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Poly Sci Texas Tech
Test 1 Texas Tech
Political Studies
Undergraduate 2

Additional Political Studies Flashcards




What is a definition of government? How do government decisions differ from those of other social groups?
A vehicle for making social decisions
Can legally use force
But legitimacy – public acceptance – is preferred
What is sovereignty? What is popular sovereignty? What is legitimacy?
A sovereign is the supreme lawmaking authority.

The will or consent of its people, who are the source of all political power.

legitimacy- govt. understands that it has limited power and that it can be dissolved
What are some common definitions of politics? How does politics in general differ from partisan politics?
 Robert Dahl – The Authoritative Allocation of Values
 Robert Dye – Who gets what, when, and how
 Expressing, managing, and resolving disagreements
 The Art of Compromise vs. War – The Art of Victory

Partisan Politics are about trying to make yourself look better than your opponent
Plato, Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke. In what general time period did each live (e.g., 200 BC, in the 1600s, the 1900s, or what)?
 @ 428-348 B.C.
 1588-1679
 1712-1788
John Locke
 1632-1704
Which one discussed classes of citizens and philosopher kings? What is the reasoning behind philosopher kings?
Plato: Nature of Philosopher-kings
 Decades of training as a philosopher
Philosophy was the seeking of truth
 Communal existence
Possibly many philosopher kings
no conflict of interest
 Would then make wise decisions
for the benefit of all
The analogy of the cave –what is it and what was Plato’s purpose with this analogy?
 The Analogy of the Cave
 People chained in cave all their life
 Can only face back cave wall with sun behind them
 Sometimes see caravans pass by, but only see shadows on wall
 If someone found them and took one of the people outside into blinding sunlight and said
 THIS IS TRUTH, your life is false.
 What would happen? They would become a philosopher
Hobbes versus Rousseau: On what did they agree and on what did they disagree? Which one favored an aristocracy and which a democracy?
Hobbes - tough law enforcement, against welfare, didnt trust the poors

Rousseau - favor individual freedom, didnt like law enforcement, doesnt trust rich, need govt for people who are down on there luck
Which two philosophers most explicitly discussed the state of nature? What is the state of nature?
Rousseau and Hobbes
People can be corrupt by the environment they live in
Why did they discuss it? What conclusions did each reach?
Hobbes states that in order to keep from anarchy you have to have a strong govt or king.

Rousseau states that you dont need a govt, give individual freedoms.
The Social Contract. What is it? What are its basic parts, assumptions, or arguments? Who was its major proponent?
Social Contract Principle 1
There is a natural law
A law of nature or God

Social Contract Principle 2
People consent to government
enter a social contract and
“accept the bonds of government
in order to better protect their rights.”

Social Contract Principle 3
Government transgressions
justify changing it- check mode

John Locke
How does a social contract relate to the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution?
both state that all men are equal
the govt will help you if you obey them
you can vote to have people fired
What does the Declaration of Independence say? What are its four basic parts?
It states Why we wrote it :So others will understand our decision
for world opinion,
Also directed to friends, family, & political leaders in Europe
So people won’t think colonists were totally irrational

4 parts:
The Preamble
Principles of Government
The Wrongs of Britain
How does it differ from the Constitution? Who was its primary author? From where did the author get most of his ideas?
Author Thomas Jefferson, got most of the ideas from John Locke and the social contract.

D of I declares us independent and the constitution governs the government. (limited Govt.)
For what major books are Plato, Hobbes, and Locke best known?
Plato- "The Republic"
Hobbes- "The Leviathan"
Locke- "Second Treatise on Government"
The U.S. constitution accomplishes three basic functions. What are they?
1.)what bodies or agencies a government will have
2.)What power each body or whole govt. will have
3.)How people are selected to fill each body
Presidential – Parliamentary: How does the relationship between the executive and legislative branches differ between the two?
 1. Parliamentary vs. Presidential
 Parliamentary
 All power in legislature
 Legislature selects (and can fire) executive
 Most countries have parliamentary form
 Presidential
 Two co-equal bodies, executive & legislature
 Elected separately & neither controls the other
How does the distribution of governing power differ in unitary, federal, and confederate structures? What are some examples of confederate governments?
Unitary- King
Confederacy- Power with states
Federal-U.S States elect Govt.
What is the only significant difference between a dictatorship and a monarchy?
 Dictatorship / Monarchy
 Rule by wisest, best (or strongest)
 Religious leadership
How does a representative democracy or a republic differ from a pure or direct democracy? Which one is our current national government? What are some examples of direct democracy?
 Pure or Direct Democracy
 All citizens involved in all decisions
 Tribes, clubs, New England Town Meetings
 Indirect Democracy
 Republic or Representative Democracy
 Elect representatives to make decisions

We are indirect
elect a president
What were the experiences and concerns of the founders related to: limited national identity and communications, their experiences with centralized power and colonial governors and colonial legislatures? Who did they trust more, legislatures or executives? Why?
Fear of centralized power
Trusted legislature because they represented colonists and they dis liked kings and they could be dissolved if they become too powerful.
Articles of Confederation: How was it structured? How many votes did each state have in the national legislature? What, if any, was the executive of the government?
 Each state had one vote
 Created army & Navy, but
 No power to tax
 Had to request money from states
 Semi-parliamentary
 Rule by committee (Congress)
 No chief executive

