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American Government

by: Mr. Mauricio Muller

American Government POLS 1101

Mr. Mauricio Muller
GPA 3.53

Frank Brooks

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Frank Brooks
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This 11 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mr. Mauricio Muller on Monday October 12, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 1101 at Georgia Southern University taught by Frank Brooks in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 229 views. For similar materials see /class/222062/pols-1101-georgia-southern-university in Political Science at Georgia Southern University.


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Date Created: 10/12/15
Chapter Two Constitutional Democracy Promoting Liberty and SelfGovernment Chapter Outline I III Before the Constitution The Colonial and Revolutionary Experiences A The Rights of Englishmen B The Declaration of Independence C The Articles of Confederation D Shays s Rebellion A Nation Dissolving Negotiating Toward a Constitution A The Great Compromise A TwoChamber Congress B The NorthSouth Compromise The Issue of Slavery C A Strategy for Rati cation D The Rati cation Debate E The Framers Goals Protecting Liberty Limited Government A Grants and Denials of Power B Using Power to Offset Power C Separated Institutions Sharing Power Checks and Balances 1 Shared Legislative Powers 2 Shared Executive Powers 3 Shared Judicial Powers D The Bill of Rights E Judicial Review Providing for SelfGovernment A Democracy Versus Republic B Limited Popular Rule C Altering the Constitution More Power to the People 1 Jeffersonian Democracy A Revolution of the Spirit 2 Jacksonian Democracy Linking the People and the Presidency 3 The Progressives Senate and Primary Elections V Constitutional Democracy Today Chapter Summary The Constitution is a re ection of the colonial and revolutionary experiences of the early Americans Freedom from abusive government was a reason for the colonists revolt against British rule but the English tradition also provided ideas about government power and freedom that were expressed in the Constitution and earlier in the Declaration of Independence The Constitution was designed in part to provide for a limited government in which political power would be con ned to its proper uses The Framers wanted to ensure that the government they were creating would not itself be a threat to freedom To this end they con ned the national government to expressly granted powers and also denied it speci c powers Other prohibitions on government were later added to the Constitution in the form of stated guarantees of individual SG72l1 libertiesithe Bill of Rights The most significant constitutional provision for limited government however was separation of powers among the three branches The powers given to each branch enable it to act as a check on the exercise of power by the others an arrangement which during the nation s history has in fact served as a barrier to abuses of power The Constitution however made no mention of how the powers and limits of government were to be judged in practice In its historic ruling in Marbury v Madison the Supreme Court assumed the authority to review the constitutionality of legislative and executive actions and to declare them unconstitutional and thus invalid The Framers of the Constitution respected the idea of selfgovemment but distrusted popular majorities They designed a government that they felt would temper popular opinion and slow its momentum so that the public s true interest which includes a regard for the rights and interests of the minority would guide public policy Different methods were established to select members of the House of Representatives the Senate the president and federal judges as a means of separating political power from momentary and unre ecting majorities Since the adoption of the Constitution however the public has gradually assumed more direct control of its representatives particularly through measures affecting the way in which officeholders are chosen Political parties presidential voting linked to the Electoral College direct election of senators and primary elections are among the devices aimed at strengthening the majority s in uence These developments are rooted in the idea deeply held by ordinary Americans that the people must have substantial direct control of their government if it is to serve their vital interests The main points of this chapter are as follows E America during the colonial period developed a tradition of limited government and self govemment These traditions were rooted in governing practices philosophy and cultural values D The Constitution provides for a limited national government mainly by defining its lawful powers and by dividing those powers among competing institutions each of which acts as a check on the others The Constitution with its Bill of Rights also prohibits government from infringing on individual rights Judicial review is an additional safeguard of limited government D The Constitution in its original form provided for selfgovemment primarily through indirect systems of popular elections of representatives The Framers theory of self govemment was based on the idea that political power must be separated from immediate popular in uences if sound policies are to result D The idea of popular govemmentiin which the majority s desires have a relatively direct and immediate impact on governing officialsihas gained strength since the nation s beginning Originally the House of Representatives was the only institution subject to direct vote of the people This mechanism has been extended to other institutions and through primary elections even to the nomination of candidates for public office SG72l2 Learning Objectives Having read the chapter all students should be able to do each of the following 1 Describe the system of checks