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AP US Government 2012

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Ngan Mai

on 10 May 2013

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Transcript of AP US Government 2012

By: Nicole Prucha
Arman Chini
Ngan Mai Questions & Answer #1 AP United States Government and Politics
2010 Free-Response Questions Question Individuals often form groups in order to promote their interests. The Constitution contains several provisions
that protect the rights of individuals who try to promote their interests in a representative democracy.
(a) Explain two provisions in the Bill of Rights that protect individuals who try to influence politics.
(b) Interest groups engage in a variety of activities to affect public policy. Explain how each of the following is
used by interest groups to exert influence over policy.
• Grassroots mobilization
• Lobbying of government institutions
• Litigation
(c) Describe one specific federal governmental regulation of interest groups. (a) • Speech — allows citizens to say almost anything they want
• Press — allows citizens access to information, each other and policymakers; printed advocacy
• Assembly — allows citizens to come together
• Petition — allows citizens to address government
• Various due process/criminal justice provisions (e.g., grand jury indictment, jury of peers, search and seizure) — protects citizens from retribution/harassment from government.
(b)• Grassroots mobilization — interest groups organize citizens, who act to influence policymakers
• Lobbying — direct contact with policymakers for the purpose of persuasion through the provision of information, political benefits, etc.
• Litigation — the use of courts to gain policy preferences through cases or amicus curiae
(c) • Disclosure of contributions, funding or activities
• Registration of lobbyists, PACs
• Campaign finance laws
• Limits on gifts
• Limits on revolving-door appointments
• Limits on honoraria
• Prohibition of bribery
• Any named law or regulation with a description of what it does to regulate interest groups Answer Question & Answer #2 Question The federal bureaucracy as part of the executive branch exercises substantial independence in implementing governmental policies and programs. Most workers in the federal bureaucracy are civil-service employees who are organized under a merit system.
(a) Describe one key characteristic of the merit system.
(b) For each of the following, describe one factor that contributes to bureaucratic independence.
• The structure of the federal bureaucracy
• The complexity of public policy problems
(c) For each of the following, explain one Constitutional provision that it can use to check the bureaucracy.
• Congress
• The courts • Interest groups (a) • Hiring or promotion based on merit/experience/qualifications
• Hiring based on testing
(b) • Structure of the bureaucracy
- Large - Specialized units/expertise
- Tenure protections/hard to fire - Based on merit
- Independent agencies/independent regulatory commissions
• Complexity of public policy problems
- Specialized units/expertise
- Delegated authority — because Congress and the president cannot handle everything, they delegate authority to the bureaucracy
- Discretionary authority — because legislation lacks details, the bureaucracy can fill in the gaps.
(c) • Congress
- Appropriations — can reward or punish agency
- Legislation — can pass legislation affecting the bureaucracy
- Rejection of presidential appointments to the bureaucracy
- Impeachment of executive officials
• Courts
- Court rulings that limit bureaucratic practices
- Judicial review — can declare bureaucratic actions unconstitutional
- Injunctions against federal agencies
• Interest groups
o Use of the First Amendment
Lobbying, Protests, Media usage, Speech
o Litigation


Answer Question & Answer #3 Question Over the last several decades, the composition of the Democratic and Republican parties has changed in important ways. A major partisan shift has occurred in the South, but other demographic changes have also been identified. Changes in party composition are reflected at different rates in presidential elections than in congressional elections.
(a) Identify one specific trend evident in the figure above (aside).
(b) Choose two of the following and use each to explain why southern voters from 1948 to 2000 were electing Democratic candidates to Congress more frequently than choosing Democratic candidates for the presidency.
• Incumbency advantage
• Gerrymandering
• Differences between state and national parties
(c) Several other changes in party composition have emerged in the past few decades. Select three of the following groups and for each explain how parties have changed in composition with respect to that group.
• Catholics
• Labor union members
• Women • Social conservatives (a) Decrease in southern state votes for Democratic presidency, or decrease in percentage of Democrats in the House.
(b)• Incumbency Advantage - Even though Southerners voted for Republican presidential candidates, they continued to vote for incumbent Democratic congressional candidates.
• Gerrymandering - District lines created safe seats/majority–minority districts that protected Democratic seats despite more Republican voters.
• State versus national parties - Democratic congressional candidates responded to local interests, whereas Democratic presidential candidates responded to a national constituency because state and national parties are more independent.
(c)• Catholics - They became less reliable Democratic voters.
Labor union members - They decreased in number, are a smaller percent of the Democratic voting bloc, and have fewer Democratic supporters.
• Women - They have become more reliable Democratic voters, increased in number, have more Democratic supporters, and became a larger percent of the Democratic voting bloc.
• Social conservatives - Previously nonexistent and have now become more reliable Republican voters; previously part of the Democratic party and moved to the Republican party. Answer Question & Answer #4 Question The framers of the Constitution created a political system based on limited government. The original Constitution and the Bill of Rights were intended to restrict the powers of the national government. Later constitutional developments also limited the powers of state governments.
(a) Explain how each of the following limits the powers of the national executive.
• Federalism
• Checks and balances
(b) Explain how each of the following two provisions in the Bill of Rights limits the powers of the national
government. • Establishment clause • Guarantee of a public trial (c) Choose one of the following and explain how it limits the power of state governments. • Citizenship clause of the Fourteenth Amendment • Selective incorporation (a) •Federalism divides the power of the state and national government, which limits the overall powers of the national executive.
•Checks and balances is how other branches of government can check what the executive branch can do. This basically means that the other branches can restrict some of the powers of other branches.
(b) •The establishment clause prevents the national government from creating a national religion or doing anything that would show that one religion is better than another.
•The guarantee of a public trial requires trials to be open to the public and it limits the government’s abilities to violate the citizen’s rights.
c) •The citizenship clause is a clause that provides a national definition of citizenship that states are not able to violate. It also requires states to provide citizenship to all who meet the definition of a citizen
•Selective incorporation prohibits that states deny the Bill of Rights provisions that regard freedom of expression, rights of the accused, or privacy. Answer
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