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Complete Midterm Review Sheet (studied from this and got a 95%!)

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Political Science
Anna Mahoney

American Government Midterm Review Sheet Political Theorists and Principles • American ideology: We think differently from other industrialized countries o The center ofAmerican politics distinctively favors limited government o “The nation’s ideology can be described in five words: liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism, and laissez-faire.” o Individualism and equality are important o Individualism is closely connected to the much-noticed tendency ofAmericans to prize liberty or freedom, that is, liberty or freedom for autonomous individuals (freedom from authoritarian restraint, the dictates of hierarchy, or governmental limits) o Suspicious of government, skeptical about the benefits of government authority, and impressed with the virtue of limiting government o We may look to voluntary institutions like churches or charities for solutions to problems that markets don’t solve, since we are suspicious of government authority o Social mobility is possible- the class structure is less rigid, people are less firmly born into their station in life, more occupational and geographical mobility in the US than in other countries o Equality of opportunity rather than equality of result (huge gap between rich and poor in the US)  We favor government programs to promote equality of opportunity, but not equality of result o Favor freedom over equality o Results of our ideology:  Separation of powers- checks and balances so no one faction could capture power and also so government action would be difficult  We like fragmentation and decentralization and we’re suspicious of aggregation or collectivization o We don’t like taxes, don’t raise taxes! Regulate instead of tax.  Individualism prompts Americans to object to taxation and to resist expensive government programs that are the norm in other industrialized countries o See many areas as private that citizens of other countries see as public o We like to sue o Criminalization of more activities than in other countries • Bicameralism: The division of Congress into two chambers- the Senate and the House of Representatives • Checks and Balances:A system under which each of the branches is given some power over the others • Civil liberties: The protections of citizens from improper governmental action • Civil rights: The legal or moral claims that citizens are entitled to make on the government • Comte de Montesquieu: French social commentator and political thinker who lived during theAge of Enlightenment; famous for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers • Equality of opportunity VS Equality of result: We favor equality of opportunity rather than equality of result. The overall poverty rate is enormous and there is a huge gap between the rich and poor, but government programs don’t do much about it compared to those of other nations- which means that we do not put much emphasis on equality of result. However, we support equality of opportunity because America is the “land of opportunity” where immigrants can come to work and everyone can rise up in class (there is social mobility for all) • Federalism: The system of government in which a constitution divides power between a central government and regional governments. The combination of separation of powers with federalism makes for an extraordinary fragmentation, an inability to coordinate, and makes it harder to mobilize government for action • John Locke: Successor to Hobbes; asserted the right to private property and the need for a government of laws and policies to protect that right. Jefferson used his ideas when writing the Declaration of Independence- certain rights or “unalienable rights”, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness could not be abridged by governments. Government should provide life, liberty, and property and also protect your life. Also influenced by his time- things have gotten better since Hobbes’time • Limited government: Agovernment whose powers are defined and limited by a constitution. We favor limited government! Our founding fathers made sure to limit government because we did not want to be like England where government plays a huge role.Americans tend to believe that the government could get in their way of being an individual and hinder their progress. The Constitution limits the government’power, in order to preserve the individual liberty of its citizens and the autonomy of the states • Path dependency theory: Agiven system starts down a path and, once started, cannot easily reverse course; initial conditions and early choices heavily affect the future course of events. It might be possible to reverse direction, but it will be very costly. Path dependence characterizes the political world! For example, now that we have had limited government for two centuries, it is highly unlikely that we will design a whole set of different institutions from scratch (P. 80) • Thomas Hobbes: Believed that there needs to be one very powerful ruler and a government would bring order to the people. The government needs to protect your life so we can enjoy our freedom. The government has to be powerful! Society without a publically enforced government, or anarchy, will be violent and life will be “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Lived during a violent time so that influenced his thinking and ideologies. Foundations of American Government • Articles of Confederation: The first written Constitution of the US; concerned primarily with limiting the powers of the central government. Revolutionary War was fought under this governmental framework. Was a failure and was replaced by the Constitution o No executive branch o Congress constituted the central government, but had little power o Execution of its laws was to be left to the individual states o Did not have an enforcement mechanism (no executive or judicial authority to enforce Congress’ will) o Each state, regardless of its size, only had a single vote o Amendments to the articles required the unanimous agreement of the 13 states o Congress could:  Declare war and make peace  Make treaties and alliances  Coin or borrow money  Regulate trade with NativeAmericans  Appoint the senior officers of the USArmy (but the army officer it appointed had no army to serve in because the nation’s arms forces were composed of state militias) o Congress could not:  Levy taxes or regulate commerce among the states o The central government could not prevent one state from discriminating against one another in the quest for foreign commerce (states could become allies with other nations and gang up on other states) o Each state was an independent nation-state and the states basically retained all governmental powers • Bill of Rights: Comprises the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. Defines the major civil liberties • Commerce clause: The clause found inArticle I, Section 8 of the Constitution, which delegates to Congress the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.” This clause was interpreted by the Supreme Court to favor national power over the economy • Due process: Proceeding according to law and with adequate protection for individual rights • Elastic clause:Astatement in the U.S. constitution (Article I, Section 8) granting Congress the power to pass all laws necessary and proper for carrying out the enumerated list of powers • Federalist-Antifederalist debate: Federalists say Section 9 is enough to protect individual liberty, but Antifederalists say it’s not.Article 1 Section 9 puts limits on Congress o Federalists favored a strong national government and supported the constitution proposed at the American Constitutional Convention of 1787. Wrote the Federalist