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Study Guide Government Final Exam
Terms in this set (121)
A government that gives all key powers to the national or central government
McCulloch v. Maryland
The case of McCulloch v. Maryland is about Congress's power to create a national bank. After Congress created such a bank, Maryland tried to make the Baltimore branch of the bank pay a large tax. The bank refused to pay the tax, and the state of Maryland sued. Expanded powers by interpreting the necessary and Proper clause and the elastic clause
A government that divides the powers of government between the national government and state or provincial governments
Independent agencies that have the government's authority to issue licences and punish people and groups that violate the laws under their authority. They make and enforce rules for large industries that affect many people.
A business that the federal government runs.
To accuse a public official of misconduct in office
The president's closest advisers, consisting of the vice president, the secretaries of each of the 15 executive departments, and other top government officials that help the president make decisions and policy
A method of defeating the bill in the Senate stalling the legislative process and preventing a vote.
The procedure that allows each senator to speak only one hour on the bill under debate. The only way to stop a filibuster.
The person whom a member of Congress has been elected to represent
The minimum number of members who must be present to permit a legislative body to take official action.
The authority of a trial court to be first to hear a case
Authority held by a court to hear a case that is appealed by a lower court
The supreme and absolute authority within territorial boundaries
Government in which the people rule
A system of government in which a king, queen, or emperor exercises supreme powers of government
A loose union of independent states
A system of government in which a small group holds power
Controlling all aspects of citizens' economic, political and social lives
A system of government in which power is in the hands of one person who has total control
A system of government in which the government has total control
A government in which votes hold sovereign power; elected representatives, responsible to the people, exercise that power. Representative democracy is a good example of this form of government
When a president kills a bill passed during the last 10 days Congress is in session by simply refusing to act on it
Rejection of a bill by the president
Power of the legislative branch to review the policies, programs, and activities of the executive branch on an ongoing basis
Powers directly stated in the constitution. Another name is enumerated powers
Powers not described in the Constitution, but have been claimed by presidents
The institution that is composed of a set of electors who are chosen to elect a president and vice president into office every four years.
The power of supreme court to declare laws and actions of local, state, or national governments unconstitutional
The process by which the Supreme Court decided on a case-by-case basis which federal rights also applied to the states
Courts that are able to hear a wide variety of cases that deal with state or local law, the state constitution, or federal law or the federal constitution
Courts that generally hear cases that raise questions about a federal law or the federal constitution
The philosophy that courts must sometimes step into political and social controversies in order to protect Constitutional rights
The philosophy that courts should generally avoid overturning laws passed or actions taken by democratically elected bodies
Speech urging the resistance to lawful authority or advocating the overthrow of the government
False expression that injures a person's reputation
An economic system in which factors of production are collectively owned and the central government directs all major economic decisions
An economic system in which private citizens own and use the factors of production in order to generate profits
An economic system in which the government owns the basic means of production, distributes the products and wages, and provides social services such services such as health care and welfare.
Economic system that combines elements of capitalism and socialism; in a mixed economy, the government regulates private enterprise
A government based on religion
Type of international organization made up of groups of national government and created through agreements negotiated by member states; an IGO's powers are established and limited by its members
Type of international organization made up of individuals and groups that are not part of any government
Agreement and organization created by a group of nations that want to limit trade barriers with one another
The selling of products between countries without tariffs or other trade barriers, such as limits on the the amount of goods that can be imported.
Protects American jobs and industries from foreign competition. Prevents foreign investors from gaining indue influence in U.S. economy. Protects public health and safety. Trade restrictions can be powerful foreign policy tool to promote American interests.
Bill of Right
Document limits the power of government and explains the freedoms that are guaranteed to all people in the country.
