American Government Midterm 1 Study Guide
American Government Midterm 1 Study Guide POLS 1101
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This 19 page Study Guide was uploaded by Chapman Lindgren on Friday September 16, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to POLS 1101 at University of Georgia taught by James E. Monogan, Anneliese S. Hermann in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 379 views. For similar materials see American Government in History at University of Georgia.
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American Government Test 1 Study Guide What are the functions of Government? 1. A “police force” designed to protect the rights of the people 2. To provide public goods a. Private goods are rivalrous and excludable while public goods are non-rivalrous and non-excludable b. Providing public goods resolves the free rider problem i. Free Rider Problem: when people benefit from free access to resources, goods, or services and don’t pay for them (via taxes, etc.) 3. To promote general welfare a. Infrastructure b. Regulating the economy c. Providing support to people in vulnerable positions (ex: older citizens who require social security) d. Redistributing income to improve the lives of citizens with less financial capital. This is accomplished through tiered taxing systems e. Regulating behavior (drinking age, tobacco age, driving permit age, etc.) Prisoner’s Dilemma: “a situation in which two players each have two options whose outcome depends crucially on the simultaneous choice made by the other, often formulated in terms of two prisoners separately deciding whether to confess to a crime.” Short video explanation of the prisoner's dilemma The Collective-Action Problem: essentially a large prisoner’s dilemma. People want to see public goods provided but don’t necessarily want to pay for it. Public vs. private goods People have no incentive to provide the good/service/resource because the free rider problem develops Effective enforcement is required to solve the problem American Values 1. Fairness based on contribution 2. Freedom and individualism 3. Support for the rule of law 4. Religion American Government Test 1 Study Guide Small Group Discussion Notes North Georgia Black Belt (Fall line Coastal Plain (Valley & ridge, blue through middle of ridge, piedmont) coastal plain) Economics: industrial Economics: Economics: wildcard agricultural (seasonal) Demographics: white Demographics: black Demographics: white Politics:left leaning. 1963 Gray vs. Sanders Politicsconservative, Politics:wildcard Supreme court case. black Info here. disenfranchisement Lesson Objectives 8/22/16 Explain the causes and reasoning behind the institutions the framers crafted Describe the major provisions of the U.S. constitution What do Constitutions Accomplish? Establish “rule of law” in a society o Manga Carta: even the King must obey laws. No one is “above” the law. This practice was instituted into our constitution. o The constitution decided what the laws were and what types of laws the government can and can’t pass A constitution provides the basics for policy making o How a law is made and by whom? Outlines responsibilities of government institutions American Government Test 1 Study Guide o Minting currency, postal service, etc. Determines who is eligible to serve in different positions Articles of Confederation First U.S. governing document. It was ratified in 1781 o Confederation: all power of higher authorities is vested in individual authorities (States were sovereign and held power) Each of the 13 states held 1 equal vote regardless of population States had powers, but no means of enforcement Required unanimous consent among states to amend laws Small states preferred the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution because with the Articles of Confederation they had more power Failures of the Articles of Confederation (AOC) States that didn’t pay their share of taxes couldn’t be punished (free rider problem from week 1). The National government couldn’t raise money which led to them essentially being a “lame duck” government o This couldn’t be amended because all 13 states had to agree to changes which seldom occurred Origins of the Current American System The Articles of Confederation set up a weak national government o Because there was so much sovereignty vested in the states, they were not compelled to pay their share of debts and taxes Revolutionary war debt piled up One year, Virginia was the only state to pay taxes The Articles of Confederstion lacked effective means of enforcement o This lead to the 1 Constitutional Convention 1 Constitutional Convention The first Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia in 1787 to consider amendments to the AOC o Rhode Island refused to attend o James Madison elected to scrap the whole AOC Madison wrote a new document. His home state of Virginia voted to use it as a draft for a new constitution moving forward. This draft was called the Virginia Plan. Founders wrestled with how to combine a strong national government that still protected individual liberties. Virginia Plan First proposal at the Constitutional Convention by James Madison American Government Test 1 Study Guide o Provisions: Declared the legislative branch the main branch of government Called for legislative representation