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135 Cards in this Set

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Pluralism is a theoretical approach to studying the distribution of political power in the US. The opposite of the economic elite theory. Pluralism contends that political power is widely dispersed in the United States. No one group or person has a monopoly in it. Politicaldecisions are made openly in government institutions by officeholders representative of, and accountbale to, the public. The ties between leaders and ordinary citizens are many, and both parties benefit from the relationship.
Economic Elite Theory
This theory asserts that political power in the US us concentrated in the hands of a relatively small group of economic leaders. The average citizen takes a backseat to the economic elite in influencing decision makers and benefitting from public policy.
The distinguishing factor of democracy is that government derives its athority from its citizens. Thus deomcaracy means government by the people -- not govermnet by one person or government by the few.
Direct Deomocracy
where citizens come together to discuss and pass laws and select their rulers...US does not have this...we have a representative democracy
Representative Democracy
AKA a which those who have governmental authority get and retain authority directly or indirectly as a result of winning free elections in which all adult citizens are allowed to participate. "Democracy" and "Republic" are used interchangably.
a label we apply to arragments such as checks and balances, federalism, seperation of powers, rule of law, due process, and the Bill of rights that require our leaders to listen, think, bargain, and explain before they make laws. We then hold them politically and legally accountable for how they exercise their powers.
Popular Consent
the idea that a just government must derive its powers fro mthe consent of the people it governs. A commitment to deomicracy thus entails a community's willingness to participate and make decisions in government. A commitment to popular consent must involve a willingness to lose when most people vote the other way.
A representative democracy, in Plato's terms, is commonly called a ?
Plurality rule occurs when the candidate with the most votes wins the election? True or false?
This is what the Puritans in Massacussetts established. Its religious leaders claimed divine guidance and some sects or denominations did not have religious liberty
Freedom of the Press was furthered in the colonies in 1734 in the case of New York printer ______?
John Peter Zenger
Shays' Rebellion
The need to strengthen the machinery of both the national and state governments was demonstrated during the winter of 1786 - 1787 by farmers protesting their inability to pay off bank debts. This protest was known as Shays Rebellion.
Freedom of the Press was furthered in the colonies in 1734 in the case of New York printer ______?
John Peter Zenger
Composed of or based on two legislative chambers or branches: a bicameral legislature. (The Senate and the house of reps.)
The Supremacy Clause
The national supreme court was to hear appeals from state judges, and the supremacy clause would require all judges - state and national - to treat laws of the national government and the treaties of the US as superior to the constitution and laws of each state.
The Legislative Branch
This is Congress. Congress is a bicameral legislature and is broken into the House of Representaive and the Senate.
The Judicial Branch
This is the Supreme Court. There are 9 justices, one of which is the chief justice. They are appointed by the president and are approved by senate. The Supreme Court is the highest court. Judicial review = the court's authoruty to decide constitutionality.
Judicial review
the court's authority to decide constitutionality.
The Executive Branch
this is the president = enforces the laws of the land; vice president = president of the senate; department heads (cabinet members) = advise the president on poilcy issues and help execute those policies; heads of independent agencies = makes regulations to help implement laws; executive agencies = help carry out policy or provide special services
Three-Fifths Compromise
Differences between the south and north were also evident on the issue of representation in the house of reps. The question was whether to count slaves for purposes of appointing seats in the house. The south wanted to count slaves, thereby enlarging its numbers of representatives; the north resisted. After heated debate, the delegates agreed on the 3/5 compromise. Each slave would be counted as three-fifths of a free person for the purposes of appointment in the house and of direct tazation; this fraction was chosen because it maintained a balance of power between the north and south.
Supporters of the new government. Seaboard and city regions tended to be Federalist strongholds. They believed a bill of rights was unnecessary because the proposed national government had only the specific powers delegated to it by the states and the people. Thus there was no need to specify that congress could not, for example, abridge freedom of the press because the states and the people had not given it power to regulate the press.
Those who opposed ratification of the new government. Most people from backcountry regions from Maine through Georgia, inhabited by farmers and other relaitvely poor people. The Antifederalists most telling criticism of the proposed ocnstitution was its failure to include a bill of rights.
Natural Law
law that defines right from wrong, law that is higher than human law (almost like morality, i guess)
Seperation of Powers
the allocation of constitutional authority to each of the three branches of the national government.