Congress there was no chief
What were the problems with the articles concerning: the government’s taxing power and ability to pay its bills, problems with interstate trade and currency, civil disorder?
 Government couldn’t pay its’ bills
 wealthy citizens and foreign governments bought government bonds to finance Revolutionary War
 90% of requests to states for funds ignored
 Value of bonds fell to 10 cents on the dollar

 No common currency
 Each state, and sometimes private banks made its own
 Required goods and services to be paid in its currency
 Stifled trade between states
 some states set tariffs
Made other state goods cost more
Under the Articles, each state issued its own currency

 Civil disorder
 Debtors revolted against tax collectors and sheriffs attempting to foreclose on farms if mortgage not paid
What was Shay’s rebellion and why was it important?
 2,000 farmers in Massachusetts captured courthouses in several counties
 burned tax records and bank records of mortgages
What problems under the Articles of Confederation led the founders to want to make changes to it? At what meeting did they write the new Constitution? What was that meeting called to do and how does this differ form what it actually did?
 Congress called a convention to meet in Philadelphia for
“sole and express purpose” of revising the Articles,
“To report to the Congress and state legislatures” on needed changes
Changes would go into effect only “when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the states”

 What it actually did
 threw out the Articles and started over drafting an entirely new government
 ignored current Congress & state legislatures
 called for special ratifying conventions in each, thus bypassing state legislatures
 declared would go into effect when approved by 9 states (versus unanimous approval required by Articles)
How much faith did the founders have in democracy? What are elements of the Constitution that show their faith or lack of faith in democracy? Which offices were elected directly by the people? How were people selected to serve in the other offices?
Not alot of faith that have alot of checks and balances that keep the govt running.

House was directly elected by the people.
members of the house elected congress and the president
What was the New Jersey Plan
 New Jersey Plan = presidential system One house, each state with equal vote, separate executive and judicial branches
the Virginia Plan
 Virginia Plan = parliamentary system Lower House elected by population, it selects upper house, cabinet, and judges
the Connecticut Compromise?
 Connecticut Compromise = presidential system, BUT: two houses, lower by population, upper where each state has equal vote separate executive and judicial branches
What is the Separation of Powers? How does it relate to checks and balances? How do separation of powers and checks and balances differ from federalism?
 Needed stronger national leadership, but still fear of executives, so checks & balances.
 No bill becomes law without approval of both houses
 President can veto,
 BUT Congress can override with 2/3 vote
 President appoints ambassadors, judges and heads of federal agencies
 BUT Senate must approve appointments
 Congress may impeach, convict, and remove from office president and judges

Federalism- differences  Constitution lists powers of new national government
 Powers not listed left “to the states and or the people”
How did the constitution writers deal with slavery, both counting slaves for purposes of representation and whether slavery should be legal or outlawed?
3/5 compromise
slave trade - then govt. banned importation of slaves
What were the battles over who was allowed to vote? How did they deal with this issue? What is meant by the terms franchise and / or suffrage?
 Who votes?
 All males?
 Only property owners?
 Couldn’t decide and left to states
 Later generations addressed via amendments
 Slave Trade – Allow or not?
How many articles does the U.S. Constitution have and what is the general topic of each article?
 Seven Articles -- each article is a separate section / topic

 (1). Legislature membership & power
 (2). Executive membership & power
 (3). Supreme Court membership & power
 (4). Interstate relations
 Full faith & credit
 Privileges & immunities
 Addition of new states
 (5). How to amend
 (6). National supremacy clause
 (7). Ratification
Who were the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists? What was the position of each on the proposed Constitution?
Anti Fed. liked the Articles of Confederation
What was the media campaign waged by the Federalists? What was it called, which individuals were involved, and what name did they use?
The Federalist Papers
 Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay
 85 “Press Releases”
 Printed in newspapers as letters to the editor
 A key to understanding founder intent
How is a formal change (amendment) to the Constitution proposed and ratified and what is the difference between proposing and ratifying amendments in terms of who does it and the vote required?
 Formal Amendment – adding words to or taking them away from the Constitution
 Proposal
 – the specific words to be added or deleted
 2/3 vote of both houses of Congress,
 OR
 National Convention called by 2/3 of the states

 Formal Amendment – Ratification
 Legislatures in 3/4 of states
 OR
 Conventions of citizen in 3/4 of states
What is an informal change and how does it differ from a formal one? What role do judicial interpretation and custom and usage play in the meaning of the Constitution?
 Judicial interpretation
 Custom and Usage

ex no one has to quarter troops anymore
How many amendments have been added to the constitution, both counting and not counting the bill of rights?
 27 Total
 1-10 = Bill of Rights
What have most of those amendments dealt with? Be able to give examples of amendments in each of these categories: Bill or Rights, Perfecting the process or correcting errors, Expanding Liberty, and Expanding Voting Rights.
allowing more personal freedoms, such as voting, slavery, drugs, drinking
Why is constitutional government inherently limited government? How does constitutional law differ from statutory law?
Because the Constitution is just checks and balances so the con. cannot obstruct individual rights
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