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Study Guide #1

by: Mikayla Notetaker

Study Guide #1 POL241

Mikayla Notetaker

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About this Document

This study guide covers all the material that will be on our first test.
American Political System
Tarah F. Williams
Study Guide
federalism, due, process, civil, liberties, democracy, constitution
50 ?




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This 5 page Study Guide was uploaded by Mikayla Notetaker on Saturday October 1, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to POL241 at Miami University taught by Tarah F. Williams in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 30 views. For similar materials see American Political System in Humanities and Social Sciences at Miami University.

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Date Created: 10/01/16
American Politics Study Guide I. Political Science a. A systematic and general understanding of how individuals behave, why institutions are structured the way they are, and how these 2 interact to affect the workings of government b. Government establishes order and the rule of law to solve coordination problems and the free rider problem by collecting money to pay for shared goods and impose sanctions c. Tragedy of the commons: when a community shares a good that is in danger of being squandered unless members cooperate to preserve it; government solves this problem through regulations d. Government provides public goods that benefit everyone e. Government promotes economic and social equality f. These functions of government are controversial because they require that citizens give something up (taxes, freedom, individual choice) g. Disagreement about how far government should go but most value some form of all purposes (ex. Freedom vs Order--Privacy vs National Security) h. Book definition: the process that determines what government does II. Democracy a. Democracy is equal opportunity, many rule, managing conflict, diverse opinion, complex system, citizen involvement, system in which the people rule b. Authoritarianism: system in which the state holds all power over the social order c. Pros of democracy: individual rights, due process, diverse opinion, avoids tyranny, peace and prosperity d. Cons: efficiency/time, vote competence, unstable/direct, minority rights unprotected e. Direct democracy: a system of government in which citizens make policy decisions by voting on legislation themselves rather by delegating that authority to their representatives (ex. Ballot initiative) f. Indirect/representative democracy: a system of government that fives citizens the opportunity to vote for representatives who work on their behalf g. Majoritarian model: i. Classic textbook theory of democracy ii. Government by the people means government by majority iii. Citizens make their policy preferences iv. Election of representatives v. Referendum, initiative, recall vi. Citizens informed, high level of intelligence h. Pluritarian model: i. Response to shortcoming of majoritarianism ii. People form groups to advance their interests iii. As long as system is open to diverse interests; the public interest is still being served iv. Mass opinion may be misinformed v. Mass opinion doesn’t take into account rights or interests of minority groups III. Constitution a. Document that defines the basic structure of a government b. Basic structure: divides the power of government into 3 parts and describes the powers of each c. Separation of powers, checks and balances i. Gives each branch some degree of oversight and control over the actions of the other branches ii. Ex. Presidential veto, senate approval of presidential appointments, judicial review iii. Slowness tension conflict, compromise d. Established government structure very different from what preceded it and withstood the test of time e. Founders were more educated and well off than most (merchants from north, landowners from south, investors, securities speculators f. Areas of conflict i. Representation ii. Majority and minority tyranny iii. Governmental power g. Factors that led to constitutional convention: i. Concern about international position ii. Concern about economic policy iii. Concern about unrest among non-propertied classes iv. Concern about Protecting Individual Liberties h. Shay’s Rebellion i. Merchants in Massachusetts required hard currency to buy goods and pay taxes ii. Subsistence farmers didn’t have access to coin so they would incur large debts iii. Government seized property and imprisoned debtors iv. Farmers protest at courthouse then attempt to seize arsenal i. British relationship with America in 18 century i. British citizens, British controlled trade and America everything else, taxed without representation ii. 7 Years War changed this because colonists needed protection from French and Native Americans j. Precursors to Constitution i. Articles of Confederation: loose association of independent states that agree to cooperate on selected matters ii. Why did they opt for Confederation? 