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POLS 1101 Study Guide - Spring 2019, Comprehensive Final Exam Notes - United States Senate, United States Constitution, Supreme Court Of The United States


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLS 1101
Professor
Larry Buster Stewart 
Study Guide
Final

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POLS 1101

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Chapter 1: What are government and what do they do?
Government is a set of institutions that endures over time and that, in relation to the people of a
particular territory, authoritatively makes and enforces laws.
Government of the State of Georgia made up of a set of institutions:
Legislature: Senate and House of representatives
Executive Branch: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and dozens of bureaucratic agencies.
Judicial Branch (aka: courts): Supreme Court of Georgia and many lower courts
The GA state Capitol is the home of both house of the GA general assembly and the office of the
lieutenant governor.
Federal (aka: National or Central) Government of the Unites States of America:
Legislature (aka Congress): Senate and House of Representatives
Executive Branch: President and Vice President and hundreds of bureaucratic agencies
Judicial Branch: Supreme Court of the United States and many lower federal courts.
Those institutions existed since 1788
1.2 Territoriality
The government of GA has authority over people who reside, travel or do business within the
physical geographic borders, however, it does not have authority over those who reside elsewhere and
of not physically enter or do business within the physical territory of the State of GA.
Federalism means authority is partly divided and partly shared between the federal government and
the 50 states governments.
The federal government has exclusive authority throughout the US.
Each state government has exclusive authority over its own territory
Both the federal government and state government has exclusive authority
1.3 Authoritatively Making and Enforcing Laws
American government claims legitimate authority over the American people based on the theory that
the people are actually the highest authority in the land and that they consent to be governed
according to the terms and principles of the Constitution
Laws/rules can require action, prohibit actions, or permit actions.
Legislature make law
Congress/ The GA General Assembly or Atlanta City Council passes laws
Laws made by congress or state legislatures are called “statutes”
While made by city is called “ordinances”
Statutes and ordinance written and organized in official compilations called “codes”
Statutes passed by congress = “United States Code”
Statutes passed by GA General Assembly = “Code of GA
Laws passed by Atlanta City Council = “Atlanta Code of Ordinances”
Government in the United States seeks to perform these law enforcement functions through two
separate sets of institutions:
Executive Branch initiates actions and is able to use physical force,
Judicial Branch makes authoritative judgments
Separation of Powers
legislative branch focuses on making laws, while the executive and judicial
branches are concerned with the implementation or enforcement of law.
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Agencies are a part of the executive branch, which naturally leads one to think their
exclusive focus is on implementing or enforcing the law.
They also make rules called “Regulations”
1.4 Government as Sovereign
Government: Sovereignty - To be the highest authority to rule over a given territory.
No person, group or organization either within its territory or outside its territory
has authority over it.
The ability to legitimately use physical force is what most distinguishes governments
from other human organizations that exercise power over us: other organizations
such as families, private schools, religious organizations, and business
corporationsare like governments in that they also seek to exercisepower over us
by affecting our hearts and minds and/or by using money as positive or negative
incentives.
“Public goods” are goods that are “non-excludable,” which means once they are
provided for a group, no one in the group can be excluded from enjoying them.
The non-excludability of public goods creates “collective action problems” because
of the temptation to “free-ride.”
One reason governments exercise power over people is to help them overcome
collective action problems; that is, to lead them to contribute toward (rather than free-
ride on) the provision of public goods.
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