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polisci test one - American Politics/Government Study Notes...

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American Politics/Government: Study Notes for Exam ONE **These are all in order except for the last 10. **Where did we get our ideas? Thomas Hobbes : gov’t based on a social contract; John Locke : individuals have certain unalienable (natural) rights such as life, liberty and property; Rousseau : gov’t based on individual’s consent and for their benefit . **The Five Overriding Tendencies in the American Political System are: 1. Enduring Cultural Ideals a common bond 2. Fragmentation of gov’t based on checks and balances 3. Competition between diverse groups 4. Emphasis on Individual Rights and Responsibilities 5. Separation of Economic and Political Decisions places many economic issues outside of political control. Equality – one of America’s Core Values, all people are of equal moral worth and entitled to equal treatment under the law, but has always been a less clearly defined concept than liberty. (even today, such as…does equality require that wealth and opportunity be widely shared?) Ideals – Core Ideals (also known as the American Creed): Liberty, Equality and Self- Government. Best Case Scenario, Ideals define what society sees as reasonable and desirable behaviors. But there is a limit on ideals because they don’t always match reality, because they are general principles and sometimes in conflict with each other. Equality = fairness and equal opportunity BUT Liberty = personal freedoms. American Emphasis on liberty and individualism which leads to: 1. Less support for gov’t social welfare programs and 2. More emphasis on equal opportunity (look at accessibility of higher education) Self – Government – one of America’s Core Values, the people are the ultimate source of governmental power, Majority Rule. U.S. is a Republic…there is Limited Popular Rule (House of Reps – direct popular election; Senators – appointed by legislatures; President – elected by electoral college; Judges – nominated by President and confirmed by the Senate) In altering the Constitution there were 3 views: 1. Jeffersonian Democracy – A Revolution of the Spirit, he championed the common people (supported governance by Congressional majority) 2. Jacksonian Democracy – Linking the People and the Presidency 3. The Progressives – Senate and Primary Elections (Delegates, Primary Elections) *The founders feared the “tyranny of the majority” : 1. Democracy – unlimited power of the majority 2. Republic – majority rule, but with protections for minority rights and interests (elected officials were to act as trustees ) Conflict – There was a conflict between the large and small states. The Virginia Plan – Two Chambers for Legislatures AND Congress in charge of defense and interstate trade. The New
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Jersey Plan – Each State ONE vote AND Congress could tax and regulate trade between states.
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