the agency through which a political unit exercises its authority, controls and administers public policy, and directs and controls the actions of its members or subjects
policy making system
High-level development of policy, especially official government policy.
linkage institution and key examples.
a structure within a society that connects the people to the government or other centralized authority. 1. the media 2. locally elected members of gov 3. lobby groups 4. political parties.
policy making institutions
Policymaking institutions are the branches of government charged to take action on political issues. The U.S. Constitution established three policymaking institutions - the Congress, the presidency, and the courts.
Declared State objectives relating to the health, morals, and well being of the public.
sovereignty is in the hands of officials elected by the people.
sovereignty is in the hands of participating citizens.
An autocracy is a form of government in which one person possesses unlimited power. An autocrat is a person (such as a monarch) ruling with unlimited authority.
Several groups with a common goal would influence a policy through planned and effective efforts. (optimistic)
Elite and Class theory
a select few individuals control decision making
Same as pluralism but believe the groups are too strong and they suppress the power of the government. (pessimistic)
Locke's view of social contract. What part of his theory was unpopular in the 1770's?
influenced the belief among many of the Founders that among the "natural rights" of man was the right to overthrow their leaders, gov's should operate only with the consent of the people they are governing, supported democracy, woman right to vote.
What are the 4 revolutionary acts of the 2nd Continental Congress?
1. approved Declaration of Independence 2. prepared Articles of Confederation, granted certain powers to Congress. 3. olive branch 4. Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms, possibility of independence if rights were not restored.
Declaration of Independence
announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain were now independent states. Primarily written by Thomas Jefferson. 1) Preamble 2) Natural Rights 3) King's Wrongs 4) Independence
Reasons why any nation forms a government.
leadership of an organization, community or political entity, sets laws, maintain peace, promote justice and equality, build public necessities, education, fire and police, maintain peace with other governments, and protect the people from threats.
Articles of Confederation
first constitution of the US, how the Fed gov would operate, secured the freedom, sovereignty, and independence of the US. Nationalists felt that it lacked necessary requirements for an effective gov. no tax base, no executive agencies or judiciary
opposed to American independence, member of continental congress that did note vote on or sign the declaration of independence. Years later, rejoined the congress and wrote letters to support the constitution.
What level of government held sovereignty under the Articles?
state governments. limited federal government.
How was the government structured under the Articles? Weaknesses
no tax base, no executive agencies or judiciary, kept state governments separated and had individual control.
3 major accomplishments under the Articles
1. outlined the form of government of the US 2. each state had one vote in congress 3. national gov had power to wage war, make peace, sign treaties, and issue money 4. took power away from national gov and gave the important power to states
The common characteristics of the framers of the constitution.
The average age was 41
They were wealthy men
Most were lawyers
They were planters, and business owners
They had fought in the Revolution
They were slave owners
Many had served in state government *the constitution will cater to their needs.
Who was the selected chairman of the Constitutional Convention?
George Washington because he was the most trusted man in the states.
Why were the meetings of the constitutional convention held in secret?
1.) to keep other people from soiling the new government plans.
2.) to no one would peek and eavesdrop and so that the delegates can talk freely about what the changes needed to make and not worry that outsider will listen to what they are saying. (spies)
Why was Madison called "the father of the constitution"?
Madison made a major contribution to the ratification of the Constitution by writing, with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, the Federalist essays
To give the government more power without affecting people's natural rights. Also, fear of majority (poor) overthrowing the minority (wealthy).
Madisonian Model- preventing the "Tyranny of the Majority"
1. Place as much of the gov't as possible beyond the control majority. 2. Separation of powers 3. Checks and balances. Only members of house were directly elected by people. Other leaders indirectly elected. President by electoral college. Senate by state legislature. Supreme court by president/state
What groups views were supported by the Virginia Plan at the convention? The minority was represented. (by Edmund Randolph, supported by Madison)
A bicameral legislature* lower house elected by people, upper house by lower house* The legislature was very powerful, An executive ensured will of legislature was carried out, chosen by the legislature* Formation of a judiciary, life-terms of service, executive and some of the national judiciary would have power to veto legislation/subject to override, National veto power over any state legislation
New Jersey plan (Paterson)
Smaller states represented.
The current Congress was maintained, but granted new powers - for example, the Congress could set taxes and force their collection
An executive, elected by Congress, was created - the Plan allowed for a multi-person executive
The executives served a single term and were subject to recall based on the request of state governors
A judiciary appointed by the executives, with life-terms of service
Laws set by the Congress took precedence over state law
asettlementofdifferencesbymutualconcessions;anagreementreachedbyadjustmentofconflictingoropposingclaims,principles, to reach an agreement that satisfies everyone.
What role did Roger Sherman play in compromising at the Convention?
