POLS 1101, Study Guide for Test #1
POLS 1101, Study Guide for Test #1 POLS 1101
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This 4 page Study Guide was uploaded by Melanie Bagyi on Wednesday September 14, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to POLS 1101 at Kennesaw State University taught by James Martinez in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 139 views. For similar materials see American Government in Political Science at Kennesaw State University.
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Date Created: 09/14/16
Freedom, Authority, and Goldilocks Principle: • Freedom vs. authority: o Antithetical ideas (opposing) o Extremes in either lead to destabilization • Classical liberalism: o Not a lot of government power o Founding fathers were classical liberalists • Socialism/Marxism: o Lot of government power • Theories of power: o Majoritarianism (Majority wins) § Voting § Ballot initiatives and referenda o Pluralism (Like-‐minded people join together to push policies) § Interest groups § Political parties § News media o General (Direct) § Democracy; controlled by people o Specific (Indirect) § Republican o Elitism § Out of control pluralism § “Iron law of oligarchy” • Lessons learned: o Tensions are never resolved in a democracy o Democracy is messy and inefficient Story of American Government: • New England Colonies: Puritanism and nuclear families(Mom, dad, and two kids) o Pilgrims and puritans § Didn’t trust government § Hard workers § Big on education and religion o Tried to escape religious intolerance, but became very intolerant of other people • Middle Colonies: “Best poor man’s country” o Philadelphia was the 2 biggest English speaking city after London o Indentured servitude: § Poor, young men without family, servant for 7 years then had business experience. § Ex. Benjamin Franklin • Chesapeake: Slavery and aristocracy st o Primogeniture (1 born) § Only boys because women were considered father’s property until married o Presentism: Looking at the past with today’s values § Ex. Slavery o Thomas Jefferson: Hated slavery but fathered 5+ kids to a slave he owned. • Deep South: Melting pot of America o Owning slaves corresponded to rank on social ladder Founding Fathers and the American Political System: • Recurring themes: o Two contradictory themes § Fear of too much power in too few hands (Tyranny) § Antipathy toward democracy • Republic: Structured government; allows separation of powers o Noblesse Oblige: Noble obligation, civil virtue o Classical Liberalism: Lockean principles • Four founding documents: o Declaration of Independence o Articles of Confederation o U.S. Constitution o Federalist Papers • Declaration of Independence: o Purposes: § Statement of legitimacy § Rejection of the Divine Rights of Kings § Firm commitment of Lockean principles • Life, Liberty, and Property (Pursuit of happiness) § Justifies the “Right of Revolution” o Benign neglect o Committee made up of Franklin, John Adams, Jefferson o Jefferson ended up writing the document which made him well-‐ known o Divine Right of Kings § God -‐> King -‐> People o John Locke Theory § God -‐> People -‐> Government § Opens up the possibility of a democracy o Major Provisions: § “All men are created equal” § Natural rights precede rights granted by government § Disaffected parties can petition their government o Consequences of the document: § Served as a rallying cry for war, liberation, and nationalism § Was a mission statement for the new nation § Embraced principles of self-‐government o The Declaration DOES NOT: § Establish a new government § Condemn slavery § Address the issue of federal vs. state supremacy o From 1779, delegates think the U.S. should have a central government o 3 choices for a democratic government: § confederation: central government vs. states (too weak) § federal system: central government vs. states (“perfect”) § unitary system: one undivided government (too strong) • The Articles of Confederation: o Major provisions: § State sovereignty was paramount § Congress could direct foreign affairs, BUT domestic affairs were left to the states § No standing armies were allowed § Congress DID NOT exercise exclusive power to print money § Congress had few enforcement powers § 9 of 13 states (3/4 majority) had to approve legislative measures § Unanimity was required to amend § Each state was responsible for its own war debt o Positive features: § a weak central government COULD NOT oppress its citizens § states could exercise sovereignty § the dream of rural, agrarian American “townships” was theoretically possible § it highlighted the need for strong government o Negative features: § big states (VA, PA, NY) vs. small states (NJ, DE, southern states) became an issue § “super-majorities” led to gridlock (= unresolved major issues; 50% + 1) § each state was its own little nation § the problem of economic growth • The U.S. Constitution o Prelude, part 1: The Annapolis Convention § organized to discuss trade problems § firmly embraced capitalist principles § highlighted the need to fix the AOC § a dress rehearsal for 1787 & made Madison (father of the Constitution) and Hamilton important figures § Montesquieu’s idea to have: legislative, executive and judicial branches o Tipping point: Shays’s rebellion § farmers is western MA were upset at farm foreclosures § Daniel Shays led a mob to the Springfield armory to seize weapons (private militia supported by Benjamin Lincoln and mayor of MA) § the state militia quelled the rebellion, but this highlighted the AOC’s weaknesses o Virginia Plan vs. NJ Plan: § Virginia: bicameral (= chamber) legislature power from individual unspecified executive; majority rule; Congress impeaches; national judiciary ratification by citizens § NJ: unicameral legislature power from states executive committee; super-majority rule; states impeach; no national judiciary ratification by states • ultra vires: going beyond an individual’s authority • Edmond Randolph: he was asked to present plans to everyone • William Paterson: spoke on behalf of the people, who were upset by the Virginia Plan o The Great Compromise aka “Connecticut Compromise” (Roger Sherman) § Bicameral legislature o The House of Representatives: proportional (favored big states) – 2 year terms in the People’s House o The Senate: equal (favored small states) – 6 year terms in the Upper House § Presidency o a single chief executive with a 4 year term; eligible for reelection o electoral college: • interposes electors between a demagogue & the electorate • # based on a state’s MOCs o 3/5 compromise § each slave was counted as 3/5 of a free white person for purposes of representation and taxation § international slave trade was abolished after 1808 § in 1790, 697 thousand people – 18% of the population – were slaves o Final product: 4 principles • Republicanism – people exercise power through elected representatives • Federalism – the division of power between a central government & subunits • Separation of Powers – make laws (legislative), enforce laws (executive), interpret laws (judiciary) • Checks and Balances – veto legislation (executive), override executive veto (legislative), review legislative acts (judiciary)
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