Exam 1 review
The exam is over topics covered in the lecture and material from your text. About two thirds of the questions come from topics covered in lectures. The questions from the text are mostly from the key terms identified in each chapter.
What is government and why do we have it?
∙ Government: A formally established way of making and carrying out political decisions
∙ Politics: The competition to shape government’s impact on society’s problems and goals
o The means which society settles its conflicts and allocates the
resulting benefits and costs
In what ways is our present government undemocratic?
∙ Democracy has come to mean majority rule through the free and open election of representatives. More direct forms of democracy exist, such as town meetings in which citizens vote directly on issues affecting them, but the impracticality of such an arrangement in a large society has made majority rule through elections the operative form of democratic
government, including that of the United States
Social Contract Theory – A voluntary agreement by which individuals to form a government that is then obligated to work within the confines of that agreement ∙ Normative Theories: the way things ought to be
∙ Empirical Theories: the way things actually are
Purposes of government
Protecting Life –Making sure that all lives were valued and kept safe (Ex. local law enforcement) We also discuss several other topics like What is electric charge and electric field?
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Rights and Liberties – Concepts that are given to the Citizens. Freedoms and rights that allow them to live. Locke felt that without this, protecting life was meaningless
Providing Public Goods – things we as citizens can’t easily provide for ourselves (ex. Roads, Education)
Promoting Equality – Ensuring that all individuals and groups are not treated differently based on race, sex, or another characteristic (ex. Healthcare)
Political Ideology – A coherent set of beliefs about how policies affect society and which policies are desirable.
know the definition and the four ideologies I described in class and the table showing you how to tell the difference between the four.
Liberal – progressive and want a bigger government
Conservative – want a smaller government
Populist – Means “of the people”
Libertarian – 3rd largest political party. Doesn’t think the government should be in the business of coining money
President We also discuss several other topics like the2000 uf
Requirements for Democracy 1. Popular Sovereignty – people are the ultimate source of all public authority a. Government policies reflect the wishes of people
i. Delegates vs. Trustees
1. Trustee does what he thinks is best
2. Delegates does what everyone thinks is best
b. Government leaders are elected
c. Elections are free and fair
d. People participate in the Political Process
e. HighQuality information is available
f. The majority rules
g. Other possibilities
2. Political Equality – each person carries the same weight in voting and other political decision making
3. Political Liberty – freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly, etc. are essential for democracy to work
Hints for questions from textbook:
∙ Individualism – a commitment to personal initiative and selfsufficiency ∙ Politics – the means by which society settles its conflicts and allocates the resulting benefits and costs
∙ Pluralism – A theory of American politics that holds that society’s interest are substantially represented through the activities of groups
∙ Constitutionalism – the idea that there are lawful restrictions on government’s power. Officials are obliged to act within the limits of the law, which include the protections of individual rights We also discuss several other topics like when glucose is high camp is
∙ Freemarket system – An economic system that centers on the transactions between private parties; empowers business firms (corporate power) and the wealthy (elitism)
o Firm are allowed to make their own production, distribution, and pricing decisions, and individuals depend largely on themselves for economic security
∙ Political thinking – is critical thinking focused on deciding what can reasonably be believed and then using this information to make political judgements. It enables citizens to act responsibly, whether in casting a vote, forming an opinion on a political issue, or contributing to a political cause Don't forget about the age old question of peter carruthers umd
o defined by the process through which conclusions are reached. Involves the critical evaluation of information in the process of forming a
judgement about the issue at hand
o major obstacle: unwillingness of citizens to make the effort
∙ Authoritarian government is one openly represses its political opponents, mostly through intimidation and prohibitions on free expression but sometimes by brutalizing opposition leaders. (ex. China)
o Such regimes are backed by the country’s police and armed forces, forego free and fair elections, and exert tight control over the media
Chapter 2 Constitution
Four Basic Political Principles
Republicanism: A form of government in which power resides in the people and is exercised by their elected representatives
Federalism: The division of sovereignty, and hence power, among two or more governments – national and state governments in our case. Powers are derived from the people, who are the ultimate sovereign
∙ Powers are derived from the people, who are the ultimate
∙ Sanctuary city: not enforcing/policing the laws in a certain area of illegal immigrants (state vs. federal govt.)
Separation of Powers: The assignment of lawmaking, lawenforcing, and law interpreting functions to separate and independent legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government (incorrect description because powers are shared and functions are separated) If you want to learn more check out uga top hat
Checks and Balances: Give each branch some scrutiny and control over the other branches
The Constitutional Setting
Britain at war with France – Control of North American. British repelled the French by 1763, but they had a problem; they did not have money
Taxes imposed on colonists –
∙ Stamp Act of 1764 (first act imposed)
∙ Writs of Assistance
o Allowed officials to conduct searches for contraband without
∙ Tea Act of 1773 – The Boston Tea Party
o To get Britain to react harshly.
