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Unformatted text preview: Jacobs 1 Brittany Jacobs PSC 100 Assignment #1 Chapter 1: Question #1: What is your own background with democracy? (Have you had a government class in the past? Have you voted in recent elections?) What is your initial reaction to the term "democracy" (positive, negative, confused…)? I have taken a government class my junior year of high school, so I do not remember much. However, I attempted to take this class during Fall 2017 semester but unfortunately had too much on my plate at the time and had to drop it the second week. I generally do not like to get involved with politics so therefore I have never voted in recent elections. My initial reaction to the term “democracy” is confused because I am not sure that I have a clear understanding of what it exactly means. I know there is a political party called democrats, but I do not know what their beliefs are or what they do. Question #2: What is the main difference between "direct democracy" and "indirect democracy"? The main difference between “direct and indirect democracy” is that direct democracy is when eligible citizens discuss and decide policy through majority rule emerged in the town’s meeting. Indirect democracy is when the citizens elect representatives who decide policies on the behalf of the people (page 12 and 13). Jacobs 2 Question #3: How does your text define "political ideology"? Briefly define liberalism and conservatism, and explain how they differ from one another in America. Also, which viewpoint (if either) do you tend to identify with, and briefly explain why you feel this way (you cannot get this part of the response wrong!)? My text defines “political ideology” as an integrated system of ideas or beliefs about political values in general and the role of government in particular (page 16). Liberalism is defined as an ideology that advocates change in the social, political, and economic realms to better protect the well-being of individuals and to produce equality within society (page 16). Conservatism is defined as an ideology that emphasizes preserving tradition and relying on community and family as mechanisms of continuity in society (page 17). Liberals and conservatives differ by their view of the role of the government (page 18). I stand on the more liberal aspect of the government because I agree that society is constantly changing, so something that might have worked in the 1700s might not work with society today. Question #4: Briefly explain the concept of "socialism". Where do you see this term being used in today's society? Socialism is an ideology that stresses economic equality, theoretically achieved by having the government or workers own the business and industry. This term was used during the 2016 election with candidate, Bernie Sanders, when he identified himself as a “Democratic socialist” (page 18). Question #5: Define the terms " popular sovereignty" and "social contract theory". How do these terms fit in with the American notion of how government should work? Jacobs 3 The term “popular sovereignty” is defined as the theory that government is created by the people and depends on the people for the authority to rule (page 12). The term “social contract theory” is defined as the idea that individuals possess free will, and every individual is equally endowed with the God- given right of self-determination and the ability to consent to be governed (page 12). These terms are the framework of the Declaration of Independence (page 12). Chapter 2: Question #1: What were some of the main goals of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and do you think that they were accomplished? The main goal of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was to address the issues within the government. Our constitution was then created, and with that federal government emerged. This established a stronger central government with more specific powers as well as the ideas of checks and balances (page 42). I think that the Convention helped accomplish this goal because it was pointing out the flaws with the government at the time. Question #2: Identify and explain the following two compromises that came out of this convention: the Connecticut Compromise, and the Three-Fifths Compromise. Briefly explain their importance to the success of the convention. The Connecticut Compromise defined how the Constitution would affect all states. As it carries over to today, each state gets two representatives in the House. This is important so that smaller states’ issues and needs are not drowned out by bigger states (page 43). The Three-Fifths Compromise allowed states to count each enslaved person as threefifths of a free man in order to gain representation in congress. This was important Jacobs 4 because it allowed both the Northern states and the Southern states to benefit in different ways (page 46). Question #3: Why were many of the Anti-Federalists fearful of a strong central government, and how did the Federalists counter these concerns? Also, do you believe that these concerns were justified? Briefly explain your position. Many of the Anti-Federalists were fearful of a strong central government because they wanted power to belong to each state, and were very concerned with freedom and civil liberties. Among other fears, higher taxes and a supreme court that interfered with states were at the top of the list (page 51 and 52). The Bill of Rights countered these concerns and I do believe these concerns were justified because it is nerve wrecking to think that our government were once doing things unjustifiable and turned on its people. Question #4: What are the three branches of the United States government, and why do you believe that they were separated? The three branches of the United States government are the legislative, executive, and judicial branches (page 43). I believe they were separated so that the “checks and balances” would work in favor of the smaller states and that every state can have equal representation. Question #5: How does our system of government place "checks" on the powers of the three different branches, and do you believe that this is important? Please include a few examples of these checks in your response. Jacobs 5 Our system of government place “checks” on the powers of the three different branches by dividing power between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. These checks work to make sure that not one branch has more power than the other (page 43). The legislative branch makes the laws, but the executive branch can veto any bill, and then congress can then override that veto. The judicial branches makes sure laws are not unconstitutional (page 43 through 45). Question #6: How many amendments have there been to our Constitution? Briefly, list a few of the ones that you consider most important to our country, and why you believe that they are so relevant. In your opinion, why was it so important that an "amendment" clause was included into the Constitution? 27 amendments in our Constitution have been approved. It is important that an amendment clause was included into the Constitution because as we grow as a nation and receive new information, we need to constantly make sure someone’s rights are not being unconstitutional (page 54). I believe that the 1st, 5th, 15th, and 19th amendments are some of the most important to our country. The 15th and 19th amendments are important because it allowed everyone to be able to vote. The 5th amendment because it gives everyone the right to due process when they are suspected of committing a crime; this prevents unfair rulings. The 1st amendment is the most important because without it, we would not see nearly as much progress and change as we have in our country (page 54). Question #7: What is "judicial review", and how does it impact the legislative and executive branches of government? Jacobs 6 The judicial review allows the Supreme Court to perform a check on the legislative and executive branches to ensure nature right, which are outlined in our Constitution and are not being taken away from citizens (page 49). ...
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