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MU - HUM 241 - Study Guide #1 - Study Guide

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MU - HUM 241 - Study Guide #1 - Study Guide

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background image 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 
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 
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
background image 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 th  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:

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School: Miami University
Department: Humanities and Social Sciences
Course: World Politics
Professor: Alexis Henshaw
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: federalism, due, process, civil, liberties, democracy, and constitution
Name: Study Guide #1
Description: This study guide covers all the material that will be on our first test.
Uploaded: 10/01/2016
5 Pages 50 Views 40 Unlocks
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