to be apportioned by state population Called for a bicameral legislature in which the legislature had 2 houses: an upper and lower chamber. The House of Representatives comprises the lower chamber while the Senate comprises the upper chamber. Unicameral Legislature: a legislature with just 1 house The upper chamber in a bicameral legislature is elected by the lower chamber Gave advantage to larger states at the expense of smaller states. This is why smaller states preferred the Articles of Confederation New Jersey Plan The New Jersey plan countered the Virginia Plan and served as a compromise promoted by small states. They called to not trash the Articles of Confederation, only to revise it o Provisions: Compel states to pay taxes Establish an executive branch Equal representation of states in legislature These compromises allowed the convention to succeed but set us on a path to the Civil War because no decision was made on the topic of slavery, a dividing issue at the time Slavery Was a major issue at the time of the convention Northern states favored abolition but they feared southern states would refuse to sign it if slavery were banned or restricted Compromise allowed the convention to succeed, but again, set us on a path to the Civil War Compromises Made at the 1 Constitutional Convention 1. 3/5 Compromise: slaves were regarded as 3/5 a person for representation and taxation 2. Connecticut Compromise (Great Compromise) a. Bicameral legislature b. House representation based on population American Government Test 1 Study Guide c. Equal representation in Senate (this is important in the context of the AOC) i. 2 members are elected for each state to serve in the senate d. A unitary, independent executive branch i. Instead of congress electing a president, we vote for the president independently Lesson Objectives 8/24/16 Describe the major provisions of the US Constitution Explain the causes and reasoning behind the institutions the framers crafted Features of the Constitution President as head of executive branch Elected by electoral college to 4-year term Bicameral legislature Independent Judicial branch American Government Test 1 Study Guide o Justices serve for life after presidential nomination and Senate confirmation Constitutional Powers Expressed powers specifically described in the Constitution o Article I, section 8, lists powers of Congress Elastic clause is more vague o Allows congress to pass all laws that are “necessary and proper” to carry out enumerated powers Three Branches of Government Separation of powers between executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government Overlapping powers lead to checks and balances between branches Federal Supremacy Supremacy clause of the Constitution states that federal laws trump state and local laws (Article VI) o Major concession by opponents of strong national government States do have explicit protections and reserved powers (Article IV and th 10 amendment) Amending the Constitution More flexible process than under AOC Proposal by 2/3 of each chamber of Congress, plus ratification by ¾ of state legislatures American Government Test 1 Study Guide 2/3 of state legislatures can call for convention to propose amendments; proposed amendments need ratification by ¾ of state legislatures Ratification also can be done by ¾ of special state conventions Ratification Debate Federalists argued for ratification Federalist papers o Written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay under the name Publius o Outlined arguments that institutions were necessary to solve collective dilemmas o Checks and balances would constrain government Antifederalists urged rejection, thought federal government was too strong o “letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican” (might have been Richard Henry Lee) Ratification New Hampshire ratified ninth (June 1788) Virginia and New York were big states in doubt; both ratified summer of 1788 Congress and President Washington took office on April 30, 1789 Bill of Rights First 10 amendments Addressed complaints that Constitution did not protect individual rights Provides protections for free speech, right to counsel, and those charged with crimes Major Amendments since the Bill of Rights Slavery was abolished (13 amendment) National power has grown at the expense of state power (income tax: 16 amendment) Senators directly elected (17 amendment) th th th th th Increase in citizen rights and liberties (13 , 14 , 15 , 19 , 24 , and 26 amendments) American Government Test 1 Study Guide Small Group Discussion Notes 8-26 Important to know: The Georgia constitution has had 10 versions, 11 articles, no elastic clause, and the difference between a law and an amendment. Amendments are way harder to change. Laws are much easier. Lesson Objectives 8/29/16 Explain how a federal system works Describe the role of the national, state, and local governments in Georgia politics Concepts of Federalism What is federalism? System of shared powers between two or more levels of government Lower level of government enjoys constitutional protection from national government National government can compel action Example: US under the constitution of 1789 American Government Test 1 Study Guide Contrast: Confederation System of shared powers between two or more levels of government Lower-level