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Politics of the United States
government second semester review
Terms in this set (54)
what is a confederation?
a joining several groups for a common purpose
explain the social contract theory-
the view that persons' moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement among them to form the society in which they live
what major governmental ideas were established in the Magna Carta?
great charter forced upon King John of England by his barons in 1215; established that the power of the monarchy was not absolute and guaranteed trial by jury and due process of law to the nobility
describe in detail the New Jersey plan-
plan presented as an alternative to the Virginia plan at the constitution convention; called for a unicameral legislature in which each state would be equally represented.
describe in detail the Virginia plan-
plan presented by delegates from Virginia at the constitutional convention; called for a three-branch government with a bicameral legislature in which each states membership would be determined by its populations or its financial support for the central government
how did the great compromise settle the issue of representation in congress?
it focused representation on the larger states, joined New Jersey and Virginia plan. it gave each state same number of representatives
what role did Thomas Jefferson play in the creation of the declaration of independence?
one of the writers
how did shays rebellion lead to the creation of the US constitution?
we did not have a strong federal government or military
what does "consent of the governed" be?
that the authority of a government should depend on the consent of the people
what was the major difference between the federalists and the antifederalist?
federalist: a person who advocates or supports a system of government in which several states unite under a central authority. antifederalists: a movement opposed the creation of a stronger government
list three weaknesses of the articles of confederation-
1. no executive official, 2. no national courts, 3. congress lacked power to collect taxes
what is judicial review?
the power of a court to determine the constitutionality of a government action
describe the methods in which amendments are ratified? which method is the most popular?
by 3/4 of the state legislatures or by conventions in 3/4 of the states. most popular is by state legislatures
utmost authority in decision making and in maintaining order of a state
what are three branches of government?
executive, legislative, judicial
which article of the constitution establishes the judicial branch?
which article of the constitution establishes the legislative branch?
which article of the constitution establishes the executive branch?
what does checks and balances mean?
system of overlapping the powers of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches to permit each branch to check the actions of the others
why was the bill of rights added to the constitution?
so the national government wont have too much power
what is the purpose of the supremacy clause?
a provision of the US constitution that states that the constitution, a federal law, and treaties of the united states are the "supreme law of the land"
what is the responsibility of the legislative branch?
to make laws
what is the responsibility of the executive branch?
execute, administer, and enforce laws
what is the responsibility of the judicial branch?
interpret laws and settle disputes
what is the difference between the reserved powers and expressed powers?
reserved are powers that the constitution does not grant to the national government and does not deny to the states. expressed powers are those that are spelled out in the constitution
what are the characteristics of a state?
population, territory, sovereignty, and government
what is a federal system?
power shared between central and local government
what is a census?
an official count of a population
what is gerrymandering?
the drawing of electoral district lines to the advantage of a party or group
what are constituents?
a member of something/constituency
what is a filibuster?
various tactics (usually long speeches) aimed at defeating a bill in a legislative body by preventing a final vote; associated with the US senate
what determines the number of representatives each state has in the HOR?
the states population
what is the difference between a delegate of the people and a trustee of the people in congress?
trustees believe that each question they face must be decided on its merits. delegates see themselves as agents of those who elected them
describe three major differences in the HOR and the senate-
HOR- based on population, district appeal, no constitutional limit on terms. Senate- each state gets two senators, 6 year terms, state wide appeal
how did political parties lead to chaos in the election of 1800?
there was an electoral college tie, ultimately leading to congress selecting the president
how many times in a presidential election has the winner of the popular vote not won the electoral college?
give the presidential line of succession to the president pro tempore-
V.P.-> President Pro Tempore-> Speaker of the House
what is the maximum amount of time a president can serve in office?
how is the number of electors each state has in the electoral college determined?
its determined by the states number of senators and representatives
what is a line item veto?
a presidents cancellation of specific dollar amounts (line items) from a congressional spending bill; instituted by a 1996 congressional act, but struck down by a 1998 supreme court decision
if the electoral college does not provide a winner to a presidential election, who decides the winner?
what is the 25th amendment?
if the president dies or cannot lead, vice president takes office. if the VP dies or resign, the president cannot appoint a replacement
what is the 22nd amendment?
president cannot serve more than 2 full terms. passed as a response to FDRs 4 terms in office. (1933-1945)
what is an executive amendment?
a pact made by the president directly with the head of a foreign state
define the role of commander in chief-
controls the nations 14 million men and women in uniform
What is an "imperial presidency"?
Term used to describe a president as an emperor who acts without consulting congress or acts in secrecy to evade or deceive congress; often used in reference to Richard Nixon's presidency
What was Marbury vs. Madison?
A Supreme Court case which established the principle of judicial review. That laws passed by Congress were null and void if they violated the constitution
Who appoints Supreme Court justices? Who confirms them?
The president appoints, the senate confirms
What is the 4th amendment?
Protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures
What does the 1st amendment consist of?
Guarantees freedom of speech, religion, the press, assembly, and petition
What is the 5th amendment?
Protects people from being held for committing a crime unless they are properly indicted. (Double jeopardy)
What is the 8th amendment?
Guarantees that punishment will be fair and not cured and that extraordinary large fines will not be set
What is the 13th amendment?
Known as the civil war amendment outlaws the practice of slavery in the US
What is the 14th amendment?
Also known as the civil war amendment. Originally meant to protect the rights of freed slaves. Now protects all citizens life, liberty, or property without due process
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