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Exam 1 Study Guide (Political Science)

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divided government
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pits a president against an opposition party that controls one or both chambers of congress. A kind of 0-sum game often follows, as each side profits from the other sides failure.
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Results of the 2010 Midterm election
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House of representatives became Republican while the senate remained democrat.
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Power
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an office holder’s actual influence with the other office holders and as a consequence over the government’s actions.
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Authority
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the acknowledged right to make a particular decision. Right to exercise power.
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Government
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consists of these institutions and the legally prescribed process for making and enforcing collective agreements.
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Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan
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treatise on the origin and purposes of government, this examined the straights to which society is reduced when its government is unable to enforce collective obligations and agreements. Concerns with the structure of society and legitimate government and is regarded as one of the earliest and most influential examples of social contract theory.(People questioned the origin of society and legitimacy of authority of the state over the individual).
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Veto
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requires that both chambers must agree to same legislation before it can be sent to the president
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2/3 vote in each chamber of congress.
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the house of rep. and senate can enact a vetoed bill without the presidents endorsement.
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Direct democracy
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in which citizens participate directly in collective decision making is reserved primarily for small communities and organizations. For example, governors and mayors.
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referendum
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Another approach to direct democracy that is adapted to a large electorate; nearly half the state allow the legislature to propose a change to the state’s laws or constitution, which all the voters subsequently vote on. Almost half the states in the US have these – there is no provision for this at the national government level.
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Republic (representative democracy)
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form of government designed to allow some degree of popular control and also avoid tyranny.
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Comparison of US and British Systems
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Refer to p. 35 British parliamentary system is much more complicated; the voters do not directly vote for their prime minister.
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Public Good
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Items or services that benefit all, but can’t be provided by private actors. (For example, light houses, courts, and police forces).
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Battle of Camden
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The Battle of Camden was fought on August 16, 1780, in South Carolina. It was one of the major American defeats of the Revolutionary War. Brigadier General Horatio Gates, the hero of Saratoga, was mauled by British forces under General Cornwallis. Many military historians fault the conduct of the untrained American militiamen in the face of professional British forces.
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Philadelphia Convention 1781
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A delegate from each state was to meet in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation. All 12 were to show up in order for the changes to go into effect, but Rhode island never came (they feared their small would lose influence). Resulted in a brand new writing of the constitution that we know of today.
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Articles of Confederation
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they drafted and sent to the new state’s ratification the nation’s first constitution, although not ratified until 1781 they served as the nation’s de facto constitution during the intervening war years.
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Shay’s Rebellion 1786
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Is the name given to a series of protests in 1786 and 1787 by american farmers against state and local enforcement of tax collections and judgements for debt. Farmers could not pay back their debt and did not own their own property, therefore enough was enough and they took matters into their own hands.
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Popular sovereignty
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A belief that ultimate power resides in the people.
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John Locke’s influence on the Declaration of Independence
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Popular Sovereignty influenced individual rights in the constitution with limited scope of government authority and limited government.
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Montesquieu
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Came up with limited government: legislative, executive, and judicial. Separation of Powers.
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The Great compromise
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Not everyone could agree on the Virginia plan and the new jersey plan; thus the great compromise was formed. This was a two chamber legislature with the lower chamber (house of representatives) representation based on population, and the upper chamber (senate) representation equal for every state Authority to levy taxed reserved to the lower chamber. Here, the delegates found that the only workable formula for agreement between the nationalists and the state’s rights advocates was to give both sides what they wanted.
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James Madison
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Father of the Constitution
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The commerce clause
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greatly expanded the new congress and in turn the national government’s – sphere of action.
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Necessary and Proper Clause
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The last clause of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. This clause grants Congress the authority to make all laws that are “necessary and proper” and to execute those laws.
