Unit 1 Study Guide
Unit 1 Study Guide P SC 1113-030
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This 15 page Study Guide was uploaded by Elizabeth Ennis on Sunday February 14, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to P SC 1113-030 at University of Oklahoma taught by Professor Justin Wert in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 36 views. For similar materials see American Federal Government in Political Science at University of Oklahoma.
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Date Created: 02/14/16
Unit 1 Study Guide Wednesday, February 10, 2016 3:14 PM Topics Declaring Independence The United States originated as a collection of colonies under the rule of Great Britain. • Great Britain needed to secure revenue after the French and Indian Wars, and it imposed taxes and duties on the colonists to achieve this end. • The colonists resisted these new taxes and began to organize in favor of revolution. Events such as the Boston Tea Party and the publication of Thomas Paine's Common Sense were key to this movement. • The founders, particularly Thomas Jefferson, used John Locke's political philosophy in crafting the Declaration of Independence. • The Revolutionary War lasted from 1775 to 1781 and ended with Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown. Great Britain fully recognized the independence of the United States with the Treaty of Paris in 1783. The Constitutional Convention Forming a functional government was a long process for the United States and involved significant controversy and strife. • The United States' first government was organized under the Articles of Confederation, which created a “league of friendship” among the states but provided very limited powers to the central government. In essence, each state functioned as a sovereign nation. • The lack of authority of the central government created many problems. The government's inability to tax or borrow money made it difficult to repay debts from the Revolutionary War. There was also no executive or judiciary power, and legislation required a supermajority of nine states to pass. Any changes to the Articles required unanimity of all thirteen states. • In May 1787, delegates began to meet in Philadelphia to fix the problems created by the Articles of Confederation. The process of building a new constitution required balancing the interests of states that were often in conflict while creating a more centralized government capable of responding to problems. the Articles required unanimity of all thirteen states. • In May 1787, delegates began to meet in Philadelphia to fix the problems created by the Articles of Confederation. The process of building a new constitution required balancing the interests of states that were often in conflict while creating a more centralized government capable of responding to problems. • Two major plans were offered: the Virginia Plan, largely seen to benefit larger states, and the New Jersey Plan, which was more favorable for smaller states. • Ultimately, the two plans were combined into what was known as the Great Compromise, or the Connecticut Compromise. The compromise included a bicameral legislature and an Electoral College to select the president in order to balance the needs of larger and smaller states. The framers of the new Constitution also had to contend with the issues of slavery and the slave trade in the future of the new nation. • Slavery was already controversial throughout the nation at this time; many states had banned slavery. Other states were highly dependent on slave labor in order to keep their economies functioning. • A key area of contention was whether slaves would be counted as full persons for the purposes of electoral population and taxation. • Ultimately, the Three -‐Fifths Compromise determined that all slaves would be counted as thre-‐fifths of a person for the purposes of representation and taxation. The Terms of the New Constitution The Constitution presented to the states for ratification was significantly different from any government structure ever seen before. • The Constitution created three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial. Each branch had separate powers as well as areas in which it overlapped with other branches, creating checks and balances so that no single branch could dominate the government. The checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution were designed to prevent tyranny by any single branch of the government. • No branch of government can act unilaterally; each has some dependency on the others. • The most commonly though-‐ tof check is the president's veto power over legislation. The Senate can also block treaties and executive nominations. • The ability of the judicial branch to rule on the constitutionality of laws (judicial review) was established inMarbury v. Madison in 1803. The Constitution includes a number of specific powers, but interpretation of the Constitution has expanded the scope of the government over time. • The Constitution was designed to limit the powers of government, but after the • The ability of the judicial branch to rule on the constitutionality of laws (judicial review) was established inMarbury v. Madison in 1803. The Constitution includes a number of specific powers, but interpretation of the Constitution has expanded the scope of the government over time. • The Constitution was designed to limit the powers of government, but after the Articles of Confederation, the framers of the Constitution recognized the need for some flexibility. • Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution explicitly grants certain powers to Congress, including the right to levy taxes, raise an army, borrow money, and establish post offices. • The final clause of Article I, Section 8 is the necessary and proper, or elastic clause. This clause has been interpreted to give Congress the power to take actions needed to fulfill its enumerated powers; some interpretations grant much