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Copy of Everything you Never Wanted to Know About U.S. Government: A Study Guide for AP Students

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Rob Bonifacio

on 14 May 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Everything you Never Wanted to Know About U.S. Government: A Study Guide for AP Students

The Ins and Outs of Government Legislative Executive Judicial Bureaucracy Senate House of Representatives Constitution the institutions and processes through
which are made for a society public policies Government Politics process by which we select our governmental leaders and what policies these leaders pursue
According to Harold D. Lasswell, "Who gets what, when, and how Democracy system of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the public's preferences Pluralist Theory A theory of government and politics emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own preferred policies. Compare to , elite and class theory hyperpluralism traditional democratic theory , and . Elite and Class Theory Theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided along class lines and that upper-class elite will rule, regardless of the formal niceties of governmental organization Hyperpluralism Theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened. Hyperpluralism is an extreme, exaggerated, or perverted form of pluralism. Pluralist Theory Elite and Class Theory Hyperpluralism Multiple groups contending for the same thing, all have equal success The government is controlled by a privileged few Theory that there is too much competition, and it actually weakens government Political Participation Single-Issue Groups Conventional Participation Protest Class, Inequality, and
Participation Civil Disobedience voters, candidates, interest groups, and parties at a minimum. Focused on by media. What: How: substance of politics and government. Benefits and burdens, such as medical care for elderly and new taxes, respectively. Who: people get what they want: voting, supporting, compromising,lobbying, and so forth. all the activities used by citizens to influence the selection of political leaders or the policies they pursue. Voting is the most common Groups that have a narrow interest, tend to dislike compromise, and often draw membership from people new to politics. (Is it just me, or does this sound a lot like something you would hear on Animal Planet? "This is the Wild Issue Group in it's natural habitat.... careful! They dislike compromise! These carnivorous beasts tend to feed on political virgins and rarely venture out of their territory.") These features distinguish them from traditional interest groups. Ex: Pro- or Anti-Abortion groups Political scientists distinguish between conventional and unconventional participation (*cough* non-life threatening and life threatening *cough*). Conventional includes voting, trying to persuade others, ringing doorbells for a petition, and running for office. Unconventional includes activities that are often dramatic, like protesting, civil disobedience, and even violence. A form of political participation designed to achieve policy change through dramatic and unconventional tactics. A great example is the Boston Tea Party. Can be worthwhile because the media is drawn to the unusual. A conscious decision to break a law believed to be immoral and to suffer the consequences. In Example:
In the 1840's, Henry David Thoreau refused to pay taxes because he believed the Mexican War to be unjust. He only stayed overnight because his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson paid the taxes.
Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize for his civil disobedience in the 50's and 60's Almost every study of political participation reaches the conclusion that "citizens of higher social economic status participate more in politics.... holds true whether one uses level of education, income, or occupation as the measure of social status." Kent State: political violence from the late 60's and early 70's. A student lies dead after Ohio National Guard opened fire on anti-Vietnam War demonstrators. Functions of Government Maintain a national defense Provide public services public goods: goods, such as clean air and water, that everyone must share. Term for the services government supplies that cannot be denied to anyone. Preserve order Socialize the young Collect taxes What government SHOULD do is disputed, but generally, governments: linkage institutions: political channels through which people's concerns become political issues on the political agenda, including elections, political parties, interest groups, and media Policymaking System process by which policy comes into being and evolves over time. People's interests, problems, and concerns create political issues for government policymakers.
These issues shape policy, which in turn impacts people, generating more interests, problems, and concerns. interests, problems, and
concerns issues policy impacts people create which are resolved by which then causing more Policy Agenda issues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people actually involved in politics at any given point in time Public Policy issue that arises when people disagree about a problem and how to fix it choice that government makes in response to a political issue. A policy is a course of action taken with regard to some problem Political Issue Political Agenda Policymaking Institutions Public Policy Political Issues that become significant in the eyes of public officials end up on the political agenda politicians and

consider the political agenda when making policy decisions, and act on the issues they feel are most important at a given time political institutions branches of government charged with taking action on political issues. The U.S. Constitution established three: Congress, the Presidency, and the courts. Today, most political scientists consider the Bureaucracy a fourth policymaking institution. Encompasses every decision government makes. This is the final result of the policymaking process. Quiz Time! Continue only once you can accurately answer and explain the following questions: Policy Gridlock condition that occurs when no coalition is strong enough to form a majority and establish policy. The result is nothing may get done. Coalition group of individuals with a common interest on which every political party depends Traditional Democratic Theory Three E's: Equality, Effective, Enlightened Equality in Voting:

