134 terms

American government midterm 2016


Terms in this set (...)

Theories of democracy
Democracy was most desirable because America wanted self government as oppose to the monarchy that controlled them previously, America believed that this country would be better self governed
Types of government:
A form of government in which powers are divided between a central government and several local governments
A government made of several groups with one goal
A centralized government in which all government powers belong to a single central-agency
A form of government in which the executive branch is make of the prime minister, or premier, and that officials cabinet
Characteristics of a Democracy
everyone can participate, and the power is evenly distributed among the three branches to keep a balance
Social contract theory
Theory stating "people are born free, equal, and with natural rights. People owe obedience to the government as only as the government protects them."
economic system where production and prices are determined by unrestricted competition between private business
economic system that believes wealth should be equitably distributed
economy that implements central planning and state ownership of the means of production
an economy that determines what to produce, pricing, and distribution (aka a centrally planned economy)
an economic system that combines public and private enterprise
factors of production
basic resources used to produce goods: land, labor, capital, and entrepreneur
laissez-faire theory
a "hands off" theory suggesting that government play a limited role in society
law of supply and demand
when supply of goods is plentiful, prices tend to drop; when goods are scarce, prices tend to rise
divine right theory
this theory states "God gave royalty the right to rule"
unit 2 foundations of american government
English influence:
magna carta
the first great document of English freedom, which introduced the idea of a limited government
English bill of rights
the king ruled with consent of parliament in the document its purpose was to prevent abuse of power by monarchs, which "sparked" the american revolution
Articles of confederation
the first national constitution of the united states of america
reasoning for the articles
the united states needed to be under one central government that gave power to the people and balanced government power
flaws of the articles
there were many disadvantages such as they didn't have the power to tax, they lacked power, and they failed to unite the states
the constitution:
the constitution consists of a preamble which is its introduction and the articles which were part of the original government that established the three branches, amendments, and ratifications
basic principles
judicial review(review of govt. actions), popular sovereignty (power to the people), and limited govt. (people give the govt. its power and no one is above the law)
writers of the constitution
the framers wrote the constitution these men fought in the revolution and signed the bill of rights

they elected Washington to be the president of the constitution and James Madison was refereed to as the father of the constitution
checks and balances
a system of overlapping the powers of the three branches of government to permit each branch to "check" the actions of others
bill of rights
basic rights given to the u.s citizens to protect the basic liberties (1st 10 amendments)
bill of rights
1 freedom of speech religion and petition
2 right to bear arms (guns)
3 quartering of soldiers
4 arrests and searches
5 rights of people accused of crimes
6 rights of people on trial for crimes
7 jury trials in civil cases
8 limitations on bail and punishment
9 rights kept by the people
10 powers kept by the state or the people
characteristics of state
population, recognized territory, sovereignty, government
this plan called for a bicameral legislature with equal representation in the senate and proportional representation in the house

this is often refereed to as the great compromise
the 3/5 compromise
in this plan five slaves equaled three free men for purposes of taxation and representation
commerce and slave trade compromise
this plan allowed the slave trade to continue for 20 years, allowed congress to regulate trade, and stated that congress would not tax exports
unit 3 federalism
principles of federalism
federalism splits power between state governments and federal governments ultimately creating a balanced government where the people have power
purpose of federalism
federalism was implemented in the U.S because the articles failed to govern the nation it also helps funding

federalism divided authority between national and state governments and gave the people the freedom they wanted
full faith and credit clause
each state must recognize the public records, laws, and judiciary proceedings of other states
privileges and immunities clause
one state may not unreasonably discriminate against citizens of another state in favor of its own citizens
returning a fugitive from another state to the state that has brought charges against him or her
interstate compact clause
written agreement between states that must be approved by congress or all 50 states
necessary and proper clause aka elastic clause
implied powers given to the federal government to accommodate for modern times such as outlawing racial discrimination
elastic clause
another name for necessary and proper clause
supremacy clause
according to this clause, the U.S constitution is the highest law in the land over state and local laws
ladder of the law
the use of the supremacy clause to help resolve disputes and allow the national law to prevail over all other law
the various power:
expressed powers
powers that are directly stated in the constitution such as: regulating interstate and foreign commerce, establishing the armed forces, declaring war, coining money, making treaties, and establishing federal courts
reserved powers
powers that belong strictly to the sates such as: setting up workers compensation laws, determining voting regulations, setting alcohol consumption laws, incorporating businesses, and establishing local governments
implied powers
suggested powers that are necessary and proper given to the federal government such as: setting up social security, charter banks, building dams, highways, and bridges, drafting for the army, setting up nuclear power plants, and prohibiting racial discrimination
concurrent powers
powers that are expressed by both the national and state governments such as: collecting income tax, selling govt. bonds, enforcing the law and defining punishment, borrowing money, and taking private property for public use (eminent domain)
inherent powers
powers that belong to the national govt. just because the U.S exists they are related to expressed powers examples include: regulating immigration, deporting aliens, acquiring territory, protecting the nation form rebellion, and giving diplomatic recognition to other nations
a federal grant to U.S cities, counties, and states there are two types block grants and categorical grants
block grant
a type of grant-in-aid program where there is one general area where the recipient must use the money for example: a block grant to school systems can be used to build a new football field or on the lunch program or whatever they want that school related
categorical grant
a type of grant-in-aid program where there is one specific thing the recipient must use the money on for example: school lunch program grants must be used only on the lunch program
unit 4 the judicial branch
original jurisdiction
authority held by federal courts to hear a case first used for cases with foreign diplomats and where opposing parities are states
appellate jurisdiction
authority to review cases heard in lower courts and appealed to higher courts by the loosing party
judicial review
the power to decide whether or not if a law is constitutional
Marbury vs. Madison
supreme court case that formed the basis of exercising judicial review in the U.S
constitutional courts vs. special courts
constitutional courts are the first courts formed by congress that hear most cases

