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TEXAS STATE / Political Science / POSI 2310 / What is the focus of american political system?

What is the focus of american political system?

What is the focus of american political system?


School: Texas State University
Department: Political Science
Course: Principles of American Government
Professor: Sherri morra
Term: Fall 2017
Tags: political science, American Government, Government, Federal Government Role, federalism, and antifederalists
Cost: 50
Name: POSI 2310 Professor Sherri Mora First Exam Study Guide
Description: This document covers the topics Professor Morra told us to study in preparation for the first exam.
Uploaded: 09/15/2017
4 Pages 170 Views 2 Unlocks

Political Science 2310 Study Guide for First Exam Professor: Sherri Morra

What is the american political system?

Characteristics of American Political System:  

-Conflict- politicians can’t get along to get anything done

-Competition- topic levels of important are controversial

-Community- through our differences we still have a sense of community -Compromise- make sacrifices to make government work

-Collaboration- republicans and democrats working together

Conflict between liberty and security:

-It evolved over time but since 9/11 the states have more power; we have let them  pay some of our freedom so that we feel more secure

-Inverse relationship (more liberty, less security or less liberty and more security)

Political ideology:

an individual's coherent set of values and beliefs about the purpose and scope of  government

Which is more important liberty or security?

Political culture:

our collect beliefs and attitudes about government and political process

2 Central principles of democracy:

1. All men are created equal

2. Legitimacy of the government depends on the consent of the people being  governed

Direct democracy v. indirect democracy:

Direct: when the people themselves make the decisions in government for them Indirect: when the people elect representatives to make the decisions for them/on  their behalf Don't forget about the age old question of What is high customer satisfaction?

Constitutional democracy:

Supreme power is in the people, they vote in regularly held elections. A government in which the people elect their leaders, also a republic.  We also discuss several other topics like What can also cause a potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy?

Number of governments in America:

It’s over 89,000

What is a coherent set of values and beliefs about public policy?

Plato, Aristotle, Locke, and Montesquieu:If you want to learn more check out What does it mean to have a trivial solution?

All came up with their own view of government and its relationship with the people Plato: gov could be discovered through the exercise of human reason, described the nation-state as consisting of a ruling class/ warrior class, and working class Aristotle: used the concept of human reasoning to analyze nation-states that  existed

Locke: We consent to the government so they can protect us, and secure our liberty. Government existed to protect life, freedom, and property.

Montesquieu: Spoke against strong centralized government to avoid the decline to  tyranny. Liberty would be more secured by a separation of powers.

Types of government described by Aristotle:

-government by one, by few, or by many

Elements of nation-states:

-Population: must be sufficient

-Territory: land a state controls with defined boundaries  

-Permanence: some stability in its existence over time

-Political organization: form of government

-Sovereignty: supreme political authority

Articles of Confederation:

-First governing document of the colonies

-Lasted 7 years

-Weak central government with strong states

Shays’ Rebellion:

Protests in 1786-87 by American farmers against the state and local tax collectors  and debt judgers. The national gov was not strong enough to deal with the situation  and led to the recognition that the American government needed to be rethought. We also discuss several other topics like What does it mean to be american?

Key elements of the Constitutional Convention:

-Connecticut compromise (great compromise)- bicameral legislature like today -Commerce compromise- congress could ban slave trade until 1808

Articles of the U.S. Constitution (What does each provide?): Article I: creates legislative branch, enumerated powers, necessary and proper  clause (which grants congress the power to pass laws if they are necessary for  Congress to carry out its duty) If you want to learn more check out It is a type of bond in that hydrogen is attached to an electronegative atom. what is it?

Article II: structure of executive branch, role of president, and Electoral College Article III: establishes judicial branch, left room for congress to create additional  courts as they saw necessary, but only establishes 1 court in the article itself – the  supreme court

Article IV: interstate relations, full faith and credit clause, privileges and  immunities clause

Article V: outlines how the constitution should and can be amended Article VI: supremacy clause, constitution is the supreme law of the land

What are its governing bodies?:  

Executive, legislative, and judicial

Amendments to the Constitution:

27 amendments in total, the first ten are the bill of rights

Federalists Papers:

Written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay to argue the cause for  ratification to the American people  

Types of Governments – Unitary, Confederal, Federal:

Unitary: (what America had under British rule) power flows down, starting from  national government, formal authority rests with the national government, and  lower levels of government are only prescribed power by the national directive Confederal (what we had before the continental congress met) division of power  from national and state governments, but the state gov had almost all the power,  national government is created by and derives its authority from the member  states, We also discuss several other topics like What are the types of rewards?

Federal: power is shared and both state and national governments can enforce  laws. A constitutional division of power exists between the nation and the states, in  which each level of government enforces its laws directly on its citizens.  

Intergovernmental Relations:

Sum of interactions between levels of government. States control local gov

Marbury v. Madison:  

First U.S. Supreme Court case to apply the principle of “judicial review”. The power  of federal courts to void acts of congress in conflict with the constitution.  

McCulloch v. Maryland: Supreme Court held that congress has implied powers  derived from those listen in Article 1, Section 8, the necessary and proper clause  gave congress the power to establish a national bank

Evolution of Federalism (Types):

- State-centered: national gov did very little, states provided all - Dual: also called “layer cake” both sides of government did very specific  things

- Cooperative “marble cake” began when the size of the federal government  exploded under FDR and his “New Deal” program

- Centralized: federal government imposed its own policy preferences on  state and local governments - under Lyndon B Johnson

- New Federalism (devolution): When Reagan was in office, return of  powers to the states. Reagan took notes from Nixon about federal grant  money.

- Representational Federalism: started by Garcia v. Metropolitan city bus of  San Antonio, which refused to pay the government’s requirement of minimum wage, the case ended in favor of Garcia and the Federal Government now  was recognized to be able to make broad policies and requirements that all  states would have to follow.

Problems with federalism:

Obstruction of Action/frustrating policy

Cost and benefits not being spread evenly

Benefits of federalism:

Distributes power, increases participation, improves efficiency, manages conflict,  allows for policy innovation, allows states to handle programs in their own way  instead of having to craft a national agenda on matters such as departments of  safety and eduction.

Value of grants in aid to states:

$400 billion per year – money or resources going from the federal government to  the states

Types of grants in aid to states:

Categorical grants – split into two types and the grant money must be spent in the  specific way the government states  

1. Project grants: awarded on the basis of competitive applications 2. Formula grants: a formula dictates the amount of funding each state will  receive

Block grants – allows for more flexible choice of spending by the states and  localities in a variety of areas

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