Checks and Balances
The farmers answer was a system of checks and balances. "The great security against a gradual concentration of several powers in the same department consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachment of the others. ...Ambition must be made to counteract ambition." - Madison
Each branch, therefor, has a role in the actions of the others. Congress can enact laws, yet the president can veto them. The SC can declare laws passed by congress and signed by the president unconstitutional, but the president appoints the justices and all the other federal judges with the Senate's approval. Not only does each branch have some authority over the others, but each is politically independent of the others.
Direct Primaries
During the past century, American states have expanded the role of the electorate within the states by adopting direct primaries in which the voters select party nominess, by permitting the voters in about half the states to vote directly on laws (initiative and referendum), and even by removing elected state and local officals from office (recall).
A Writ of Mandamus
a court order directing an official, such as secretary of state, to perform a duty about which the officail has no discretion, such as delivering a commission.
The statement, "You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige i tto control itself," was written by who?
James Madison
Madison used this greek word to describe the accumulation of all legisltaure, exectuive, and judicial power by one person or branch of government.
What court case established the practice of Judicial review?
Marbury v. Madison
The Bill of Rights were demanded by who?
"The Federalist"
During the debate over ratification of the 1787 Constitution, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and John Madison wrot a series of essays in support of adoption known collectively as "The Federalist"
The Constitutional Convention decided that the Chief Executive of a new United States of America would be chosen by who?
An electoral college
According to the authors of "Government by the People" in the US, the symbol of national loyalty and unity has been the what?
The Constitution
he largest minority group in Texas is composed of ???
What group was best represented at the 1875 Constitutional convetnion that wrote ht present Texas Constitution?
Since its independence from Mexico, how many constitutions have been written for Texas?
The Texas Constitution, written in 1875, was designed to do what?
Limit the authority of state government by having many elective executive officials at the state and county levels
true or false? recent efforts to totally revisse hte Texas constitution have failed.
True or false? Most proposed amendments to teh texas constitution are approved by voters.
True or False? Political participation is not very widespread in TX.
true or false? Texans, by and large, are very well informed about politics.
What percent of Texans think racial discrimination is a major problem in TX?
Under the US Constitution, what sets of powers do state governments have?
reserved and concurrent
Devolution Revolution
The attempt to return many governmental functions to the state level in the past ten years has been called Devoltion Revolution
Most accurately, the term "federal government" refers to the what??
The state and national government (as opposed to the central and national government)
Cooperative Federalism
The term used to refer to a system that delivers governmental goods and services to the people and calls for cooperation among the various levels of government in getting the job done is called cooperative federalism
The central government of a confederation exercises no direct power over ______?
A Unitary System of Government
A unitary system of goverment vests all power in the central government.
A federal government provides for _____ without uniformity.
An effort by a local region such as Southwestern Kansas to break away from the parent state
The process by which a criminal is surrendered by one state to another
Under the US COnstitution, what sets of powers do state governments have?
reserved and concurrent
Cooperative Federalism
A system that delivers governmental goods and services to the people and calls for cooperation among various levels of government in getting the job done.
A Unitary System of Government
A Unitary system of government vests all power in the central government
An effort by a local region such as Southwestern Kansas to break away from the parent state
The process by whcuh a criminal is surrendered by one state to another
Interstate Compact
A binding agreement among states that is approved by Congress
The provision of Article IV, which ensures that state courts enforce civil judgements from other states' courts (such as divorces) and accept public records from other states' courts (such as birth certificates) is found in the ____?
full faith and credit clause
When a federal law or regulation takes over and precludes enforcement of a state or local law or regulation
During what time periods did the national government grow? (3)
1. The Depression of 1930
2. World War II
3. the Great Society programs of LBJ
Specifically, the Bill of Rights was aimed at what?
The National Government
The due process clause, interpreted to mean that the states could NOT abridge First Amendment freedoms, is part of what amendment?
The 14th Amendment
Religious freedom Restoration Act of 1993
A 1997 case in which the supreme court ruled that congress could not interfere with the powers of state and local government
What amendment of the constitution limits states the same way that the Bill of Rights limits the national government?
The 14th amendment
The Establishment Clause
1. prohibits the establishment of a state religion

