Heyl U.S Government 1st Semester Exam
Terms in this set (88)
A group of people who are organized politically, live in a defined territory and have a government capable of passing and enforcing laws without needing the approval of higher authority.
A large group of people who are united by common bonds of race, language, custom, and religion.
Theories of the Origin of the State
-Force Theory: the first government was formed when someone within a small group gained control of an area by force and established some rules.
-Evolutionary Theory: Over time a government grew out of family units.
-Divine Right Theory: The gods came down to earth and choose a leader and gave him instructions on how to lead and what rules to have.
-Social Contract Theory: An agreement amongst the people to set up a government.
Purposes of Government
-form a more perfect union
-insure domestic tranquility
-provide common defense
-promote general welfare
-secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and posterity
Types of Government (according to division of power)
Unitary, confederate, and federal
types of government (according to decision-making)
Totalitarian and democracy
First Continental Congress
a convention of delegates called together from the Thirteen Colonies which became the governing body of the United States during the American Revolution.
Second Continental Congress
convened on May 10, 1775, at Philadelphia's State House, passing the resolution for independence the following year and publicly asserting the decision two days later with the Declaration of Independence.
structure of government under the Articles of Confederation
strengths of Articles of Confederation
-To declare war and make peace.
-To coin and borrow money
-To detail with foreign countries and sign treaties
-To operate post offices
Weaknesses of Articles of Confederation
The federal government, under the Articles, was too weak to enforce their laws and therefore had no power. The Continental Congress had borrowed money to fight the Revolutionary War and could not repay their debts.
features of state constitutions written during Revolution
a national political convention held September 11-14, 1786 at Mann's Tavern in Annapolis, Maryland, in which twelve delegates from five states gathered to discuss and develop a consensus about reversing the protectionist trade barriers that each state had erected.
an armed uprising in Massachusetts during 1786 and 1787. Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays led four thousand rebels in an uprising against perceived economic and civil rights injustices.
Constitutional Conventions - procedures and principles
an agreement that large and small states reached during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that in part defined the legislative structure and representation that each state would have under the United States Constitution.
a compromise reached between delegates from southern states and those from northern states during the 1787 United States Constitutional Convention. The compromise was proposed by delegates James Wilson and Roger Sherman.
The Federalist Papers - who wrote, why written
Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote it to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution
people and their contributions to the early national period: Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Governor Morris, George Washington, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, Edmund Randolph, John Adams, Patrick Henry, Thomas Hobbes, Henry Knox, John Locke
conflict over ratification of the Constitution (antifederalist v. federalist positions/arguments)
the claim that the Constitution has a dynamic meaning or that it has the properties of an animate being in the sense that it changes.
-Government can govern only with the consent of the governed
-Sovereign People created the Constitution and the government
-Government may do only those things the people have given it the power to do
-The government and its officials are always subject to the law
Separation of Powers
-The Constitution distributes the powers of the National Government among Congress (legislative branch), the president (executive branch), and the courts (judicial branch)
-The framers of the constitution created a separation of powers in order to limit the powers of the government and to prevent tyranny
checks and balances system
-Each branch of government was subject to a number of constitutional restraints by the other branches
-Although there have been instances of spectacular clashes between branches, usually the branches of government restrain themselves as the attempt to achieve their goals
-The judicial branch possesses the power to determine the constitutionality of an action of the government
-The division of political power among a central government and several regional governments
-originated in American rebellion against the edicts of a distant central government in England
-a compromise between a strict central government and a loose confederation.
methods of amending the Constitution
proposal and ratification. An amendment can be proposed by two-thirds of both houses of Congress or... By two-thirds of state legislatures requesting Congress to call a national convention to propose amendments.
balanced budget amendment
a constitutional rule requiring that a state cannot spend more than its income. It requires a balance between the projected receipts and expenditures of the government
informal methods of changing the Constitution - methods and examples
enumerated powers (with examples)
-powers given to the national government that are specifically spelled out in the constitution
Ex: Article 1 Section 8
implied powers (with examples)
- powers not expressly stated in the constitution but are reasonably implied by the powers that are stated
Ex: Draft, creation of national bank
inherent powers (with examples)
powers that belong to the US government because it is a national government of a sovereign state
Ex: Regulate immigration, power to acquire territory.
concurrent powers (with examples)
-Powers exercised by both the National and State governments
-expressed separately and simultaneously
Ex: Power to tax, power to maintain courts.
powers denied to the national government
-Some powers are expressly denied
-Some powers are denied by silence of the constitution and, therefore, belong to the states
-Some powers are denied because of the nature of the federal system
powers denied to the state governments
-Some powers are denied expressly
-Some powers are denied because of the nature of the federal system.
