AP U. S. Government & Politics Exam Review

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AP U. S. Government & Politics Exam Review. Democratic Theories. Pluralist -Interest groups influence public policy, various groups bargain and compromise to achieve goals, public interest prevails - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


AP United States Government and Politics

AP U. S. Government & Politics Exam ReviewDemocratic TheoriesPluralist -Interest groups influence public policy, various groups bargain and compromise to achieve goals, public interest prevailsElite - Upper-class elite has more influence than everyone else because wealth is the basis of power influence elections and control corporationsHyperpluralist - So many interest groups, including elite groups, trying to influence the government that it is unable to act - because they want different things and can attack different levels of government, government freezes up - confusing, contradictory, and muddled policyEnlightenment ThinkersLocke men leave nature and form governments to protect their property, government has a limited purpose, people can take power back from government if it exceeds its purposeRousseau social contract men agree to be governed for the good of all, must follow laws because they are the acts of general willMontesquieu separation of powers between three branches, keeping each branch separate prevents the mingling of power and loss of libertyJames MadisonFederalist No. 51 # threats to liberty1) govt, 2) factions, 3) people in order to ensure liberty, the power of govt must be limited and divided and the government must be kept from being too closely tied to the will of the people Federalist No. 10 specifically warned of the dangers of factions (i.e. interest groups and political parties),the power of factions must be limited in order to ensure libertyInfluence: In order to ensure that they are no threats to liberty, he argues for a large republic, separation of powers, checks and balances, and having each part of government represent different parts of society

FederalismWhat?Two or more governments have authority over the same area/ppl.Why? Promotes democracy bydividing power, creating more levels of government for new idea, different priorities, opportunities for participation, and ways to redress of grievances (rights)Types of PowersDelegated (enumerated), Reserved, and Concurrent PowersTypes of FederalismDual - Both the national government and the state governments are supreme in their own sphere (layer cake federalism)Cooperative Federalism: State and federal governments share powers and policy assignments (marble cake federalism)Fiscal Federalism: Federal control of state governments through funding, categorical grants, conditions of aid and mandatesExamples? FederalismSources of Federal PowerSupremacy clauseElastic Clause McCulloch v. Maryland (Marshall Court) Supremacy of Federal Govt; Implied PowersCommerce Clause Gibbons v. Ogden (Marshall Court)Incorporation Doctrine Gitlow v. New York (1925), Warren Court (incorporates fundamental rights)Fiscal Federalism Conditions in Aid, sanctions, and mandates Handicap Access (ADA), Transportation (National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984), EPA and Clean Air Act, ADA (unfunded mandates)Limits on Federal PowerBill of Rights10th AmendmentCannot merge or break up existing states or change representation in the SenateFederalismSources of State Power10th AmendmentHolds all electionsDevolution Block Grants Welfare Reform Act 1996 - TANFLimits on State PowerFull Faith and Credit ClauseSupremacy Clause7Linkage InstitutionsConnect the people and the governmentConventional Participation = voting, volunteering for a campaign, running for office, contributing money to a candidate, signing petitions, discussing politics, joining a political partyUnconventional Participation = uncommon, challenging behavior (Protest, Civil Disobedience, sit-ins, strikes, boycotts, marches, demonstrations, Grassroots)Media, Political Parties, Elections, Interest GroupsWhat they areHow they connect the people and the governmentHow the government regulates them MediaWhat?Print v. Broadcast NewsNetwork v. Cable News StationsNarrowcasting and Bias Framing and Setting the AgendaInternet Blogs and fact checkingLinkage?Journalists rely on the government for the news and the government relies on the media to report it to citizensPresident gets the most media attention, SC gets the leastLets people know what the government is doing and the government know what people are thinking (public sentiment)Media Events, Trial Balloons, Watchdog FunctionRegulations?Freedom of the Press1st amendment casesLibel, Sedition (defamation written/spoken)FCC Broadcast Stations need license cannot be monopoly, must serve public interest, equal time rule (breaking news exception)Political PartiesWhat?Organized effort to pursue common interests by gaining power and exercising power by winning elections and controlling govtPick Candidates and Run Campaigns, Mobilize Support, Forces of Stability and Moderation, Accountability and Loyal Opposition, Help voters make decisions, Policy Formation and Promotion Party PlatformsRepublicans v. Democrats (SPERM)Third Partiesrole in our systemLinkage?Encourage participation in campaigns and electionsGOTV drives, communicates with membersParties exist at national, state, and local levelsRegulations?Major parties on ballot, minor parties must pay fees and get signaturesCampaign Finance ReportsFCC monitors fundraising and spending

ElectionsWhat?Primary Elections (Open v. Closed, Caucus)General ElectionsPolicy Elections (Initiatives and Referendums)Linkage?People choose candidates for officePeople choose officeholdersPeople vote directly on legislationRegulations?McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002Ban on soft money, limits on contributions, mandatory reportingMcConnell v. FEC 2003 (campaign regulations OK)Citizens United v. FEC 2010 (independent expenditures can be unlimited)

