access to educational and employment opportunities.
Equal Protection Clause