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Introduction to American Government

by: Moshe Romaguera

Introduction to American Government PLS 201

Moshe Romaguera
CSU Pomona
GPA 3.85

Renford Reese

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Renford Reese
Class Notes
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Moshe Romaguera on Saturday October 3, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PLS 201 at California State Polytechnic University taught by Renford Reese in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 27 views. For similar materials see /class/218273/pls-201-california-state-polytechnic-university in Political Science at California State Polytechnic University.

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Date Created: 10/03/15
PLS 201 Exam 1 Study Guide Chapter 1 Electoral college The body of electors whose composition is determined by the result of the general election that choses the president and vice president To win in the Electoral College candidates must secure a majority of the electoral vote Material Scarcity the inability ofa society to provide its citizens with all the goods and services they may want or need Legitimacy a selfimposed willingness of citizens to respect and obey the decisions of their government Coercive force the ability of a government to compel its citizens to obey its decisions Structural rules rules that establish the organizations procedures and powers of governments Policy rule a decision a government institution reaches on a specific political question within its jurisdiction Chapter 2 Articles of Confederation the document written by the states following their declaration ofindependence from England and adopted in 1781 It established a system of strong states and a weak national government with a legislative branch by no separate executive or judicial branches and few powers beyond the sphere of foreign relations Shay s rebellion a protest staged y small farmers from western Massachusetts and led by Daniel Shays an officer in the American Revolutionary War against the state s taxes and policy of foreclosing on debtor farmers Virginia Pan a plan for a new national government that the Virginia delegation prosed at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 It called for a strong essentially unitary national government with separate executive and judicial branches and a twohouse legislative branch with representation based on each state s population New jersey Plan a plan for a new national government that the New jersey delegation proposed at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 Its key feature consisted of giving each state equal representation in the national legislature regardless ofits population PLS 201 Exam 1 Study Guide Connecticut Compromise a plan the Connecticut delegation proposed at the Constitutional Convention This plan sought to mange the dispute between large and smallpopulation states by creating a twohouse legislature with representation in one house based on population and representation in the second house set at two seats per state Federalists the label describing those who supported adoption of the Constitution They believed in the need for a national government stronger than the one provided under the Articles of Confederation Antifederalists the label describing those who opposed adoption of the Constitution While opponents gave a variety of reasons for rejecting the Constitution their main concern was that a strong national government would jeopardize individual rights Bill of Rights the name given to the first ten amendments of the Constitution They outline a large numb er of important individual rights Classical liberalism a political philosophy particularly strong in the 18th century that claims that the rights of the individual predate the existence of government and take priority over government policy This philosophy advocates the protection of individual freedoms from the government Democracy a form of government in which the people defined broadly to include all adults or narrowly to exclude women or slaves for example are the ultimate political authority Republicanism a system of government in which the people s selected representatives run the government Separation ofpowers the principle that each of the three powers of government legislative executive and judicial should be held by a separate branch of government Checks and balances the powers each branch of government can use to block the actions of other branches Bicameral legislature a legislature with two houses such as the House and the Senate Federalism the twotiered form of government in which governments on both levels are sovereign and share authority over the same geographic jurisdiction Necessary and proper clause the provision in Article I of the Constitution that states that Congress possesses whatever additional and unspecified powers it needs to fulfill its responsibilities PLS 201 Exam 1 Study Guide Establishment clause the provision in the First Amendment of the Constitution that 39Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion National supremacy An interpretation of federalism that holds that the national government s laws should take precedence over state law This idea is based on the provision in Article VI of the Constitution that the national government s laws are the 39supreme law of the land States rights an interpretation of federalism tat claimed that states possessed the right to accept or reject federal laws Dual federalism an interpretation of federalism that held that the national government was supreme within those areas specifically assigned to it in the Constitution and the states were supreme in all other areas of public policy Fiscal federalism the principle that the federal government should play a major role in financing some of the activities of state and local governments Great Depression the worst economic crisis in US history with unemployment rates reaching 25 It began in 1929 and lasted until the state ofWorld War II New Deal the economic and social programs Congress enacted during