Freedom of Religion, Speech, and the Press
The Right to Bear Arms
The Housing of Soldiers
Protection from Unreasonable Searches and Seizures
Protection of Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property
Rights of Accused Persons in Criminal Cases
Rights in Civil Cases
Excessive Bail, Fines, and Punishments Forbidden. Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Other Rights Kept by the People. Says that there are more rights than just those in the Bill of Rights
Undelegated Powers Kept by the States and the People
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Established one of the most significant principles of an American constitutional law. In this case, the Supreme Court held that it is the court itself that has the final say on what the constitution means. It is also the Supreme Court that has the final say in whether or not an act of the government - legislative or executive at the federal, state, or local level - violates the Constitution. Established the judicial review
Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
Overruled Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and abandoned the "separate but equal" doctrine in the context of public schools. In deciding this case, the Supreme Court rejected the ideate truly eqivalent but separate schools for African American and white students would be constitutional. The Court then held that racial segregation in public schools violates the equal protection clause because it is inherently unequal. In practical terms, the Court's holding in this case has been extended beyond public education to virtually all public accommodations and activities.
Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
Held that a person in police custody cannot be question unless told that: 1) he or she has the right to remain silent, 2) he or she has the right to attorney (at government expense if the person is unable to pay), and 3) that anything the person says after acknowledging that he or she understands these rights can be used as evidence of guilt at trial. These advisements constitute the well-known Maranda warnings and operate to in sure that a person in custody will not unknowingly give up the fifth amendment's protection against self-incrimination.
Engle v. Vitale (1962)
Held that the establishment clause (U.S. Const., Amend. I, cl. 1) was violated by a public school district's practice of starting each school day with a prayer that began: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee." The Supreme Court explained that under the establishment clause, religion is a personal matter to be guided by individual choice. In short, the Court concluded that the establishment clause was intended to keep government out of religion, thus making it unacceptable for government to compose prayers for anyone to recite.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
upheld the "separate but equal" doctrine used by Southern states to perpetuate segregation after the Civil War officially ended it. At issue was the Louisiana law requiring passenger trains to have "equal but separate accommodations for white and colored races". The court held that the 14th amendment's equal protection clause required only equal public facilities for the two races, not equal access to the same facilities. This case was overruled by the Brown v. board of education
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
Overruled Betts v. Brady (see above) and held for the first time that poor defendants in criminal cases have the right to a state-paid attorney under the Sixth Amendment. This rule has been refined to apply when the defendant, if convicted, can be sentenced to more than six months in jail.
Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)
Decided before the Fourteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution. (The Fourteenth Amendment provides that anyone who is born or naturalized in the United States is a citizen of the nation and of his or her state of residence.) In this case, the Supreme Court held that an enslaved person was property, not a citizen, and thus had no rights under the Constitution. The Court's decision was met with outrage in the North and was a prime factor precipitating the Civil War.
United States v. Nixon (1974)
Made it clear that the president is not above the law. In the early 1970s, President Richard Nixon was named as an unindexed coconspirator in the criminal investigation that arose in the aftermath of a break-in at the offices of the Democratic Party in Washington, D.C. A federal judge ordered President Nixon to turn over tapes of conversations he had with his advisers. Nixon resisted the order, claiming that the conversation were entitled to absolute confidentiality by Article II of the Constitution. The Supreme Court disagreed and held that only those presidential conversations and communications that relate to preforming the duties of the office of president are confidential and protected from a judicial order of disclosure.
Loving v. Virginia (1967)
Argued that Virginia's antimiscegenation statue, which made the interracial marriage of Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving illegal in their state, was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled that this law had no purpose other than should be subject to "rigid scrutiny." The Court further argued that under the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Constitution grants the freedom of an individual to marry a person of another race if he or she so chooses and that this right may not be infringed upon by the state.
A family member is the next heir
The strongest leader used violence to control their people
Divine Right Theory
Chosen by God to be a leader
Social Contract Theory
In exchange for freedom, the people would receive order and security. Founding Fathers used this theory
Why did the colonists value limited government?
In 1215, English nobles were upset with the oppressive policies of King John, including unfair taxation and cruel treatment of prisoners. They forced him to a sign a document - the Mana Carta - recognizing their rights. The nobles did not think the Magna Carta established permanent principles of government, nor were they thinking of the rights of common people. As the entries passed, however, the English people came to regard the Magna Carta as a guarantee of limited government. They believed it protected people from unjust punishment by the government and from the levying of taxes without popular consent.
