[PSCI 1100] - Midterm Exam Guide - Ultimate 17 pages long Study Guide!

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Vanderbilt
PSCI 1100
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Jan. 20
- Our government is a serial process
- It is a series of events
- They don’t often reach closure
- Final decisions are slow and difficult to reach
- Lots of activity but very little change
- Media tends to treat this lengthy process as a surprise
- Our government was created to be non-impulsive
- It is a conservative system in that policy change is difficult to enact
- Why would they purposefully create a government that resisted change?
- Federalist Papers
- Written to tell people why they needed a new constitution and why
they should ratify the constitution
- Fears
- The founders had a number of fears
- They had little experience with democracy
- 1. Concentrated power
- 2. The mob - too much direct democracy is a dangerous thing
- 3. Political ambition - thought that the average man would want
more and more power
- 4. Factions and interests - thought that certain ideas would
dominate that were not good for the whole society
- Federalist 10 and Federalist 51 address these fears
- Fed 10
- Fear of impulse
- Needed the constitution so the interests of the majority were not
overtaken by the interests of the powerful
- Fear of factions
- Since you can’t control the cause of factions, you must control the
effects
- The government was too weak under the articles to control
the effects
- So we need a stronger government
- How do we do this?
- Big issues of society go to the national government
- Big factions can offset one another
- Particular issues go to the state and local governments
- Republican government
- Representatives who are entrusted with decision making
(one type of buffer)
- Large number of citizens choosing the representatives
(handles the fear of the mob)
- Fed 51
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- How to handle the powers of the leaders
- Divide national government powers
- Separation of powers
- The members of each branch should have as little agency as
possible in the appointment of members of other branches
- Different length of terms so not all houses are turning over at the
same time
- Different ways of electing officials in each house
- Need to win a series of elections
- Checks and balances
- To deal with concentrated power and political ambition
- Government first needs to control the people (the mob) and then
themselves (tyranny)
- National powers
- Power to tax and the power to regulate interstate commerce
- Not given under the articles of confederation
- It is okay to give the executive these rights because there are
checks and balances
- Judicial review - also protects against tyranny
- Intra Institutional checks and balances
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