Chapter11-Congress - A.P. Civics Notes: Chapter 11...

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A.P. Civics Notes: Chapter 11 “Congress” I. Introduction 1. The   Congress   that the U.S. and most Latin American countries has is different from the  Parliament  that most European nations have because in Europe, a person who wants to run for  office must persuade his party to nominate him, while in America, politicians can run for  themselves. i. In Europe, people vote for parties; in America, they vote for individuals. ii. In primaries, people vote especially for a “person” (and his qualities, traits, etc…), and  in general elections, this is sometimes true also. iii. In parliament, legislators can support their leaders or not, and if they don’t then new  leaders (prime minister and various cabinet members) must be elected. a. This ensures that more action can occur, since the parties of the executive and  legislative branches are practically always the same. iv. Congress is free from the turmoil of possible collapsing executive branches and is more  powerful to make decisions; Congressmen don’t have to worry about easily losing their  positions come another election. a. In Congress, there is less cohesion in bill passing, and less stuff can get done. v. Parliaments   members   usually   engage   in   debate ,   are   poorly   paid,   have   little  independent power, and receive little power as well. vi. Meanwhile, Congressmen are much better paid, have more power, do many things in  committees, and have staff members of their own, thus “proving how important they  are.”  I. The Evolution of Congress 2. The framers of the Constitution chose a congress over other forms of representative gov’t  because they didn’t want all power concentrated together, even if it was in a group of people,  but they also knew that the states would want to be heavily represented and have power. vii. Thus, they created a  bicameral legislature , which consisted of two houses—a House  of Representatives and a Senate—where one was based on population representation  and the other was more evenly balanced. 2. Despite the   checks and balances   created, the framers still expected Congress to be the  dominant branch in politics, and for a while, it was, except with strong presidents like  Andrew  Jackson Abraham Lincoln Theodore Roosevelt , and  Woodrow Wilson  were in power.
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i. Many struggles within Congress have been over important issues like slavery and  tariffs,  but there has also been  debate  over  how power  should be spread within  Congress itself. a.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course USHIST 102 taught by Professor Smythe during the Spring '08 term at TCU.

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Chapter11-Congress - A.P. Civics Notes: Chapter 11...

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