special courts are set up for specific areas for example: U.S tax courts and U.S court of federal claims
supreme court
the highest court in the U.S; only court established by the constitution
decision making process of the supreme court
the court hears a case each side has 30 min to argue its side, the 9 justices discuss and vote, the majority writes a majority opinion and the majority decision is final
appointment process for the supreme court
the president appoints a candidate and the senate confirms or rejects the appointment if they are approved and pass a background check and interviews then they are appointed to the supreme court for life
judicial activism
the idea that judges should take an active role in the government
landmark cases:
Dred Scott v. Stanford
supreme court case that ruled that slaves taken to free states were not free and that slaves did not have american rights
Plessy v. Ferguson
supreme court case that upheld the separate but equal doctrine and allowed segregation to continue for the time being
Brown v. Board of education
supreme court case that overturned Plessy v. Ferguson and stated segregated schools were unconstitutional
Heart of Atlanta Motel v. U.S
supreme court case that ruled the civil rights act of 64' trumped the hotels right to discriminate based on race. this case also impacted interstate commerce
University of Cal. v. Bakke
supreme court case that determined race can't be the only factor to determine college admission
Schenck v. U.S
supreme court case that ruled in a time of war freedom of speech and other rights can be revoked by the government
Mapp v. Ohio
supreme court case that determined evidence obtained by violating the fourth amendment may not be used in state law criminal prosecutions
Gideon v. Wainwright
supreme court case that ruled that the sixth amendment requires attorneys to be provided to people in criminal cases who can't afford an attorney (Miranda rights)
Roe v. Wade
supreme court case that ruled abortion was to be legal and available to women who wanted it
Tinker v. Des Moines
supreme court case that defined the constitutional rights of students in U.S. public schools and protects students 1st amendment rights
Bethel v. Fraiser
supreme court case that regarding free speech in public school Fraiser was suspended for an inappropriate speech and the court ruled that the suspension didn't violate the first amendment
New Jersey v. TLO
supreme court case that addressing the constitutionality of a search of a public high school student after she was caught smoking the court ruled that the search was reasonable under the fourth amendment
Engel v. Vitale
supreme court case that ruled encouraging prayer in public schools was unconstitutional
Lemon v. Kurtzman
supreme court case that ruled Kurtzman's actions of reimbursing private school teachers and ruled state funds were not to be spent on private schools
Wisconsin v. Yoder
supreme court case that overturned the ruling of the court of Wisconsin and allowed parents to take their kids out of school for religious reasons
unit 5 the legislative branch
purpose of bicameralism
the purpose is to give power and equal representation to the people and to create a government not run by monarchs
census bureau
bureau that adjusts the seats in the house of representatives based on each states population its purpose is to fairly represent the american people
the process of measuring state population every 10 years
HoR v. Senate
the senate gives each state 2 representatives and makes it fair while the House gives seats based on population
requirements to be in each house
House: you must be 25 or older and have been a citizen of the U.S for at least 7 years and an inhabitant of the chosen state

