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American Government Class notes

by: Kayla Patterson

American Government Class notes Pols 1101

Marketplace > Georgia State University > Government > Pols 1101 > American Government Class notes
Kayla Patterson
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About this Document

These notes are outlines for Chapters 1,2 and 3 for American government.
Dr. Bonnette
Class Notes
American Government





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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kayla Patterson on Wednesday September 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Pols 1101 at Georgia State University taught by Dr. Bonnette in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 102 views. For similar materials see AMERICAN GOVRNMENT in Government at Georgia State University.

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Date Created: 09/07/16
Chapter 3 notes 1. Federalism Shapes American politics a. Federalism: Sharing of powers between the national government and the state governments i. Governments can organize balance of power between central and regional governments by: 1. Confederations 2. Federal Systems 3. Unitary Systems b. Unitary system: Central government that makes the important decisions and lower government has little independence c. Federal System: Shares powers or functions with the lower levels of government like regions or states d. Lower levels of government often have independent power to set policy in some areas (i.e. education and social programs) 2. Powers of the national government a. Expressed Powers: powers specifically granted to the congress and the president in the constitution i. Collect taxes ii. Coin money iii. Declare war iv. Regulate commerce b. Implied powers: Powers authorized by a document in the constitution i. Necessary and proper powers the national government has from their implications in the constitution 3. Powers of the State Government a. Tenth amendment aka “reserved powers” b. Most important power is Coercion i. Power to develop and enforce criminal codes, to administer health and safety rules, and to regulate the family via marriage and divorce laws ii. Power to regulate individual’s livelihood iii. Power to define private property c. Reserved Powers i. Police Power: States authority to regulate health, safety and morals of its citizens ii. States coerce you in the community to maintain public order d. Concurrent powers i. Powers passed by both state and national governments, the national government retains, and share some power to regulate commerce ii. Regulating commerce, effective currency, and charters Chapter 3 notes iii. 10thAmendment: Powers not delegated to the federal government is reserved to states 4. Historical Events Related to Federalism a. Nullification doctrine (1830s): States could declare void acts of congress they believed unconstitutional b. The civil War(1860s): i. Decided that states’ rights issues by blood ii. Secured dominance of federal government th c. The civil rights movement(1900s): Courts used the 14 amendment and commerce clause forcing states to desegregate 5. States Obligations to Each Other a. Promotes national unity b. Full faith and credit clause i. Each state should honor the “public acts, records and judicial proceedings” of other states c. DOMA (Defense of Marriage act) i. States do not have to recognize same sex marriage even if it was legal in other states ii. Federal government wont recongnize gay marriage even if legal in some states d. Privileges and immunities 6. Local Government and the constitution a. Local governments have no status in the constituition b. State legislatures created local governments = state constitutions and laws permit local government to take on some responsibilities of the state governments c. Home rule: Power delegated by the state government to manage its own affairs 7. Federalism under the “traditional system” a. Dual Federalism (1789-1937): Governmental powers were shared between the federal and state governments b. Central government focused on the promotion of commerce and distribution of resources c. National governments were built to assist commerce 8. The supreme court passed the way for the end of the “traditional system” a. Mcculloch vs. Maryland (1819): Create a second bank of the united states and that the state of Maryland lacked the power to tax the bank b. Gibens Vs. Ogden (1824): Congress had powers to regulate any aspect of commerce that crossed state lines, including Chapter 3 notes modes of transportation, and that such regulation preempted conflicting regulation by the states. c. States’ rights: States should oppose the increasing authority of national government i. Popular before civil war 9. Cooperative federalism a. National government expanded its role in matters that have previously been reserved to the states b. Grants in aids have been used strategically to encourage states and localities to pursue nationally defined goals c. Grant aids: programs through which congress provided money to state and local government i. Included social programs like financial aid to poor children, highways