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135 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Unitary Government
All power is held by a single central agency
Federal Government
Powers split between central, state agencies
Alliance of independent states, no central agency
Presidential Government
Separation of powers between the executive, legislative (parliament) branch – not separate, legislative controls executive
Direct Democracy
Citizens make laws directly in mass meetings
Representative Democracy
Laws are made by a small group of people chosen by citizens to act as representatives
Complete absence of government
John Locke
Political philosopher, made Social Contract, inspired Constitution, wrote Two Treatises on Government
Group of like-minded people with common ethnic/religious backgrounds
People living in specific political and territorial boundaries
A politically defined area with only people of a common ethnic background living there
Four Characteristics of a State
Population, territory, sovereignty, government
Examples of State, Nation, Nation-State
EX: United States—State, Japan—Nation State, Kurds—Nation
Is “United States” a misnomer?
Yes. It’s actually one state, not a conglomeration of states. And, the criteria for a state is sovereignty, and each state isn’t sovereign, the federal government holds some control.
What are the four theories on the evolution of state?
Social Contract, Divine Right, Evolutionary, Force
Why do people form governments?
To make and enforce public policies
Parliamentary vs. Presidential Governments
Parliament has more political parties so there are more views represented, but there is more confusion
Five Basic Concepts of Democracy
Respect worth/dignity, respect equality, faith in majority/insist on minority rights, accept compromise, individual freedom
Virginia Plan
Two houses in legislature, both based on population, lower house elected by popular vote, upper house chosen by state legislatures
New Jersey Plan
One house in legislature, equal representation for states, state legislature elected to house, no direct popular vote
Connecticut Compromise
Bicameral legislatures, equal representation in Senate, proportional representation (based on population) in House, combine the Senate and the House
Magna Carta
“The Great Charter”, King can’t arbitrarily tax, separation of church and state
Three-Fifths Compromise
Slaves counted as three-fifths a person for representation and taxation
Supported the Constitution at the time it was framed
Didn’t support the Constitution at the time it was framed
Why did the Articles of the Confederation fail?
It couldn’t tax, had separate currencies, no amendment process, no national army, no collective agreements with foreign powers
How were the Articles Influenced by experiences with the British?
The British repressed, so in the Articles they made sure for no repression
What were the main arguments made by Anti-Federalists?
Central government was too powerful, states lose right to coin, creation of Constitution controlled by one group of people, no Bill of Rights
Articles vs. Constitution
Constitution gives more power to central government, restricts state rights, allows amendments
Limited Government
Government’s powers given by the people, the people choose which powers it has
Power divided between central, regional governments
Delegated Powers
Powers given to the government by the people
Expressed Powers
Enumerated rights, specifically stated in the Constitution
Implied Powers
Inferred from expressed powers, not outright stated (privacy)
Inherent Powers
Powers inherent in governments (negotiations)
Reserved Powers
Powers not granted to the federal government and thus given to the states
Concurrent Powers
Held by both federal and state governments: (taxing, courts)
Formal Amendments
Officially added onto Constitution as an amendment
Informal Amendment
Added onto the Constitution but never specifically included in it
Executive Agreement
Decision by two executives without Senate approval, EX: informal amendments such as over foreign policy between the two nations
What are the five informal ways of amending the Constitution?
Executive action, basic legislation, court decision, party practices, custom (cabinet exists because of custom)
What are the four formal ways of amending the Constitution?
Congress proposes and 2/3 vote in both houses, National Convention called by 2/3 of states proposes, ratified by ¾ of state legislatures, ratified by special conventions set up by ¾ of states
Which formal amendment process has never been used?
National Convention
What are the six basic principles of the Constitution?
Popular sovereignty, limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances, judicial review, federalism
What is the layout of the Constitution?
Bill of Rights, Articles, Amendments
What is the Bill of Rights?
The first ten amendments, set constitutional guarantees of freedoms
What are the 27 amendments?
Formal amendments to the Constitution
Full Faith and Credit
Article Four: States must give faith in decisions of other states (EX: drivers’ licenses)
Elastic Clause
gives powers when they are deemed “necessary and proper”
Political Parties
Groups of people seeking to control the government
Two Party System
Two major parties try to control the government
Multiparty system
More than one party fights for control of the government
One Party System
Only one party controls the government (essentially a dictatorship)
Single Issue Party
The party is centered on only one issue (Prohibition Party)
A voting district
Perestroika & Glasnost
Principles of openness in Soviet Russia by Gorbachev
What are the principles of the Republican Party?
Less governmental influence, less taxation, use WTA system for caucuses
What are the principles of the Democratic Party?
More governmental influence, more taxation, use PR system for caucuses
What are five things political parties do?
nominate candidates, inform public, stimulate thought, function in government, and serve as a watchdog for other parties
What is the role of third parties?
Critic, innovator, watchdog
Why does American use a third-party system?