governments retain sovereignty National government cannot compel action Example: US under AOC Contrast: Unitary System All power centralized with the national government Lower-level governments (if they exist) only have powers if the central government delegates Example: United Kingdom o Power centralized in London o Powers delegated to subnational parliaments in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales Centralization of Political Control Dynamics of Federalism (which best describes the U.S. system?) Dual federalism o Separate spheres of power o Notice that some prerogatives are separate Federal: national defense, currency tariffs & trade, treaties State and Local: traffic regulation, zoning, marriage, insurance regulations, conduct elections, education (principally) Cooperative federalism o Shared spheres of power o Notice that some prerogatives are shared American Government Test 1 Study Guide Social welfare (Medicaid), tax collection, research & development, business regulation (minimum wage, environment) Constitutional Allocation of Powers The constitution sets some clear limits o States cannot coin money or negotiate treaties o Supremacy clause holds that national laws trump state laws if in conflict (Article VI, Clause 2) The constitution also creates ambiguities, with Supreme Court interpretations changing over time o Necessary and proper clause o Commerce clause o Tenth amendment Relations among states: Article IV o Full faith and credit clause, privileges and immunities clause, extradition clause State Governments Most are similar in structure to federal government o Bicameral (exception: Nebraska) o Gubernatorial powers vary by state o Professionalization of legislatures varies by state o Key distinction is presence of direct democracy-initiative, referendum, recall Referendum: something is proposed by legislature; voters can vote up or down Recall: a member of state gov’t can be voted out of office Lesson Objectives 8/31/16 Explain why it is beneficial to decide policy at the state level Describe the reasons why the states and the people have allowed the federal government’s power to grow in the past century Read pages 108-133 for next class Federalism in Practice “Laboratories of Democracy” Louis Brandeis argued that if we didn’t allow states to develop their own policies, we were wasting our freedom. He described individual states as “laboratories of democracy.” Bill Clinton in Arkansas enacted state educational policies which he continued once elected President. American Government Test 1 Study Guide New Hampshire was the first state to start their own lottery. The money made was used to finance education. A few other states starting adopting this policy, then there were more states. Now there are 44 states running lottery systems to fund education (HOPE scholarship in GA is funded by the lottery). People see that a policy is successful so it spreads across many states There is state minimum wage, state minimum wage, and in some cases, city minimum wage. For example, in California, mw is $8.50. However, in San Francisco, mw is $15.00. A Puzzle The constitution establishes a system of shared power between states and the federal government Why have the states and the American people allowed the federal government’s power to grow in the past century? o Post New Deal, Great Society Period Federalism as Solution to Collective Action Problems The original problem: funding the common defense Incentives to pollute: set national standards for environmental laws o State laws don’t curb pollution (Indiana factory based on river dumps pollution in river that flows into Kentucky. Federal standard wouldn’t allow this). Competition for industry can reduce tax base and worker protections (federal minimum wage) Other Reasons National Power has Grown Constitutional changes o 16 amendment: income tax o 17 amendment: allows direct election of senators so state legislators are not appointing senators so they don’t have any direct influence on national policy National elections that focus on national problems/solutions o Clinton and Trump don’t talk about what states should be doing they talk about what nation should be doing and national solutions that will help states Supreme Court interpretation of vague points in the Constitution o How broad is the commerce clause? How SC interprets the constitution is very important. Civil Liberties American Government Test 1 Study Guide Lesson Objectives 9/7/16 Distinguish civil rights from civil liberties Identify the civil liberties protected explicitly and implicitly by the Bill of Rights Distinguishing Civil Rights from Civil Liberties Civil rights: freedom from governmental discrimination (unequal treatment) based on age, gender, race, or other personal characteristics o Allow individuals to participate in government o Grant freedom from oppression o Rights ensure that claims upon government are fulfilled, and that people are treated fairly and equally Civil Liberties: the basic freedoms that citizens enjoy from governmental interference o Freedoms of speech, press, assembly & religion o Guarantees of due process and other protections for criminal defendants o Liberties ensure freedom from improper government interference Provisions of the Bill of Rights Freedom of the Press and Speech Principle of freedom of the press: no prior restraint on