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Unit 2 Study Guide: American Government

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What is a faction?
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A number of citizens, whether a majority or minority, with similar interests
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Differences between a presidential veto and a pocket veto.
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Presidential veto prevents the law from becoming a law with his signature and a pocket veto is when congress has adjourned.
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Four ways Congress blocks legislation.
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-committee or subcommittee does not report a bill -House rules committee does not grant a rule -Opponents of a piece of legislation try to talk it to “death” -Filibuster
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Methods of amendment proposals
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-National convention called by Congress at request of 2/3 of the state legislatures (least common) – Congress: may be proposed by a 2/3 vote in each house of Congress (most common)
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Methods of amendment ratification
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-Ratified by three fourths of the state legislatures (most common) – Ratified by conventions in three fourths of the states
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Criticisms of the amendment process
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-It’s too difficult to do -Constitutional change without clear cut expression by the people (you) – Easier ways to change the constitution making the amendment process comparatively inefficient
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Congress’, political parties’, and customs’ effects on informal constitutional changes
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Congress: -Congress can pass laws to clarify aspects of the constitution and has used this method to increase it’s own powers Political: -Political parties have changed the function of the electoral college (was: a way to ensure that voters acted responsibly ; now: serves as absolute stamp for each state’s popular state) Customs: -political customs have most affected the executive branch and presidential influence -“informal” changes to the constitution are frequent
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Grants-in-aid programs
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-Grants of federal money or other resources to state and local governments -Promote cooperative federalism (national government helps the states)
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Block grants
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-Made for more broadly designed purposes -Fewer strings attatched
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Project grants
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-Fund specific projects or the delivery of specific services for a fixed period of time
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Categorical grants
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-Made for specific, clearly defined purposes -Strings attached for state as determined by the federal government – Use federal money only for specific purpose involved
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Human nature and securities against concentrations of power
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Interstate compacts
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-States cannot enter into: treaties, alliances, confederations -States can enter into: interstate compacts, agreements among themselves with other states
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Extradition
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-Legal process by which a fugitive from justice in one state can be returned to that state (prevent a person from escaping justice by fleeing a state)
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Privileges and immunities clause
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-Constitution protects citizens who move between states -Buy, own, rent, sell property -State can deny: -A person’s voting rights until they live within a state for a predetermined period of time -“nonresident voting” – States must allow Americans to : travel uninhibited, become residents of new states
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Treaty vs. Executive agreement
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Treaty- a formally concluded and ratified agreement between countries Executive agreement- international agreement, usually regarding routine administrative matters not warranting a formal treaty, made by the executive branch of the US government without ratification by the Senate
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Obligation of the national government to the states with internal disorder
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National government must: -protect each state against invasion ; therefore, there is also a guaranteed protection against internal disorder ; when does the federal government step in (rarely) ; request from governor or legislature
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Reserved Powers
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-Powers the constitution does not grant to the national government, but also does not deny to the states -Most of what government gets done in this country is done by the states
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Three powers of government
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Enumerated powers – Powers granted to the national government Implied powers – Not directly stated in the constitution Inherent powers – Powers that belong to the national government because it is a government of a sovereign state.