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Terms in this set (54)
Limited government: the people agree to give power to the state and have the ability to take it back. Government power is limited by what the people allow it to do.
The people are the source of government power. No government is more powerful than the people. The people have the ability to remove the government for power.
all decisions are made directly by the people themselves
the people choose a group to act as their representatives and express the public will.
those who rule do so with absolute power. They are not responsible for the will of the people.
a small group, usually self-appointed elite, holds the power
powers of government are divided between a central government and several local governments. Ex: United States
executive is chosen from and by the legislative branch. Execut
checks and balances (definition and examples)
system of overlapping powers that allows each branch to check the actions of the others. Example: presidential veto, Senate approves nominees, judicial review
separation of powers
the power of government is divided between three branches of government so that no one branch becomes too powerful.
system of government in which power is divided between a central government and several regional governments.
judicial review (what is it and how was it established)
The ability of the courts to declare an act of Congress or the President to be unconstitutional. Established by the case of Marbury v Madison.
Expressed powers (definition and example)
a power that is specifically written into the Constitution. Ex: Congress can coin money, the President is the commander in chief.
Implied powers (definition and example) -
a power that is not specifically written but necessary to complete an expressed power, and is therefore reasonably suggested by the expressed powers. Ex: Congress has the expressed power to coin money, so it must also have the implied power to regulate counterfeit bills. Congress has the expressed power to regulate interstate commerce, so it must have the implied power to create interstate highways for that trade.
Reserved powers (definition and example)
powers that the Constitution does not grant the national government nor deny the states are reserved for the states. Ex: police powers, licensing for doctors.
5 freedoms of the 1st amendment
speech, religion, petition, assembly, press.
a reasonable suspicion, based on evidence, that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed.
any evidence found as a result of an illegal search cannot be used in a trial.
a group of people who seek to control government through the winning of elections and the holding of offices.
a party's formal statement of its stances on the major issues.
necessary and proper clause
Congress has the implied powers to fulfill their expressed powers.
a permanent committee in Congress.
a temporary committee created to produce a compromise bill that both houses will accept before it goes to the president to be signed.
strict constructionist and loose constructionist (strict and loose interpretation of the Constitution)
a person who believes Congress should only have its expressed powers and those implied powers that are absolutely necessary./a person who believes that the Constitution can change over time to suit the needs of the day
Speaker of the House (roles and responsibilities)
Presiding officer of the House, leader of the majority party, presides over and keeps order in the House.
President of the Senate (roles and responsibilities)
Vice President of the US, recognizes members, puts questions to a vote, may only vote to break a tie.
President Pro Tempore (roles and responsibilities)
president of the senate in the VPs absence
floor whips (roles and responsibilities)
influence votes within their party.
a stalling tactic used to hold the floor in the Senate only and prevent a vote from being taken.
List and explain the 4 characteristics of a state.
a: Population: there must be people living within the borders of the state.
b: Territory: land with known and recognized boundaries.
c: Sovereignty: has supreme authority within its territory.
d: Government: must be politically organized and have a government that makes and enforces policies
Explain why the Articles of Confederation did not work as a form of government.
The articles gave too much power to the states and too little power to the federal government. The government couldn't collect taxes or raise an army. It was difficult to pass any laws. As a result the states were unable to work together efficiently.
What are the unalienable rights guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence?
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Why did the framers of the Constitution believe a Bill of Rights was necessary?
To guarantee the rights of the people against a federal government that could become too strong.
Why is free speech/free press essential in a democracy?
The people need to be able to criticize the government without fear of reprisal when they feel that a change needs to be made. Without free speech/press, the government would not be representative, they would just do whatever they wanted.
Explain due process of law in your own words. Why is it necessary in a fair justice system?
The government has to follow the same established procedures for everyone accused of a crime. This ensures that no one gets special treatment when accused of a crime
Know the protections provided by the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Amendments.
4th: protection against unreasonable searches and seizures
5th: indictment before a grand jury, double jeopardy, right to remain silent, due process, eminent domain.
6th: speedy and public trial, jury trial, aid of an attorney.
8th: no excessive bail or cruel and unusual punishments.
What is the supremacy clause and why is it important to the federal system of government?