papers. Were united in their support of the Constitution o Antifederalists favored strong state governments and a weak national government and were opponents of the constitution proposed at theAmerican Constitutional Convention of 1787. Thought state rights and individual rights needed to be protected more  Bill of Rights.Although they all opposed the Constitution, they were divided as to what they believed the alternative should be • Federalist papers: Essays that were written to convince the colonies to ratify the Constitution; really needed New York to ratify (therefore these 85 articles were in New York papers) because it was where all the money and commerce was. Defended the principles of the Constitution and sought to dispel the fears of a national authority. Written byAlexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay • FirstAmendment: Clarified Congress’turf; put limits on Congress. Congress is not to make any law establishing a religion or abridging the freedom of speech, press, assembly, or right to petition freedoms • “Implied Powers”: Powers derived from the necessary and proper clause (Article 1, Section 8) of the Constitution. Such powers are not specifically expressed but are implied through the expansive interpretation of delegated powers • TenthAmendment: Limits of the national government.All rights not enumerated are reserved to the states or the people. If it doesn’t say that a power belongs to the national government in the Constitution and the power is not prohibited from being a state’s power, the power belongs to the state • Fourteenth Amendment: States cannot violate the Bill of Rights. Establishes single citizenship; reduces state power and expands national power (before it used to be dual citizenship- citizen of US and citizen of your state) • Full faith and credit clause: Provides that the various states must recognize legislative acts, public records, and judicial decisions of the other states within the United States • Great Compromise (aka Connecticut plan): Determined that the representatives of the first branch of Congress- the House of Representatives- would be apportioned according to the number of inhabitants in each state, and in the second branch- the Senate- each state would have an equal vote regardless of its size (this was to deal with the concerns of the small states). This was a compromise for Virginia Plan VS New Jersey Plan • New Jersey Plan: Focused on revising theArticles of Confederation rather than replacing them. The less populous states such as Delaware and New Jersey supported this.Argued that the more populous states would dominate the new government if representation were to be determined by population; argued that each state should be equally represented regardless of its population • Privileges and Immunities clause: The provision fromArticle IV, Section 2 of the Constitution that a state cannot discriminate against someone from another state or give its own residents special privileges • Shays’Rebellion: Daniel Shay led a mob of farmers in a rebellion against the state government because their farms were being foreclosed on. They attempted to seize a federal armory in Massachusetts. Although the mob was dispersed in a few days, it scared Congress into action for a constitutional revision • Little Bill of Rights:Article 1 Section 9 of the Constititution. The framers did not want to put in the Bill of Rights (1st 10Amendments) because they thought those liberties of the people were already implied by the "Little Bill of Rights". Article 1 Section 9 includes Habeas Corpus, no Bill ofAttainder, and Ex post facto o Habeas Corpus: Requires a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court o Bill of Attainder:An act of a legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without privilege of a judicial trial o Ex post facto: Latin for "from a thing done afterward." Most typically used to refer to a criminal law that applies retroactively, thereby criminalizing conduct that was legal when originally performed • Pocket Veto: Presidential veto wherein the president takes no action on a bill, Congress adjourns within 10 days, bill is vetoed o Do nothing and let it get signed o If Congress is still there, it becomes a bill. If Congress goes away, it gets vetoed • Separation of Powers: Checks and balances so no one faction could capture power and also so government action would be difficult • Three-fifths compromise: The seats in the House of Representatives would be apportioned according to a “population” in which five slaves would count as three persons. The slaves would not be allowed to vote, but the number of representatives would be apportioned accordingly. Northerners and Southerners both agreed to this • Virginia Plan: Provided for a system of representation in the national legislature based upon the population of each state or the proportion of each state’s revenue contribution, or both. Would be biased in favor of the larger, more populous states because they would have greater representation • Writ of Habeas Corpus:Acourt order that requires a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court. President Lincoln suspended this (using his inherent powers- the powers that are not specified in the Constitution or the law but said to stem from “the rights, duties, and obligations of the presidency” which are most often used by president in times of war or national emergency) in the border states during the outbreak of the civil war • Divided government: The condition in which the presidency is controlled by one party, while the opposing party controls one or both houses of Congress • Police powers: Powers left up to the state- regulate health, safety, and morals Development of American Government • Barron v. Baltimore: Confirmed dual citizenship- eachAmerican was a citizen of the national government and separately a citizen of one of the states. This meant that the Bill of Rights did not apply to decisions or procedures of state (or local) governments • Brown v. Board of Education: Segregation laws for schools are unconstitutional; promised that it would actively subject the states and all actions affecting civil rights and civil liberties to strict scrutiny • Civil Rights Act of 1964: Historic legislation that covers voting, employment, public accommodations, and education; outlawed discrimination against racial, ethnic, and religious minorities and against women o To give the law teeth, it allowed federal agencies to withhold federal grants, contracts, and loans to states and municipalities found to discriminate or obstruct the implementation of the law • Cooperative federalism:Atype of federalism existing since the New Deal era, in which grants-in-aid have been used strategically to encourage states and localities (without commanding them) to pursue nationally defined goals (also known as intergovernmental cooperation) • Dual federalism: The system of government that prevailed in the US from 1789 to 1937 in which fundamental governmental powers were shared between the federal and state governments, with the states exercising the most important powers • Judicial review: The power of the courts to declare actions of the legislative and executive branches invalid or unconstitutional. The Supreme court asserted this power in Marbury v. Madison • “Laboratories of Democracy”: Explains how within the federal framework, there exists a system of filtration where state and local governments act as “laboratories,” where law is created and enacted from the lowest level of the democratic system, up to the top level.A"state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country." • McCulloch v. Maryland: Favored national power. The state of Maryland passed legislation to impose taxes on the Second Bank of the United States, which was established by Congress. James W. Mc
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