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Checks and Balances chart
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See page 62 in the text book. Executive branch: Checks Judicial branch by nominating Supreme Court and other federal judges. Checks the Legislative branch by vetoing legislation. Judicial Branch (Supreme court): Checks the Executive branch because they can declare laws unconstitutional. Checks Legislative branch by declaring laws unconstitutional. Legislative Branch: checks Executive because Congress passes legislation, controls the federal budget, can override a presidential veto, and can impeach and remove the president. The Senate confirms top executive branch appointments and ratifies treaties. Checks the judicial branch by impeaching federal judges, set the size of the supreme court and the jurisdiction of lower courts, and determine judicial salaries and budgets. The senate confirms all federal judges.
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Electoral College
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the body of electors in each state chosen by voters who formally elect the president and vice president of the united states. Each states number of electoral votes equals its representation in congress. The district of Columbia has three votes. The absolute majority of the electoral vote is required to elect the president and the vice president. Number of senators plus number of representatives equals number of votes in electoral college. 538 total electoral vote GA has 16 CA has 53 Each state has same number of electoral votes as seats in congress.
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Judiciary Act 1789
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The convention split the difference over appointments by giving the president appointment powers and the senate confirmation powers. They left it to some future congress to decide whether the national needed its own lower level judiciary. The first congress exercised this option almost immediately creating a lower federal court system.
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Amending the Constitution
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Antifederalists
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Wanted state’s rights. Argued only local democracy could approach true democracy. The kind found in small homogenous communities. Wanted local government. Had political dissent against the constitution. Wanted Bill of Rights. Patrick Henry Richard Henry Lee George Madison James Monroe (Later became president) Samuel Adams (Boston’s Revolutionary war hero) George Clinton (New York Governor)
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Political Dissent
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refers to any expression designed to convey dissatisfaction with or opposition to the policies of a governing body. Such expression may take forms from vocal disagreement to civil disobedience to the use of violence. For example, Antifederalists and their opposition to a federal government.
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Bill of Rights
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1 Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. 2 Right to keep and bear arms in order to maintain a well regulated militia. 3 No quartering of soldiers. 4 Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. 5 Right to due process of law, freedom from self-incrimination, double jeopardy. 6 Rights of accused persons, e.g., right to a speedy and public trial. 7 Right of trial by jury in civil cases. 8 Freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishments. 9 Other rights of the people. 10 Powers reserved to the states.
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District of Columbia v Heller (2008) and McDonald v Chicago (2010)
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The Court in Heller held that the right to keep and bear arms in the Second Amendment is an individual rights not limited to service in a militia, and struck down Washington DCs absolute ban of handguns. In McDonald, the Court held (through the doctrine of incorporation) that state and local governments were bound by the Second Amendment’s restrictions, and therefore struck down a law in Chicago banning handguns. Both decisions were seen as major defeat for gun control advocates.
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Bicameralism
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Having two branches or chambers. intended to weaken the legislature’s capacity to capacity to act too quickly and impulsively, but even so it may not prevent the legislature from encroaching on the other branches.
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Unitary System
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Authority is centralized with state and local governments administering authority delegated from central government. Examples: United Kingdom, France, and Japan
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Federation
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Authority is divided between central and state or local governments. Examples: Canada, United States under the constitution
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Confederation
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Authority held by independent states states and delegate to central government by consensus agreements. Example: United States under the Articles of Confederation
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Duel Federalism
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A system of government in which the federal government and state governments each have mutually exclusive spheres of action. Layer cake.
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Shared (cooperative) federalism
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A system in which the national and state governments share in providing citizens with a set of goods. Marble cake.
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17th amendment ratification
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Transforming the Senate through direct election (1913). Mandated direct, popular election of senators.
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The Supremacy Clause
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a clause in Article VI of the constitution declaring that national laws are the supreme law of the land and therefore take presidents over any laws adopted by states’ laws or localities.
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Enumerated Powers
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Stated in Article 1, Section 8 Money powers (power to borrow, tax through tariffs and excise tax, power to spend, to coin money and establish the value of money and set standards for weighs and measures) War powers ( provide for the common defense, declaration of War, Raise armies, build natives, to provide for the maintenance and arming, and training of the Militia, to provide for the calling of the militas