The supremacy clause says the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. When a state law and national law conflict, the national law wins. This keeps the states from becoming too powerful and working against one another
In very general terms, describe the beliefs of liberal and conservative political ideologies.
Liberal (progressive): Favors progress and reform. Strong federal government and a regulated economy. Government's responsibility to better the lives of its citizens. Ex: FDR . More Government
Conservative (traditional): Favors society as it is or a return to what is was. Weak federal governments, strong state governments, and a market-driven economy (Laissez Faire). Rugged individualism - a person's well-being is their own responsibility. Ex: Ronald Reagan. Less Government
Why does the US have a 2 party system?
Tradition (we've always had it this way). Over time, the ideologies of the two parties have grown to include just about everyone, so there are few voters left for 3rd parties
Explain the role that 3rd parties sometimes play in American politics.
Not everyone fits into the ideology of democrats and republicans. They act as critics and innovators (drawing attention to issues to make the major parties address them). They can act as a spoiler, pulling voters from one party or another.
- What are the requirements for voting in the US?
must be 18 years of age, a US citizen, living in the same Congressional district for 1 month.
What is the difference between an open and closed primary? What are a pro and con of each?
Open primary: anyone can vote for any candidate (pros - includes more voters, cons - potential for political sabotage). Closed primary: only voters registered in a party can vote in the primary (pros - candidate fits best with the party members. Cons - leaves many voters out of the process).
- What states hold the first primaries/caucuses?
First primary: New Hampshire
First caucus: Iowa
How does the electoral college work and why did the framers of the Constitution believe it was necessary?
In the electoral college, each state is awarded a number of electoral votes based on the number of members they have in Congress. These electors cast the votes for president. The framers believed that the people were not capable of making an informed choice for President, so the electors, enlightened and respected citizens, would cast the votes for them.
How are the number of electors for each state decided?
By the number of members that state has in Congress. Example: Wyoming has 1 representative in the House and 2 senators, so it has 3 electoral votes.
What is redistricting? What is gerrymandering? Why is the difference important?
Redistricting is drawing congressional boundaries based on the movement of population. Gerrymandering is drawing congressional boundaries for political gain. The difference is with gerrymandering a political party can take advantage of redistricting to improve their chances of winning elections.
Explain why it is beneficial to have 2 year terms in the House and 6 year terms in the Senate.
2 year terms in the House force members to be more responsive to the electorate because they need to run for reelection more often. In the Senate, 6 year terms allow senators to make difficult decisions that might be unpopular at the time but are best for the nation
Who (exactly) represents you in the House (1 person)? Who represents you in the Senate (2 people)?
House varies but most students will be Dent or Fitzpatrick. Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey Jr.
Why are committees necessary in Congress?
To divide the work of Congress up amongst smaller groups in order to make sure that every proposal has an opportunity to be discussed.
Be knowledgeable about the jobs/roles/hats of the president.
Chief of State: ceremonial head of the government, symbol of all people of the nation.
Chief Executive: enforces the laws, makes appointments, grants pardons and reprieves.
Chief Administrator: head of the federal government and all of its agencies.
Chief Citizen: represents the public against private interests. Only elected official the entire country votes on.
Chief Diplomat: nation's spokesperson for the rest of the world and the architect for foreign policy.
Commander in Chief: has direct control over the nation's military.
Chief Legislator: main architect of public policy, assists in (occasionally demands) setting the Congressional agenda.
Chief of Party: leader of the political party that controls the executive branch.
Describe the steps for appointing someone a federal judge or ambassador.
President nominates, Senate confirms
What is the purpose of amending a bill before Congress? What complications sometimes arise?
Purpose is to improve a bill. Sometimes "poison pill" amendments are added to make the bill less likely to pass.
Know the process for a bill to become a law.
: Bill is proposed in the House or Senate
2: Bill is sent to committee
3: Bill is amended, committee reports it.
4: Bill is debated on the floor, amendments are added, bill is voted on.
5: Bill goes to the other house, process repeats.
6: Conference committee rewrites the bill.
7: Bill is signed or vetoed.
What are the president's four options when a bill is ready to be signed?
Sign the bill into law, veto the bill, do nothing for 10 days while Congress is in session and let it become law, do nothing for 10 days while Congress is NOT in session and it is pocket vetoed.
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