publishing Freedom of speech: ambiguous beyond freedom of the press American Government Test 1 Study Guide o Is only political speech protected? o What speech is protected beyond the press? Exceptions to freedom of speech o Obscenity – the supreme court has always held that the government can deem certain materials to be obscene and regulate them. o Libel (written) and slander (spoken): NY Times v. Sullivan (1963). It can only be libel or slander if the information is malicious in intent and the person knows that it’s false. The New York Times wanted to post the Pentagon Papers which would expose secrets about U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Nixon’s administration cited it a national security risk until the supreme court ruled that the NYT could publish the articles. o If your freedom impedes someone else’s freedoms like keeping them up at night or blocking the entrance to a church, then you lose your right o Speech that poses an imminent lawless action Freedom of Religion Establishment clause states that the government may not take any action to establish a state religion o Controversies: prayer in school, ten commandments in public places o The Lemon Test: intent prong, effect prong, and entanglement prong. 3 prongs that determine whether an activity is acceptable Intent prong: is the primary purpose of the activity secular? Effect prong: is the primary effect, regardless of intent, to advance or prohibit religion? Entanglement prong: does the action not lead to excessive government entanglement with religion? The free exercise clause states that any American may practice the religion of his or her religion o Controversy of military chaplains Protection of Rights and Liberties There can be a trade-off between rights and liberties As economic liberty increases, inequality in outcomes can also increase o For example, the high tax rates that many European countries employ to fund large welfare state infringes on the economic liberty of citizens in return for guaranteeing them basic rights to shelter, food, and health care. How to decide limits on rights and liberties? Moral claims of human dignity consistent with founding ideology of the United States American Government Test 1 Study Guide Utilitarianism in outcomes can infringe on liberties o Utilitarianism is the doctrine that actions are right if they are useful or for the benefit of a majority. Civil Rights Lesson Objectives 9/12/16 Explain the process of incorporation Identify the civil liberties protected explicitly and implicitly by the Bill of Rights Incorporation Protected citizens from overreach by the federal government Process of applying Bill of Rights to the states; it initially only applied to the federal government Equal protection and due process clauses of 14 thamendment o In a supreme court case, the court ruled that the 14 th amendment applied only to discrimination against African Americans Supreme court has proceeded slowly without incorporation (Court has slowly incorporated most of the bill of rights): o Selective incorporation: clauses of the Bill of Rights have come into question when a person say that they have violated their civil rights Incorporation of the Bill of Rights through the 14 thAmendment American Government Test 1 Study Guide th *Remember that the 14 amendment is central to the process of incorporation. The SC engages in selective incorporation Rights of Criminal Defendants 4 Amendment: no unreasonable search and seizure o Probable cause is needed for a warrant th 5 Amendment o grand jury o double jeopardy o due process 6 Amendment: speedy and public trial, impartial jury, and an attorney 7 Amendment guarantees the right to a jury trial in certain civil cases th 8 Amendment: no excessive bail, nor cruel and unusual punishment o important cases have related to whether the death penalty constitutes cruel and unusual punishment We have public defenders because of the Gideon v. Wainwright case Right to Privacy Natural Rights: basic rights that all human beings are entitled to, whether or not they are formally recognized by government o Consider the 9 amendment American Government Test 1 Study Guide Griswold v. Connecticut (1965): used constitutional right of privacy to strike down a law o Justice William O. Douglas: implied in the language in the Bill of Rights Free speech and assembly implies a right to privacy in one’s associations 3 amendment: right not to quarter soldiers (zone of privacy) th 4 thendment: bans unreasonable search and seizer 5 amendment: ban on self-incrimination o Hugo Black countered there was no specific provision in the constitution that prohibited Connecticut’s ban on birth control Gun Control • 2nd amendment is vague • Is right to arms unlimited or only in connection to state militias? • Limits on what can and cannot be banned – Assault weapons – District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) Protection of Rights and Liberties • How to decide limits on rights and liberties? • Moral claims of human dignity consistent with founding ideology of United States • Utilitarianism in outcomes can infringe on liberties Lesson Objectives 9/14/16 Identify the civil rights protected explicitly and implicitly by constitutional amendments Identify major civil rights policies the president, the courts, and Congress adopted Some Constitutional Provisions for Civil