Interest GroupsWhat?Organization of people with similar policy goals that enter the political process to try to achieve those goals, Do not try to win elections and do not run candidates - try to influence those in government, Policy specialists not policy generalists, Only try to satisfy their members, do no try to appeal to everyoneEconomic (AFL), Environmental Interests (Sierra club), Equality Interests (NAACP, NOW), Public Interests (League of Women Voters), Single Issue (NRA)Linkage?Give people the opportunity to participate outside electionsLobbyists, electioneering, grassroots, amicus curiae briefs and litigation26th Amendment, Civil Rights Act, Brown v. Board, Roe v. WadeRegulations?Freedom of ExpressionCampaign Finance Laws and PACsLobbying Disclosure Act - 1995 - Lobbyists must register and file expenditure reportsHonest Leadership and Open Government Act - 2007 - bans on gifts, tougher disclosure laws, lengthen time in between retirement from government and hiring by interest group

Institutions of Government Executive Legislative Judicial Bureaucracy



Powers?President, VP, Bureaucracy (Cabinet)House 435 Congressional DistrictsSenate 100, 2 per stateElectoral College winner take all systemHouse Direct Election, States draw district linesSenate Direct Election (17th Amendment)District, Circuit Court (Appellate), Supreme CourtNine JusticesAppointed by President, confirmed by SenateExecutive Department, Executive Agencies, Regulatory Agencies, Government CorpsCivil Service and Merit System, President appoints, Senate confirmsMake all appointments, execute the law, commander in chief, negotiate treaties, sign/veto laws, state of the union, receive ambassadors, executive orders and executive agreementsMake all laws, collect taxes, regulate foreign and interstate commerce, declare war, raise an army, coin money, establish post office, create courts, elastic clauseSenate- confirmations, treaties, impeachment trials, filibustersHouse appropriations, impeachment chargesImplementation of Federal Laws i.e. Clean Air Act, MedicareRegulation Federal Reserve Bank, FCC Interpret the Lawcases involving foreign diplomats/countries, between the US and a state, between two or more states cases involving a substantial constitutional questions

Institutions of Govt: Checks & BalancesExecutive- Checks on Legislative: Presidential Veto, Commander in Chief of Armed Forces, Executes the spending, the laws, and the regulations/instructions of Congress, Can call special sessions of CongressChecks on Judicial: Makes all appointments to all seats on the federal bench, Has the power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, implements lawsChecks of Bureaucracy: Appoint people who agree with them politically to head up agencies and departments, Issue Executive Orders, Alter the budget of an agency OMB, Reorganize an agency or department - DHSLegislativeChecks on Executive: Declare War, War Powers Act, Senate ratifies treaties and appointments, impeachments, congressional override of vetoChecks on Judicial: approves appointments, amendment process, create courts (size and structure), make all laws, impeachmentChecks on Bureaucracy: Approve Presidential appointments to head up agencies, Alter an agencies budget appropriations, Hold Congressional oversight hearings to evaluate performance, Create and abolish agencies change agencies functions, Rewrite legislation to either change it or clarify to goals of a policyJudicialChecks on Executive: interpret all laws, rule on constitutionality, impeachment, issue injunctionsChecks on Legislative: interpret all laws, rule on constitutionalityChecks on Bureaucracy: Issue injunctions and rule on due process and civil rightsBureaucracyChecks on Executive and Legislative: responsible for implementation and regulation, speed and thoroughnessChecks on Judicial: Litigation, Amicus briefsInstitutions of Govt: Checks & BalancesElections in the U.S.Voting Requirements?18 years old, citizen, must register in advance in all but seven states, limits on felons varyVoter Turnout?60% Presidential, 40% midtermsAge, Race, Income, EducationPresidential Elections?Party Identification, Personal Image, Policy and Issue VotingCongressional Elections?Census, Reapportionment, Redistricting, GerrymanderingAdvantages of Incumbency: Advertising and Visibility - Travel Allowances and Franking Privileges, Credit Claiming - Casework and Pork Barrel, Weak Opponents (more House than Senate), Campaign Spending and Paid StaffsParty Allegiance?Democrats Northeast, Urban, Poor, Women, Minorities, Catholics, Jews, Lawyers, Educators, LaborRepublicans Men, White, Protestant, Rural, Doctors, Executives, White-collarAdvantages of Majority Party in GovernmentAgenda Setting, Media and Bully PulpitAppointments and ConfirmationsCongressional Committees control chair and have majority in each committee, appoint leadership, assign bills to committeesPublic PolicyIntentional course of action followed by government in dealing with some problem or matter of concernSteps in Public Policy: 1. Problem Recognition + Agenda Setting, 2. Policy Formation + Budgeting, 3. Policy Implementation,4. Policy EvaluationEconomic PolicyMonetary Policy Federal ReserveFiscal Policy Taxing and Spending, Budget Process, Discretionary v. Mandatory SpendingSocial Welfare PolicyEntitlement Programs Social Security, MedicareMeans-Tested Programs TANF, MedicaidForeign PolicyRole of President, Congress, State Department, Joint Chiefs


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