Historical biases, tradition, Electoral College
The right to vote
Redrawing district lines as a ploy to win an election
Political Efficacy
Belief your vote will count
Straight-Ticket Voting
Voting for one party no matter who the candidate is
Civil Rights Act of 1957
Created Civil Rights Commission, prevents interference with the right to vote
Civil Rights Act of 1960
Provides for referees in federal voting
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Forbids applying registration requirements discriminatorily
Sociological Factors Affecting Voting
Race, Income, Sex, Age, Religion, Party Affiliation
Psychological Factors Affecting Voting
Issues, candidates, parties
Direct Primary
Voters select through ballots (most common way to elect)
Closed Primary
Can only vote in the party you registered for (Louisiana)
Open Primary
Can vote in one or both of the primaries
Blanket Primary
Can vote in one or both party primaries
Mandatory Primary
Delegates are required to follow the voters' vote
Advisory Primary
Delegates are only required to take votes as "advice"
Coattail Effect
Vote for something that a party or candidate supports just because they support it and vice versa
Political Action Committee, a private group organized to elect or defeat candidates
What votes are recorded on
Soft Money
money that is given to a political party but is not given specifically to support a particular candidate
Federal Election Commission which discloses election spending and enforces funding laws
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (same as McCain Feingold)
McCain Feingold Bill
Limit Campaign spending and donations, prohibits soft money, and requires that politicians take credit for their political ads
McConnell vs. FEC
Bipartisan, tried to overturn the BCRA, infringed the 1st amendment
What are the five ways that a candidate is nominated?
Self announcement, petition, selected in a caucus, selected in a delegate convention, selected in a direct primary
When are Presidental/Congressional elections held?
The Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even number years
What are five sources for campaign funding?
Individuals, families, candidates themselves, special intrest groups, fund-raisers
What are four points of campaign finance laws?
Disclose campaign finance, limit contributions, limit spending
Should campaign funding be limited?
Consider where the money would come from?
McCain/Feignbold or McConnell?
Consider 1st amendment, does it apply?
Public Opinion
Public attitudes hold about government and policies
Intrest Groups
Made to represent specific groups in purposes affecting backers. Can be political, social, religious, economic, but mostly economic.
Straw Vote
Informal vote or poll not used to test scientific/statistical claims
Random Sample
Select random people for sample, not guaranteed accurate
What are five purposes of intrest groups?
Create intrest in public affairs, represent backers, provide info to governments, participate in politics, act as checks and balances
Why is public opinion inaccurate?
The public doesn't all agree, so there isn't one opinion, they just choose a most common opinion
Examples of Straw Votes
Radio call-in poll, asking random people at the mall
What makes a poll scientific?
Getting a cross section, large amount of people polled, clear and consise questions, unbiased questions
People needed to be polled for a poll to be accurate
Formula for calculating margin of error
1/square root of n
n=# of people polled
Good Pollig Practices
Use cross section of population, ask clear, consise and unbiased questions, don't interpret
Bad Polling Practices
Loaded/biased questions, poor representation, interpreted answers
A group influencing the government on a specific topic (gun control, abortion, etc.)
Politics by community members, not public officials
Labor Union
Group of workers to negotiate with management as to work conditions
Grassroots Campaign
Howard Dean's campaign, third party campaigns
What are the purposes of lobbyists?
Stimulate intrest in public affairs, represent members, provide information to government officials, participate in politics, act as checks and balances (mostly economic)
Would America be better or worse without lobbyists?
Consider sources of information, unpopular industries, 1st amendment
Authortiy given to a body to administer justice
Original Jurisdiction
Only hears cases that have yet to be ruled on
Appellate Jurisdiction
Only hears cases that are being appealed
Challenging a judgment and taking it to another court
Supreme Court
Highest Court, has final word on cases, has both original and appellate jurisdiction, listens to cases with important constitutional bearing
91 District Courts
Inferior courts to deal with less interesting cases
Inferior Courts
Constitutional courts set up by the Supreme court
Should supreme court justices serve for life?
Consider experience, age, political parties leaving a legacy with a justice(they stay with party putting them in gone)
Should justices be elected?
Consider political climates, justices are elected because of stand on one issue only? Shoudl citizens be trusted with choice that could change the constitution?
How do you become a justice?
Be nominated by president, approved by 1/2 the senate
Which article gives the Congress the right to set up other courts?
Article 2
What two courts are set up by the federal system?
Supreme Court and State/Local Courts
British system of government. Executive government is composed of members of the Legislative branch, which selects and can remove the Prime Minister
Prime Minister
Head of the Parliament, leader of majority party in lower house
Vote of No Confidence
Parliament can remove the Prime Minister through this
House of Commons
Lower house, Representatives elected, holds most power
House of Lords
Upper house, representatives are nobles/knights, limited power
Party of Institutionalized Revolution, Mexico's current government, democratic
Constitution of 1917
Basis of Mexico's current government, democratic
Mikhail Gorbachev
Last leader of USSR before split into commonwealth of independent states, created Glasnost and Perestroika
Russian for "publicity", relaxed censorship, increased social freedoms
Russian for "reconstructing", economic reforms, private ownership
Government of former USSR, common ownership, no economic classes
Ronald Reagan
US President 1981-89, saw USSR as and "Evil Empire", Star Wars
Star Wars
AKA Strategic Defense Initiative, anti-ballistic missiles to shoot down Russian nukes mid air. Arguably, real purpose was to economically destroy Russia- Russia had to build it too, but they didn't have the money to do it. (massive economy sink)
Who reigns in British Government? Who Rules?
The Queen reigns, Parliament rules.
Why did perestroika and glasnost fail?
With newfound openness, atrocities of USSR government revealed and made people revolt against it, also, many not used to the sudden freedom.