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78 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What are the fundamental political principles that have shaped government in the United States?
• Consent of the governed
• Limited government
• Rule of law
• Democracy
• Representative government
• Representative government
People are the source of any and all governmental power.
• Limited government
Government is not all-powerful and may do only those things people have given it the power to do.
• Rule of law
The government and those who govern are bound by the law.
• Democracy
In a democratic system of government the people rule.
• Representative government
In a representative system of government people elect public officeholders to make laws and conduct government on their behalf.
• Charters of the Virginia Company of London
 Rights of Englishmen guaranteed to colonists
• The Virginia Declaration of Rights
 Served as a model for the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States of America
• Declaration of Independence
 Stated grievances against the king of Great Britain
 Declared the colonies’ independence from Great Britain
 Affirmed “certain unalienable rights” (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness)
 Established the idea that all people are equal under the law
• Articles of Confederation
 Established the first form of national government for the independent states
 Weakness of central government (e.g., no power to tax and enforce laws)—Led to the writing of the Constitution of the United States of America
• Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom
 Freedom of religious beliefs and opinions
• Constitution of the United States of America, including the Bill of Rights
 Establishes the structure of the United States government
 Guarantees equality under the law with majority rule and the rights of the minority protected
 Affirms individual worth and dignity of all people
 Protects the fundamental freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition
The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America
expresses the reasons the constitution was written.
Purposes of U.S. government
• To form a union
• To establish justice
• To ensure domestic peace
• To provide defense
begins, “We the people,” which establishes that the power of government comes from the people.
The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America
How does an individual become a citizen
• Birth
• Naturalization
________ and_____________ , particularly in the twentieth century, have led to an increasingly diverse society
immigration and naturalization
To become a citizen through naturalization
a person must demonstrate knowledge of American history and principles and the ability to speak and write English.
A citizen
is an individual with certain rights and duties under a government and who, by birth or by choice, owes allegiance to that government.
Few rights
if any, are considered absolute.
First Amendment freedoms
• Religion
• Speech
• Press
• Assembly
• Petition
• Religion
Government may not establish an official religion, nor endorse, or unduly interfere with the free exercise of religion.
• Speech
Individuals are free to express their opinions and beliefs.
• Press
The press has the right to gather and publish information, including that which criticizes the government.
• Assembly
Individuals may peacefully gather.
• Petition
Individuals have the right to make their views known to public officials.
Fourteenth Amendment
• Extends the due process protection to actions of the states
For government to be effective, citizens must fulfill their civic _____.
Duties of responsible citizens
• Obey laws
• Pay taxes
• Serve in the armed forces if called
• Serve on a jury or as a witness in court
What happens to citizens who choose not to fulfill their civic duties?
They face legal consequences.
A basic responsibility of citizenship
contribute to the common good.
Civic responsibilities
are voluntary.
Responsibilities of citizens
• Register and vote
• Hold elective office
• Influence government by communicating with government officials
• Serve in voluntary, appointed positions
• Participate in political campaigns
• Keep informed regarding current issues
• Respect others' rights to an equal voice in government
A democratic society requires the of its citizens.
active participation
Ways for citizens to participate in community service
• Volunteer to support democratic institutions (e.g., League of Women Voters).
• Express concern about the welfare of the community as a whole (e.g., environment, public health and safety, education).
• Help to make the community a good place to work and live (e.g., by becoming involved with public service organizations, tutoring, volunteering in nursing homes).
Personal traits of good citizens
• Trustworthiness and honesty
• Courtesy and respect for the rights of others
• Responsibility, accountability, and self-reliance
• Respect for the law
• Patriotism
Functions of political parties
• Recruiting and nominating candidates
• Educating the electorate about campaign issues
• Helping candidates win elections
• Monitoring actions of officeholders
A two-party system
characterizes the American political process.