2. provides a wall of seperation between church and state

3. was furtheres by the Lemon v. Kurtzman decision of 1947
The Clear and Present Danger doctrine
enunciated by Oliver Wendell Holmes in Schenck v. US case, states that free speech cannot be restricted unless a close connection exists between a speech and an illegal action
T or F? The Supreme Court has ruled that tax funds may be used for teacher salaries and instructional materials in religious schools.
The power of governments to regulate speech involves what three aspects?
beliefs, speech, and action
Sunshine Laws
Many states including Texxas have passed these laws that require most public agencies to open their mettings to the public and the press
Why was Gitlow v. New York a revolutionary decision?
Because it protected freedom of speech and the press from abridgment by state and local governments
T or F? The 1st amendment prevents the FCC from refusing to renew a radio licenseif, in the opinion of the FCC, a broadcaster has not served the public interest.
The Freedom of Information Act
This act makes government information available to the press and to the public
Why did the Federal Communications Commission (fcc) adopt the "fairness doctrine"?
to cover publicly significant issues and reflect differing viewpoints
Public property used for political assembly, such as deignated rooms in a city hall or public library or after-hours use of school buildings, may be designted as what?
Limited Public Forum
The term "equality" includes what? (3)
1. equality between groups
2. equality of starting conditions
3. equaliy of results
What is Judicial Review?
The constitution implies, but does not specifically state, that the Supreme Court has the power to declare laes unconstitutional, both those enacted by Congress and by the states. This principle, Judical review, was firmly established in the case of MArbury V. Madison.
Who said "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition"?
James Madison
Anti-Federalists such as Patrick Henry tended to be from where?
backcountry regions
Categorical Grants
funds appropriated for specific purposes such as school lunch programs or building airports; these funds are allocated by formula and subject to detailed federal conditions.

Federal funds available to states and localities earmarked for a specific purpose.
New Federalism
The return of taxes and management responsibilities to the states in the form of block grants, revenue sharing, and seperating out functions performed by state and national governments since the presidency of Nixon is called new federalism. its key component was special revenue sharing, under which tax money was returned to the states and cities. They could decide which of their programs neededn an infusion of federal dollars. In addition, categorical grants were combined into block grants.

Nixon's approach to federalism was not completely consistent. His administration saw the creation of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and passage od the Clean Air Act, bith of which imposed additioanal federal mandates on state and local govts. Even though revenue-sharing funds were largely unresricted, accepting the money meant following the same federal requirements that applied to block grants.
Where has the central core of the economic power structure in most Texas cities traditionally resided in?
major banks in each city
Name three "obnoxious acts" of the Radical Republicans in Texas after the Civil War.
1. denial of the civil liberties of citizens
2. misuse of executive power
3. political and economic corruption
What was the Texas Consitution written in 1875 designed to do?
limit the authority of the state government by having many elective executive offivials at the state and county levels.
Name three businees in which Texas has been successful in its bidding for.
1. MCC
2. Sematech
3. Lockheed MArtin
Compared to most American, Texas expect the government to _______.
leave individuals alone
Descirbe the distribution of income earned from agricultural slaes in Texas.
It goes mostly to the owners of large tracts of land
Describe in one statement the early days of texas.
Texas developed through violent conflict and harsh physical struggle
Complete: Population trends in Texas....
show more growth from births than from foreign migration
In what amendment did Congress alter the normal process of allowing the seven-year time limit of Marbury V. Madison?
the 27th amendment
Compete: The British system concentrates power and control in the House of ________.
The States' Rights or Decentralist Interpretation of the Constitution conflicts with what concepts?
The broad construction of the Necessary and Proper Clause of Article I, Section 8, that gives power to the national government