Common Sense – Written by Thomas Paine. He called reconciliation a dream and urged rebellions
The Declaration of Independence
∙ an example of a social contract theory
∙ Gave the people inalienable rights; life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness ∙ Propaganda weapon
∙ Did NOT outline the structure of our new government
The Articles of Confederation
Was a failure because it was a loose association of independent states. Each state had to agree on constitutional amendments which was unrealistic. And legislation could only be hanged if 9 of 13 states agreed.
Constitutional Convention of 1787
Virginia plan – (also known as the larger state plan) A constitutional proposal for a strong Congress with two chambers, both of which would be based on numerical representation, thus granting more power to the larger states New Jersey plan – (also known as the small states plan) called for a stronger national government than that provided for by the Articles of Confederation. It would have the power to tax and to regulate commerce among the states. In most other respects, however, the Articles would remain in effect.
The Great (Connecticut) Compromise – the agreement of the constitutional convention to create a twochamber congress with the House apportioned by population and the senate apportioned equally by state
∙ Resolved the issue of representation in the legislature
*George Washington kept the 1787 convention from being and failure and became our first president*
Purposes of the Framers
1. Create a powerful central government –
∙ Article I, sections 8, 10, powers of congress
∙ Article II – established a strong executive
∙ Article III – strong judiciary superior to the state courts
∙ Article IV – supremacy clause
2. Prevent an excess of democracy –
∙ Article I, Section 3 – senate not elected directly by people
∙ Elected for staggered terms
∙ Article II, section 1 – president not directly elected – electoral
∙ Article III – judges of the supreme court elected for life
3. Acquire popular consent for the new government
∙ Article I, Section 2 – representatives chosen directly by the people Ratification The Federalist Papers
#10 – Purpose of the Constitution is to “break and control the violence of faction”. This can be done 2 ways
∙ Remove its causes (WILL NOT WORK)
o Give everyone the same beliefs, ideas, interests
o Destroy the liberty that allows factions
∙ Control its effects
o Through the mechanism of representation mob rule will be
o Larger republic helps too
#51 – The constitution will protect the government from tyranny from its elected members through checks and balances
Why did the AntiFederalists object?
Because the Constitution did not contain a list of rights and liberties to protect people from a powerful central government.
Hints for questions from textbook:
∙ Constitutional Democratic Republic A government that is constitutional in its provision for minority rights and rule by law; democratic in its provisions for majority influence through elections; and a republic in its mix of deliberative institutions, which check and balance each other
Chapter 3 Federalism
Federalism A governmental system in which authority is divided between two sovereign levels of government; national and regional
∙ Each level has authority that is not subject to the other’s approval. And each level is constitutionally protected. The national government cannot abolish a state, and the states cannot abolish the national government
How has federalism evolved in this country?
Traditional meaning of federalism the Barron vs. Baltimore decision (1833) – Bill of Rights protects individuals from bad actions of national government, not the state governments
∙ Dual Authority: Two sovereigns governing you
∙ Dual Citizenship: individual rights depend upon the capacity in which those rights are asserted – as a citizen of a state or a citizen of the national government ∙ Dual Powers: national and state governments have separate and distinct powers powers of national government to promote commerce (know examples) powers of the states coercive powers (know examples)
A more modern understanding of federalism
The national government has gained a great deal of power at the expense of the states. For example, the Constitution was amended (14th) and the Supreme Court began to change its understanding of how our federal system protected rights and liberties.
Hints for questions from textbook:
∙ Dual Federalism – A doctrine based on the idea that a precise separation of national power and state power is both possible and desirable
∙ Cooperative Federalism – The situation in which the national, state, and local levels work together to solve problems
∙ Devolution – The passing down of authority from the national government to the state and local governments
∙ Categorical Grants Federal grantsinaid to states and localities that can be used only for designated projects
∙ Block Grants Federal grantsinaid that permit state and local officials to decide how the money will be spent within a general area, such as education or health
Some example questions.
1. Having a government of elected officials who are chosen by the people in free and fair elections is one hallmark of
C) direct democracy
D) representative democracy
2. The ________ Plan favored small states.
A) New Jersey.
3. __________federalism is the idea that each level of government is sovereign in its own sphere.
4 The ________ system is characterized by competitive markets and private ownership of a society’s productive assets.
B) open commerce
Answers: 1. D); 2. A); 3. D); 4 A)