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Flashcards to study important and major terms and concepts from Chapters 1-3 in Government in America (Lineberry)


institutions and processes through which public policies are made for a society.

public goods

goods, such as clean air and clean water, that everyone must share

political participation

all the activities used by citizens to influence the selection of political leaders or the policies they pursue.

single-issue groups

groups that have a narrow interest, tend to dislike compromise, and often draw membership from people new to politics.

policymaking system

process by which policy comes into being and evolves over time.

linkage institutions

political channels through which people's concerns become political issues on the policy agenda.

policy agenda

issues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people actually involved in politics at any given point in time.

political issue

issue that arises when people disagree about a problem and how to fix it.

policymaking institutions

branches of government charged with taking action on political issues.

public policy

choice that govt makes in repsponse to a political issue.

policy impacts

effects a policy has on people and problems. analyzed to see how well a policy has met its goal and at what cost.


system of selecting policymakers and of organizing govt so that policy represents and responds to the public's preferences.

majority rule

fundamental principle of traditional democratic theory. in a democracy, choosing among alternatives requires that the majority's desire be respected.

minority rights

principle of traditional democratic theory that guarantees rights to those who do not belong to majorities and allows that they might join majorities through persuasion and reasoned argument


basicprinciple of traditional democratic theory that describes the relationship between the few leaders adn the many followers.

pluralist theory

theory of government and politics emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own preferred policies.

elite and class theory

theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided among class lines and that an upper-class elite will rule, regardless of the niceties of governmental organization.


theory of gopo contending that groups are so strong that govt is weakened. Extreme, exaggerated, or perverted form of pluralism.

policy gridlock

condition that occurs when no coalition is strong enough to form a majority and establish policy

political culture

overall set of values widely shared within a society.

According to Carpini and Keeter, how does political knowledge benefit people?

1. fosters civic virtue 2. helps citizens identify policies that truly benefit them and incorporate that info into voting behavior 3. promotes active participation in politics

Two fundamental questions about governing...

How should we govern? What should government do?

What functions do all governments have in common?

maintain national defense, provide public services, preserve order, socialize the young, collect taxes

Laswell's definition of politics

Who gets what, when, and how.

media's focus on politics

the "Who"

What refers to the

substance of gopo

"how" people participate

voting, suporting, compromising, lobbying, etc

4 major linkage institutions in the US

elections, political parties, interest groups, and the media

Three policymaking institutions established in the Const

Congress, the presidency, and the courts


policymaking institution regarded by political scientists as a fourth policymaking institution but not in const

authors of the Communist Manifesto

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Robert Dahl's five criteria for an ideal democratic process

equality in voting, effective participation, enlightened understanding, citizen control of the agenda, inclusion,

who called America a "nation of joiners" ?

Alexis de Tocqueville

4 major challenges to democracy in the United States

increased technical expertise, limited participation in govt, escalating campaign costs, diverse political interests

5 elements of the American creed according to LIpset

liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, laissez-faire, populism,

Wayne Baker's outline on why America may be experiencing a crisis of cultural values

loss over time of traditional values such as the importance of religion and family life, unfavorable comparison with the citizens of other countries in terms of values such as patriotism or support for moral principles, division of society into opposed groups with irreconciable moral differences.


a nation's basic law. it creates political institutions, assigns or divides powers in government, and often provides certain guarantees to citizens.

the French and Indian War

GB gained enormous new territory in North America...increased taxes on colonists to pay for defense and administration of new territory

major complaints of colonists about British rule

increased taxes, trade restrictions, no representation in Parliament

author of the Declaration of Independence

Thomas Jefferson

Declaration of Independence

document approved by representatives of the American colonies in 1776 that stated their grievances against the British monarch and declared their independence

John Locke

natural rights, consent of the governed, limited government, purpose of govt--protect personal property and natural rights

Locke argued that in extreme cases

people have the right to revolt against a govt that no longer has their consent

Two limits on govt according to Locke

1. govt must provide standing laws so that people know in advance whether their acts will be acceptable 2. govt cannot take from any man any part of his property without his consent

natural rights

rights inherent in human beings, not dependent on governments, include life, liberty, and property. Central to Locke's philosophy, widely accepted among America's founding fathers

consent of the governed

idea that govt derives its power by sanction of the people

limited government

idea that certain restrictions should be placed on govt to protect the natural rights of citizens.

How is the diversity of the American people reflected?

diversity of interests represented in the political system

How much does it usually require to win a congressional election?

half a million dollars

includes both equality of opportunity and political equality


belief that people can and should get ahead on their own


explanation of American individualism

bountiful frontier


economic policy promoting free markets and limited government


summarized by Lincoln's words, "govt of the people, by the people, for the people."