The Necessary and Proper clause says that Congress can make laws to carry out its enumerated powers.
Who was the Chief Justcice of the US Supreme Court at the time of Marbury V. Madison?
John Marshall
What court case established the practice of Judicial review?
Marbury V. Madison
In 1930-1954 African Amereicans tended to use the federal court system rather than the political system. WHy?
They lacked sufficient political power to make their demands effective before either state legislatures or Congress
Tamar Jacoby believes that affirmative action is ineffective. What are his reasonings?
1. It highlights our differences rather than out similarities

2. it institutionalizes racial differences

3. it supports peaceful co-existence
Which president signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
Which Amendment allowed women the right to vote?
the 19th in 1920
Which state was the first to allow qualified women the right to vote?
The national supremecy clause is found in which article? What is the National Supremacy Clause?
Article VI; The Constitution, the laws of the US, and the treaties entered into by the US are the supreme law of the land. This is known as the supremacy clause.
Of all forms of governmental interference with expression, judges are most suspicious of those that impose what?
prior restraint on published material

prior restraint = when government censors a message before it is communicated, rather than punishing it afterward
Name the three largest subgroups of Hispanics in the US.
1. Mexican Americans
2. Puerto Ricans
3. Cubans
New Jersey Plan
Moderate departure from the Articles of Confed. proposed as a response to the Virgina Plan; favored by smaller states.

William Patterson presented a series of resolutions known as the New Jersey Plan. Paterson did not question the need for a strengthened central government, but he was concerned about how this strength might be used. The New Jersey Plan would give Congress the right to tax and regulate commerce and to coerce states, yet it would retain the single-house legislature in which each state, regardless of size, would have the same vote. The New Jersey Plan contained the germ of what eventually came to be a key provision of our Constitution: the supremacy clause.

The Supremacy Clause = constitutional provision declaring national law to be supreme across the US
The Connecticut Compromise (AKA The Great Compromise)
The New Jersey PLan was rejected, but the apportionment of representation in Congress continued to divide the Convention. The large states wanted proportional representation (by pop.) and the small states demanded equal representation (one state, one vote). The Great Compromise (AKA The Connecticut Compromise) provided that seats in the House of Reps would be apportioned according to the population of each state, with members elected directly by the people. In the Senate, each state would have two senators, coting independenty. chosen by their legislators.
The Virgina Plan
Supported by the large states, this plan consisted of 15 resolutions. The plan called for a strong central governmnet with a legislature composed of two chambers. Representation in both houses would be on the basis of either wealth or numbers, which would give the more populous and wealthier states - Mass., Penn., and Virginia - a majority in the naitonal legislature. It also called for a national executive with extensive jurisdiction who would be chosen by the legislature. The national Supreme Court, along with the executive (president), was to have a qualified veto over acts of Congress.
The supreme court applied the bill of rights to state decisions through a process known as ______?
selective incorporation = the process of applying the bill of rights to the states selectively, based upon a judicial judgement of which rights are fundamental.
Slavery was abolished and African Americans were originally granted equal rights by what 3 amendments?
13th, 14th, and 15th
What 2 things happened after California adopted Proposition 187 in 1994. (Proposition 187 denies medical, educational, and social services to illegal immigrants)
1. Many immigrants rushed to get naturalized
2. One million more Hispanics voted in 1996 than in 1992, with big increases in California and Texas
T or F? The Civil rights Commission (aka Kerner Commission) found in 1968 that Asian Americans do NOT face widespread discrimination.
False, they do
What is the Strict Scrutiny Test?
When it is believed that a law treats people differently because of their race, national origin, or religion, the courts treat the case under the strict scrutiny test.