and balances on the powers of the three branches of American government and assess its effectiveness in controlling the abuse of political power Explain and analyze the roots of limited government in America Compare separation of powers and separated institutions sharing power Assess why the second which characterizes the US system is the more substantial check on political power Explain what is meant by the term judicial review and assess its significance in a system based on limited government Be sure to explain the constitutional significance of Marbury v Madison Discuss the distinction the Framers made between the terms democracy and republic Summarize the arguments for and against direct government as compared to an indirect representative government Analyze the development of American political institutions in terms of the con icting concerns about expanded popular rule protection of minority rights and elite in uence Major Concepts Be able to identify andor define each of the following in a short paragraph limited government self government inalienable natural rights Virginia largestate Plan New Jersey smallstate Plan Great Compromise SG72l3 NorthSouth Compromise AntiFederalists Federalists constitution grants of power denials of power separation of powers separated institutions sharing power checks and balances Bill of Rights judicial reView SG72l4 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 tyranny of the majority democracy republic representative democracy trustees Electoral College electoral votes delegates primary election constitutional democracy SG72l5 Practice Exam Answers appear at the end of this chapter Multiple Choic e 1 In the American political context John Locke s conception of inalienable rights and the legitimacy of the social contract found its most explicit statement in a 999 the May ower Compact the Declaration of Independence the Magna Carta the Us Constitution The Federalist Papers What was the signi cance of Shays s Rebellion a b c d e It demonstrated the aws of the US Constitution It demonstrated the power of the national army It demonstrated that Congress was weak and unable to respond to crises in an effective manner It demonstrated the power of the presidency None of these answers is correct The three fths compromise dealt directly with the issue of a 999 the international slave trade apportionment of taxes and seats in the Us House of Representatives ratification of the Us Constitution amending the Us Constitution None of these answers is correct AntiFederalists opposed ratification of the Constitution because rug99 s they felt that the national government would be too powerful they felt that the national government would threaten the sovereignty of the states they felt that the national government would threaten the liberty of the people they felt that the national government would be too weak and ineffective All the answers are true except that they felt the national government would be too weak and ineffective Under the Articles of Confederation a b 0 Congress had insufficient funds to build a navy or hire an army each of the thirteen states had one vote in Congress and the agreement of nine states was required to pass legislation amendments could be added only by unanimous approval of the states Congress was overshadowed by the president All are true except the president did not overshadow Congress SG72l6 Which of the following states had the largest percentage of African Americans in 1790 a New Hampshire b Maryland c Delaware d South Carolina e North Carolina In Federalist No 10 James Madison warns against the dangers of a factions b states rights c judicial review d an allpowerful president e eX post facto laws The principle of checks and balances is based on the notion that a leaders are trustees of the people b all legislative and executive action must be tempered through judicial review c a weak government is more preferable than a strong government d power must be used to offset power e None of these answers is correct Marbury v Madison 1803 became the foundation a for free speech jurisprudence in the United States b for establishment clause jurisprudence in the United States c for judicial review by the federal courts d for election disputes in the United States e for states rights cases in the United States Under the original Constitution US senators were elected by a the US House of Representatives b the Electoral College c direct vote of the electorate d state legislatures e the Supreme Court persuaded the states to choose their presidential electors on the basis of the popular vote a Thomas Jefferson b James Monroe c John Quincy Adams d Andrew Jackson e James Knox Polk SG72l7 Which reforms occurred during the Progressive Era a initiative b referendum c recall election d primary election e All these answers are correct After Andrew Jackson s time which three candidates won the presidency after losing the popular vote a James Gar eld 1880 Grover Cleveland 1888 and Harry Truman 1948 b Rutherford B Hayes 1876 Benjamin Harrison 1888 and George W Bush 2000 c James Buchanan 1856 Benjamin Harrison 1888 and Woodrow Wilson 1912 d Rutherford B Hayes 1876 Warren Harding 1920 and John F Kennedy 1960 e None of these answers is correct Under the Us Constitution members of the Us House of Representatives have a term members of the US Senate have a term and the president has a term 2 year 6 year 4 year 2 year 4 year 6 year 4 year 4 year 4 year 2 year 8 year 4 year None of these answers is correct rap96x wrote The Federalist Papers James Madison Alexander Hamilton John Jay Benjamin Franklin James Madison Alexander Hamilton and John Jay rug99 s The Constitution forbids Congress from passing ex post facto laws imprisoning a person indefinitely without being charged declaring war regulating interstate commerce passing ex post facto laws and imprisoning a person indefinitely without being charged rap96x Which of the following nations has neither