Foundations of American Government

Jamie Haynes
Flashcards by Jamie Haynes, updated more than 1 year ago
Jamie Haynes
Created by Jamie Haynes about 8 years ago
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High School Diploma Government Flashcards on Foundations of American Government, created by Jamie Haynes on 06/05/2013.

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Question Answer
According to the Constitution,what are the six basic purposes of government? Form a more perfect union Establish Justice Ensure domestic tranquility Provide for the common defense Promote the general welfare Secure the blessings of liberty
Explain the three types of governments based upon their geographic distribution of powers. Unitary, Federal, Confederation - All powers belong to a single, central agency. - Powers are divided between a central government and local governments. - A loose alliance of independent states.
Explain the differences between parliamentary and presidential forms of government. Presidential - Divided into three branches, elected and serve terms. Parliamentary - Members of the executive branch are nominated by the parliament.
Explain the differences between a dictatorship and a democracy. In a democracy, the supreme authority rests with the people; whereas, in a dictatorship, the leader has absolute power.
Explain the differences between a dictatorship and a democracy. In a democracy, the supreme authority rests with the people; whereas, in a dictatorship, the leader has absolute power.
Explain the main difference between a direct democracy and a representative democracy. Direct democracy sovereignty is lodged in the assembly of all citizens who choose to participate. Depending on the particular system, this assembly might pass executive motions, make law, elect and dismiss officials, and conduct trials. A representative democracy occurs when the assembly elects officials. These are executive agents or direct representatives, bound to the will of the people.
Explain the five basic concepts of democracy. a. Fundamental worth of the individual – Each individual, no matter what his or her station in life, is a separate and distinct being. b. Respect for the equality of all persons – All are entitled to equality of opportunity and equality before the law. c. Faith in majority rule, with a respect for minority rights – The majority must always recognize the right of any minority to become, by fair and lawful means, the majority. d. Acceptance of the necessity for compromises – Decision making must be largely a matter of give and take among various competing interests. e. Individual freedom – Each individual must be as free to do as he or she pleases as far as the freedom of all will allow.
Explain the following basic concepts of the government of the American colonists. Ordered, Limited, Representative a. Ordered government –Orderly regulation of their relationships with one another. b. Limited government – Government is restricted in what it may do, and individuals have rights the government may not take away. c. Representative government – Government that represents the will of the people.
Identify the key provisions of the following documents that established the “rights of Englishmen" Magna Carta (Trial by jury, due process, private property) Petition of Right - Trial by judgement of peers English Bill of Rights - No cruel punishment; no excessive bail or fines, right to bear arms; right to petition.
Explain the differences between the three types of English colonies. Royal Colonies: Direct control of the crown Proprietary Colonies: King makes a grant of land Charter Colonies: grants of land by charter or license to rule
Identify the following attempt at unity among the American colonies. Albany Plan of Union A plan to place the British North American colonies under a more centralized government.
Identify the following attempt at unity among the American colonies. Stamp Act Congress A meeting to protest taxation without representation.
Identify the following attempt at unity among the American colonies. First Continental Congress Urged each of the colonies to boycott English goods in reprisal for the Intolerable Acts.
Identify the following attempt at unity among the American colonies. Second Continental Congress The nation’s first national government. It resulted in the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation.
What is the Declaration of Independence? Why is it important? What basic political concepts does it set forth in its second paragraph? Declaration Of Independence -­‐ Explained the justifications for separation from the British crown. It set forth the basic political concepts that all men are created equal and are endowed with certain inalienable rights.
Explain the following common feature (or concepts) of the new state constitutions. Popular Sovereignty Belief that the legitimacy of the state is created by the will or consent of its people, who are the source of all political power.
Explain the following common feature (or concepts) of the new state constitutions. Limited Government Government structure where any more than minimal governmental intervention in personal liberties and the economy is prohibited by law.
Explain the following common feature (or concepts) of the new state constitutions. Civil Rights and Liberties The sovereign people held certain rights that the government must respect at all times.
Explain the following common feature (or concepts) of the new state constitutions. Separation of Powers State governments were divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.
Explain the following common feature (or concepts) of the new state constitutions. Checks and Balances Each branch was given powers with which to restrain the actions of the other branches of government.
Explain the following common feature (or concepts) of the new state constitutions. Checks and Balances Each branch was given powers with which to restrain the actions of the other branches of government.
Under the Articles of Confederation, how was the national government structured, or set up? a. Congress was unicameral. b. Each state had one vote in Congress. c. No executive or judicial branch. d. Congress chose one of its members as president.
What were the key weaknesses of the national government under the Articles of Confederation? a. One vote for each state, regardless of size. b. Congress was powerless to lay and collect taxes or duties. c. No executive branch to enforce acts of Congress. d. No natural court system. e. Amendments could be made only with consent of all states. f. A 9/13 majority required to pass laws. g. Articles were only a “firm league of friendship.”
What were the concerns that led to the meetings at Mount Vernon and Annapolis? The concerns that led to the meetings at Mount Vernon and Annapolis were demands for a stronger, more effective national government.
Why was representation in Congress a key question at the Constitutional Convention? How was it resolved? Large states expected to dominate the government, while small states feared they could not be able to protect their interests. It was resolved by the Connecticut Compromise, or the Great Compromise, that Congress should consist of two houses. In the House of Representatives, the representation of each state would be based on its population. The states would each have two representatives in the Senate.
Explain the following compromises worked out at the Constitutional Convention. a. Three-­‐Fifths Compromise – All “free persons should be counted, and so, too, three-­‐fifths of all other persons.” b. Commerce Compromise – Congress was forbidden to tax the export of any goods from any state,and it forbade the power to act on the slave trade for twenty years.
Why was it necessary for the delegates at the Constitutional Convention to work out compromises? The delegates came from states that were widely separated in geographic and economic terms and they often reflected the interests of their states.
What political writings are generally considered to be sources of the proposed constitution? William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, Charles de Montesquieu’s The Spirit of Laws, Jean Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract, John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government.
Why is James Madison considered the "Father of the Constitution"? James Madison is considered the "Father of the Constitution" because he was the principal author.
What were the major objections of the Anti-­‐Federalists to the proposed constitution? The proposed constitution greatly increased powers of the government and lacked a Bill of Rights.
Who were the leaders of the Federalists? James Madison and Alexander Hamilton were the leaders of the Federalists.
Who were the leaders of the Anti-­‐ Federalists? Patrick Henry, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams were the leaders of the Anti-­‐Federalists.
What are the four basic characteristics of the state? Population Territory Sovereignty Government
Explain the following theory of the origin of the state. Force&Theory A person or group claims control over an area and forces it to submit to their rule.
Explain the following theory of the origin of the state. Evolutionary Theory The state developed naturally out of the early family.
Explain the following theory of the origin of the state. Divine Right Theory Belief that God gave kings the right to rule.
Explain the following theory of the origin of the state. Social Contract Theory Each man is only as secure as his own power and mental awareness could make him. (state of nature)
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