Senate: you must be 30 or older and have been a citizen of the U.S for at least 9 years and an inhabitant of the chosen state
roles of the house and senate
House: to introduce bills to the senate and president and check the power of the other branches

senate: to revise bills passed by the house, impeach the president when necessary, and check the power of the other branches
continuous body
governing unit whose seats are never all up for election at one time
17th amendment
the amendment that established the senate would have 100 members 2 from each state elected by the people
how a bill becomes a law
a bill is submitted to the house and they make changes then the bill is submitted to the senate and they have to come to agreement and make changes both the house and senate can agree on after which the bill is submitted to the president who can choose to veto or pass it
the amount of time each congressional term lasts
various tactics to defeat a bill in a legislative body such as stalling to prevent the final vote
procedure that may be used to limit or end floor debate in a legislative body
to bring formal charges against a public official
expressed powers of congress
taxing(has to benefit public), coining money, borrowing money, commerce power(regulate trade), defense(declare war), regulation(citizen ship and copyrights), territory(eminent domain), judicial powers (create federal courts)
implied powers of congress
the necessary and proper clause(allows congress to meet needs of changing times with new laws), collecting taxes, naturalization(control immigration), raise armies and navies, regulate commerce(ban segregation, control wages, etc.), and establishing post offices
roles of congressmen:
lawmaker who votes based on their own judgment and not their constituents
members of congress who vote based on their constituents wishes
lawmaker who owes allegiance to a certain party and votes according to their party line
lawmaker who balances basic elements of trustee, delegate, and partisan roles
checks and balances power
powers given to each branch to balance power and keep one branch from having too much control for example: the president needs congress to declare war, the president can veto bills, congress can impeach the president, and the president can appoint supreme court justices
unit 6 the executive branch
presidential qualification
to run for president you must be born in the U.S, 35 or older, and you must have been a resident of the U.S for 14 years of your life (doesn't have to be consecutive)
roles of the president:
chief of state
ceremonial head of the U.S
chief executive
most powerful man in the world (checked) responsible to enforce and administer laws
chief administrator
head of executive branch and head of one of the largest governments responsible to administer the law

this grants him executive orders and appointment power and removal power
chief diplomat
architect of foreign policy he can make treaties and they have to be approved or he can use executive agreements without senatorial approval he can also declare persona non grada on ambassadors
commander in chief
the president is responsible for the millions of people in the military he can only act if congress declares war unless he uses them in undeclared wars in which he must report updates to congress and bring the soldiers back within 60 days
chief legislator
ability to give 3 speeches to congress recommending legislation he also has the power to give suggestions to certain members of congress; this also gives him power over bills passed by congress
judicial power
the president can grant amnesty and pardons to people who commit federal crimes before they go on trial but they have to accept it admitting their guilt
chief of party
leader of their political party
chief citizen
the president represents all the people of the U.S and has to go about it fairly
presidential term
each president gets one term of 4 years can run for a second but can only serve for a max of 10 years established in the 22nd amendment
accidental presidency
when the vice president takes over due to impeachment, incapability, or the death of a president
electoral college
the people chosen to elect a president on behalf of the state they represent they do not however have to vote based on state popular vote

electoral vote winner becomes president
controversy of electoral college
it is argued that it does not represent the people properly since candidates only have to win specific electoral votes from states with more electoral votes also there is the issue of faithless electors however this is a known process and usually the popular vote winner wins finally the results usually are quick
steps of the election process:
win the party nomination
to win the nomination the candidate must win the primaries to win you must have wealth and name recognition there are also occasionally caucuses (Iowa) which are essentially town hall meetings
win the national convention
the goal of the national convention is to name the candidate, send the delegates, to choose a V.P nominee , and unify the party behind the candidate
win the general election
after the convention the general election campaign begins there are red states(republican history), blue states(democratic history), and black states(swing states)
election day
the people of the U.S vote, the electoral college electors choose based on a winner take all basis for the state the first candidate to win 270 electoral votes wins the election in December the ballots are officially sent to D.C and in January they are counted by the V.P and congress
the power of removal
this is given to the president as part of the role of chief administrator the president can appoint people to positions in the govt. after they are approved by congress the president can also remove these people however, most people resign so they can easily get a new job
executive agreements and treaties
through the role of chief diplomat the president can make treaties with other nations however they must be passed by a 2/3 vote in the senate however; he can use executive agreements with other nations without senatorial approval but these usually line with already existing treaties
veto power
this is a presidential power used to check the legislative branch the president can veto bills that he doesn't approve of the idea of veto is powerful since its hard to get the necessary 2/3 vote in the house and senate to overturn it if a bill is vetoed congress gets it back and can make changes with the hope of getting it passed
line item veto
this was used by many president starting with grant and ending with Clinton after loosing Clinton V. New York (1998) this was a concept in which the president would veto certain parts of a bill and pass the rest this was declared unconstitutional because the president isn't supposed to be able to revise treaties
power of recognition
this is given to the president through the role of chief diplomat this regards to ambassadors from other nations recognizing them is saying the united states sees their nation as equal however the president can declare them persona non grata saying they are unwelcome in the U.S and their nation is not equal to the U.S (equal standard on road to war)
legal forgiveness the president can give to people who commit federal crimes this must be given before their trial and they must admit their guilt to accept it (amnesty is a pardon to a group)
an official postponement of the execution of a sentence