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PLS 100 Final Study Guide
Professor Juenke PLS 100 Final Exam Michigan State University
Terms in this set (46)
Collective Action Problem
1. What is it?
2. Ways they are solved in small groups?
3. Ways they are solved in large groups?
1. A situation in which the members of a group would benefit by working together to produce some outcome, but each individual is better off refusing to cooperate and reaping benefits from those who do the work.
2. Usually by vote or general consensus
3. When someone like the U.S government steps in
Public versus private goods
public - everyone gets to enjoy its benefits
private - only those that pay for a benefit get to receive it.
free rider problem and voting
Party get-out-the-vote efforts are critical for overcoming
1. what does a representative democracy do differently?
2. Does it fix all of the problems of a direct democracy?
3. Does it cause new problems?
1. vote for elites who then vote on legislation
What does he mean when Professor Juenke says that the Constitution was created to be "purposefully broken?"
it created a federal government that was intentionally inefficient, and at times ineffective, to prevent some people/states from tyrannizing others.
Why in the world would the framers purposefully break the federal government?
to prevent one person or group from having too much power and causing tyranny.
Why is the Constitution so hard to change?
It requires ratification by each state as well as a majority in Congress for it to pass.
If it's in the Constitution, it's incredibly difficult to change what the framers laid out. Requires a lot to amend the Constitution.
1. Where do our civil rights come from?
2. Do we "have them" (get to enjoy them) just because they are written down in the Constitution?
3. How can we "claim them" legally?
4. Why should the government listen to us when we claim them?
1. The Bill of Rights
2. Yes and No, the anti-federalists wanted them written because they thought someone could try to violate them one day.
3. Through the courts!
4. Because if they don't it can lead to demonstrations which will beg the federal governments attention as it did during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s
1. Why is it that racial and ethnic minority citizens are typically associated with the struggle for civil rights?
2. What about women?
3. How do we reconcile these struggles with the promises expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution?
4. Isn't all of this stuff in the past?
1. Because they have been the predominant groups of struggles in society.
2. Women were left out of the 14th and 15th Amendments, setting them up as a minority group and women's suffrage.
4. The past is not the past, it's not even past. - William Faulkner
How are civil liberties and civil rights the same? Different?
They both want the same thing. Rights! However, Civil Liberties are, "things that the Government cannot stop you from doing" while Civil Rights are, "things that the government must provide to you."
14th and 15th amendments
14th-all people born or naturalized in US are citizens.
- national citizenship took priority over citizenship in a state.
15th-forbade states to deny anyone the right to vote on grounds of race.
1865-1877 The period after the civil war that was dedicated to reintegrating the seceded states and dealing with the abolishment of slavery.
Jim Crow era
Post-Slavery America discriminating against minorities, mostly African Americans
1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act
1964 Civil Rights Act - Ended Jim Crow
1965 Voting Rights Act - Outlawed discriminatory voting practices by the South. (Also, established "preclearance")
1. Are all of the civil rights issues solved in our society?
2. Are there issues about which people still disagree in regards to civil rights
2. Yes, such as racial profiling and having the same opportunities as white Americans.
1. How have people who were excluded from the political system in the 1780s gained inclusion?
2. Is this a slow or quick process?
3. How does this match our earlier conception of a broken federal government?
4. Is it a surprise that we see any change at all, or is it evidence of a healthy system?
1. Organized and demonstrated or petitioned the government.
3. It is meant to be slow which is just like our federal system intended.
4. Both, but more so a healthy system, the slowness allows for tyranny to be slowed as well. In short the good legislation makes it through while the bad gets pigeonholed.
Does the Constitution allow religious tests to be given to people for federal office?
Hell no! Separation of church and state.
1. Does the Constitution guarantee a right to privacy?
2. What evidence supports this/what evidence refutes this?
1. Yes and no, it does not specifically state a right to privacy. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that it is implied in many of the amendments.
2. 9th Amendment - Supports, No mention of "privacy" - refutes
1. What has the court, generally speaking, done with the issue of obscenity(pornography)?
2. How does this relate to federalism?
What does it mean if a constitutional right or liberty has been "incorporated" by the Supreme Court?
Nationalization of people's "rights and liberties"
Applying particular rights and liberties to protection from state governments.
Are all of our rights and liberties "absolute" (you have them no matter what with no constraints)?
