US/AZ Government Unit 1 Study Guide

Characteristics of a Modern State
Population, Territory, Sovereignty, Government

Theories of the Origin of the State
Population: clearly, a state must have people – a population. The size of that population, however, has nothing to do with the existence of a state.

Territory: just as a state cannot exist without people, so it must have land – territory, with known and recognized boundaries. The state’s in today’s world vary as widely in terms of territory as they do in population.

Sovereignty: it has supreme and absolute power within its own territory and can decide its own foreign and domestic policies. It is neither subordinate nor responsible to any other authority. Thus, as a sovereign state, the U.S. can determine its form of government. Like any other state in the world, it can frame its economic system and shape its own foreign policies.

Government: every state has a government. Recall, a government is the institution through which society makes and enforces its public policies. A government is the agency through which the state exerts its will and works to accomplish its goals. Government includes the machinery and the personnel by which the state is ruled.

Duties of Government
Governments around the world hold their citizens responsible for many things, such as paying taxes, serving in the military or at least cooperating with the law. But most people expect something in return, and the law itself often assigns duties and responsibilities to them. Citizens who understand these duties are in the best position to hold their governments accountable.

Forms of Government
Monarchy: state ruled over by a single person, as a king or queen: succession usually hereditary

Oligarchy: a system of government in which a small group holds power

Aristocracy: A government in which power is in the hands of a hereditary ruling class or nobility.

Democracy: Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representative

Tyranny: government based on absolute power or cruelty

Principles of American Democracy
Worth of individual, Rule of Law, Majority rule, Minority rights; Compromise, Citizen Participation

English Foundations of American Rights
Magna Carta
Petition of Right (1628)
English Bill of Rights (1689)
Charter colony
Royal colonies
Proprietary colonies
First Constitutional Congress
Second Continental Congress
Lexington and Concord
Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
Constitutional Convention of 1787
Virginia Plan
New Jersey Plan
Connecticut Compromise

Coming of Independence
1754 Albany plan
1754-1763 french and indian war
1760 George III was throned
1765 stamp act
1765 stamp act repealed
1770 boston massacre
1772 committees of correspondence
Dec 16 1773 Boston tea party
1774 intolerable acts
Sept. 5 1774- oct. 26 1774 1st continental congress
Apr. 19 1775 revolutionary war starts
May 10 1775 second continental congress
Jan 1776 New Hampshire adopted a written constitution
July 1776 Declaration of independence written
1776-1777 most states adopt a written constitution
Mar. 1 1781 articles of confederation written
oct.1781 revolutionary war- fighting ends
1783 treaty of paris signed
may- sept. 1787 constitution written
sept. 17 1787 constitution signed
1789 constitution goes into effect

Creating the Constitution: Federalists v. Anti-Federalists
Federalists: wanted a stronger national government and who favored ratification of the constitution.

Anti-Federalists: were opposed to the development of a strong national government and who opposed ratification of the constitution preferring that power remain in the hands of state and local governments.

Articles of the Constitution
Legislative Department, Executive Department, Judicial Department, Relations Among States, Provisions for Amendment, National Debts, Supremacy of National Law, Oath; Ratification of Constitution

Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments to the constitution

Clearly, a state must have people

Just as a state cannot exist without people, so is must have land, with known and recognized boundaries.

The institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies

Having supreme power within its own territory; neither subordinate nor responsible to any other authority.

A centralized government in which all government powers belong to a single, central agency

A joining of several groups for a common purpose.

A form of government in which powers are divided between a central government and several local governments.

A form of government in which a single person holds unlimited political power.

A form of government in which the power to rule is held by a small, usually self-appointed elite

A form of government in which the supreme authority rests with the people.

Rule by Law
Concept that holds that government and it’s officers are always subject to the law.

Magma Carta
Great Charter forced upon King John of England by his barons in 1215; established that the power of the monarchy was not absolute and guaranteed trial by jury and due process of law to the nobility.

English Bill of Rights
Document written by Parliament and agreed on by William and Mary of England in 1689, designed to prevent abuse of power by English monarchs; forms the basis for much in American government and politics today.

French and Indian War
A series of military engagements between Britain and France in North America between 1754 and 1763. The war was the American phase of the Seven Years’ War, which was then underway in Europe. In a battle between British and French forces near Quebec City in Canada, the British gained control of all of Canada.

Stamp Act
1765: That law required the use of tax stamps on all legal documents, on certain business agreements, and on newspapers.

Boston Tea Party
December 16, 1773: a group of men, disguised as Native Americans, boarded three tea ships in Boston harbor and dumped the cargo into the sea to protest British control of the tea trade.

Intolerable Acts
Spring of 1774: prompted widespread calls for a meeting of all the colonies.

Declaration of Independence
On July 2, the final break came. The delegates agreed to Lee’s resolution – but only after spirited debate, for many of the delegates has serious doubts about the wisdom of a complete separation from England. Two days later, on July 4, 1776, they adopted the declaration, proclaiming the existence of the new nation.

Principles of the Constitution
Popular sovereignty: tule by the people. Comes from preamble.