Effective Participation:

Enlightened Understanding: "one person, one vote". Voting must be representative. equal and adequate opportunities for citizens to express wants in the decision-making process society must be "marketplace of ideas". free press and speech essential to understanding. C, I know Traditional Democratic Theory! (Citizen Control and Inclusion) Citizen Control of the
Agenda:

Inclusion: citizens collective right to control policy agenda. one group's distortion of agenda keeps people from benefiting all rights extended to all those subject to laws (i.e. slavery was undemocratic.....) Challenges to Democracy LIED: Limited Participation, Increased Technology, Escalating Costs, Diverse Interests Limited Participation: Americans tend not to take advantage of their participation
opportunities Increased Technical Expertise: Traditional democratic theory assumes the general public understands political concepts well enough to act on them. Today's technology creates concepts too complex for the general public to be able to understand politics Majority Rule fundamental principal of
In a democracy, choosing among alternatives requires that the majority's desire be respected traditional democratic theory Minority Rights principle of
that guarantees rights to those who do not belong to majorities and allows that they might join majorities through persuasion and reasoned argument. traditional democratic theory Representation A basic principle of TRADITIONAL DEMOCRATIC THEORY that describes the relationship between the few leaders and the many followers. American Political Culture Political Culture: an overall set of values widely shared within a society P.I.L.L.E. P: Populism. "government of the people, for the people, and by the people." A political philosophy supporting the rights of average citizens in their struggle against privileged elites. I: Individualism. The belief that people can and should get ahead on their own. L: Liberty. "Give me liberty or give me death." Freedom. L: Laissez-faire. "hands off." Free markets and limited government. E: Egalitarianism. "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal." Equality of opportunity and respect in the absence of a monarchy and aristocracy. A Culture War and the Scope of Government Americans widely support basic values like liberty and egalitarianism, but recently a sharp polarization into rival political camps worries some scholars. Others see little evidence of a "culture war." Conflict over necessity of federal government involvement. Ex: Health care. Do we need federal government to regulate it in order to achieve it? If so, is it worth it? GDP: The sum total of the value of all the goods and services produced in a nation. 1. Which of the following is the best indication of pluralism in American politics?
A. The American Association of Retired persons has the largest membership of any interest group.
B. Third parties often endorse candidates for office, but rarely do they win elections.
C. The federal bureaucracy is expanding as more and more citizens are hired for federal jobs.
D. More than 20,000 interest groups lobby Congress each year.
E. Citizens are able to vote in local, state, and national elections. 2. All of the following are characteristics of a traditional democracy EXCEPT
A. an informal electorate
B. a bill of rights
C. public participation
D. equal access to government institutions
E. national elections 3. According to elite theorists, which of the following statements describe the American political system?
I. Political action committees translate the financial power of large corporations into political influence.
II. Interest groups fairly shape the public agenda by resenting the interests of all Americans.
III. The wealthiest 1 percent of the public is in some way responsible for most policymaking.
IV. Policymaking relies heavily on compromise because interest groups receive equal access to the policy
A. I only
B. II only
C. I and III only
D. II and IV only
E. I, II, and IV only 4. The United States is not a direct democracy because
A. the population has increased too rapidly in the past 100 years.
B. the authors of the Constitution did not trust the public to make informed decisions.
C. the Constitution prohibits direct representation.
D. the separation of powers would not work in a direct democracy
E. a direct democracy would not fairly represent all Americans. 5. Which of the following concepts best demonstrates the theory of democracy?
A.The right of the accused
B. Separation of powers
C. Majority rule
D. Bicameralism
E. Big business 6. Approximately 56 percent of interest groups do favors for government officials as a means of lobbying. This is an example of
A. elite theory
B. hyperpluralism
C. decentralization
D. pluralist theory
E. representative democracy 7. A citizen who disapproves of proposed legislation can do all the following EXCEPT
A. call or write a letter to his or her senator.
B. vote for a different candidate in the next election.
C. join a political interest group.
D. vote against the legislation.
E. participate in a protest. 8. According to pluralists, a wealthy interest group would
A. have more access to policymakers
B. compete with other interest groups for an equal share of influence
C. buy all the votes on a piece of legislation
D. manipulate public opinion to influence Congress
E. have no influence on the policy agenda 9. Which of the following is the best example of a right of the minority?
A. Protection against double jeopardy
B. Equal access to public education
C. The ability to become a civil employee
D. The practice of one person, one vote
E. Freedom to circulate pamphlets 10. Hyperpluralists differ from pluralists in their belief that
A. the representation of too many interests is detrimental to policymaking
B. only the wealthiest lobbyists are heard in Congress
C. power should be centralized in one branch of government
