Politics study guide #1
CONSTITUTION: rules and revisions
Constitution- A document recognized by an official government that details its rules and responsibilities. Bill of rights- An official document recognized by an official government that lists the citizens’ rights. Social contract- Citizens give up certain freedoms in exchange for protection from the government.
1824 Mexican Constitution- used empresarios (people who had permission to settle in Mexican land in exchange for recruiting new settlers to help found Texas) to help establish new boundaries between the new states and Mexico. These new settlements were a Federal Republic (people elect representatives for government), and each new territory/state created its own constitution.
1827 Constitution of Coahuila and Tejas- Established 3 (Catholic) government branches and gave some civil rights to the Mexican colonists in New American territory, including freedom of speech and suffrage (although only to people with jobs and an education). Legislative power was shifted to a unicameral government (a legislature with only one assembly of member voters). Also helped ban slavery from being brought into the new territory, free children of slaves, and stated any slave brought into Texas was to be freed within six months. If you want to learn more check out Why did the peloponnesian war start?
In 1836, Texas declared independence from Mexico and created its own Republican government from a mixture of self-governing and elected representatives; Mexico abandoned the constitution of 1824
1836 Constitution of the Republic of Texas- Was inspired by the US constitution and detailed a separation of political, judicial and policy-making power between the different branches of government.
Some other rules of the constitution:
-Clergymen weren’t allowed to be elected into office (more to prevent conflict between the different branches of Christianity than to honor the separation between state and religion).
-All members of govt. must believe in some higher power.
-Those who profit from holding a public position aren’t allowed to hold a position in legislature. -Monopolies are banned, but people still have right to free enterprise.
-The government can’t outlaw slavery (an issue that hindered Texas entry into the US) and freed slaves must move to a free state.
After the declaration was made, Texas and Mexico went to war.
Texas formally joined the US on December 29, 1845 (under President James Polk).
1845 Constitution-Finally grants suffrage to non-property owners. The judicial branch has more power over court systems. Legislative building doors must be kept open during sessions (still happens to this day). Created the Homestead Act( prevents homeowners from losing their homes in bankruptcy/ financial issues.) Women were only allowed to gain property through marriage or male family. We also discuss several other topics like What organ does fish use for gas exchange
1866- Constitution is readmitted
Politics study guide #1
1869-the constitution was reconstructed
Popular sovereignty-suffrage to all males
There have been 691 the one proposed amendments to the constitution sends 1875, 511 of them have passed. 74% of the amendments that are proposed get approved. The new constitution created a government that is very limited and has a fragmented executive branch (overall that the Texas constitution has been amended for many reasons including spelling errors, grammar errors, and simple and other unnecessary changes).
Four steps to the amendment process:
2/3 both houses of legislation must propose the amendment. If you want to learn more check out What are the small molecule neurotransmitters?
The secretary of state and the Attorney General must approve.
A majority vault from voters and decides whether the amendment is passed.
The governor finalizes a new amendment with a proclamation (this step is just for show). FEDERALISM
Federalism – A system of government where power is divided between national and other lower forms of government. Holds power in some issues but shares power with state governments in other issues. The U.S. constitution is an example of a Federal System.
Unitary system-The central government has power over all other levels of government, and all forms of state and local governments receive power from the central government. This involves Top-down government (when a person of high power makes the decisions on how something should be done). The Republic of Texas was a unitary state.
Confederate system -The central government’s authority is given by individual political units.
10th amendment –All powers not written in the constitution are reserved for the states or the people of (aka: reserved power). Don't forget about the age old question of What is immunocytochemistry used for?
Supremacy clause- The U.S. constitution and all Federal laws are to be recognized as supreme law of the nation (article VI, section 2).
Enumerated powers -These are powers the Federal government has; delegated powers are power specifically all listed in the U.S. constitution. If you want to learn more check out What does consumer surplus mean?
Implied powers- Powers the Federal government that aren’t expressively granted but is assumed to have an order to do its job.
Necessary and proper clause-Congress can make laws as they are needed(article 1 section 8).
Commerce clause- The Federal government has the power to regulate interstate and international commerce.
Privileges and immunities clause – Keep states from mistreating citizens of other states, also allows for interstate travel.Don't forget about the age old question of Who is phillip pinel?
Politics study guide #1
Full faith and credit clause- Each state must respect the rules and rights of other states; this is needed for a functional federalist government.
Concurrent powers- Powers that are shared by both Federal and state governments. Duel federalism- Federal, State and local governments each have their own power for itself.
Gibbons vs. Ogden (1824)- States cannot interfere with Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce.
Marble cake federalism- Each level of government has some overlapping authority over certain issues.