Franklin Roosevelt s presidency before WWII Great Society the economic and social programs Congress enacted during Lyndon Iohnson s presidency from 1963 1969 Interstate commerce clause the provision in Article I of the Constitution granting Congress the power to 39regulate commerce among the several states Chapter 4 Civil liberties the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans in the Bill of Rights although some are in the body of the Constitution These liberties include freedom of speech freedom of religion and the right to assemble peaceably Original intent the theory that judges should interpret the Constitution by determining what the Founders intended when they wrote it Clear and present danger standard the doctrine that Congress may limit speech if it causes a clear and present danger to the interests of the country Bad tendency doctrine the doctrine that speech need only be likely to lead to negative consequences in Congress s judgment for it to be illegal PLS 201 Exam 1 Study Guide Incitement standard the doctrine that speech must cause listeners to be likely to commit immediate illegal acts for the speech itself to be illegal Prior restraint an act of government preventing publication or broadcast ofa story or document Pentagon papers a set of secret government documents leaked to the press in 1971 showing that Presidents Kennedy and Johnson misled the public about US involvement in Vietnam Libel law laws governing written or visual publications that unjustly injure a persons reputation Obscenity law laws governing materials whose predominant appeal is to a prurient interest in nudity sex or excretion Establishment clause the provision in the First Amendment of the Constitution that 39Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion Free exercise clause the provision in the First Amendment of the Constitution that 39Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion Exclusionary rule the doctrine stemming from the Fourth Amendment that the government cannot use illegally obtained evidence in court Miranda rights the rights against selfincrimination that he Fifth Amendment guarantees Miranda rights include the right to remain silent during questioning the right to know that any statements suspects make may be used as evidence against them and the right to speak to an attorney before questioning Roe v Wade a 1972 Supreme Court decision that a woman s right to privacy prevents states from barring her from having an abortion during the first trimester ofpregnancy States can impose reasonably regulations on abortions during the second trimester and can prohibit abortions under most circumstances in the third trimester Chapter 5 Civil rights the equality of rights for all people regardless of race sex ethnicity religion and sexual orientation Civil rights are rooted in the courts interpretation of the 14th Amendment and in laws that Congress and the state legislatures pass Jim Crow laws laws that discriminated against African Americans usualy by enforcing segregation PLS 201 Exam 1 Study Guide De jure segregation governmentimposed laws that required African Americans to live and work separately from white Americans Separatebutequal standard the nowrejected Supreme Court doctrine that separating of the races was acceptable as long as each race was treated equally Lynching the unlawful killing usually by hanging ofa person by a mob Brown V Board of Education the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision holding that separate was not equal and public schools must be desegregated Brown V Board of Education 11 the 1955 Supreme Court decision which stated that the nation s entrenched system of segregated schools should desegregate with 39all deliberate speed Massive resistance the policy many southern states followed in the wake of the first Brown decision of fiercely resisting desegregation Civil rights movement the mobilization ofpeople to push for racial equality Civil disobedience the nonviolent refusal to obey what one perceives to be unjust laws Civil rights act of 1964 an act of Congress that outlaws racial segregation in public accommodations and employment and prevents tax dollars from going to organizations that discriminate on the basis of race color or national origin Voting rights act of 1965 an act of congress that bars states from creating voting and registration practices that discriminate against African Americans and other minorities De facto segregation segregation that results from the actions of individuals rather than the government Women s movement the mobilization ofpeople to push for equality between the sexes Suffrage the right to vote Equal Pay Act of 1963 an act of Congress that banned wage discrimination based on sex race religion and national origin Americans with Disabilities of 1990 an act of Congress that seeks to minimize job discrimination maximize access to government programs and ensure access to public accommodations for people with disabilities PLS 201 Exam 1 Study Guide Rational scrutiny a legal standard for judging whether a discriminatory law is unconstitutional Rational scrutiny requires the government only to show that a law is reasonable and not arbitrary Strict scrutiny a legal standard for judging whether a discriminatory law is unconstitutional Strict scrutiny requires the government to show a compelling reason for a discriminatory law Intermediate scrutiny a legal standard for judging whether a discriminatory law is unconstitutional Intermediate scrutiny lies somewhere between the rational and strict scrutiny standards It requires the government to show that a discriminatory law serves important governmental interests and is substantially related to the achievement of those objectives or a group to show that the law does not meet these to standards Affirmative action programs designed to take positive actions to increase the number ofwomen and minorities in jobs and educational programs Reverse discrimination laws and policies that discriminate against whites especially white males Chapter 8 Political agenda the list ofissues that people think are