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112 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is a government?
a system to maintain security and order, and property
what did the modern deffinition of gov start with?
Treaty of Westphalia
Treaty of Westphalia
-treaty signed to end 30 years war
-first time that states (countries) recognized boundaries/national borders
-principal of national sovereignty (each gov has the right to govern its people as it wishes without interference from other nations)
why do we create governments?
-to maintain order-disorder exists without them
-provide public goods
-promotes equality
wrote Leviathan: he said that government must exisit to prevent deterioration into our state of nature.
John Locke
wrote "two treatises on government"
He said government exists to protect property
he said that life and property were inaliable rights
seen later in the declaration of independance
public good
good that benefits and services all citizens but are not likesly to be produced volentarily by individuals. It is paids for by taxes. fine line: how much and what to spend it on

ex. Schools, canals, health care(?), parks, sanitation, Police, mail, military/defense forces
two types of equality
social equality (equal social rights: no descrimination amongst races, etc) and economic equality (income redistribution: living the american dream)
*some say that one must happen in order for the other to happen*
theory that representative democracies are based on group interests that protect the individual's interests by representing him or her to the government.
Delemmas of Government
Freedom vs Order and Freedom vs Equality
These are both debated all the time
Freedom vs Order
(part of order is safety) in gov people gave up freedoms to get order (by agreeing to be governed, we surrender freedom) Any policy tht strengthens one, weakens the other
Freedom Vs Equality
Economic equality results in fewer freedoms
social equality infringes on freedoms
ex. affirmative action; phycial disabilty act
Idealology and scope of government (see page 13)
Idealology and scope of government (see page 13)
3 types of political theories
totalitarianism, anarchists, and libertarianism
unchecked government power
unlimited power (north korea, nazi germany)
opposes government completely (doesnt REALLY exisit)
denounce all forms of government unless it is to protect life, liberty, and property- people who want to be left alone unless its huge
3 economic theories
Socialism, capitalism, and laissez faire
gov controls the means of production for major industry (education, etc)
private individuals own means of production
government regulation, however. Trade and business is checked to keep it fair
laissez faire
less of role in gov than in capitalist society
2 political parties and what they believe
Republicans (believe gov should involve in defnse but otherwise a shrinking role in gov
Deomcrats see a role in government and safety net

*agree for most part but key issues are debated
American democracy
1)where it came from
2)has it evolved
3)is it equal?
4)how does voting work
A)came from the Greeks (Demos- referring to the common people and kratos means power). Greeks were affraid of it because of the uneducated masses
B) it has evolved during the past 200+ years (the consitution meant to be dynamic)
C) political equality: every vote counts the same
D) Majority rule- greater than 50%. Plurality rule: the most (if there is no majority , it goes to most)
What type of deomocracy is america?
representative democracy. we dont run the government- we elect officials to make decisions
minority rights
things that the minority have that the majority cant change (freedoms... bill of rights)
a form of government that places ultimate political authority in the hands of the people. it has two models.. direct democracy and representative democracy
Direct Democracy
citizens debate and vote directly on all laws. Many of the founders of the united states were skeptical about the ability of the masses to govern themselves, being prone to the influence of demagogues and too likely to overlook the rights of those with the minority opinion
charismatic leaders who manipulate popular belifs
Representative Democracy
people hold the ultimate power through the election process, but all policy decisions are made by elected officials or those that they appoint. A representative democracy is a compromise between a direct democracy and a authoritarian rule, and has become the most accpeted form of democracy in the world today
Authoritarian refimes
rules fully control government and often held sway over economic and social insitutions
Elite Theory
holds that a representative democracy is not really based on the will of the people, but that there is a relatively small, cohesive elte class that makes almost all of the important decisions for the nation.