John Locke

author of "Second Treatise of Government" whose ideas most profoundly influenced American political leaders.

the sole purpose of government according to Locke

protection of natural rights

Locke's definition of natural rights

life, liberty, property

How did Jefferson alter Locke's phrase: Life, liberty, and Property?

Life Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

the post war depression left state legislatures more sympathetic to


Shay's Rebellion

1786, small group of farmers in western Massachusetts led by Captain Daniel Shays rebelled at losing their land to creditors

What instructions were delegates given for the Philaelphia Convention

meet with the sole and express purpose of revising the AOC

how many states sent delegates to the Philadelphia convention?


What major characteristics described the delegates?

economic and political elite/notables, college graduates/educated, coastal residents

questions founders agreed on

human nature (cynical view), cause of political conflict (unequal distribution of wealth, factions), object and nature of a republican govt (key role in checking and containing natural self-interest of people)

Father of the Constitution

James Madison

Source of political conflict according to Madison

unequal distribution of wealth

What did the delegates belive would happen if any faction was left unchecked and had too much power?

the faction would become tyrannical

New Jersey Plan

proposed by William Paterson of NJ, called for each state to be equally represented in the new Congress

The Virginia Plan

suggested by Edmun Randolph of Virginia, called for representation in Congress based on the state's share of the AMerican population

Connecticut Compromise

Roger Sherman and William Johnson of Conn, proposed adoption of a bicameral legislation, Senate--two members per state HOR--based on rep.

3/5 Compromise

both representation and taxation were to be based upon the "number of free persons" plus three-fifths of the number of "all other persons."


advocates of the const. economic elite, more educated, city, wanted strong central government and weaker state govts. wanted indirect election of representatives and longer terms.
James Madison, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, wrote under name "Publius", added BOR in compromise with Anti-Federalists


opponents of the Const. economic middle/lower class, less educated, more rural residents, favored strong state govts, favored strong protections of individual rights, only wanted to revise AOC, wanted direct elections and shorter terms.
Thomas Jefferson, George Clinton, Patrick Henry
"Montezuma, Agrippa, Brutus, etc" feared the new const would erode fundamental liberties, new const was an enemy of freedom, and argued tht the new Const was a class-based document with the purpose of ensuring the economic elite would control public policies

reason to suspend writ of habeas corpus

invasion or rebellion

writ of habeas corpus


bills of attainder

cannot punish someone without a judicial trial

ex post facto laws

cannot punish someone or increase punishment for acts that were not illegal or not as strict of a punishment at the time they were committed.

prohibited qualification for holding public office

religious tests

Madison's plan to prevent "tyranny of the majority"

1. place as much govtl control out of the hands of the masses (only the HOR was directly elected) 2. Checks and balances 3. separation of powers

17th Amendment

direct election of Senators

checks and balances

each branch requires the consent of the others for many of its decisions

separation of powers

each branch of govt would be independent of the others

Articles of Confederation

document that outlined the voluntary agreement between states and was adopted as the first plan for a permanent union

Marbury v. Madison

established principle of judicial review

judicial review

power of courts to hold executive and congressional policies unconstitutional


system of government based on the consent of the governed in which power is exercised by representatives of the public.

effects of Madisonian model

enourages moderation and compromise, slows change

formal amendments

change written language of Const.
Procedures found in Article V


an amendment may be proposed either by a 2/3 vote in each house or chamber of Congress, or by a national convention


an amendment may be ratified either by the legislatures of 3/4 of states or by special state conventions called in 3/4 of states.

informal amendment

judicial interpretation, political practice, demands on policymakers, changes in technology

Bill of Rights

First 10 Amendments of the Const passed after ratification specifically protecting individual liberties

Equal Rights Amendment

first proposed in 1923, passed by Congress in 1972, not ratified by 3/4 of states; mandated equality of rights under the law regardless of gender

Federalist Papers

written by Hamilton, Jay, and Madison to convince others to support the new const.


groups of people, currently known as political parties or interest groups, who arise as a result of unequal distribution of wealth to seize the reigns of govt in their own intersest

write of habeas corpus

enables people who are detained by authorities to secure immediate inquiry and reasons why they have been detained

block grants

broad program grants given more or less automatically to sates and communities, which exercise discretion in how money is to be spent.

categorical grants

grants that can be used only for specific purposesor categories of state and local spending

cooperative federalism

where state and national government responsibilities are mingled and blurred like a marble cake; powers and policies are shared


transferring responsibility for policies from the federal govt to the state and local govt

dual federalism

where states and the natl govt each remain supreme within their own spheres of power, much like a layer cake

elastic clause

statement in the const which says that Congress has the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying out its duties

enumerated powers

powrs of congress found in art 1 section 8 of the const


const requires each state to return a person charged with a crime in another state to that state for trial or inprisonment


system of shared powers between two or more levels of govt

fiscal federalism

pattern of spending, taxing, and providing grants in the federal system

formula grants

type of categorical grants where states and local govts do not apply for a grant but are given funds on the basis of a formula

full faith and credit

art 4 of the const requires states to provide reciprocity toward other states' public acts, records, and civil judicial proceedings

