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Politics of the United States
POLS 1101 Final Exam
Terms in this set (87)
People influence government. Pluralist suggest that interest groups give most people voice. (example of interest groups being, groups that are about global warming, abortion.)
power rests in the hands of wealthy and powerful people. (such as the wealthiest americans, top government officials)
Social Movement Theory
Citizens wield power when they organize and rise up in protest
Explain the principle of checks and balances
Checks and balances keeps everyone in the government adhering to someone. Everyone has a boss, therefore that keeps power controlled so no one person has too much power.
Checks and Balances
A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power
Define the characteristics of democracy in the US discussed throughout the chapter in your textbook.
Seven key ideas: liberty, self-rule (democracy), limited government, individualism, american dream, equality, Faith in God
government in which citizens rule directly and make government decisions for themselves.
government in which citizens rule indirectly and elected representatives to make decisions.
What is the difference between direct and indirect democracy
Indirect- citizens elect representatives to make government decisions
Direct- citizens vote directly on an issue through voting polls
.Briefly define negative liberty and positive liberty.
+Negative Liberty- freedom is the absence of constraints, limits on gov. actions
+Positive Liberty- freedom to pursue one's goal, individuals cannot really be free without proper necessities.
the organizations, norms, and rules that structure government and public action.
Discuss the three forms of equality
social equality, political equality, and economic equality
What is mercantilism and how did it affect the American colonies?
Mercantilism- An economic theory in which the government restraints imports and promotes exports to maintain national power and wealth. Popular in the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Mercantilism had a strong effect on the colonies. They were forced to pay higher taxes and often charged with things such as smuggling. I think this led to boycotts and other acts of rebellion.
.What was the symbolic and political significance of the Declaration of Independence? What influence did John Locke have on the Declaration of Independence and the future government institutions?
SYMBOLICALLY it was drafted to rally the colonists to recruit those sitting on the fence, to give them something to fight for. Common sense just told them why to fight. The declaration gave them something to fight for in the future. Rally them together to unite them and get them ready to fight in the french and indian war. POLITICALLY to win over the worlds opinion. The world thinks very little of the colonists at this point in time.
The Declaration includes three propositions that come straight from John Locke. Arguments between John Locke and Hobbes ,social contract.
1) Natural human rights
2) All citizens (white land owning males) are entitled to have a voice in the government.
3) Limited government, there should be a restraint on government and let citizens have their own opinion
A pamphlet written by Thomas Paine that claimed the colonies had a right to be an independent nation. It was meant to get the colonist fired up.
What were the basic features of the Articles of Confederation? What were the two main weaknesses? How did the framers 'fix' the problem with the Articles of Confederation with the new Constitution?
1) The states were sovereign, the nation government did not have power over states. They were to retain the freedom within the state laws. This did not work and proved the AOC to be weak.
2) No taxing power given to congress. In the middle of the second continental congress and war they didn't want to have taxes, but they did give dues.
Only lasted 5 years. Within those five years the AOC was like a test run to see what worked for the US and what did not. Shay's rebellion also proved the AOC to be ineffective.
The Framers "fixed" everything that went wrong by collecting the info of what went wrong and adjusted it to make it work and make the US a sufficient, strong country.
Rebellion led by Daniel Shays of farmers in western Massachusetts in 1786-1787, protesting mortgage foreclosures. It highlighted the need for a strong national government just as the call for the Constitutional Convention went out.
The compromise reached at the Constitutional Convention that established two houses of Congress: the House of Representatives, in which representation is based on a state's share of the U.S. population, and the Senate, in which each state has two representatives.
What were the philosophical differences between the Federalists and the Anti-federalists?
Anti- federalist did not agree with the constitution. The pushed for the AOC. The also felt something was missing in the constitution, the bill of rights.
Federalist were for the constitution. Federalist the Federalist Papers which defended the constitution .
Which four amendments relate to citizens voting?
power divided between national and state governments. Each has its own sovereignty(independent authority) and its own duties.
Why did the Framers choose a federated system?
The Framers chose a federated system because this form of government is designed to keep a strong national government without it be
national government powers listed in the constitution
How does the supremacy clause affect American federalism?