broader powers. The Debate over Ratification The Constitution did not become effective when the convention concluded; rather, it required ratification by the states in order to become law. • A key area of disagreement was whether a new constitution was necessary or whether the Articles of Confederation should simply be amended. • The two sides that emerged were known as the Federalists, who supported ratification, and those who opposed ratification, known as -tiederalists. • The method of ratification favored the Federalists; holding ratification conventions during the winter made it difficult for those who lived in rural areas (who tended to oppose the Constitution) to travel. Likewise, the proceedings of the convention were secret, giving the Federalists an information advantage. The debate over ratification took place in the media, with both sides publishing essays designed to persuade citizens about the necessity or the dangers of ratification. • The Federalists were represented by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, who published essays under the name Publius. They argued that the new government would combat the dangers of faction, not overtake the state governments, and would be structured in order to counteract an excess of government ambition. • The Anti-‐Federalists wrote under several names, including Brutus and The Federal Farmer. They argued that the new government was not set up to protect states sufficiently against encroachments of federal authority. They also argued that the new nation was too large to be effectively governed, and the lack of a bill of rights made the new Constitution less protective of individual rights than most state constitutions. • The Federalists ultimately prevailed, with nine states ratifying the Constitution by July 1788. However, some states ratified only once they were assured that argued that the new nation was too large to be effectively governed, and the lack of a bill of rights made the new Constitution less protective of individual rights than most state constitutions. • The Federalists ultimately prevailed, with nine states ratifying the Constitution by July 1788. However, some states ratified only once they were assured that the new government would pass a bill of rights after ratification. The lack of a bill of rights in the new Constitution was controversial and required much consideration. • Many state constitutions included a bill of rights, raising the question as to whether the federal Constitution should maintain those protections. • The Federalists expressed concern that a bill of rights could ultimately limit freedom, implying that only those enumerated rights were truly protected. • The Bill of Rights was primarily sponsored by James Madison, who had originally opposed the inclusion of any enumeration of rights. Changing the Constitution The U.S. Constitution does not exist in a vacuum. There are both formal and informal methods to change the Constitution and how we interpret it. The first ten amendments to the Constitution are collectively known as the Bill of Rights. Congress originally proposed twelve amendments, but only ten were ratified by 1791. One of the remaining two amendments was ratified in 1992 as the Tw-enty Seventh Amendment. • Article V of the Constitution lays out the methods by which the Constitution can be amended. This was established in response to the near impossibility of amending the Articles of Confederation. • The most common method for amending the Constitution is through a congressional proposal. Two -‐thirds of both houses of Congress must approve the amendment, and then it requires ratification by three-‐fourths of the states. In most cases, this has been accomplished through votes in state legislatures. In one case, the Twenty-‐First Amendment, was ratified through special state ratifying conventions. This amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment, popularly known as Prohibition. • While it has never happened, tthirds of the states could call on Congress to stage a national constitutional convention. Amendments emerging from such a convention would still need ratification by efourths of the states. • Congressional amendments are often proposed but rarely ratified. More than ten thousand amendments have been proposed; thirty-‐three amendments have been sent to the states by Congress, and twenty -‐seven have been ratified into law. • Some amendments, such as the Equal Rights Amendment, fail due to missing deadlines for ratification. Beyond the amendment process, there are methods through which our been sent to the states by Congress, and twenty -‐seven have been ratified into law. • Some amendments, such as the Equal Rights Amendment, fail due to missing deadlines for ratification. Beyond the amendment process, there are methods through which our understanding of the Constitution changes over time. • The case ofMarbury v. Madison established the authority of the judicial branch to engage in judicial review, or determine which laws are compatible with the Constitution and overrule those that are not. • Under Chief Justice John Marshall, the Supreme Court tended toward a loose interpretation of the Constitution, with a broad view of the government's powers under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. • The flip side of Marshall's view is that of strict construction, which tends to follow very closely the enumerated powers established under Article I, Section 8 and take a narrow view of the elastic clause. • Interpretation of the Constitution evolves over time as the Court's understanding of societal dynamics and the role of law change. The composition and set of judicial philosophies present on the Court also shifts over time. While the Court tends to adhere to precedent, it does make decisions that differ from those it has made before, as it did in overturningPlessy v. Ferguson (1896) with Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, K(1954). Key Terms Anti-‐Federalists Group that opposed ratification