When federal courts will permit a law only if it implements a "compelling government interest"; usually applied in cases involving race or religion.
What is an example of a quasi-suspect class that requires heightened scrutiny by the courts?
In what case did the supreme court reverse its 1896 Plessy V. Ferguson decision?
Brown V. The Board of Education of Topeka
What is De facto Segregation?
Racial seperation that comes about as a result of private social practices. (as opposed to racial seperation enforced by law = de jure segregation)
What was concluded in Hopwood V. Texas?
In 1996, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded in Hopwood V. Texas that using race as a factor in admitting astudents to college violated the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment
What did the Supreme Court do in Richmond V. Croson (1989)?
The Supreme Court struck down the city's plan to require non-minority contractors to subcontract at least 30% of their work to minority businesses.
According to the Texas textbook what does the author say is the last frontier of the civil rights crusade, the area in which progress is slowest and genuine change is most remote?
What is the most common form of home rule government in Texas, as well as in the American South.
What type of local government implements general state policies?
county governments
What method is used in electing local officals in Texas cities?
most cities elect their officials on an at-large basis.
Name three features of local governments that reduced widespread mass participation in politics.
1, at-large elections
2. amateurism
3. non-partisan elections
Candidates for local office in Texasm especially cities and school districts, most often run under the _______ party or group label?
Nonpartisan = candidates do not run for local office under the banner of nay political party.
What do home rule cities in Texas have the power to do?
choose their own structure of government

a home rule city = voters in cities with more than 5,000 people have the right to choose their structure of govenment; these municipalities are called home rule cities.
What did the court decide in Plessy V. Ferguson?
IN the Plessy decision, the Supreme Court endorsed the view that governmentally imposed racial segregation in public transportation, and presumably in public education, did not necessarily constitute discrimination if "equal" accomodations were provided for the members. "seperate by equal," basically
What is the Equal Protection Clause?
The equal protection clause is found in the 14th amendment. It declares no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
What is the Due Process Clause?
This is found in the 5th Amendment. The Due Process Clause states that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law." This has been interpreted to impose the same restraints on the national government as the equal protection clause imposes on the states
What three tests does the Supreme Court use to determine bewteen constitutional and unconstitutional classifications?
1. the traditional RATIONAL BASIS test for most laws
2. the HEIGHTENED SCRUTINY test, a middle-tier test
3. the most stringent test of all, a STRICT SCRUTINY test for laws dealing with suspect classes and fundamental rights
This is the traditional test that the supreme court uses to determine whether a law complies with the equal protectionn requirement places the burden of proof on those attacking the law.
a suspect class is a class of people deliberately subjected to unequal treatment in the past, or relegateed by society to a position of such political powerlessness as to require extraordinary judicial protection. Classifications based on race or national origin are always suspect.
What is Quasi-Suspect and Heightened Scrutiny?
The heightened scrutiny test applies to what the court has called "quasi suspect" classes. To sustain a law under this test, the burden is on the government to show that its classification serves "important governmental objectives" and is substantialluy related to these objectives. Classifications based on gender are always subject to heightened scrutiny.
What did the court rule in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka?
in this case the court finally reversed the PLessy doctrine as it applied to public schools by holding that "seperate but equal" is a contradiction in terms. Segregation is iteself discrimination.
What is The Commerce Clause?
It gives Congress the power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce - to justify almost any action that Congress might want to take against discriminatory conduct by individuals. Congress also has used its power to tax and spend to prevent not only racial discrimination but aso discrimination based on origin, sec, disability and age.
What does Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 do?
Title II: Places of Public Accomodation. Title ii makes it a federal offense to discriminate against any customer or patron in a place of public accomodation because of race, color, religion, or national origin.
What happened in the Hopwood vs. Texas case?
the court of appeals for the 5th circuit set aside the UT law school's affirmative action plan for admission of students. It appeared to the judges that the decision in the Bakke case no longer had the support of the Supreme Court and that the use of race as ine factor in the admission process violated the equal protection clause. UT then modified its plan and petitioned the supreme court to review the court of appeals decision. On the last day of the 19995 - 96 term, the Supreme Court announced that it would not do so.
What does LIBEL mean?
libel is written defamation.
What is the Smith Act of 1940?
another attempt to limit criticism of the government. this act forbids advoocating overthrow of the government, distributing material teaching or advising the overthrow of the government by vioolence and organizing any groups having such purposes. In 1950 the spreme court agreed that the smith act of 1950 could be applied to the leaders of the communist party who had been charged with conspiring to advocate the ciolent overthrow of the government.