separation of powers nor judicial review a France b Mexico c Canada d Great Britain e Japan SG7218 18 Under the Constitution a the House of Representatives is assigned the task of impeachment a the Senate is assigned the task of removing federal officials from office in a trial like setting b the House of Representatives and Senate can block each other from acting on an issue c the House is assigned the task of impeachment the Senate removes federal officials from office and both houses can block each other from acting on an issue d the Senate has the power to nominate all federal judges 19 The Great Compromise dealt with the issue of a slavery b the creation of the presidency c representation in Congress d the creation of the Supreme Court e popular elections 20 was the only state in existence that did not send a delegation to the Philadelphia Convention 1787 a Maine b New Jersey c Connecticut d Delaware e Rhode Island Es s ays 1 Identify the fundamental aws of the Articles of Confederation 2 What was the central importance of Shays s Rebellion 3 What were the major goals of the Framers of the US Constitution SG72l9 4 What political reforms occurred during the Progressive Era How did the Framers ensure that popular rule would be limited in the United States Answers to the Practice Exam 21 22 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 HpW QP39HeP N aoawaooc oc 00515100 me 0 There were several aws with the Articles of Confederation The Articles created a very weak national government that was subordinate to the state governments Under the Articles the national government consisted of a unicameral Congress where each of the thirteen states had one vote Nine votes were required to pass legislation and a unanimous vote was necessary to amend the Articles No executive or judicial branches of government at the national level existed under America s first written constitution The Articles effectively did not allow Congress to generate revenue via taxation or create and sustain a national navy or army In addition there was no singular national economy as states engaged in trade wars as Congress did not have the power to regulate interstate commerce under the Articles Shays s Rebellion occurred in late 1786 in western Massachusetts An army of 2000 farmers marched on county courthouses to prevent foreclosures on their property Many farmers were veterans of the Revolutionary War They had been assured that their property would not be confiscated for unpaid debts and taxes They had also been told they would receive back pay owed to them for military service Instead they received no pay and their farms were heavily taxed The central importance of Shays s Rebellion is that it scared propertied interests who called on the governor to quell the revolt The governor turned to Congress for assistance but Congress had no army to send Finally the governor hired a militia to put down the rebellion It became clear to many Americans SG721w 23 24 25 as a result of this event that the national Congress was too weak to effectively respond to a crisis in the new nation Fear that anarchy would overtake the country was widespread as a result of Shays s Rebellion The Framers had four major goals in creating the US Constitution First the Framers desired to create a national government strong enough to meet the nation s needs especially in defense and commerce matters Second the Framers wanted to establish a government that would not threaten the existence of the states Third the Framers hoped to create a government that would not threaten individual liberties Fourth the Framers aspired to create a government based on popular consent Several political reforms occurred during the Progressive Era The Progressives changed the manner in which some state and local governments operated at the time with the establishment of the initiative referendum and recall election In addition reformers also instigated two changes in federal elections With the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment direction election of US senators commenced in the 1914 elections The second change was the primary election which gave the people the opportunity to select nominees for the political parties Before this change nominees were chosen by party leaders The Framers mandated that all power would be exercised through representative institutions There was no provision to allow the people to directly make policy decisions In the original Constitution the Framers only allowed direct election in the US House of Representatives keep in mind that the electorate has expanded greatly since 1787 US senators were selected by elites in state legislatures The Senate was also expected to temper the passions in the House because senators were not directly accountable to the people and they were given 6 year terms as opposed to 2 year terms in the House Presidential selection was debated at great length in Philadelphia The Framers rejected the idea of direct election and instead created a group of elites the Electoral College which would select a president on behalf of the people Finally the Framers determined that all federal judges would be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate thus bypassing direct popular control entirely Multiple Choic e Explanations 1 Thomas Jefferson principal author of the Declaration of Independence b declared that Locke was one of the three greatest men that ever lived without exception He paraphrased Locke s ideas in key passages of this document When the governor of Massachusetts asked Congress for help in quelling the revolt it had no army to send c The governor had to raise money to hire a militia to put down the rebellion In a controversial tradeoff the threefifths compromise mandated that each slave was to count as threefifths of a person for the purposes of apportionment of taxes and seats in the US House of Representatives b SG72l11


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