of the new Constitution. Articles of Confederation The first government structure of the United States. It created a “league of friendship” between the new states and featured a very weak central government. Checks and balances A component of government structure in which each branch of the government is able to check the others by preventing policies from being enacted. Common Sense A pamphlet published by Thomas Paine arguing for independence from Great Britain. It was inspired by John Locke and widely read throughout the colonies. Federalists The group that supported ratification of the new Constitution. Intolerable (Coercive) Acts was inspired by John Locke and widely read throughout the colonies. Federalists The group that supported ratification of the new Constitution. Intolerable (Coercive) Acts Laws passed to punish colonists after the Boston Tea Party; the laws closed Boston Harbor and changed the government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, as well as requiring peacetime accommodation of soldiers in civilian homes. Loose construction An approach to constitutional interpretation that sees a large scope of government responsibility; it generally involves a broad interpretation of the necessary and proper clause. Natural rights Rights that cannot be abridged by the government, including life, liberty, and property. This was a key component of John Locke's political philosophy. Separation of powers A component of government structure by which responsibilities for various governmental capabilities are divided among different parts of the government. Stamp Act A law passed by the British in 1765 to raise revenue through a tax on printed paper goods; paper items needed to be embossed with a special government stamp in order to be legally purchased. Strict construction An approach to constitutional interpretation that focuses on the enumerated powers of the government; it generally involves a narrow interpretation of the necessary and proper clause. Sugar Act A law passed by the British in 1764 that increased import taxes in the colonies on many consumer goods, including sugar, molasses, and coffee. Study Guide Unit Timeline 1764 Sugar Act passed Study Guide Unit Timeline 1764 Sugar Act passed 1765 Stamp Act passed; Stamp Act Congress convenes 1767 Townshend Acts passed 1773 Boston Tea Party 1774 Intolerable (Coercive) Acts passed 1775 Second Continental Congress convenes; beginning of Revolutionary War with battles of Lexington and Concord 1776 Publication of Thomas Paine's Common Sense; Second Continental Congress presents Declaration of Independence 1781 Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown; Articles of Confederation come into effect 1786 Shays's Rebellion 1787 Beginning of Constitutional Convention; publication of the tederalist Papers 1789 Ratification of the U.S. Constitution 1791 Ratification of the Bill of Rights 1803 Supreme Court decides Marbury v. Madison Topics Origins and Purpose of the Bill of Rights After the Revolution, Americans turned their attention toward the challenges of creating a new government. • The Bill of Rights was created to address the limited guarantees of individual rights included in the proposed and ratified Constitution. Origins and Purpose of the Bill of Rights After the Revolution, Americans turned their attention toward the challenges of creating a new government. • The Bill of Rights was created to address the limited guarantees of individual rights included in the proposed and ratified Constitution. • The Bill of Rights sparked four years of debate between the Federalists and Anti-‐Federalists. • Federalists believed that the checks and balances, along with the federal structure created by the Constitution, were adequate to ensure protection of individual rights. • Anti-‐Federalists believed that enumerated rights were necessary to safeguard against governmental interference. This belief was exemplified by the many states that already included a bill of rights in their constitutions. • James Madison drafted the Bill of Rights, which was adopted in December 1791. Originally, the Bill of Rights applied solely to the federal government. Through the Incorporation Doctrine, selected provisions of the Bill of Rights were made applicable to the states. • The Incorporation Doctrine embodied the use of the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to apply aspects of the Bill of Rights to state government. These clauses require states to provide all persons with due process of the law. • The Incorporation Doctrine was first used by the Supreme Court in theSlaughterhouse Cases of 1863. • Through the Incorporation Doctrine, the federal government has taken a larger role in protecting civil rights at the state level. • Civil liberties are the basic rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. • Civil rights address unequal or unfair treatment based on a protected class. The First Amendment Freedom of expression is composed of several rights included in the First Amendment: the freedom of speech, of the press, of association, and of assembly and petition. • The courts continue to define the types of speech that are within the scope of governmental regulation. • Symbolic speech, which is nonverbal communication, is protected by the First Amendment. • Another form of protected speech is protest expression that does not interfere with public welfare and safety laws. scope of governmental regulation. • Symbolic speech, which is nonverbal communication, is protected by the First Amendment. • Another form of protected speech is protest expression that does not interfere with public welfare and safety laws. • Freedom of the press is seen as integral to a working democracy, and prior restraint is generally struck down by the courts. The Court has determined that the government must meet an extremely high standard to restrain publication of legitimate information. • Defamation, which includes libel and slander, is one exception to press