-Constitutional clause that gives Congress the power to make all laws "necessary and proper" for executing its powers
full faith and credit clause
-States must honor one another's public acts. or laws, records, and court actions.
-Exceptions- The full faith and Credit Clause applies only to civil, not criminal, matters and need not be applied to certain divorces granted by one state to residents of another.
-the legal process in which a fugitive from justice in one state is returned to that State from another.
supremacy clause (in the Constitution)
-joins National and state governments into one federal government
-federal grant-in-aids for some particular but broadly defined area of public policy
mandates (funded and unfunded)
-the instructions or commands a constituency gives to its elected officials
interstate commerce clause and implied powers (Civil Rights Act of 1964)
-Gives Congress the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the several states and Native American tribes.
Marbury v. Madison (background of case, decision of SC, significance of decision)
a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review in the United States under Article III of the Constitution.
McCulloch v. Maryland (background of case, decision of SC, significance of decision)
Maryland had attempted to impede operation of a branch of the Second Bank of the United States by imposing a tax on all notes of banks not chartered in Maryland. The Court invoked the Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution, which allowed the Federal government to pass laws not expressly provided for in the Constitution's list of express powers, provided those laws are in useful furtherance of the express powers of Congress under the Constitution.
Gibbons, v. Ogden (background of case, decision of SC, significance of decision)
was a landmark decision in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the power to regulate interstate commerce, granted to Congress by the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, encompassed the power to regulate navigation.
Plessy v. Ferguson (background of case, decision of SC, significance of decision)
upheld state racial segregation laws for public facilities under the doctrine of "separate but equal". The decision was handed down by a vote of 7 to 1 with the majority opinion written by Justice Henry Billings Brown and the dissent written by Justice John Marshall Harlan.
Brown v. Board of Education (background of case, decision of SC, significance of decision)
United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, which allowed state-sponsored segregation, insofar as it applied to public education
U.S. v. Lopez (background of case, decision of SC, significance of decision)
the first United States Supreme Court case since the New Deal to set limits to Congress' power under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.
Miranda v. Arizona (background of case, decision of SC, significance of decision)
In a 5-4 majority, the Court held that both inculpatory and exculpatory statements made in response to interrogation by a defendant in police custody will be admissible at trial only if the prosecution can show that the defendant was informed of the right to consult with an attorney before and during questioning and of the right against self-incrimination before police questioning, and that the defendant not only understood these rights, but voluntarily waived them.
constitutional provision for setting requirements for voting
expansion of the franchise (1789 - 1994)
elimination of property requirements
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the U.S. or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude (enfranchised former slaves who were male)
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex (the women's suffrage amendment)
provides the District of Columbia with the same number of electoral votes as the least populous state
forbid the collection of poll taxes in federal elections (election of the President and members of Congress)
1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of age.
2. This amendment was proposed and ratified in only three months, the shortest time for any amendment
Voting Rights Acts of 1965 and 1975
another name for the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, designed to reverse declining voter registration by allowing voters to register at motor vehicle departments.
factors that influence voting
To make inferences and predictions about behavior concerning a voting decision, certain factors such as gender, race, culture or religion must be considered. Moreover, key public influences include the role of emotions, political socialization, tolerance of diversity of political views and the media.
voter turnout trends by age
functions and definition of political parties
traditional supporters/philosophy/policy positions of today's Democratic and Republican Parties
types and examples of third parties
roles of third parties in elections
definition of a Conservative
believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense.
Definition of a Liberal
believe in the freedom of the individual and governmental guarantees of individual rights and liberties.
Definition of a Reactionary
of, pertaining to, marked by, or favoring reaction, especially extreme conservatism or rightism in politics; opposing political or social change.
Definition of a Radical
Definition of Caucuses
Primary Elections definition
national party conventions
the politically united southern states of the US, traditionally regarded as giving unanimous electoral support to the Democratic Party.
red states and blue states
The tendency for a popular political party leader to attract votes for other candidates of the same party in an election. For example, the party of a victorious presidential candidate will often win many seats in Congress as well; these congressmen are voted into office "on the coattails" of the president.
how presidential electors are chosen
calendar dates for federal elections
relationship between popular and electoral votes for President
problems with the Electoral College
provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act
FEC's role in campaign finance
provisions of McCain-Feingold Act
current $ limits for giving to campaigns (individuals and PACs)
PACs - definition and function
public funding for Presidential campaigns (Presidential Campaign Fund)
Citizens United v. FEC & SuperPacs