PSC 100 Lecture 1: Module 1 Notes (FULL) - PSC 100

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24 May 2016
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Module 1
Lesson 1
What are the three systems of government? Provide an example of each.
Federal, confederation, unitary
Unitary – most common, EX. France, Britian. the power is centralized in
a national government. Regional governments (states) get their authority from the
central government (national)
……………….national -> regional -> citizens
Confederation – EX. USA under the Articles of Confederation. Regional
governments (aka the states) have retain their autonomy. The central government
is a creation of all these states. ……………….State ->
national government <-state
| |
citizens citizens
Federal System – EX. United States under the Constitution. Sovereignty
is divided in the state and national governments. Sovereignty retained by both.
USA is the first time this is tried, and it was tried because the other ones didn’t
work. Both national and region have authority over the citizen.
……… State -> national government <-state
| / \ /
citizens citizens
How is sovereignty defined? The ultimate governing authority of a particular
geographic area
What is the nature of power in each of the three systems? See above drawings.
Which type of system does the U.S. government currently use? federalism
Lesson 2
Why did the U.S. establish a federal system of government under the
Constitution? As a practical response to the early problems of forming a
government, political compromise, they didn’t want to be like the British (unitary)
or too powerful for the states and failing under its previous system
(confederation). Didn’t want to have anarchy.
What were the problems/weaknesses under the Articles of Confederation? Failed
due to a number of weaknesses, such as taxation (gov could request taxes to be
paid by states but states could opt out - could not support a national military),
commerce (the states retained authority over commerce, they could make their
own treaties and some states could give better trade deals to other nations like
France or Britian than to the state north or south of them & interstate commerce
was dictated by states), and currency (there was no national currency, each state
had their own and the value of money differed from state to state. Some of them
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would inflate or create more money if they run out, didn’t accept each other’s
Shay’s Rebellion - highlights the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation 1786,
captain in revolutionary army and farmer like the rebellers. Problem: farms were being
closed upon for the failure to pay loans and taxes, unfair because the national gov said if
they served in the war, they would not have this happen. CREATES Anarchy - Massc.
gov requests national army but national gov didn’t have money for it. Massc. had to pay
for a private army.
How is power divided between the national and state governments? National,
regional, and concurrent powers.
What are some specific powers of the national government and what is the
Constitutional basis for these powers? U.S. Constitution provides for federal
system, however Article 1, Section 8 is the basis for limiting legislative power of
the national government
Specific powers: Raising & supporting national defense, currency,
interstate (2 or more states) commerce, foreign affairs
What is the Constitutional basis for state power? 10th amendment (Reserved
Powers amendment) protects state powers. States that all powers not delegated to
the national government or prohibited to the states are reserved to the states or to
the people. 11th amendment protects state power too
Specific powers: chartering of local governments (ex. City of LV,
County of Clark, similar to unitary system here), education (size of school
districts, curriculum etc.), registration and voting (whether they allow
felons to vote, early voting, types of voting machines), and intrastate
commerce (within one state)
What is the status of same-sex marriages as a result of the 2015 Obergefell v.
Hodges Supreme Court decision? Before same sex marriage was a state decision,
but it become a national government decision. Nevada banned it, but allowed
domestic partnerships, but in 2015 it was ruled to be protected US Constitutional
right due to 14th amendment due process clause and equal protection clause.
Why is the marijuana debate relevant as a debate concerning federalism? Since
California has legalization of medical weed, they are not arrested at state level,
but national officers can, but they don’t have that many officers. So that means
that the most crimes are controlled by state laws, and state laws/enforcement are
more closer to your life.
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What are concurrent powers? Provide examples. Overlapping powers such as EX.
law enforcement (metropolitian police department [state laws] and FBI [national
laws] , taxation, transportation (Amtrak railroad passenger system - national
government, local roads and highway - state gov)
Lesson 3
Why did early exploration of the land occur? Earliest settlers arrived as early as
12,000 years ago.
It happened via 1776 Spanish expedition lead by Father Francisco Garces
and two Indian guides crossed the southern tip of NV. Another Spanish
expedition happened in 1819
Area become transferred over to Mexico in 1822
When did the U.S. become active in exploration?
British (by Odgen) and U.S. parties (Jebidah Smith) explored in 1826. Fur
trapping and trading is why the area is explored and exploited.
Why was John Fremont important during this time?
He mapped and named many of the areas, such as Great Basin, Pyramid
Lake etc, created a map of the topgraphy (1843 - southern area, 1845 -
central Nevada)
What were the two key routes? Old Spanish Trail (S. nevada), Humboldt Trail
(n. nevada). Routes to get to cali
What was the first permanent settlement in Nevada?
FIRST PERM SETTLEMENT - Mormon station in 1850 became the
first trading post established, 1865 becomes perm, later becomes town of
Genoa. Brigham Young become first territorial governor.
What three events expedited settlement?
1.Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (ended the Mexican war giving
terrorities from Mexico to US)
2. Discovery of Gold (in Cali’s Sutter’s Fort in San Fran)
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