freedom; however, the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff to prove malice or reckless disregard for the truth. • Obscenity and speech that constitutes a “clear and present danger” are not covered by the First Amendment. • The freedom of assembly and petition involves the right to gather together in groups and voice concerns, although the government may regulate the place, time, and manner. Freedom of religion is protected under the First Amendment’s establishment and free exercise clauses, which help to define the proper relationship between church and state. • The establishment clause limits the government’s support of religiously based activities. • The Lemon Test details the requirements for legislation concerning religion. The government’s action must be secular in purpose, must not have the primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion, and must not lead to excessive government entanglement in religion. • The free exercise clause addresses public policies that appear to burden religion. • Faith-‐based exceptions challenge the courts to balance the needs of a state’s interest and the threat to individual faith. The Rights of the Accused in Criminal Proceedings The Fourth Amendment prohibits the government from performing unreasonable searches and seizures. In order for a search to be legitimate, a judge must issue a warrant describing the premises to be searched and the item or items in question, and the requestor of the warrant must demonstrate probable cause for the search. • Mapp v. Ohio applied the exclusionary rule to the states, which restricts the use of evidence obtained through illegal searches and seizures in criminal proceedings. • The language of the Fourth Amendment continues to challenge the Court to create standards for reasonable and unreasonable searches and seizures. • Mapp v. Ohio applied the exclusionary rule to the states, which restricts the use of evidence obtained through illegal searches and seizures in criminal proceedings. • The language of the Fourth Amendment continues to challenge the Court to create standards for reasonable and unreasonable searches and seizures. • New technologies also continue to challenge the standards of legitimate searches and seizures. • Katz v. United States emphasized the expectation of privacy that occurs when technology has advanced. The Fifth Amendment protects individuals against s- eilfcrimination and double jeopardy and ensures due process of the law. • The Fifth Amendment gives individuals the right to refuse to incriminate themselves by providing testimony that could lead to prosecution. • The Fifth Amendment also prohibits state and federal governments from trying an individual a second time for the same crime after the individual has been acquitted, also known as double jeopardy. • In Escobedo v. Illinois, the Court denounced police practices that restricted suspects from speaking to their attorneys until after interrogation. • Miranda warnings are required to be given to any person who is under arrest to ensure that the person is fully aware of his or her constitutional right to an attorney and that any statements given may be used against him or her in a court proceeding. The Sixth Amendment provides individuals with the right to legal representation during interrogation and trial. This protection was incorporated in the states through the 1963 Gideon v. Wainwrightdecision. • The Sixth Amendment goes beyond the right to counsel to include the right to a speedy trial and a public trial with an impartial jury. • The right to a public trial is not absolute when a compelling government interest or need to preserve the right to a fair trial is at stake. • The right to a jury is also limited in some cases, including cases with a penalty of less than six-‐month imprisonment and most juvenile court proceedings. The Eighth Amendment limits the severity of punishment in criminal cases. • In 1972, the Supreme Court imposed a moratorium on executions based on unrestrictive discretion of trial judges in capital punishment cases. • In Gregg v. George , the Court concluded that the death penalty was not inherently cruel and unusual and reopened states to capital punishment. • In death penalty cases, juries have two roles: determining guilt or innocence and determining whether to impose the death penalty. • Certain classes of individuals, including persons with disabilities who are • In Gregg v. George , the Court concluded that the death penalty was not inherently cruel and unusual and reopened states to capital punishment. • In death penalty cases, juries have two roles: determining guilt or innocence and determining whether to impose the death penalty. • Certain classes of individuals, including persons with disabilities who are protected under state restrictions and minors, may not be subject to the death penalty. The Right to Privacy The Ninth Amendment states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The Supreme Court has interpreted the unenumerated rights associated with the Ninth Amendment to include the right to privacy. • The Ninth Amendment includes the concept of reproductive privacy, which has been raised in the protection of the right to contraceptives and a woman’s right to abortion under restricted guidelines. • In 1992, the Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s right to abortion but changed the restrictions from the first trimester to a test of whether a law restricting abortion imposes an undue burden on a woman seeking to terminate a nonviable pregnancy. The right to privacy protects many aspects of a person’s life from government regulation. Modern controversies over the right to privacy include cases involving sexual orientation and modern domestic surveillance. • Laws governing sexual behavior between consenting adults of the same sex were considered constitutional as recently as 1986, when the Supreme Court upheld Georgia’s sodomy statute as it applied to homosexual activity in Bowers v. Hardwick. • In Lawrence v. Texas(2003), the