D. competition among groups leads to compromise and, hence, stronger policy
E. political groups get their funds exclusively from big business Consider these Free-Response questions: 1. "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.-That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed,-That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it ..."
How does this passage from the Declaration of Independence foreshadow the political system later set forth in the Constitution? In your response, identify TWO elements of traditional democratic theory which are found in that political system. Explain how these elements of traditional democratic theory help achieve the ideals expressed in this passage. 2. The Framers of the Constitution established a representative democracy. Political scientists have developed at least three theories of democracy - pluralism, elitism, and hyperpluralism.
a) Briefly describe each of these three theories.
b) Include in your description of each theory a description of how the average citizen is to play a role in politics.
c) Discuss how the framers would assess each of the three theories in terms of their goal of establishing a representation democracy. ANSWERS
1. D
2. B
3. C
4. B
5. C
6. A
7. D
8. B
9. E
10. A Answers to 1, 3, 6, 8, and 10 refer to the three theories of democracy: elite, pluralist, and hyperpluralist. if you got more than one wrong, you should go back and review those terms. Answer to 2 deals with traditional democratic theory: Review the five points. (3 E's, C, I know TDT) Answer to 4 deals with direct democracy, answer to 5 deals with democracy, answer to 7 deals with representative democracy, and 9 refers to basic freedoms and the right of the minority. Make sure these terms are clear. a nation's basic law. It creates political institutions, assigns or divides powers in government, and often provides certain guarantees to citizens. First Continental Congress: September 1774. delegates from each colony discuss the future of relations with Britain.
Second Continental Congress: almost continuous session during 1775 and 1776. Thomas Jefferson a key member due to his writing ability and his knowledge of political philosophy
Richard Henry Lee moves to declare independence from England
Successful on July 2nd, and Declaration of Independence formally adopted July 4
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: stated American grievances against British monarch and declared their independence natural rights consent of the governed limited government rights inherent in human beings, not dependent on governments, which include life, liberty, and property. Central to John Locke's theories and was widely accepted among America's Founders. idea that certain restrictions should be placed on government to protect the natural rights of citizens idea that government derives its authority by sanction of the people Locke v. the Declaration of Independence Locke "the state of nature has a law to govern it"
"life, liberty, and property" Declaration "Laws of Nature and Nature's God"
"life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" "to preserve himself, his liberty, and property" "to secure these rights" "men being by nature all free, equal and independent" "all men are created equal" "for when any number of men have, by the consent of every individual, made a community, with a power to act as one body, which is only by the will and determination of the majority" "Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Long story short, the Declaration took a LOT of principles from Locke, including natural rights, purpose of government, equality, consent of the governed, limited government, right to revolt Articles of Confederation first constitution of the united states, adopted by Congress 1777 and enacted 1781. Established national legislature, the Continental Congress, but most authority rested with the states. (Confederation: a system of government in which the central government is weak, and power rests with the components) Many problems. With so little power, congress was unable to obtain needed funds for an army or navy, its only real power. State delegations attended haphazardly. A strong national economy was inhibited by congress' inability to regulate commerce. In the states, life was pretty sweet. A new middle class gained power, and state government became more responsive to the people. However, there was economic turmoil. Shays' Rebellion was one result, a series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers upset at losing their land to creditors, trying to block foreclosure proceedings. Shays' Rebellion Philadelphia Convention Representative from 12 states (No Rhode Island)
call to "take into consideration the situation in the United States."
instructed to amend the Articles, but wrote the
instead.
Delegates primarily well-to-do, economically well off, many college grads, many with practical political experience.
Although all had very different point of view, they agreed on a few basic principles U.S. Constitution Human Nature Political Conflict Objects of Government Nature of Government factions cynical view that people are self-interested by nature. Delegates believed government should play key role in controlling this self-interest. believed the distribution of wealth was the source of political conflict. interest groups arising from the unequal distribution of property or wealth that James Madison attacked in Federalist Paper No. 10. Delegates generally believed the preservation of property was a key object of government power should be set against power so no one faction would overwhelm the others Equality Issues Individual Rights Issues Economic Issues Equality and Representation of the States in Congress New Jersey Plan Virginia Plan proposal that called for equal representation of each state regardless of population. (small states plan)
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