Republicanism: a form of government in which people elect representatives to create and enforce laws.

Federalism: division of power between the national and state governments.

Separation of powers: dividing the powers of government among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

Checks and balances: a system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power.

Limited government: groups/individuals cannot bypass the law to serve their own interests.

Individual rights: people have the right to peacefully ask the gov’t to change a problem or to make a new law.

Amendment Process (formal)
An amendment may be proposed in one of two ways: by a two-thirds in each house of Congress, or by a national convention called by Congress at the request of two-thirds of the State legislatures. A proposed amendment may be ratified in one of two ways: by three-fourths of the State legislatures, or by three-fourths of the States in conventions called for that purpose. Congress has the power to determine the method by which a proposed amendment may be ratified. This process cannot be used to deny any State its equal representation in the United States Senate.

Informal Amendments
Process by which over time many changes have been made in the Constitution which have not involved any charges in its written words.

Division of Powers
Basic principle of federalism; the constitutional provisions by which governmental powers are divided on a geographic basis (in the United States, between the National Government and the States).

Duties of Federal Government
Make Laws, National Economy, National Security, Foreign Policy

Admitting New States
Only Congress has the power to admit new States to the Union. As part of the National Government’s guarantee of respect for each State’s territorial integrity, the Constitution places only one restriction on that power. A new State cannot be created by taking territory from one or more of the existing States without the consent of the legislature(s) of the State(s) involved.

State Responsibilities
Before finally admitting a new State, Congress has often set certain conditions. Each State enters the Union on an equal footing with each of the other States. Thus, although Congress can set certain conditions like those just described, it cannot impose conditions of a political nature on the States. But the Court also held that the conditions cannot be enforced when they compromise the independence of a State to manage its own internal affairs.

Commerce Clause
Gives Congress the power to regulate both foreign and interstate trade. Much of what Congress does, it does on the basis of its power.

Judicial review
The power of a court to determine the constitutionality of a governmental action.

A system of government in which a written constitution divides power between a central, or national, government and several regional governments

Delegated powers
Those powers, expressed, implied, or inherent, granted to the National Government by the Constitution

Expressed powers
Those delegated powers of the National Government that are spelled out, expressly, in the Constitution; also called the “enumerated powers.”

Implied powers
Those delegated powers of the National Government that are suggested by the expressed powers set out in the Constitution; those “necessary and proper” to carry out the expressed power

Elastic clause
(Necessary and Proper Clause) because, over time, it has been stretched to cover so many situations.

McCulloch vs. Maryland
(1819) Called the “Bank of the United States” case. A Maryland law required federally chartered banks to use only a special paper to print paper money, which amounted to a tax. James McCulloch, the cashier of the Baltimore branch of the bank, refused to use the paper, claiming that States could not tax the Federal Government. The Court declared the Maryland law unconstitutional, commenting “… the power to tax implies the power to destroy.”

Bill of Attainder
A legislative act that inflicts punishment without a court trial.

Writ of Habeas Corpus
A court order which prevents unjust arrests and imprisionments.

Ex post facto
A law that retroactively changes the legal consequences (or status) of actions that were committed, or relationships that existed, before the enactment of the law.

Inherent powers
Powers the Constitution is presumed to have delegated to the National Government because it is the government of a sovereign state within the world community.

Supremacy Clause
It has been called the “linchpin of the Constitution” because it joins the National Government and the States into a single governmental unit, a federal government. In other words, it holds together the complex structure that is the American federal system.

The number of representatives each State is entitled to is based on its population, which is counted every 10 years in the census. Congress reap portions the seats among the States after each census. In the Reapportion Act of 1929, Congress fixed the permanent size of the House at 435 members with each State having at least one representative. Today there is one House seat for approximately every 650,000 persons in the population.

Gibbons vs. Ogden
(1824) This decision involved a careful examination of the power of Congress to “regulate interstate commerce.” Aaron Ogden’s exclusive New York ferry license gave him the right to operate steamboats to and from New York. He said that Thomas Gibbon’s federal “coasting license” did not include “landing rights” in New York City. The Court invalidated the New York licensing regulations, holding that federal regulations should take precedence under the Supremacy Clause. The decision strengthened the power of the United States to regulate any interstate business relationship. Federal regulation of the broadcasting industry, oil pipelines, and banking are all based on Gibbons.

Civil Rights Act of 1964
A federal law that authorized federal action against segregation in public accommodations, public facilities, and employment. The law was passed during a period of great strength for the civil right movement, and President Lyndon Johnson persuaded many reluctant member of Congress to support the law.

Grants of federal money or other resources to States, cities, countries, and other local units.

Categorical grant
One type of federal grant-in-aid; made for some specific, closely defined, purpose

Block grant
One type of federal grant-in-aid for some particular but broadly defined area of public policy

Revenue sharing
Form of federal monetary aid under which Congress gave a share of federal tax revenue, with virtually no restrictions, to the States, cities, countries, and townships.

Tagged In :

Get help with your homework

Haven't found the Essay You Want? Get your custom essay sample For Only $13.90/page

Sarah from studyhippoHi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out