Large States, Proposed the Connecticut Great Compromise, wanted a purely representational form of government
one president over the entire US
3/5s compromise (James Wilson and Roger Sherman)
a compromise between Southern and Northern states, three-fifths of the population of slaves would be counted for the distribution of taxes and the apportionment of the members of the United States House of Representatives.
What groups had to compromise at the convention?
everyone, it combined parts of the Virginia plan and the New Jersey plan.
Major themes of the 7 Articles of the Constitution
power of the government: federal government, legislative, executive, judiciary, elections, political parties, and subdivisions.
atypeofgovernmentinwhichitsfunctionsandpowersareprescribed,limited,andrestrictedbylaw. Limited due to lack of trust and the want to ensure rights that the government could not get involved in.
astateinwhichthesupremepowerrestsinthebodyofcitizensentitledtovoteandisexercisedbyrepresentativeschosendirectlyorindirectlybythem, no monarchy. Needs 1. a set of laws 2. presidential system 3. popular suffrage.
separation of powers
Divides government power between 3 branches, legislature, executive, and judiciary to ensure not one becomes too powerful. Judiciary(supreme court)- interprets the law, Executive(president)- enforces laws, Legislature(congress)- makes laws.
checks and balances
a system that allows each branch of a government to amend or veto acts of another branch so as to prevent any one branch from exerting too much power.
legislature (senate/ congress) checks powers
the executive- override president veto, impeach president, senate ratifies treaties, senate confirms all appointments of office
the judiciary- impeachment of judges, determines # of judges, propose amendments, confirms all official appointments
executive (president) checks powers
the legislature- can veto proposed law, appointive power for members of congress/ senate.
the judiciary- can refuse to enforce supreme court decisions, pardoning power, appoints judges.
judiciary(supreme court) checks powers
the executive- determines if orders are constitutional.
the the legislature- determines if laws are constitutional.
Supreme court's power to decide whether a law enacted by the legislature is constitutional or not. All unconstitutional laws are de facto null and void, until the country's constitution itself is amended to accommodate them.
Legacy of Marshall Court
The first to give the court power to overrule and determine if ruling is constitutional.
When national law takes precedence over state law
Formal amendments are changes or additional test that become part of the Constitution.
making formal amendments method 1 (26 of 27 amendments used this method)
Proposed by Congress by 2/3 vote in each house. Ratified by the state legislatures in 3/4 (38) of the states.
making formal amendments method 2
Proposed by Congress by 2/3 vote in each house. Ratified by conventions held in 3/4 of the states.
making formal amendments method 3
Proposal at a national convention called by Congress when requested by 2/3 (34) of the state legislatures. Ratified by the state legislatures in 3/4 (38) of the states
making formal amendments method 4
Proposed at a national convention called by Congress when requested by 2/3 (34) of the state legislatures. Ratified by conventions held in 3/4 of the states.
What is the one restriction that the Constitution places on proposal of amendments?
Article 5- two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments
Amount of time to ratify formal amendment?
No set length of time.
Informal Amendment (ways)
a change to the meaning or interpretation of the Constitution of the United States.
federal court decision
political party practices
Political culture and values
beliefs and opinions people share about government.
when did growth of mistrust in our government begin? Made it increase?
mid 1960's. Vietnam and Watergate- lied to the people about what was actually going on. Mostly mistrust political leaders and their policies.
Internal/ external efficacy
internal- confidence in ability to understand and participate in our political system.
external- belief that the political system cares about us and will respond to our needs.
Which group in our society is the most politically tolerant?
Judges and lawyers because they cannot be biased and have to deal with different political beliefs daily.
The process by which people come to acquire political attitudes and values. Primary socializing agent- family, due to parents discussing their beliefs. This has lessened due to the want to be an individual, fewer identify w/ a party.
b. Why is college a liberating experience?
students read more
participate more in organizations
professors more liberal, fewer teaching restrictions
The longer in college, the more liberating the experience.
most liberal- Catholics, Jewish. social justice, acceptance conservative- protestants. Want personal salvation.
d. Gender Gap
A disproportionate difference, as in attitudes and voting preferences, between the sexes due to different beliefs, woman being more liberal, men voting more conservative.
Wealthy- more conservative poor- more liberal Social status is not influential because most jobs are white collar and an increase in the # of jobs that require a degree or additional training.
African Americans- liberal
Hispanic (Mexican)- liberal
Hispanic (Cuban)- conservative
Asian- both, but slightly more liberal
Conservative- south, south west, w of Mississippi to mountains, Alaska.
