Poli 2051

  1. What is government?
    a formally established way of making and carrying out political decisions
  2. why do we have government?
    because government can do things for us. Life without government would be worse. Without government, we would have to exist in a state called the "state of nature"
  3. politics
    the competitionto shape government's impact on society's problems and goal
  4. social contact theory
    it is not a written contract, but rather, a general agreement between the people and their government
  5. normative
    the way things should be
  6. empirical
    the way things actually are
  7. purposes of government
    to protect the natural laws
  8. natural laws
    life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
  9. What purpose have government traditionally served? What does government do?
    protect life, rights and liberties, provide public goods, promoting equalitiy (contravesal)
  10. political idealogy
    a coherent set of beliefs about how policies affect society and which policies are desirable.
  11. Examples of political ideology
    • *liberals
    • *conservatives
    • *populists
    • *libertarians
    • communist
    • socialist
  12. the policy process
    people (interest, concerns, problems),linkage processes (elections, polls, lobbying), linkage institution (political parties, interest groups, media, and government agendas),government (congress, president, courts) policies (expenditures, regulations, taxes, non-decision)
  13. the requirements for a democracy
    popular sovereignty, political equality, political liberty
  14. popular sovereignty
    people are the ultimate source of all public authority
  15. political equality
    each person carries the same weight in voting and other political decision making
  16. political liberty
    freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly, etc. are essential for democracy to work
  17. six conditions of popular sovereignty
    • government polices reflect the wishes of the people
    • government leaders are elected
    • elections are free and fair
    • people participate in the political process
    • high-quality information is available
    • the majority rules
  18. delegates
    do what the people want (democratic ideal)
  19. trustees
    do what they thinkis best (republicanism)
  20. the constitution
    a definition : document that specifies the basic structure of government
  21. our Constitution embraces four basic principles
    • republicanism
    • federalism
    • separation of powers
    • check and balances
  22. republicanism
    a form or government in which power resides in the people and is exercised by their elected representatives
  23. federalism
    the division of sovereignty(power), and hence power, among two or more government
  24. Setting of the Consitution
    britain war w/ france-- france repelled(1763) britian broke.... tax colonist (stamp act, writs of assistance, tea)
  25. the declaration of independence
    • an example of social contract theory
    • it did not toutline the structure of our new government
    • gave them propaganda for the war
  26. the articles of Confederation
    • they were a failure
    • none of the important powers could be exercised unless 9 states agreed, even when a decision was reached; there was no method of enforcing those decisions
  27. the constitutional convention of 1787
    • Initially the plan was to revise the Articles of Confederation
    • had the effect of writing a whole new charter of government
  28. constitutional itself
    • create a powerful national government
    • prevent an excess of democracy
    • acquire popular consent
  29. federalist #10
    • purpose of the constitution is to "break or control the violence
    • remove its causes
    • control its effects
  30. federalist #51
    • how to prevent the possibity of tyranny from other sources, from w/in the gov't/
    • ambition must be made to counteract ambition
    • distribute the power among three branches
    • give each branch some ability to counteract the others
    • federalism helps too
  31. Why did the anit-federalist object?
    because the constitution did not contain a list of rights and liberties to protect people from a powerful central government
  32. federalism
    def. at least two separte governments share responsibility for the governing the same people and territory
  33. federalism is seen as a continuum
    confederal--> fedeal-->unitary
  34. national government has powers to promote commerce
    coining money, building post offices, roads, railroads, protecting inventions with patents
  35. states have the coercive powers
    to define and maintain public order through laws and regulations
  36. civil liberties- freedoms...what governments can't take away..(have's in society)
    civil rights-what the government must do ... (have nots
Card Set
Poli 2051
poli 2051 test 1