American Politics COMPLETE NOTES [Part 7] - I got a 4.0 in the course!

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Political Science
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February 3, 2014: Sample Midterm Questions: 1. List and describe three of the four centrals problems associated with the Articles of Confederation. 2. List and describe Locke’s theory of the social contract. 3. While much has been made of the differences between the Founders, list and describe two of the three similarities. I. Constitution ● How were key conflicts resolved? ● What are the key characteristics of the Cons and how were they achieved? ○ Focus - 4 C’s of politics (Conflict, competition, cooperation, and compromise) ○ Is Constitution a democratic document?? ■ Democracy: opportunity to participate is widely available ■ It does not say who can and cannot participate ■ Not an example of direct democracy, group of select people formed it ■ “Subject to change” by small group of officials elected by democracy II. Constitutional Compromises ● Representation - Congress ○ Virginia Plan ■ Supports separation of powers within gov’t system ■ Separation of powers ■ Congressional Representation ■ Based on population ■ Large states loved this (Mass, NY, Virginia) ● Maximized their ability to wield power ■ Expanded Federal Governmental Powers ■ Federal gov’t could have a say on issues that could disrupt “harmony of the US” ■ Negate “all laws passed by several states” ■ Use forced to ensure compliance ○ New Jersey Plan (Similar to Articles Confederation but w. more federal power) ■ Unicameral Legislature ● One vote per state ■ Limited National Government ● Levy taxes ● Compel states to pay taxes ● Regulate interstate and foreign commerce ○ Connecticut Compromise ■ Bi-cameral legislature ■ House = representation based on population ■ Senate = equal representation ● Elected by state legislatures ○ Representation: Electoral College ■ Two plans ● National Popular Vote (favored by large states) ● Senate Selection (favored by small states) ■ Electoral College ● System in which individuals select the president ● Chosen by state to cast direct vote ● Electors = number of reps and senators (Today: Massachusetts has 9 members of the house and 2 senators so we have 11 electoral votes) ● Winner take all basis ● Problems?? ○ If a democracy is a system of gov’t where opportunity is available to everyone equally, electoral vote system CONTRADICTS this ○ Takes away equality between states ○ Cali vs. Alaska ○ 55 electoral votes vs. 3 electoral votes ○ 52X the people in Cali but only 18X the electoral votes ○ 685K per electoral vote in Cali ○ 240K per electoral vote in Alaska ○ Vote value is unequal ○ So..why don’t we go to “one person, one vote”? ○ Electoral vote forces candidates to c
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