No, Schenck v. United States decided that free speech can be limited during wartime. There are also times when it can be limited due to stupidity, such as yelling fire in a movie theater when there is none.
Length of legislative terms for senators and representatives (how these correspond to the purpose of those bodies)
Senator = 6 years
Representative = 2 years
The idea is that a senator is a more respected and distinguished position that needs to not be constantly worried about reelection, while the representatives represent a smaller portion of people and are generally considered less distinguished.
How does Congress try to control the president and judiciary?
Through veto override, the fiscal budget, war declaration, confirmation hearings, impeachment
Difference b/t who House members and Senators represent (constituency size and makeup)
House members are usually a district of a few thousand to a hundred thousand people, while Senators represent a whole state of diverse people.
Where does most of the work in Congress get done?
committees and subcommittees
What is Congressional "Pork?" and how might it help party leaders keep their members in line?
Things added onto bills that bring federal money and projects into your district or state. LBJ used this to get the Civil Rights Act passed, this makes members vote how you want them to.
Where does the office of the President get its powers from?
Article II of the Constitution.
1. Main function of President early on?
2. Has this changed over time?
1. Execute the laws that Congress passes
2. The president has become more powerful and now sets the agenda of Congress as well as many other things. (Executive Orders, etc.)
How can someone who simply executes Congress's laws (like the president) come to have so much power over Congress over time?
During times of depression, specifically, we see this during the Great Depression when FDR ushered in the "Modern Presidency" with an expansive legislative agenda.
Can a president "declare war?"
No, requires congressional approval.
What are some ways that legislators have found to get around the constraints of the framers?
What do legislative committees and subcommittees do?
They recommend legislation to be seen on the floor for a vote. (They can deny legislation.)
What are some of the things that the president CAN do?
Chief of State
Commander in Chief
What are some reasons that Congress delegates duties to the president and the bureaucracy?
to get things done quicker "quick decisions are sometimes necessary"
to get sticky legislation passed
to pass the risk
Problems with measuring public opinion
What is the main difference between knowledgeable and less engaged voters in terms of their political attitudes and behaviors?
Knowledgeable are stronger in their views and partisanship, while less engaged are less so.
1. Where do political opinions come from?
2. What "causes" them individually?
2. Attitudes, Ideologies, Partisanship
Political socialization and why it's so hard to change these values.
Political Socialization is the process by which people gain their political attitudes and opinions.
It's hard to change these because they are emboldened by heritage, family, friends, etc. "Your parents have had you for 18 years" they got a head start; you want to feel accepted and included.
1. Are most people's political opinions elite or mass driven?
2. Are mass movements elite or mass driven?
1. Do campaigns matter?
2. When and how?
2. Usually in close races they can inform and mobilize voters and they matter for undecided voters.
Why do parties hold primaries/caucuses?
Gauge the publics opinion on possible candidates to present the best one in the general election.
1. What is redistricting and why is it so important?
2. Are voters choosing politicians or are politicians choosing voters?
1. Every 10 years the census is done, which then leads to population changes by state and district, this can lead to states losing and/or gaining district seats. Can have a profound impact on either party's lean in the house.
2. "At the margins, candidate quality, campaigns, turnout can affect the outcome of some elections." (From Lecture)
1. What is polarization and what are some possible causes?
2. Is this recent or something we have seen before in the U.S.?
1. Division into two separate and drastically different opinions
2. It has been around for a long time, however, it has really gained traction more recently.
1. Why do we still have the electoral college?
2. How does the Electoral College change campaigning for President (which states get favored)?
1. State sovereignty (Allowing bigger states to trump smaller ones is what would happen without it.)
2. States that can go either way, aka "swing states," these states can decide elections.
1. Who nominates federal judges?
2. Who confirms federal judges?
3. How does the nomination/confirmation process make judges political?
4. Are federal judges "politicians in robes" or do they just "call balls and strikes?
5. Where did the courts get the right to "judicial review?"
1. The President
2. The Senate
3. The process by which they are nominated is political they are questioned before the senate in a hearing to gauge their leanings on critical issues to both parties.
4. Both! They create policy via rulings, but they also strike down (call balls and strikes) when policy violates rights.
5. Marbury v. Madison (1803)
1. If the courts cannot enforce their decisions, why does anyone listen to them?
2. Are the courts constrained by public opinion?
1. Because they are the leading party in defining what the U.S Constitution says.
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