What main ideas/purposes were contained in the Declaration of Independence and its Preamble?
- Describes the source of basic rights - natural law
Statement of Purpose
- Defines and explains the unalienable rights
Specific complaints against George III
- States the determination to separate - had no choice
How does federalism encourage citizen participation?
Run for office and Voting. The lower the government the more access - they can also Petition
What are the methods for amending the Constitution? Which method is used most frequently?
To propose an amendment
1. 2/3 of both houses of Congress vote to propose and amendment (most used)
2. 2/3 of the state legislatures ask Congress to call a national convention
To ratify an amendment
1. 3/4 of the state legislatures approve it (most used)
2. 3/4 of ratifying conventions in states approve it
Under what system of government did the United States operate re: the Articles of Confederation?
What decision did the Three-Fifths Compromise represent?
Non slave states - Taxation. More money would go to the national government
Slave States - Representation. More power in the national government by having delegates
What functions within the House of Representatives does the House Rules Committee perform? Why is this body so important?
Places bills on the calendar and sets conditions for debate called traffic cop. They decided if and when Bills get voted on.
How is representation in the Senate different from representation in the House?
House - 2-year terms
Elections are held in November of even-numbered years
Senate - Voted on at-large within their state - no particular district
Elections occur every 2 years - 1/3 of Senate each election cycle
Why are the non-legislative powers of investigation and oversight so important for Congress?
They are a huge check on the president power. Oversight looks over the executive branch. They can open an investigation and remove people.
What are some reasons for why it is so difficult for bills to become laws? What is the basic sequence for this process?
• Step 1: Write a Bill
• Step 2 (House): Congressperson drops the bill into the hopper
• Step 2 (Senate): Presiding officer must recognize the Senator, who then formally presents the bill
• Step 3: Given a title and number - printed and distributed
• H.R.# or S.#
• Step 4: Sent to the committee that deals with the subject
• Step 5: Hold a hearing
• Step 6: Committee meets in markup session
• Step 7: Send to the full House or Senate for Action
• Step 8: Debate on the floor
• Step 9: Voting on the Bill
• Step 10: Must pass other house in identical form
• Step 11: Signed by the President - Becomes Law
Fewer than 10% of all bills become public laws
Long and complicated process
Many points where it can be delayed, killed, or amended
Sponsors must be willing to bargain and compromise
Some bills are introduced as a symbolic gesture
Very complicated because they are intended to address complicated problems
What are some roles and responsibilities of the modern vice president?
- More involvement in foreign policy decisions
- Member of the National Security Council
- Help with policy-making
What are the roles of the president (hint: there are seven)? What functions does each role play?
Head of State - figure representing the US
Chief Executive - leads the executive branch
Commander in Chief - responsible for the nation's security
Chief Diplomat - meets with foreign leaders, appoints ambassadors, makes treaties (w/ Senate approval)
Legislative Leader - proposes legislation, sign/vetoes laws
Economic Planner - prepares an annual budget, submits economic reports to Congress, etc.
Party Leader - leads his or her political party
What is the general sequence for becoming the president?
Presidents have always been male and Christian, and most have been white, married, and financially successful.
Modern presidential candidates must have strong financial support from large numbers of people. Getting the votes at the Electoral College and going to the Inauguration
What are the constitutional requirements for becoming the president?
The president must be a natural-born citizen, at least 35 years old, and a US resident for at least 14 years before taking office
Describe the Electoral College? How is the number of presidential electors determined for each state?
Unique system - The Electoral College
When you vote, you are actually voting for an elector.
Total electors = 538 (number of representatives + DC). By adding representatives and Senators
What is the main job of the executive branch?
To carry out and enforce the laws passed by Congress
Currently, 15 executive departments
Leaders of these departments report to the President
Also includes a variety of agencies, boards, commissions, etc.
Carry out specific executive functions
What is the difference between the roles of the jury and the judge in an adversarial system?
Adveserial - The judge is the refery.
Inquistrial - The Judge is the decision maker
How do cases travel through the court system (both in the federal and state systems)?
Federal - Trail court
State - State Supreme Court and then U.S. Supreme Court
What is a court "opinion"? What are the variations of opinions and when would each one be used?