Federal grant in aid programs- Federal money given to specific programs they are funded from income tax revenues. There are three types of Federal grants: categorical formula grants( distributed among states according to a formula) , project grants (projects that are given grants and based on merit) and Block grants(funds that are reserved for certain policies or social services).
Unfunded mandates-Federal policies that are to be enforced by states without Federal funding. Matching grants- Funds that states add to Federal government programs.
Up Coercive Federalism- When the Federal government establishes guidelines for state governments up. New federalism- The idea of giving certain powers to state governments from the Federal government.
Preemption- The Federal government gives states permission and money to enforce Federal regulations in certain areas as long as the state governments follow certain given conditions.
Sovereign immunity- You need the government’s permission to sue the government. Texas government in politics
local government undertakes constitution
Home rule cities- A city that governs itself; they choose their own type of government and election system and times; they are independent of state municipal laws. This gives citizens the power of initiative (local voters directly propose charter ordinances), referendum (local voters can repeal already existing ordinances), recall (voters can kick out city government officials), and annexation (can incorporate outside towns/areas into the city boundary).
General municipal law cities- Cities that operate under state laws.
Multiple functions of counties- County governments perform important functions, such as: register voters, keep records, manage police forces, and provide health services. Counties serve to help manage certain areas, which makes it easier for state governments to provide benefits and representation for the entire state.
County judge- Not really a judge; more of a city council leader/ mayor.
Commissioners court- The judge runs the county as mayor; generally oversee city infrastructure and jailing system.
Politics study guide #1
County finance officials- They can protest taxes 5 times in 3 years. They use your property value to lower taxes.
Sheriff- Elected top law enforcement officer and manages police forces and county jails within a city and its surrounding unincorporated territories; serves 4 years.
County Clerk- An official who oversees local elections and keeping records (birth, marriage, divorce, death, etc.).
Tax assessor-collector- Elected by the people to assess property value, and to collect taxes for the count and other special districts that tax residents (i.e. school districts, library districts, hospital districts, municipal utility districts, etc.). Very powerful.
Dillon’s Rule-State government can restrict local governments as long as the restriction doesn’t violate state constitutions.
Mayor-council system- When both the mayor and the council members are elected. (85% of home-rule charter cities in Texas are a mayor council system).
Strong mayor-council- City council acts more like a legislation; mayors serve as chief executive officer.
General ordinance-making authority- Counties have limited ordinance authority (ordinances are laws that are made by a municipal government. The ordinances cannot violate its city’s charter or state/federal law).
City charter- A document that lists a city’s laws and governmental system, as well as each officer’s term limit.
Council-manager- Runs day-to-day city operations, drafts budgets, and enforces council rules; elected by the city council.
Commission government- They run many public aspects, they choose the city mayor.
Weak mayor-council- Mayor has no power outside the council, and can’t influence who is a member of the council. No veto powers. Any decisions made depend on their ability to be charming and persuasive. The city manager runs the council.
Multiple functions of cities- Cities help run housing, transportation, sanitation, communication, and other land use programs for citizens living within the city limits.
Economic, social and cultural impacts- Government decides many things that affect our lives daily (whether we notice it or not), from (our rather low) income tax, to laws concerning guns, to gas prices, to road construction, to (our rather high) cost of school. Political myths (ideas associated with certain aspects of government that many people us to try and explain past events and cultural experiences) influence our attitudes towards government (Texas tends to have high distrust of government, thus our idealistically self-dependent and representational state and local governments).
Urbanization of Texas – Texas struggles to keep up with urban growth- mainly infrastructure (note the current debate over the lane expansion of Loop 1604), and debates over finding alternative power
Politics study guide #1
sources. Texas is also struggling to build sustainable consumable water supplies for many communities, especially considering our dry climate and frequent droughts.
Changes in Texas demographics – Texas population has grown faster than the national average, growing over 4.3 million people in a decade. In Houston- 145 languages are spoken (over 2.1 million people speak a language other than English at home, with over 1.6 million people speaking Spanish). In Dallas Fort Worth, 156 languages are spoken. Of Texas’ 27 million people, 17% of residents (or 4,590,000) were born outside of the united states, and only 35% of these immigrants have managed to get US citizenship (this is about 1,606,500 people), and many others are here legally. Soon, Hispanic population will out populate the white population in Texas.
Impact of Hispanic population in Texas- As of 2015, Hispanics held 2,536 elected positions in state government. As most of noncitizen residents are Hispanic, there is less Hispanic representation and low Hispanic voter turnout, and many noncitizens are denied public services.
Wealth and poverty in Texas- Government is trying to expand our state economy by investing in businesses and assets (other than oil and gas) to avoid economic recessions in the case of a shortage of supply (this concept is called Economic diversification). Many minority- majority neighborhoods are low income and have poor educational opportunities, thus making it more unlikely for people of color to assume positions in government, leaving government to be Caucasian dominated.