Rights Civil war amendments th o 13 :thanned slavery o 14 : nationalized citizenship o 15 : voting cannot be denied due to race Expand voting by prohibiting discrimination th o 15 : race o 19 : sex o 24 : poll tax American Government Test 1 Study Guide o 26 : 18 year olds Most amendments to the constitution have expanded rights available to citizens Many of the Civil War amendments were not immediatelythffective o Slavery ended immediately following the 13 amendment, but African Americans struggled greatly to achieve full rights in society until the 1960s Court Legitimacy Courts can protect against “tyranny of the majority” but must rely on elected branches for enforcement Unpopular decisions are rare. However, when they happen, elected branches still have to comply. Two unpopular decisions are: o School prayer o School desegregation Despite the court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, schools weren’t desegregated until years later Courts have also failed to uphold rights o Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) ruled that slaves were not part of the “people of the united states” Major rulings of the Civil Rights Movement: o Smith v. Allwright (1944) o Sweatt v. Painter (1950) o Brown v. Board of Educatoin of Topeka (1954) Overruled Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) Civil Rights Movement Main focus: African American rights Particularly unjust laws in southern states Key laws passed in response to the Civil Rights Movement: o Civil Rights Act 1957 o Civil Rights Act 1960 o Civil Rights Act 1964 o Voting Rights Act 1965 Affirmative Action Attempt to redress past wrongs by promoting employment and education opportunities for women and African Americans o University admissions, federal contracts, state and city job/business quotas Increases diversity Reverses discrimination? Court rulings have been mixed o Regents v. Bakke 1978 American Government Test 1 Study Guide o Bollinger cases 2003 SC said that diversity is a criterion that can be used in evaluating a candidate for admission but it cannot be the sole or determining criteria o Fisher v. University of Texas Rights and Liberties Failures Alien and Sedition Acts: banned criticism of the gov’t which is a blatant st violation of the 1 amendment Slavery and African Americans: most longstanding failure in American history Jim Crow era: period when states enacted a number of laws that effectively prevented African Americans from participating in civil society Immigrants Japanese internment: another blatant rights violation that was held up by the SC In-class review 9/16/16 Know about amendments, different constitutions, and differences and examples of civil rights and liberties. County: a provision of the state that provides certain local government services. 4 elected officials for a county: judge, sheriff, tax commissioner, land surveyor/coroner Municipality: has to be a population center. Must hold or demonstrate elections, hold at least 6 public meetings per year and provide 3 out of 16 possible services to the public (water sanitation, education, postal service, etc.) Special purpose district: exist because of economic development. A form of local government that serves 1 very special purpose (MARTA) What is a collective action problem? Great (Connecticut) Compromise: a compromise between the VA Plan and the NJ Plan. Virginia wanted proportional representation so they would get more power while NJ wanted to maintain equal representation. The compromise created a bicameral legislature. Why did the US change the voting age from 21 to 18: if you could be drafted into the military and die you should be allowed to vote (this th happened during Vietnam). This was the 26 amendment. American Government Test 1 Study Guide Plessy v. Ferguson: established the basis for segregation that would continue for 100 years. What is the Free-Rider Problem and what’s an example: when someone doesn’t pay a tax while everyone else is but they continue to receive the same benefits. Ex: when the gov’t provides free education, they require everyone to pay an income tax, but not all people pay it. Federal Government Structure: 3 branches: bicameral legislature, judicial branch, and executive branch. Civil Rights Act of 1957: first civil rights legislation passed. Intended, but failed, to increase voting rights. Significance of Shelby County v. Holder: VRA was first piece of legislation to call out certain states for being repeat offenders of disenfranchisement of blacks. Those states were listed in clause 4b (which held to section 5). Section 5: any state had to submit any changes that would affect voting ability to the government for federal oversight. Shelby Co. in Alabama was held to section 5 and they declared it unconstitutional because lots had changed in those states over time. 4b was nullified and section 5 became useless. How is an amendment to the constitution ratified in GA: after a measure is proposed and approved by 2/3 of the legislature, it has to be approved by the majority. th th th What are the 3 Civil War Amendments: 13 , 14 , and 15 Amendments. Emancipation, citizenship to all born in the US, everyone can vote. What is PACKING: taking a minority group and district them into the same group so their voting power had no effect on other districts.
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