The constitutional declaration that the national government's authority prevails over any conflicting state or local governments claims provided the power is granted to the federal government. It provides backing that the two types of governments are not really equal because the federal government can override that of the state.
Powers specifically given to Congress in the Constitution; including the power to collect taxes, coin money, regulate foreign and interstate commerce, and declare war.
Necessary and Proper Clause
Clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) setting forth the implied powers of Congress. It states that Congress, in addition to its express powers, has the right to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out all powers the Constitution vests in the national government
Full Faith and Credit Clause
Constitution's requirement that each state accept the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
McColloch v. Maryland
An 1819 Supreme Court decision that established the supremacy of the national government over state governments.
the historic period (1933-1940) in the U.S. during which President Franklin Roosevelt's economic policies were implemented
Dual Federalism (Layer Cake)
clear division of governing authority between national and state governments. (layer cake federalism)
Cooperative Federalism (Marble Cake)
mingled governing authority, with functions overlapping across national and state governments. (marble cake federalism)
A version of cooperation federalism, but with less oversight by the federal government (which still provided funds) and more control on the state and local level.
Modern federalism variant in which the national government sets broad goals for a program, and relies on state innovations to achieve them.
the process of reassigning representation based on population, after every census
The electoral advantage a candidate enjoys by virtue of being an incumbent, over and above his or her other personal and political characteristics
House and Senate
HOUSE- No filibuster, No holds on bills, Riders to bills must be germane, has a rules committee
SENATE- Can filibuster, Senators can request holds on bills, amendments do not have to be germane, does not have a rules committee
Conference, joint, select and standing committees. Each committee does the majority of work on bills before presented for voting on the floor.
most bills are passed in the last two weeks of session; before the 60th day, a bill needs a simple majority to pass, after the 60th day it will need a 2/3 vote.
What is a filibuster?
an action such as a prolonged speech that obstructs progress in a legislative assembly while not technically contravening the required procedures.
What is divided government?
political rule split between two parties: one controlling the White House and the other controlling one or both houses of Congress
What is a unified government?
Governance in which one party controls both the White House and both houses of Congress.
What are the formal requirements for a person to serve as president of the United States?
natural-born citizen of the United States, be at least 35 years old, and have been a resident of the United States for 14 years.
Describe the process we use to choose the vice president. Has it changed since 1789? What are the duties of the office? Has this position ever grown in power?
The process we use now is the president appoints who he would like to run alongside him. It has changed a lot since 1789. It was originally given to the runner up of the Presidential election.
What are the central roles of the president? Briefly describe each.
commander and chief, chief executive, and chief of state.
EOP (Executive Office of the President)
name for the group of agencies, councils, and staff members which advise the president and help run the federal bureaucracy-was established by an executive order from FDR
Office of Management and Budget; prepares the federal budget and monitors spending
Council of Economic Advisors
National Security Council. A committee in the executive branch of government that advises the president on foreign and military and national security
"World Health Organization" -- a United Nations agency to coordinate international health activities and to help governments improve health services
Once a bill has passed both houses of Congress it goes to the president for his signature. What are the president's four options when presented with a bill?
Once a President is presented a bill he has four options: sign it and t becomes a law, veto it (do not say it dies; it goes back to congress and congress decides what happens to the bill.), once back to congress, they can make changes and send it back to the President, or congress can vote to override his veto, or they can let it die (congress decides if it dies, NOT the president.)
Pocket veto: he "puts it in his pocket" and sets the bill aside once it is presented. The Constitution says the President has 10 days to make a decision. If the bill is in his "pocket" and congress adjourns the bill is dead. If they want to see the bill again, it has to go through the process again.
A law without signature: it goes through 10 days in the President's "pocket" and on the 11th day, if congress is still in session, it becomes a law without the signature of the President. It's an automatic law. So if the president doesn't want the bill to become a law he needs to veto before the 11th day.
much civil service hiring is done using this kind of test, in which applicants must receive high scores on competitive examinations to be considered.
Pendleton Act of 1883
Bill that outlawed compulsory campaign contributions from federal employees and established the Civil Service Commission.
A system of managing government through departments run by appointed officials
Name and describe the federal courts and the jurisdiction of each.