Majority: judicial opinion agreed to by more than half of the members of a court.
Dissenting: an opinion in a legal case written by one or more judges expressing disagreement with the majority opinion of the court which gives rise to its judgment.
Concurring: a written opinion by one or more judges of a court which agrees with the decision made by the majority of the court, but states different (or additional) reasons as the basis for his or her decision.
What are the constitutional requirements for becoming a Supreme Court justice?
Nominees need personal integrity, professional expertise, and a thorough understanding of the law.
- Lawyers, judges, appellate court justices . . .
Presidents can have long-term impact by appointing a nominee who shares their ideology.
- Lifetime appointments
While justices may be representative of the country by gender or race, they are rarely so in education and experience.
- Ivy league education, prestigious legal experience (professorships or appellate court experience)
Why are the First Amendment protections so important in a democratic society?
Freedom of speech the government cant sensor, No requirement to follow a certain religion. Freedom of choice and expression.
Which amendments speak to the right of privacy?
1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 9th
Why is the 14th Amendment so important for American jurisprudence?
The selective incorporation - Incorporates a lot of the bill of rights to the states.
Grants citizenship. Equal protection clause. Due process Clause - Law have to be fair. Procedure have to be fair as well
What traits/characteristics would a president look for in a nominee for the Supreme Court?
All had legal backgrounds, Ivy legue schools, experience being jugdes, Have been in federal court system. Similar views as the president, Legacy for the president, years of experience (older). You are definite their personality and ways ofthinking
Which communist countries have begun to transition to more capitalistic economies?
Russia and China
What was the purpose in forming NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)?
a formal alliance between the territories of North American and Europe. From its inception, its main purpose was to defend each other from the possibility of communist Soviet Union taking control of their nation.
What is the purpose for OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries)?
The mission of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is to coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of its Member Countries and ensure the stabilization of oil markets in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.
What are some of the most important organizations run by the United Nations? What kinds of work does each of these organizations perform?
What are some reasons behind why policymakers place restrictions on international trade?
The main reason to protect domestic industry or Political power
Why do nations form trading blocs?
Trading blocs facilitate economic and political advantages for respective countries so engaged. Countries favor exchange among a select group of nations to the exclusion of other countries.
What countries are members of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)?
Canada, Mexico, and the United States
What were some results of twentieth century development programs in the "Global South"?
Now have been driven into debt. Development program had loans with a lot of interest.
What are some indications of a stable democracy?
Peaceful transfer of power after election
What are some intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations? What functions do these organizations play in the world community? Who/what form the membership of these types of organizations?
IGOs are the UN, NATO, and OPEC.
What are some issues that require international cooperation to solve?
Refugees, Human Trafficking, and Terrisom
How does international trade affect the way different governments interact? Why are trading blocs used? Why are they considered so important?
There are a number of advantages for nations engaging in international trade
Obtain goods and services they cannot produce themselves
Comparative advantage - the ability of a country to produce a good more efficiently than other countries
But unrestricted international trade can threaten domestic industries
Nations use tariffs, quotas, nontariff barriers (NTBs), and embargos to protect domestic industries and jobs.
Some nations have agreed to lower or eliminate barriers to trade with each other.
Sign agreements and create organizations to monitor them
Head of State
figure representing the US
leads the executive branch
Commander in Chief
responsible for the nation's security
meets with foreign leaders, appoints ambassadors, makes treaties (w/ Senate approval)
proposes legislation, sign/vetoes laws
prepares an annual budget, submits economic reports to Congress, etc.
leads his or her political party
The power to tax is one held by both the federal and state governments. It is a __________ power.
How are the 14th and 15th amendment alike?
They protect the rights of former slaves
Which chamber of Congress acts as the jury for impeachment proceedings?
Which type of government does the U.S. currently have?
Republic and Representative democracy
Which part of the Constitution says that federal law trumps state law?
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian leaders have been trying to build a _______________.
Free enterprise system
Which congressional body must ratifies treaties for them to go into effect?
To protect against to too powerful military, the Founders placed control of the military under_____________.
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