etc. d. Categorical grants: Grants are given to states and localities by the national government on the condition that expenditures be limited to a problem or group specified by law e. Block Grants: Grants that allow states to spend their money in any way i. Nixon started the idea of block grants f. Formula Grants: Determine how much the federal government gives out for funding g. Layer cake vs. Marble cake federalism i. Layer (Dual federalism): responsibilities of the national government and state governments are clearly separated ii. Marble (cooperative federalism): national policies, state policies and local policies overlap 10. National standards have been advanced through federal programs a. Preemption: Allows the national government to override state or local actions in certain policy areas i. Aviation act, Telecommunication act b. Unfunded mandates: Regulation or new conditions for receiving grants they impose costs on state and local governments and they aren’t reimbursed by the national government i. Growth came from democratic congress 1. Wanted to achieve liberal social objectives 11. New federalism means more state control a. General revenue sharing: Federal government provided money to local governments and counties with no strings attached b. New federalism (Regan) Chapter 3 notes i. Returning power to the states through block grants ii. Aimed to reduce the national government control c. Regulated VS. New federalism i. Regulated: National governments determine polices and state governments pay for administer programs 1. Federal government threated states 2. Once state and local governments were dependent on grants-in-aid support, the national government further intervened in state government decisions (aka coercive federalism) ii. New federalism: State governments have more flexibility to make policy and administer programs 1. Begins to return discretion to the state and local governments 2. Devolution: Removal of a program from one level of government by passing it down to a lower level of government a. Federal government should return power to states b. Ex: personal work and responsibility act of 1996 12. Federalist #51 (separation of powers, checks/balances) a. Factions can be controlled by: i. Giving each institution the “means and motives” to check others 1. Means: Checks, including the presidential veto, senatorial approval of nominations, judicial review 2. Motives: Different constituencies, different electoral cycles, each gets power from different source 13. Federalism (Good vs. Bad) a. Good: i. More participation ii. Increases number of access points to government iii. Regional interest has effective representation in both congress and state governments iv. Allows innovation at state levels b. Bad: i. Inequities across state(education) ii. Too many governments (87,000) iii. Local interest can thwart national security American Government Chapter One and Two 1. America is based on the ideas of liberty, equality, and democracy. a. Liberty: 1. Freedom from government control 2. Includes: Personal freedom and economic freedom b. Equality: 1. Equality of opportunity 2. Equality of outcome (most citizens don’t like this idea) 3. Political equality (each person has their own voice/ vote) c. Democracy: 1. Americans commitment to democracy is marked by three principles: a. Pop sovereignty: Political authority rests within the people b. Majority rule: Government decisions follow majority preferences c. Minority rights: Some interest must be protected even in the face of majority sentiment d. What unites a nation? Liberty, equality and democracy 2. Government effects on our lives a. We Expect: 1. Government to protect us and protect individual liberty and democracy 2. Support weak but keep taxes low 3. Sustain a healthy environment and still promote business growth 4. Keep government small and handle crisis well 3. Political Efficacy 1. Belief that one has the ability to influence government officials 2. The people can truly make a difference 4. Political engagement 1. Citizenship: derived from Greek ideal refereeing to “Enlightened political engagement” 2. Ex: debates, public discussion, active in the community 3. Citizens must be aware of facts and what can be done about a situation and actions to solve community problems 5. Government 1. Institutions and procedures through which a territory and its people are ruled ii. Types of inclusiveness 1. Autocracies: Government controlled by one person (Monarch and dictatorship) 2. Oligarchies: Small groups control most of the government (landowners, military forces, wealthy merchants) 3. Democracies: Government in which citizens have a significant role in the government process a. Representative: Citizens have the opportunity to elect top government officials b. Direct: Allow citizens to vote directly for policies and laws 6. Recognition of Limits a. Tolitarian Government: Government that recognizes few or no limits on their authority which seek to absorb or eliminate potential challenges to their authority b. Authoritarian Government: Government that recognize no formal limits on their authority but are constrained by the power of other social institutions c. Constitutional