Chapter 2 - Study Guide

Chapter 2 - Study Guide - POLS 101I- American National...

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POLS 101I- American National Government Hagan Chapter Two Constitutional Democracy: Promoting Liberty and Self-Government Learning Objectives Having read the chapter, the students should be able to do each of the following: 16936. Describe the system of checks and balances on the powers of the three branches of American government and assess its effectiveness in controlling the abuse of political power. 16937. Explain and analyze the roots of limited government in America. 16938. Compare separation of powers and separated institutions sharing power. Assess why the second, which characterizes the U.S. system, is the more substantial check on political power. 16939. Explain what is meant by the term judicial review, and assess its significance in a system based on limited government. Be sure to explain the constitutional significance of Marbury v. Madison. 16940. Discuss the distinction the Framers made between the terms democracy and republic. 16941. Summarize the arguments for and against direct government, as compared to an indirect, representative government. 16942. Analyze the development of American political institutions in terms of the conflicting concerns about expanded popular rule, protection of minority rights, and elite influence. Focus and Main Points The focus of this chapter is on the foundations of limited government in the United States. The author begins with a review of the origins of this restriction of governmental authority, and proceeds to discuss constitutional restraints on power and the related issue of judicial review. The continuing debate over representation is also analyzed, tracing its historical development. The author provides a general perspective on constitutional democracy today in conclusion. The major ideas in this chapter include: America during the colonial period developed a tradition of limited government and self-government. These traditions were rooted in governing practices, philosophy, and cultural values. The Constitution provides for a limited national government mainly by defining its lawful powers and by dividing those powers among competing institutions, each of which acts as a check on the others. The Constitution, with its Bill of Rights, also prohibits government from infringing on individual rights. Judicial review is an additional safeguard of limited government. The Constitution in its original form provided for self-government primarily through indirect systems of popular elections of representatives. The Framers’ theory of self-government was based on the idea that political power must be separated from immediate popular influences if sound policies are to result. The idea of popular government—in which the majority’s desires have a relatively direct and immediate impact on governing officials—has gained strength since the nation’s beginning. Originally, the House of Representatives was the only institution subject to direct vote of the people. This mechanism has been extended to other institutions and, through primary elections, even to the
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This note was uploaded on 10/10/2011 for the course POLS 101 taught by Professor Hamilton,t during the Summer '08 term at College of Southern Idaho.

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Chapter 2 - Study Guide - POLS 101I- American National...

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