1. Stronger state identities 2. Dissatisfaction with strong central governments had led to revolt iii. Basic institutional structure 1. States keep sovereignty 2. National congress with each state having one vote 3. 9 of 13 must agree to make changes iv. Shortcomings: 1. National government had no power to tax 2. No clear national leader 3. No power to regulate commerce 4. Hard to amend v. Colonists needed to fix problemsConstitutional Convention vi. Virginia plan 1. Division of power a. Legislative = bicameral b. Executive = could override state laws, unspecified # of people c. Judicial = multiple courts, selected by legislature 2. supported by larger states because they had more power vii. New Jersey Plan - small states 1. Goal: amend articles not replace them 2. Unicameral legislature, tax and regulate 3. Equal representation among states 4. Multiple person executive chosen by legislature, no veto power, no national judiciary viii. Final product 1. Basic structure of Virginia Plan but with compromise (“The Great Compromise”) 2. Bicameral legislature 3. Rep in house apportioned to population and senate equally 4. 3/5 compromise: slaves count as 3/5 of a person for representation and tax purposes 5. 1 person executive selected via electoral college a. Each state # of electors = sum of representatives and senators b. Each elector would vote for 2, most votes=Pres 2 =VP c. No majority=House of Reps choose d. 4 year term eligible for reelection 6. Bill of rights a. Feds did not see any reason for enumerated individual liberties b. Ratification problemsBill of Rights 7. What’s changed over 220+ years a. Senators directly elected b. Abolition of slavery c. Pres limited to 2 terms d. Electoral college no longer cast ballots for 2 but separate for Pres and VP k. How to amend i. Starts by… 1. Congress proposing w/ 2/3 vote 2. State legislatures 2/3 vote ii. Then ¾ state legislatures iii. Not as common because policies can be passed as a bill IV. Federalism a. Division of power across local, state, national governments b. Autonomous subunits c. Models: i. Dual federalism (layer-cake model) ii. Cooperative federalism (marble-cake model) d. Shifts overtime: i. 1780’s-1930’s: Dual federalism ii. 1930’s to present: cooperative iii. Switched because of natural disasters, Great Depression, concerns across state lines e. Recent years cooperative replaced with “coercive” i. Federal government pressures states to change policies using regulations, mandates and conditions (drinking age, ADA, Clean Air Act) f. Today: i. Fiscal federalism 1. Categorical grants 2. Block grants 3. General revenue sharing ii. Benefits of decentralized government: states as laboratories for democracy; success often followed by federal adoption iii. Competitive federalism V. Civil Liberties a. Basic political freedoms that protect all citizens; things government can’t do you b. Distinct from Civil rights (positive rights: vote, against discrimination, etc) c. Bill of Rights i. Worded in negative ii. Missing amendment 1. 14 amendment applied BOR to states on cases by case basis since BOR did not originally apply to states 2. “no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law” 3. Barron v. Baltimore (1833) a. City ruined a privately owned wharf b. State court: ruled for Barron c. Supreme Court ruling: BOR only applies to federal government iii. 1 amendment rights: 1. Freedom of expression, assembly, speech, religion 2. Balance between interests 3. Nazis marching in Skokie 4. Research on tolerance 5. Threatless support for civil liberties iv. Rights are not absolute; can’t shout fire in crowded area v. Modern challenges to free speech: 1. Political contributions a. Form of free speech b. Parties limited, contributions to some outside groups limited vi. Due Process rights 1. 4 , 5 , 6 , and 8 amendments 2. Unreasonable searches and seizure 3. Fair trial 4. Consult a lawyer 5. Freedom from self-incrimination 6. Know the crime you are accused of 7. Confront your accuser in court vii. Critical cases 1. Mapp v Ohio (1961) a. Selective incorporation of the 14 amendment to the states b. Police searched woman’s house w/o warrant and found illegal pornography c. Court found she could not be convicted with the evidence that was illegally obtained 2. Gideon v. Wainwright (1965) a. Poor man convicted, can’t afford lawyer, one not appointed to him b. Incorporated right to counsel found in 6 th 3. Miranda v. Arizona a. Miranda rights: list of civil liberties that spell out an individual’s rights when charged of a crime viii. Privacy rights: 1. Not explicit in constitution, but implied 2. Amendments that imply right (Griswold v. CT right to privacy with contraceptives in 1960’s) 3. 3 Amendment against quartering 4. 4 against search and seizure th 5. 5 thainst self-incrimination 6. 9 won’t deny or disparage rights retained by people 7. Expanded with Roe v. Wade th a. Added “personal liberty” in 14 Amendment th b. Added “rights reserved to the people in the 19 ”


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