Government: Government that recognize and often codify effective limits on authority 7. Politics a. Conflicts over the character, membership and policies of any organization to which people belong b. “Who gets what, when, and how” –Harold Laswell Chapter Two 1. First founding: Interests and conflicts a. The American revolution and American constitution were economic conflicts and interests among the people b. Americans had a different financail interest prior to revolution 1. New England merchants (taxes on imports, domestic 2. Southern planters (no taxes on imports) 3. Royalists 4. Shopkeepers, artisans, laborers 5. Small farmers 6. All wanted separation from Britain c. Issued with Britain and colonists 1. Stamp Act 2. Sugar Act 3. Boston massacre 4. Boston Tea party (no taxation without representation) 2. Declaring independence a. First contenential congress 1. How to separate form British? Boycott all British goods. b. Second contential congress 1. Came to the conclusion to write a delcaration to separate from British 3. Jefferson and the declaration a. Wasn’t the sole originator (86 revisions) b. List of charges eliminated (slavery) c. Revised by members of second cont. congress 4. Articles of confederation a. Adopted in 1777 1. Ratified in 1781 2. Governing document until 1789 b. Problems 1. Weak central government 2. Legislative dominance/ no executive branch 3. Execution of laws left to individual states c. John Adams and Britain i. Lesion to work on international issues but the countries wouldn’t work with him because there was no on there to represent him as a whole d. Shays rebellion i. Farmers and merchants ii. Rebelling against the possible seizers of land iii. Demonstrated? 1. Weakness of nation with no central government (No one put down the threats/rebellion) 2. Inability to product borders internally and externally 3. Lack of respect internationally (sovereignty to states and not nation) 5. Second founding: compromise to constitution a. Constitutional convention (1787) 1. Established a central government 2. Strong executive branch b. Congress 1. Power to declare wars 2. Power to raise national military 3. Bicameral legislation (two chambers) 4. Separation of powers (checks and balances) 6. Compromises a. The Virginia plan 1. Representation according to population 2. Supported by LARGE states 3. Mocks the house of representatives b. The New Jersey plan 1. Equal representation (not based on population) 2. Supported by SMALL states ii. Mocks the senate c. Three fifths 1. Southern states: count slaves to increase representation 2. Northern states: Slaves are not citizens should not be counted 3. Three of every five slaves would be counted for purpose of apportionment in the house OR five salves would count three free persons 4. Modern day example: Prison system 7. Differences between constitution and articles a. Constitution 1. Increase the power of central government 2. Commerce and finance 3. National judicial supremacy 4. Stronger executive branch 5. Sought to curb excessive democracy a. Checks and balances b. Electoral college 6. Limited the potential government abuse a. Bill of rights b. Separation of powers c. Federalism b. Constitutionalism 1. Idea that there will be lawful restriction on governments power 2. Restraints on majority power 3. Judicial action: Use of courts as a mean of asserting rights and interest c. The seven articles of the constitution 1. Article one (Sets structure for legislative branch) a. Bicameralism b. Expressed powers of government c. Necessary/proper clause provides for the potential expansion of the congressional and national power ii. Article two (The executive branch) a. President was to be independent of the legislative branch b. President is to be the commander in chief c. Appointment of the executive and judicial officials and the veto of congressional acts d. Impeachment iii. Article three (Judiciary branch) a. Justices and judges appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate b. Lifetime terms c. Does not have the ability to make laws iv. Article four and six a. Reciprocity for “full faith and credit” to other states b. Guarantees citizens of any state “privileges and immunities” c. Article six the supremacy clause states that the constitution, the laws of the national government and treaties are the supreme law of the land 8. Madisonian Model a. Place as much of government beyond control of majority 1. Only the house is elected by the people b. Separation powers: Creating independent constitutions but powers are shared between branches c. Implications of the Madisionan model i. Slow policy change a. Change requires winning at all points b. Major policy changes take time c. Small minorities can block majorities d. Results in limited government e. Enhances minority rights f. Extremely inefficient 9. Federalists v. antifederalist a. Federalists 1. Property owners, creditors, merchants 2. Favored strong central government 3. Feared excessive democracy/ promotion of political elites b. Antifederalists 1. Small farmers, debaters, shopkeepers 2. Favored retaining power in states governments 3. More democratic


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