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American Government Study Guides

by: Jasmine Guo

American Government Study Guides Pols 1101

Marketplace > Georgia State University > Pols 1101 > American Government Study Guides
Jasmine Guo

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These three study guides cover American Government concepts
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American Government, notes, GSU
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This 13 page Study Guide was uploaded by Jasmine Guo on Saturday January 30, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Pols 1101 at Georgia State University taught by Dr.Evans in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 1146 views.


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Date Created: 01/30/16
POLS 1101 – Introduction to American Government  Unit One – Study Guide Use this document to guide your preparation for the upcoming test. Also use your textbook and  the assignments you completed to assist in your test preparation. Good luck! Chapter 1 – The Founding and the Constitution Describe the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation and the events that led up to the  Constitutional Convention.   The politics at the Constitutional Convention led to a number of disagreements. Be able to  explain the plans put forth by delegates at the Constitutional Convention. Also, be able to explain the compromises that resulted from the following conflicting interests: small state v. large state;  legislative v. executive power; slave states v. non­slave states; national v. state power.  Be able to identify the following as related to the U.S. Constitution: the general topic of each  article, expressed / enumerated powers (know the expressed powers that are granted in Article 1  section 8), implied powers and the necessary and proper clause, impeachment, power of the  purse, judicial review, executive powers clause, commerce clause, supremacy clause and the  process of amending the Constitution.   Who were the Federalists and the Antifederalists? What was their biggest disagreement over? Discuss Madison’s concept of “double protection” (or “double check”) and how this was applied  to the constitutional framework developed?  Make a list of the different “checks and balances”  across the three branches of government.   Chapter 2 – Federalism Define federalism. Define the following terms: reserved powers, concurrent powers, full faith in credit clause, Dual  Federalism, Cooperative Federalism, and Coercive Federalism.   Be able to explain changes in the balance of power between the states and national government  over time.  What accounts for these changes?   What is the significance of the supremacy clause? List the advantages and disadvantages of a federal system. How does the U.S. compare to other systems of governance found in the world? Be able to define and explain devolution. Chapter 3 – Civil Liberties What are “civil liberties” and what is meant by the statement that “there are no absolutes”?  What is the due process clause (and where would you find it in the Constitution) and how is this  related to selective incorporation? What is selective incorporation? st nd th th th th List the key protections afforded to citizens in the 1 , 2 , 4 , 5 , 6 , and 8  Amendments to the  Constitution.   What is meant by the term “symbolic speech?” Define the following terms as related to civil liberties: establishment clause, free exercise clause,  due process, double jeopardy, exclusionary rule, and Miranda rights.  What is the Lemon test, and what is it used for? What are the three prongs of the Lemon test? Which amendments specifically deal with the due process rights of the criminally accused? What is the role of the Supreme Court with respect to civil liberties? Be familiar with the “right to privacy.” From where is it derived? Chapter 4 – Civil Rights What is the difference between civil liberties and civil rights? Know what the Emancipation Proclamation was and to whom it applied. Be familiar with the Civil War amendments. To whom did these amendments extend rights?  Which rights were extended to these groups? Who was excluded and why?  Understand equality of opportunity and equality of outcome. Be able to articulate the difference  between the two. Which court case established the doctrine of “Separate but Equal?” Which case repealed it? What tactics did the NAACP take in the fight for equal rights for African Americans? Be familiar with the 19  amendment.  What is the ERA? What is the status of the ERA today? POLS 1101: Intro to American Government Fall 2015 Study Guide for Unit II Test (Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9) Chapter 5: Public Opinion  Key Concepts:   Understand and discuss the concept of public opinion.   What factors influence public opinion?  Know how political values are shaped.  How does group identity influence a person’s political opinions?  Discuss how the public influences the government and why the government  would/should listen to public opinion.  How is public opinion measured? When can polls be trusted?  