Similarities between parties
• Organize to win elections
• Influence public policies
• Reflect both liberal and conservative views
• Define themselves in a way that wins majority support by appealing to the political center
Differences between parties
• Stated in a party's platform and reflected in campaigning
Third parties
• Introduce new ideas or press for a particular issue
• Often revolve around a political personality (e.g., Theodore Roosevelt)
to make reasoned choices among candidates.
Voters evaluate information presented in political campaigns
The an important role in the political process.
media plays
Strategies for evaluating campaign speeches, literature, and advertisements for accuracy
• Separating fact from opinion
• Detecting bias
• Evaluating sources
• Identifying propaganda
Mass media roles in elections Identifying candidates
• Writing editorials, creating political cartoons, publishing op-ed pieces
• Broadcasting different points of view
Running for is expensive.
political office
Rising campaign costs
• Require candidates to conduct extensive fund-raising activities
• Limit opportunities to run for public office
• Give an advantage to wealthy individuals who run for office
• Encourage the development of political action committees (PACs)
• Give issue-oriented special interest groups increased influence
Campaign finance reform
• Rising campaign costs have led to efforts to reform campaign finance laws.
• Limits exist on the amount individuals may contribute to political candidates and campaigns
What are the requirements for voter registration in Virginia?
• Citizen of the United States
• Resident of Virginia and precinct
• 18 years of age by day of general election
How to register in Virginia
• In person at the registrar's office, at the Division of Motor Vehicles, or at other designated sites
• By mail application
Registration is closed before elections.
29 days
Factors in predicting which citizens will vote
• Education
• Age
• Income
Why citizens fail to vote
• Lack of interest
• Failure to register
The percentage of voters who participate in presidential elections is usually________ than the percentage of voters who participate in state and local elections.
The electoral college process
is used to select the President and Vice President of the United States.
Electoral college process
• The slate of electors for each state is chosen by popular vote.
• The electors meet to vote for President and Vice President.
• The winner-take-all system leads to the targeting of large states for campaigning, although candidates must pay attention to small states whose electoral votes may make the difference in tight elections.
The number of electors of each state is based on the
state’s Congressional representation.
The requirements for a majority vote to win in the electoral college
favors a two-party system.
Legislative, executive, and judicial powers are separated at___ the___ and levels of government.
The powers and responsibilities of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches at both the national and state levels are
All powers of local government in Virginia are created and controlled by
the state.
local government-legislative
Makes ordinances for community; approves annual budget; limits power to that delegated by the state
Makes laws for Virginia; approves biennial (two-year) budget; exercises power under the 10th amendment
National Government-legislative
Makes laws for nation; approves annual budget; approves presidential appointments
local government-executive
Elected or appointed by the Board of Supervisors or City Council; city or county managers hired by local legislatures
Virginia Government-executive
Executes laws of Virginia; prepares biennial budget for General Assembly; appoints cabinet officers and boards; administers state bureaucracy; grants pardons
National Government-executive
Executes law of the land; prepares annual budget for congressional action; appoints cabinet officers, ambassadors, and federal judges; administers federal bureaucracy
Local courts—Hear cases under the authority provided by state legislation
Virginia Government-judicial
Supreme Court—Has power of judicial review over state laws
Circuit courts—Try civil and criminal cases
National Government-judicial
Supreme Court—Has power of judicial review
Federal courts—Try cases involving federal law and U.S. Constitutional questions
Separating power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches helps prevent
any one branch from abusing its power.
gives each of the three branches of government ways to limit the powers of the other branches
A system of checks and balances
Legislative powers over
• The executive branch
 Overrides vetoes
 Impeaches a President
• The judicial branch
 Approves federal judges
 Impeaches federal judges
Executive powers over
• The legislative branch
 Vetoes acts of Congress
 Calls Congress into special session
• The judicial branch
 Appoints federal judges
Judicial powers over
• The legislative branch
 Declares laws unconstitutional
• The executive branch
 Declares executive acts unconstitutional
The Constitution of the United States of America defines
the process by which formal changes are made to the document.
Process for amending the Constitution of the United States of America
• Action by Congress or convention
• Ratification by the states
The amendment process is complex; to date, amendments have been added.
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