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It took the national government many years to implement just a fraction of the
bipartisan homeland security policies and programs.
Politics exists in part because people differ about who should govern and the ends
toward which they work.
Most people holding political power in the United States today are middle-class,
middle-aged, white Protestant males.
Constitutional amendments giving rights to African Americans and women passed by
The text suggests that, increasingly, matters that were once considered "public"
become "private," and beyond the scope of governmental action.
In the 1950s the federal government would have displayed little or no interest in a
university refusing applicants.
Much of American political history has been a struggle over what constitutes legitimate
Some writers of the Constitution opposed democracy on the grounds that the people
would be unable to make wise decisions.
The Framers of the Constitution did not think that the "will of the people" was
synonymous with the "public good."
The Framers suspected even highly educated persons could be manipulated by
demagogic leaders who played on their fears and prejudices.
The Framers hoped to create a representative democracy that would act swiftly and
accommodate sweeping changes in policy.
Weber assigned a significant amount of power to appointed officials in the
bureaucracies of modern governments.
Weber felt that bureaucrats merely implemented public policies that are made by
The bureaucratic view does the most to reassure one that America has been, and
continues to be, a democracy in more than name only.
In the 1920s it was widely assumed that the federal government would play a small role
in citizens' lives.
Who wields power—that is, who made a difference in the outcome and for what
reason—is harder to discover than who did what.
The American and French Revolutions of the late 1700s were both fought for the ideals
of liberty, fraternity, and equality.
Commonly listed among the natural rights to which colonists felt entitled were life,
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Revolutionary colonists largely held that the legislative branch of government should
have a greater share of governmental power than the executive.
The eleven years that elapsed between the Declaration of Independence and the signing
of the Constitution were years of turmoil, uncertainty and fear.
Under the Articles of Confederation the national government levied relatively modest
taxes on the people.
Shays's Rebellion may have encouraged some delegates to meet in Philadelphia who
may not have otherwise.
Most of the Framers of the Constitution were experienced in government and were in
their fifties or sixties.
The Constitution of the United States is the world's oldest written national constitution
still in operation.
The Virginia Plan appeared to favor the larger states, whereas the New Jersey Plan was
more acceptable to the smaller ones.
When the first decisive vote of the Convention was taken, the New Jersey Plan was
favored over the Virginia Plan.
The Great Compromise, which essentially saved the Convention from collapsing, was
directly opposed by, or not supported by, the votes of eight of the thirteen states.
At the time of the Convention, most European systems spread authority between state
and national governments.
The power to issue licenses and to regulate commerce within a state would be proper
examples of powers that are "reserved."
The Founders assumed most people would seek their own advantage and that some
would exploit others in the pursuit of self-interest.
James Madison, like Aristotle, thought that government had an obligation to cultivate
virtue among those who were governed.
The Framers considered the dispersion of power at both the state and federal levels to
be a kind of "double security" to the rights of the people.
To be in effect, the Constitution had to be approved by ratifying conventions in all
The text suggests that many of the major fears and dour predictions of the
Antifederalists turned out to be correct.
The Constitution did not contain a bill of rights originally, in part because the Founders
did not believe that the national government would be able to infringe on those rights
already protected in such bills.
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