Gibbons vs. Ogden

1824 SC case which further expanded Congress' power to regulate interstate and international commerce by defining commerce very broadly to incorporate every form of commercial activity

implied powers

powers beyond Congress' enumerated power which ensure that it can carry out its duties

intergovernmental relations

term used to describe the entire set of interactions among natl, state, and local govts

McCulloch vs. Maryland

1819 SC case, which established the supremacy of the natl govt over the states, included both enumerated and implied powrs of congress

privileges and immunities

const prohibits states from discriminating against citizens of other states.

project grant

categorical grant awarded on the basis of competitive applications

Supremacy Clause

art 4 of the Const prohibits states from discriminating against citizens of other states

Tenth Amendment

specifies that powers not delegated to the natl govt are reserved for the state govt or the people

unitary govt

a system where all power resides in the central govt

most govts in the world



weak natl govt, most power is in the hands of its components (states or other like in the UN)

importance of federalism

decentralizes politics and policies (people have more access)

three items that are the supreme law of the land

US Const, laws of the natl govt, treaties

Four key events that largely shaped the issue of how natl and state powers are related

McCulloch v. Maryland--first brought issue of state vs. natl govt to court. Established idea of "implied powers" that Congress has and the "necessary and proper clause" ruling: national policies take precedence over state policies.

Gibbons v. Ogden--broadly defined commerce to encompass virtually every form of commercial activity.

Civil War--settled militarily what McCulloch enunciated constitutionally

civil rights movement--equality issues
Brown vs. BOE--school segregation unconstitutional

obligations states have towards each other

Full faith and credit
privileges and immunities

grants in aid

main instrument the national government uses for both aiding and influencing states and localities

some "strings" on categorical grants

nondiscrimination provisions, punitive cross-over sanctions and cross-cutting requirements that reduce or deny federal funds if certain state or local laws are not passed or if federal guidelines are not met

two types of categorical grants

project--awarded based on competitive application
formula--distributed according to a formula.

underfunded mandate

partly funded by national government, states have to budget more funds for the project in order to receive federal grant money.

unfunded mandates

require state and local governments to spend money to comply with laws with no financial help from the federal government

advantages of federalism for democracy

more opportunities for participation in government and politics
increased access to govt
increases opportunities for govt to be responsive to demands for policies
parties can rebuild strength and groom leaders at the state and local level
diversity of opinion can be reflected in different public policies among different states
reduces decision making conflict at the national level.

disadvantages of federalism for a democracy

quality of services like education is heavily depended on the state in which the service is provided; states differ greatly in available resources
diversity in policy can discourage states from providing services that would otherwise be available because poor people may be attracted from states with lower benefits
local interests impede natinoal majority support for certain functions
vast number of govts make it difficult for people to know which govt is govt for certain functions

federalism and scope of natl govt

as country went from ag--> industrial, new problems arose requiring govtal action (child labor laws, etc)
most problems or policies required authority and resources of the natl govt.
natl govt spends about 20% of the GDP


defines whom we select as govtl leaders and what policies they pursue

political participation

the ways in which people get involved in politics

4 types of public policies

congressional statutes (laws) presidential actions, court decisions, budgetary choices, regulation


relationship between the few leaders and the many followers

three contemporary theories of American democracy

1. Pluralist
groups compete with each other for control, no one group or set dominates.
multiple access points to govt with power spread among the various branches and levels of govt
bargaining and compromise are essential.
electoral majorities rarely rule
the recent increase in interest group activitiy is cited as evidence of pluarlism.
2. Elite and Class Theory
our society, like all socities is divided among class lines
upper class elite rules, regardless or govt organization
wealth is the basis of power
big business and its power is at the center of most elite and class theories
observers argue that elitism is increasing
3. Hyperpluralism
pluralism gone sour
many groups so strong they are unable to act
too many groups with access to different levels and branches of govt.
policy gridlock, confusing and contradictory policies result from politicians trying to placate every group

Five elements of political culture that shape American Democracy

1. liberty
one of Jefferson's inalienable rights and a cornerstone of the BOR
2. Egalitariansism
equality of opportunity, especially social equality
3. individualism
developed in part from the western frontier and the immigrants' flight from govt oppression
4.Laissez-faire economics
American govt taxes and regulates less than most countries at its equivalent level of development
5. populism
the common, ordinary citizens are idealized in American politics, and both liberals and conservatives claim to be their protectors.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

the value of all goods and services produced annually by the US

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