Supreme Court ruled to protect consensual sexual activity between sam -sex adults under the right to privacy. • The debate over electronic privacy is expanding with the use of new technologies and the ability of government to capture and analyze massive amounts of electronic data. The Second Amendment The Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms. Unlike other areas of the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment has not been the focus of much litigation. • The 1939United States v. Miller decision established the constitutionality of registration and taxation on certain classes of firearms. • The Supreme Court has overturned bans on handguns in both federal and local jurisdictions. • There are legal limitations on the right to bear arms. Restrictions exist for litigation. • The 1939United States v. Miller decision established the constitutionality of registration and taxation on certain classes of firearms. • The Supreme Court has overturned bans on handguns in both federal and local jurisdictions. • There are legal limitations on the right to bear arms. Restrictions exist for felons, concealed weapons, and certain geographical areas. The political debate over gun control has been influenced greatly by public opinion and the desire of the government to protect individuals against crime and murder. • Much of the debate over gun control focuses on congressional and state legislative action, rather than Court decisions. • The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929 led to the implementation of the National Firearms Act of 1934, which established taxation and regulation on certain classes of firearms. • In 1993, President Clinton signed the Crime Bill, which included the Brady Bill that mandated a -‐day wait period and background check for gun purchases. • The shooting of former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the recent school shootings have raised concerns about the need for further gun control laws. Key Terms Civil liberties The fundamental individual rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom of religion; due process of law; and other limitations on the power of the government to restrain or dictate the actions of individuals. Defamation The declaration of false statements, either orally or in written form, that injures a person’s reputation in the eyes of the community. Double jeopardy Prohibits both state and federal governments from trying an individual a second time for a crime after the individual has been acquitted of it in an earlier trial. This does not restrict an individual from being sued in a civil lawsuit. Equal protection clause A clause within the Fourteenth Amendment that requires the states to provide all persons with equal protection under the law. Exclusionary rule Equal protection clause A clause within the Fourteenth Amendment that requires the states to provide all persons with equal protection under the law. Exclusionary rule An element of judicial procedure under which evidence that is found during an illegal search cannot be admitted in a criminal proceeding. Free exercise clause Within the First Amendment, the free exercise clause protects the freedom to practice one's religion without government interference. Incorporation From the Fourteenth Amendment, the doctrine that states cannot infringe on the rights of citizenship. Libel A form of defamation that includes the publication of false statements that damage an individual’s reputation. Marketplace of ideas The belief that truth and quality public policy come from the competition of diverse ideas freely shared through public discourse. Prior restraint The action by a government that censors or restricts the expression of ideas by preventing the media from publishing a news item. Slander A form of defamation that involves making false statements in verbal communication that damages a person’s reputation. Symbolic speech Nonverbal actions or gestures that are intended to communicate an idea or message. Study Guide Unit Timeline 1791 Ratification of the U.S. Bill of Rights Study Guide Unit Timeline 1791 Ratification of the U.S. Bill of Rights 1863 Supreme Court decides the Slaughterhouse Cases 1919 Supreme Court decides Schneck v. United States 1934 National Firearms Act passed 1939 Supreme Court decides United States v. Miller 1945 Supreme Court decides Associated Press v. United States 1955 Supreme Court decides Quinn v. United States 1961 Supreme Court decides Mapp v. Ohio 1962 Supreme Court decides Engle v. Vitale 1963 Supreme Court decides Sherbert v. Verner andGideon v. Wainwright 1964 Supreme Court decides New York Times Co. v. Sullivan 1965 Supreme Court decides Griswold v. Connecticut 1966 Supreme Court decides Miranda v. Arizona 1967 Supreme Court decides Katz v. United States 1968 Supreme Court decides United States v. O’Brien 1969 Supreme Court decides Tinker v. Des Moines Community School DistrictandBrandenburg v. Ohio 1971 Supreme Court decides New York Times Co. v. United States andLemon v. Kurtzman 1972 Supreme Court decides Barker v. Wingo, Furman v. Georgia, Gregg v. Georgia, Eisenstadt v. BaiandWisconsin v. Yoder 1973 Supreme Court decides Roe v. WadeandMiller v. California Kurtzman 1972 Supreme Court decides Barker v. Wingo, Furman v. Georgia, Gregg v. Georgia, Eisenstadt v. BaiandWisconsin v. Yoder 1973 Supreme Court decides Roe v. WadeandMiller v. California 1986 Supreme Court decides Bowers v. Hardwick 1990 Supreme Court decides Employment Division v. Smith 1992 Supreme Court decides Planned Parenthood v. Casey 1993 Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act passed 2003 Supreme Court decides Lawrence v. Texas 2004 Supreme Court decides United States v. Kincade 2008 Supreme Court decides U.S. District of Columbia v. Heller 2010 Supreme Court decides United States v. Pool andMcDonald v. Chicago 2011 Supreme Court decides United States v. Mitchell 2012 Supreme Court decides United States v. Jones
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