important and that government officials are actively debating Selective perception a phenomenon in which people perceive the same event differently because they have different beliefs and personal experiences Spin control the practice of trying to persuade journalists to cover news stories in ways that put policies one likes in the most favorable light Yellow journalism a form of journalism popular at the end of at the 19thcentury that emphasized sensational and sometimes lurid news coverage Muckraking an early form ofjournalism popular at the beginning of the 20th century Objective press a form ofjournalism that developed in the 1920s and which continues to predominate today It emphasizes that journalists should strive to keep their opinions out of their coverage of the news Cable television television programming not originally transmitted over the air as with broadcast television but rather carried via coaxial or fiberoptic cable into the homes of people who pay a monthly fee PLS 201 Exam 1 Study Guide Broadcast television television stations that make their programming available over the airwaves without charge Most local cable companies include broadcast television channels as part of their basic package of services Talk radio political talk shows on radio Since the early 1990s talk radio has emerged as an important force in American politics Freedom ofinformation act an act of Congress passed in 1966 that created a system through which anyone can petition the government to declassify secret documents Pool reporting a system of defense department instituted in the 1980s for reporting from a combat zone during wartime With pool reporting military officials escort small groups of reporters when they interview American troops Embedding a program under which the defense department allowed journalists to travel with the US military during the Iraq war Federal Communications Commission FCC an independent federal agency that regulates interstate and international communication by radio television telephone telegraph cable and satellite Equaltime provision a federal law that stipulates that ifa radio or TV station gives or sells air time to a candidate for political office it must provide all candidates for public office with access to the airwaves under the same conditions Fairness doctrine a regulation the FCC adopted in 1949 and repealed in 1987 It required broadcasters to provide 39reasonable opportunities for the expression of opposing views on controversial issues ofpublic importance Pack journalism the tendency ofjournalists to cover stories because other journalist are covering them and to ignore stories that other journalists aren t covering Leaks confidential government information superstitiously given to journalists Horserace journalism news coverage of elections that focuses on which candidate in leading in the polls rather than on the substantive issues in the campaign Photo opportunities events that political candidates and government officials stage to allow newspaper photographers and television news crews to take attering photos Sound bite a short excerpt from a persons speech or conversation that appears on radio or television news PLS 201 Exam 1 Study Guide Chapter 10 interest group an organized group ofpeople who share some goals and try to in uence public policy citizen groups interest groups also known as public interest groups dedicated to promoting a vision of good public policy rather than the economic interest of their members collective goods dilemma a dilemma created when people can obtain the benefits ofinterest group activity without paying any of the costs associated with it In this situation the interest group may not form because everyone has an incentive to let someone else pay the costs of group formation Free riders people or groups who benefit from the efforts of others without bearing any of the costs Material benefits goods and services with real monetary value Solidary benefits the emotional and psychological enjoyment that comes from belonging to an interest group whose members share common interest and goals Expressive benefits the feelings of satisfaction people derive from working for an interest group cause they believe is just and right Also known as purposive benefits Selective benefits any benefit given to a member of a group but denied to nonmembers Political action committees PACs organizations that solicit contributions from members of interest groups and channel those contributions to election campaigns Lobbying trying to in uence governmental decisions especially the voting decisions legislators male on proposed legislation Lobbyists people who make their living trying to in uence public policy Direct lobbying trying to in uence public policy through direct contact with government officials Advocacy advertising newspaper television and radio advertisements that promote an interest group s political views Grassroots lobbying trying to in uence public policy indirectly by mobilizing an interest groups membership and the broader public to contact elected officials PLS 201 Exam 1 Study Guide Astroturf lobbying efforts usually led by interest groups with deep financial pocket to create synthetic grassroots movements by aggressively encouraging voters to contact their elected officials about specific issues Amicus curiae brief literally friend of the court A brief filed with the court by a person or group who is not directly involved in the legal action but who has views on the matter Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act BCRA also known as the McCain Feingold A law passed in 2002 that restricts the ability ofinterest groups to donate funds to national political parties and bars interest groups from running ads promotion or attacking federal candidates close to an election 39McCain Feingold also known as the BCRA A law passed in 2002 that restricts the ability ofinterest groups to donate funds to national political parties and bards interest groups from running ads promotion or attacking federal candidates close to an election


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