The constitution
founders' attempt to balance order with freedom. it is based on 4 principles: popular sovereignty, separation of powers, checks and Balances, Limited Government, and Federalism
Popular Sovereignty
the basic principle that the power to govern belongs to the people and that government must be based on the consent of the governed
separation of powers
the division of government's powers into three separate branches: executive, legislative, and judicial
Checks and Balences
a poltical system in which brances of government have some authority over the actions of the others
limited government
the basic principle that government is not all-powerful, and that it does only those things that citizens allow it to do
the division of governmental powers between a central government and the individual states
Crutial Questions to consider (just read and consider)
how did it evolve
what form did it take
what values does it reflect
how can it be altered
1st continental congress 1774
change the way the British were treating colonies
Lexington and Concord
made it clear that independence was needed- shots were fired on people in attempt to get rid of weapons but colonists won
2nd continental congress may 1775
started talking about independence
Declaration of Independance
thomas jeffereson based it off of john lock (life liberty and property)
ratified in 1776-July 4th the continental congress approved it
involved the social contract theory
social contract theory
(john locks theory)
states that people agree to establish rulers for certain purposes and have the right to resist or remove rulers who violate those purposes
Articles of the confederation
it was weak
1) no power to tax
2)no president
3)no power to regulate interstate commerce (no standard)
4)impossible to amend (almost)
Shayes Rebellion
rebelled because people didnt have faith in gov (which did not repay ppl who fought in revolution)
Consitutional convention
revised the articles of the confederation
Virginia plan
representation by population. the work of James madison.
The New jersey plan
representation based on equality
The Great Compromise/the connecticut compromise
House-population (chosen by state legislatues)
Senate-equal (directly elected by all voters)
3/5 compromise
allowed southern states to count a slave as three-fifths of a person, allowing a balance between the power between the north and the south
Electoral college
people selected by each state legislature to formally cast their ballots for presidency
Amendment process
requires both the national government and the states before an amendment may be passed. It can be amended in four ways.
1)may be proposed by a 2/3 vote of each house of Congress and ratified by at least 3/4 of the state legislatures. (All but one of the amendments have been added through this process)
2)amendments may be proposed by a 2/3 vote of each house of congress and ratified by specially called conventions in at least 3/4 of the states. (used once for the 21st amendment to repeal prohibition)
3)amendments may be proposed by a national consituion convention requested by at least 2/3 of state legislatures and ratified by at least 3/4 of the state legislatures
4)may be proposed by a national consituional convention and ratified by specially called conventions in at least 3/4 of the states
judicial review
the power of the courts to declar status unconsitutional through interpretation of the constitution when disputes arise.
The Articles of the Constituion
foundation of our country
Article I- Legislative Branch
Article II- the executive Branch
Article III- Judicial Branch
Article IV-state equality
Article V-the amendment process
Article VI-supremacy clause
Article VII-Retification Process
Article I: legislative Branch
1)senate (2 per state 6yrs)
2)House (based on population- 4yrs- 4 yrs)
3)enumerated powers
enumerated powers
congress can only exercise powers the consituion assigns to it. there are 18 of them (17 are specific)
elastic clause (unspecific power of congress)
necessary and proper clause- congress has the power to amend/do things that are necessary and proper
Article II- the executive Branch
-outlined the electorial college
-qualifications for the president: done to maintain stability
-duties and powers: commander and cheif of the army and can make treaties (requires 2/3 majority vote from senate)
-not just a president
-appointments (must be ratified by congress)
-section 3- to take care that all laws are faithfully executed
-police force
-can address issues not in the consitution
Article II- Judicial
sumpreme court (does not completely outline court system)- lower courts to be decided upon and created by congress
Judicial review-Marbury Vs Madison: power of the supreme court to rule on the consitionality of a law (law can only be challenged if appealed to the court)
Marbury vs Madison
cheif justice marhall claimed judicial review as a prerogative of the court. declared a provision of the Judiciary Act of 1789 to be in volation of Article 3 of the consitution
Article IV- state equality
-cannot discrimate between states (no more powerful than another)
-all state laws are equally vailid
-makes provisions for addition of new states
Article VI-Supremacy Clause
national laws, treaties, and the constitution takes precedence over state and local laws in conflict between them
Article VII- Ratification Process
approval by the conventions in nine states would be necessary for the consituiton to take effect.
Amendment I of constituion
(freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abriding the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
Amendment II
(right to bear arms)
a weel-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infriged
Amendment III
(searches and seizures) The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrents shall issue but upon probable cuase, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Amendment V
(rights of persons: grand juries, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, due process, eminent domain)
no person shall be held to ansewr for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indicment of Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation
Amendment Vi
(rights of the accused in criminal prosecutions)
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jurty of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor, and to have the assitance of counsel for his defense
Amendment VII
(civil tirals) In suits at common law, where the value in shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by fjury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined n any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law
Amendment VIII
(punishment for crime) excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel unusual punishments inflicted.