U.S Federal District Courts:, U.S. Federal Courts of Appeals, U.S. Supreme Court.
What is a writ of certiorari? What is a writ of mandamus?
Writ of certiorari- when the justices agree to hear a case, the Supreme Court issues a Writ of certiorari, demanding the official record of the case from the lower court that heard the case.
Writ of mandamus- we see this used in the Marbury vs. Madison case . It is a court order compelling someone to execute a duty that they are legally obligated to complete.
Explain the Rule of Four
The Rule of Four: The requirement that at least four Supreme Court judges must agree to hear a case before it comes before the Court.After the four justices have agreed to hear the case, that is when the Supreme Court can issue a writ of certiorari.
Judicial Activism vs. Judicial Restraint
Judicial activism is where judges make policy decisions and interpret the Constitution in new ways.
Judicial restraint is where judges play minimal policy-making roles, leaving policy decisions to the other two branches.
Original and appellate jurisdiction
The original jurisdiction of a court is the power to hear a case for the first time, as opposed to appellate jurisdiction, when a higher court has the power to review a lower court's decision.
The process by which provisions of the Bill of Rights are brought within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment and so applied to state and local governments.
nonverbal communication, such as burning a flag or wearing an armband. The Supreme Court has accorded some symbolic speech protection under the first amendment.
words that attack groups such as racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities
exclusionary rule of evidence
A requirement that any evidence in a criminal case obtained illegally by police cannot be used as evidence in a trial.
A controversial law overwhelmingly passed by Congress in October 2001, after the terrorist attacks of September 11 on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It greatly expanded the power of federal law enforcement authorities to move against suspected terrorists.
prior restraint doctrine
Legal doctrine that gives individuals the right to publish without prior restraint- that is, without first submitting material to a government censor
Plessy v. Ferguson
a 1896 Supreme Court decision which legalized state ordered segregation so long as the facilities for blacks and whites were equal, in favor of Jim Crow Laws, separate but equal
Brown v. Board of Education
1954 - The Supreme Court overruled Plessy v. Ferguson, declared that racially segregated facilities are inherently unequal and ordered all public schools desegregated.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
This act made racial, religious, and sex discrimination by employers illegal and gave the government the power to enforce all laws governing civil rights, including desegregation of schools and public places.
A policy designed to redress past discrimination against women and minority groups through measures to improve their economic and educational opportunities
the state of being uninformed about politics because of the cost in time and energy
The lack of a stable perspective in response to opinion surveys; answers to questions may be self-contradictory or may display no ideological consistency
a body of people representing the states of the US, who formally cast votes for the election of the president and vice president.
The process by which we develop our political attitudes, values, and beliefs.
individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern
Citizens voluntarily participating in public life without government incentives or coercion (speaking at a town meeting, getting together to build a playground, cleaning up the litter in town).
The decision-making bias that results from the way a decision, question, or problem is worded
a shift in electoral support to the candidate whom public opinion polls report as the front-runner
A type of poll that attempts to influence opinions secretly using a poll (would you vote for McCain if you knew that he had a black, illegitimate child?)
public opinion surveys used by major media pollsters to predict electoral winners with speed and precision
polls conducted by media outlets to gauge the potential outcome of a political election on a periodic basis.
A person who is employed by and acts for an organized interest group or corporation to try to influence policy decisions and positions in the executive and legislative branches.
A political party's statement of its goals and policies for the next four years. The platform is drafted prior to the party convention by a committee whose members are chosen in rough proportion to each candidate's strength. It is the best formal statement of a party's beliefs.
the individual who travels with the candidate and coordinates the campaign
Forms of communication, such as newspapers and radio, that reach millions of people.
new technologies, such as the internet, that blur the line between paid and free media sources
a House or Senate race with no incumbent (because of death or retirement)
A seat in Congress that is empty because the person holding the office has resigned or died between elections.
Recommended textbook explanations
Magruder's American Government
United States Government: Our Democracy
Donald A. Ritchie, Richard C. Remy
United States Government: Principles in Practice (Florida)
Luis Ricardo Fraga
Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy
George C. Edwards III, Martin P. Wattenberg, Robert L. Lineberry
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