Politics: actions among a number of people involving influence
Power: ability to influence anothers behavior
The more power one has over another, the greater the change, or the easier
Voters and Political Parties
Organization that runs candidates for public office under the
Method of organizing or centralizing power
Decentralization of power by national government, created need
Group theory of democracy
o Fragmentation of power: pluralists way of saying that
no one group dominates the political game
Power is divided among the number of groups
o Bargaining: Process used
Do Groups Interests Overwhelm the Public Interest?
Interest groups and their lobbyists dominate politics
Research indicates following
o Lobbyists have little success in persuading members of
Congress to change their minds
People organized to pursue a common interest by applying
pressure on the political process
Parties and the electoral system are organized by geography
Provide Americans with common causes to express their views
Media study guide
1. What is mass media?
Forms of communication that are technologically capable of reaching most people and economically
affordable to most
Have existed for less than two centuries
Political power related to control of information
Public Opinion and Ideology
1.What is public opinion? The aggregation of peoples views about issues, situations, and public figures.
2.What is the law of anticipated reactions? Public opinion influences government even though it does so indirectly and
Chapter Four: Congress
-Demographic characteristics of Congress (race, gender, profession, income)
-Changes in how Senators are chosen
-Gerrymandering: what is it? Various types
-Characteristics of seniority system
-How do committees work? How do they dif
Solidary the sense of pleasure, status, or
companionship that arises out of meeting with
like- minded people
The goal of an interest group is to influence public policy. How do they
o By supplying public officials with things they need. What ar
Voting and Elections
a. Conventional - relatively routine, non-threatening behavior that
uses the channels of representative government.
b. Unconventional - relatively uncommon behavior that challenges or
defies government chan
2051 American Government
Chapter 1 Democracy and American Politics
I. What is Government and why do we have it?
Government - a formally established way of making and
carrying out political decisions.
Politics - the competition to shape government's impact
Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
Civil Liberties vs. Civil Rights
Civil Liberties - freedoms guaranteed to the individual.
- they take the form of negative restraints on government. Usually
asserted by the haves in society.
- Examples: freedom of speec
Exam 4 review
Chapter 14 The Judiciary
Structure of the Courts: pg. 430-435.
o Includes district, appeals, and supreme courts
o Are federal courts created by Congress under the authority of
Article III of the Constitution, which di
Criticisms of the Elite View
Political conflicts are examples of how elites check and balance
Ideals of democracy are in better hands than they would be
under the control of an uninformed majority
Power elite support
Voters and Political Parties
Eligibility criteria for voting
o Citizens who are eighteen years and older
o Individuals who have satisfied their states residency
Approximately forty percent citizens do not vo
The Constitution: Rules of the Game
Background to the Constitution
On July 4th 1776, Declaration of Independence proclaimed American colonies
Free and Independent States
On may 1787 Constitution drawn from:
o English political heritage
POLI 2051- Chapter 3
The Executive Branch: The Presidency and Bureaucracy
The President and the Constitution
Requirements for the office of the president
o Must be at least 35 years old
o Resident of the United States for 14 years
o Native-Born ci
Amending the Constitution
Amendments are PROPOSED
By a two thirds vote of both houses of congress
Be a national convention called by congress at the request of
two-thirds of the state legislatures
Used once (twenty f
Citizen participation is the heart of a democratic system
Because of citizen participation the United States has achieved the following
o The nation and its institutions are amazingly stable. The United States
has the oldest written constituti
Bureaucrats as Policymakers
Policy and administration were two different functions of
o Traditional idea of public administration
President and Congress make policy
o Bureaucracy carries it out
Bureaucracy involves in policyma
Chief of State
Performs ceremonial functions, representing the nation.
Ability to carry out or execute the laws
Executive Orders: Issued by the president to set guidelines for federal
agencies and hav
What are Civil Liberties and Rights?
Protection against the government restrictions on freedom of
o Freedom of speech, petition, assembly, and press
o Guarantees due process of law in courtroom proce
Never ending talk by one or a number of senators designed to
delay or block action in the Senate.
o Rule 22: Protects the filibuster unless three-fifths of the
Senate votes for an end to debate.
o Cloture: Voting to end debate
The Judicial Branch: The Supreme Court and the
Federal Court System
Federal Court System
U.S. District Courts
All cases involving federal law are tried first in district courts
89 in the United States and 5 in the U.S. territo
Representation and Congress
Does the fact that Congress looks so different matter?
Descriptive representation is the idea that elected officials should not only
have policy positions that mirror their constituents, but the representativ
Due Process Rights
Guarantees fundamental procedural fairness and impartial
rulings by government officials
Criminal trails includes, right to:
o Free counsel if one cannot afford a lawyer
o Have ones lawyer present at any police questio
End of Chapter 6
The Supreme Court has constructed three tests for cases arising
under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
o The rational basis test compels a plaintiff to prove that a
Congressional voting guide
1.Why werent elites interested in originally serving in Congress?
Living conditions in Washington D.C. were swampy and unattractive.
o Sewage and garbage clogged the Washington City Canal, making the area that is now the