Amendment IX
(rights retained by the people) The enumeration in the Consituion, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people
Amendment X
(rights reseved to states)
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by tit to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Strict Construction
read literally-if not specific in constitution, it goes to states
Lose Construction
more government- larger portion of necessary proper claus.
14th Amendment
everyone is equal in the eyes of the law
-the reason why we have wheel chair rumps
-right to a trial
19th Amendment
woman's right to vote
The federal gov is superior to state gov
McCulloch vs Maryland
the power to tax is the power to destroy
Election of 2000
Electoral College(fed gov)
state gove set voting process in their state.
*270 out of 538 to become prez
Due to state politicss, these were discrepancies
Bush vs Gore- Supreme Court
Federalist # 10
advertisment for constitution
Happy combination of National and local government
Layer Cake
Separate(marriage amendment)
Marble Cake
shared power(infrastucture, state malitia)
Muchallah vs Madison
gave fed gov to create national bank and states cannot tax them or else they would have the power to destroy it.
Gibbon V Ogden
interstate commerce
comerce-every form of commercial activity- it would all fall under commerce claus.
US vs Lopez(1990)
Congress exceeds its activity when it said you could not possess guns near/in schools.
Prinz vs US
(Brady Bill: background checks of people who want guns) the court said that a federal law could not force local law enforcement to conduct background checks with no cost to itself.
line item veto
unconstitutional- presedent is set opposed to make legislation
Grant in aid
money paid by one level of government to another level of government, to be spent for a specific purpose. Ex:no child left behind (14th Amendment) (like Prinz case- fed gov has to help fund)
categorial grants
specific purpose
-formula grant(kind of categorial grant)
-project grant " "
block grant
general purposes-receptiants have more power to decide what to do with the money.
The federalist papers
defended the ratification of the constitution. It was written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. They contain soem of the most basic and brilliantly argued philophical underpinnings of American government.
Federalist #10
argued that separation of powers and federalism check the growth of tyranny. it also argues tha Constituional principles guard against the dangers of a direct democracy. Madison argues that a long-lived democracy must manage its interest grouples, even if they cannot be elmininated
Federalist #51
explained why strong government is necessary
The Bill of Rights
A compromise between Federalist and Antil-Federalists was rached with the agreemtns to add these. They are the individual freedoms and rights. Without this, the constituion would not have been ratified in many states.
the tendency for the government to do what the majority of the people want
review p. 4 of mc book
review p. 4 of mc book
unitary system
is one that concentrates all policymaking powers in one central geopgraphic place
confederal system
spreads the power among many sub-units (such as states), and has a weak central government.
Federal system
divides the power between the central government and the sub-units
delegated powers
rights granted to the national government by the constituion: war power (must protect the nation from external attcks), the power to regulate interstate and freign commerce, and the power to spend and tax.
concurrent powers
powers that can be exercised by both national and state governments. ex. taxes
reserved powers
those held by states alone. They include the power to establish local government and regulate trade within a state. states also have a ploice power- the autthority to legislate for the protection of the health, morals, safety and wlefare of the people
prohibited powers
deined to either the national government, state governments or both. ex. cannot tax exports
the right of a state to declare null and void a federal law that in the state's oppion violeated the constituion.
Heart of Atlanta Motel Vs US
forbids the discrimination based on race in public accommondations. it explanded the interpretation of the interstate commerce clause
dual federalism
a system in which each remains supreme within its own sphere (layer cake)
cooperative federalsm
state and federal governments copperate in solving common comple problems (marble cake)
a rule that tells states what they must do in order to comply with federal guidlines
Review p. 22 mc
Review p. 22 mc
the devolution revolution
devolve more responsibilties to the states
Beard's Crticism of the Founders
believed it was a conspiracy of social and economic elite with the aim of protecting their own self interest. wanted to avoid rule by the masses.
Roaches belief
provided evidence for this to be a good way to accomidate
focused on the practical
-practical politicans striving to accomidate the needs and interests of the nation -a constituion that could be ratified and amended
-virginia plan: provied for an esstially unitary form of government