Liberal- west coast, Hawaii, north east, upper Mississippi.
distribution of people's beliefs about politics/ policy issues, has a huge effect on policy, protects liberty, but the gov listens more to political elites (interest group leaders, party leaders, elected officials, business leaders, and media leaders)
Influence the shaping of public policy- they offer solutions, influence media, more knowledgeable on current issues, and more active in politics. Limits on p.o- people have own beliefs, other things more important than politics, public lacks knowledge.
What is a random sample?
probability, every has an equal opportunity to be selected. 1500- 2000 is the best sample/ accurate.
Level of confidence in the findings of the poll. 2-3% error. Tells us how close/ accurate it is.
A coherent set of values and beliefs about public policy. political spectrum- range of political attitude and beliefs divided into groups(radical, liberal, moderate, conservative, and reactionary) factors, willingness to accept change and spectrum.
Progressive/ retrogressive change
pro- change to some new policy position(radical, liberal, moderate, weaker conservatives) retro- change back to policy position of the past(strong conservatives, reactionaries)
large national gov w/ control over many areas of society- less state gov decision making
more tolerant- protect minority rights
provide programs to help groups/ requires higher taxes
smallest ideological group in the US- 23%
most satisfied with society
progressive change that doesn't disrupt society
have both liberal and conservative views
votes for candidate, not just for ideology or party
more former republicans than democrats
largest ideological group- 40%
smaller national gov/ all on state and local gov make more decision making
slow progressive change to policies, not institutions
defend political system from both foreign and domestic threats
supports military/ security spending
favors less gov intrusion in citizens lives
provide fewer social programs/ lower taxes
hold traditional values/ religious
37% of citizens
differences between US and European ideologies
goal of elections US- win Euro- promote party issues
US- 3 parties elected Euro- all 5 ideologies elected
US- power divided between national and state Euro- National only
US- 2 party Euro- multi party
US- winner takes all Euro- % seats = % of votes
how citizens get involved in politics. voting, volunteering, campaigning, etc. *unconventional- protest, civil disobedience, violence, riots*
3 functions of elections in American society.
socialize and institutionalize political activity
provide legitimacy- they are almost accepted as a fair and free method of selecting political leaders
provide a regular access to political power
3 kinds of elections
primaries, general elections, make or ratify legislation*referendum- voters given change to dis/approve legislative act, bond issue, con. amend proposed by legislature* *Initiative petition- requires signatures = to 10% of voters in last election*
make or ratify legislation
the only election held at state/ local level
Election of 1800
Jefferson vs. Adams. Jefferson wins. Significance- First peaceful transition of power, flaws of electoral college, 1 vote for president, 1 for vice.
Election of 2000
George Bush vs. Al Gore. Bush wins. Significance- change from democrat to republican, Florida recount.
Election of 2008
Obama vs. McCain. Obama wins. Significance- first black president, first woman to run as a republican candidate.
Voter qualifications of 1790
religion, states established 5-7% of the county's population, land owning white males. Religion and property qualifications were removed in 1810 and 1850.
Cannot deny voting due to race. Grandfather Clause- exempted people from taking literacy tests if their grandfathers were eligible to vote in 1860. Write Primary- south, kept blacks from voting. Literacy tests- unfair tests. Poll tax- pay to vote
direct election of senators, 2 senators from each state elected by the people for 6 year terms, senators having 1 vote.
Woman suffrage * double # of voters, 80% of population, w/o changing election results.
Washington D.C can vote in elections, has the minimum of 3 electoral votes.
declared all poll taxes void in federal elections only.
voting rights act of 1965
prohibited any government from using voting procedures that denied a person the right to vote on the basis of color, eliminated literacy tests.
18 year old's gain the right to vote. *turnout lower than expected- Nixon.
percentage able to vote
1790- 5-7% of population 1850- 40% of population 1920- 80 % of population today- 100% of Americans.
current qualifications to vote
registered, 18 years old, American citizen, have lived in a state for 30 days.
1892- 80% vs. 1896-1924- 50% due to lack of political knowledge, interest. modern turn out- 57%
registered, political efficacy, political elites/civic duty, strong party identity, trusts gov, high income, some college education, 35 and older, religious, union member, married, white, family votes, likes the candidate, policy issues important.
not registered, lacks political efficacy, no party identity, mistrust in gov, low income, little education, 34 and younger, not religious, doesn't like candidates, family doesn't vote, time zone fallout, lazy, satisfied with current political status.
Motor Voter Law
Passes by congress to raise percentage of registration, although turnout decreased. Most important factors affecting turnout- income, and education.
must have firm policy convictions, examines issues positions of rival candidates and votes for who they believe has the best ideas for solving problems, required to obtain info and recognize the differences in candidates positions- political elites.
examines how things have gone during the past term, evaluates the incumbent's/ majority party's performance,not required to obtain a lot of info, decides the outcome of most elections and helps the incumbent.
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