Discuss the concept of sampling. What is random sampling?  Vocabulary:   Public Opinion   Political Ideology   Political   Primacy Principle  Random sampling  socialization   Gender Gap  Sample   Rally­Around­the­  Straw Poll  Honeymoon Period Flag effect  Party Identification   Margin of error    Chapter 6: The Media   Key Concepts:   Explain the relationship between the media, the public, and the government   Identify the role that media plays in informing the public about politics and government   Compare and contrast the different types of media and how they affect public opinion and knowledge   Discuss trends in media viewer and readership   Discuss the business model of the media and how it affects what is consumed by the  public   Discuss the different mechanisms and laws that regulate the media   Know how the media in the U.S. differs from the media in other countries  Compare and contrast the concepts of agenda setting, priming and framing (and give  examples of each)   Know the concepts of Yellow Journalism and Muckraking, and know the difference  between them  Know how Watergate affected the way the media covers issues  How does persuasion occur?  Vocabulary:   Television Media  FCC   Agenda Setting   Radio Media   Market­Driven   Priming   Print Media  Journalism  Framing   New Media  Muckraking  Persuasion  Infotainment  Yellow Journalism    Chapter 7: Voting and Political Participation   Key Concepts:   Define political participation and give examples of different kinds. Which kinds of  participation are most common and why?  Identify why political participation matter and identify the key role that individuals play  in the government   When are people most likely to vote or participate in politics? Why?  Be able to identify other factors that affect the likelihood of voting and for whom  someone will vote.  What trends do we observe concerning voter turnout?  How does the U.S.’s voter turnout compare to that of other industrialized nations?  Vocabulary:   Conventional   Retrospective   Franchise Participation  Voting     Unconventional    Socioeconomic  Participation Status   Prospective Voting   Balancing the ticket   Social capital   Chapter 8: Political Parties   Key Concepts:   Identify and define what a political party is and how they influence government.   What three components make up a political party? Explain each one.  Which parties are dominant in the United States? What are the origins of our current  parties? How and why have parties in the United States changed over time? (Be specific  about each realignment.)  Explain the advantages and disadvantages of a two party system (chart in your book)   Know how and why third parties function in political systems such as the one we have in  the United States.  What is polarization? Has it been increasing or decreasing in recent years according to  your textbook?  How has party identification changed since the 1950s among voters?  What are critical elections?  Know the differences between a referendum, an initiative, and a recall.  Know how parties are organized. Are they centralized or decentralized?  How did the founding fathers feel about political parties? What does the Constitution say  about them?  Key Terms:   Open Primary  Party organization    Referendum  Closed Primary  Duverger’s Law   Recall  Political Parties  Political machine  Party Platform   Initiative   Chapter 9: Interest Groups   Key Concepts:   What is an interest group, and how does it differ from a party?  Know how interest groups are formed and maintained.   What is the “free rider” problem? How does it apply to interest groups and what can they  do to overcome this obstacle?  What is the function of a lobbyist?  Whom do interest groups represent? Be sure to know what factors cause a person or an  entity’s interests to be more or less represented by an interest group.   Be able to discuss the different types of interest groups and their roles in government   Discuss the function of the Iron Triangle and the role interest groups play in it   Be able to explain how interest groups influence government. Be specific and be sure to  include each branch of government.  Be able to compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of interest groups and  their effect on government   Know the difference between pluralist and elitist theories of interest groups.  Key Terms   Interest Groups   Private interests  Political Action   Grassroots     Public interests Committee  advocacy   Lobbying   Direct Lobbying   Amicus Curiae   Lobbyists  briefs     POLS 1101: Introduction to American Government Chapter 10: Congress Key Concepts:   Review Article I of the Constitution   Explain the differences between the House of Representatives and the Senate.  o Qualifications  o Exclusive Powers   Be able to describe some of the historical changes made in Congress since its inception in 1789   Describe the process of gerrymandering and its effects on democracy and representation   Discuss Congressional demographics and the types of representation that occur in  Congress  Identify the powers of Congress o  Discuss Enumerated vs. Implied powers and where they are found.   Be able to explain some of the “checks” on Congressional power and how they are  “balanced” between the other branches   Be able to discuss the role of political parties in Congress and how they affect the  legislative agenda   Be able to identify the party leadership and the purpose and functions of their roles in  Congress including the Vice President, Speaker of the House, the Majority and Minority  leaders and whips, and the President Pro Tempore   Be able to explain the purpose of committees and why they are important to Congress   Be able to articulate the process of how a Bill becomes a Law.  Know factors that can influence presidential approval ratings. Vocabulary:   Divided   Trustee  President Pro  Government  Delegate  Tempore   17  Amendment   Necessary and   Standing   Vesting Clause  Proper Clause  committee   Bicameral   Oversight   Select committee   Advice and   Impeachment   Joint committee  Consent   Vice President   Conference   Senatorial Courtesy  Speaker of the  committee   Gerrymandering House   Filibuster   Redistricting   Majority and   Cloture  Reapportionment  Minority Leader   Veto Override   Issue Network  Majority and  Minority Whip   Chapter 10: The Presidency  Key Concepts:   Review Article II of the U.S Constitution.  How does the president influence the legislative process?  Review the constitutional requirements to serve as the president.  Review the enumerated and implied powers of the President.   Be able to discuss how the President’s power has changed over time. What did the  Founders envision? How is that different from the reality of today?  How did the 22  amendment change the presidency?  Be familiar with the President’s cabinets and the Departments that are included within it,  as well as how department heads are selected.    Be able to explain some ways to “check” the president’s power.  Be able to discuss the role of the Executive Office of the President and how it assists in  the execution of most of the presidential duties   Know basic information about the Vice President and his/her role.  What is an Executive order and why are they often controversial?  Vocabulary:   Federal   Presidential Pardon  Executive Privilege Bureaucracy  Presidential   Bully Pulpit   Pardons Appointment   State of the Union    Amnesty  Senatorial Courtesy  Honeymoon Period  Executive Power   Advice and   Vice President  Clause Consent   Cabinet   Commander in   Executive Order  Impeachment Chief  Ratification  Pocket Veto   Head of State   Veto   Chapter 11: The Bureaucracy  Key Concepts:   Be able to define and discuss the role of the bureaucracy   What was the Spoils system? What was replaced with, how, and why?  Be able to discuss the roles of the 4 different types of bureaucratic agencies   Be able to discuss the history of the bureaucracy and how it has changed since its  inception   Be able to discuss the Iron Triangle, including which entities comprise it.  Be able to identify who is in charge of the bureaucracy and what effect each of the  branches of government has on it.  What perception of the bureaucracy does the public hold?   Vocabulary:   Bureaucracy   Government   Devolution  Corporations   Cabinet   Civil servants   Independent   Merit System   Iron Triangle  Executive Agencies  Patronage System   Privatization  Independent   Pendleton Act   Regulatory   Hatch Act  Commissions    Chapter 12: The Judiciary  Key Concepts:   Review Article III of the Constitution.  Discuss the historical development of judicial power and of the judicial branch itself,  including how the number of judges who sit on the court has fluctuated over time.  Identify the Founder’s opinions on the role of the Court, its function, and its power.  Discuss the role of Marbury v. Madison and how it led to the creation of the Court’s  power   Compare and contrast the different types of jurisdiction.   Distinguish the difference between the various levels of the courts in the U.S.  Identify and discuss the steps in the federal appointment process.   Discuss the constitutional requirements to be a federal judge and the limits placed on how long a federal judge can serve.   Discuss the Supreme Court’s procedure for selecting, hearing, and deciding cases. What  influences their decision as to whether to hear a case or not?  How many cases (or what percentage of cases) ARE actually heard by the Supreme  Court?  Explain the role of the Attorney General, Solicitor General, and Law Clerks in the  judicial system and the Supreme Court   What special privileges does the Chief Justice have?  Be able to discuss how judges make decisions.  o How do judicial activism and judicial restraint factor in?   Key Terms:   Precedent   Appellate   Discretionary   Judicial Review  jurisdiction  Jurisdiction   Original   Mandatory   Chief Justice of the  Jurisdiction  Supreme Court  jurisdiction   Associate Justice of  Rule of Four   Concurring opinion the Supreme Court   Amicus Curie   Dissenting opinion   Standing  Briefs   Judicial Activism  Mootness   Stare decisis   Writ of Certiorari   Majority opinion   


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