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The Virginia Plan
Plan created by Virginia, that was accepted by most of the larger states, that called for a house to be based on population. Wanted a strong central government. (Unit I)
The New Jersey Plan
Plan created by New Jersey, that was favored by most small states, that called for a house to have two people from each state represent the house. Wanted a weak central government. (Unit I)
The Great Compromise
Compromise reached that called for two houses; a House of Representatives based on population and a Senate with two people from each state elected by state legislatures.  (Unit I)
The belief that the federal, state and local governments should work together. (Unit I)
Competitive Federalism
The new federalism that stresses the downsizing of the federal gov and more reliance on revenue sharing and grants. Think Nixon! (Unit I)
Cooperative Federalism/ Marble Cake Federalism
Characterized by the federal gov becoming more intrusive in what were traditionally state powers. Think New Deal!  (Unit I)
Creative Federalism
Characterized by the Great Sociey programs which placed a major responsibilty  on federally funded programs. (Unit I)
Dual Federalism/ Layer Cake Federalism
Federalism characterized by a national gov exercising its power independently from state governments. (Unit I)
Compromises About Slavery
The 3/5ths Compromise- each slave would be counted as 3/5ths of a person to add to the southern population Slave trade would not be outlawed until 1808 If a slave escaped to a free state and was caught, the slave would be returned. (Unit I)
People like Jefferson who felt that a Consitution was not necessary because they feared a powerful central gov. that would take away power from the states. Aka States Righters. (Unit I)
Checks and Balances on the President
Congress checks the President as follows: 
  • Vetoing a bill the president wants
  • Passing a law vetoed by the president
  • Impeachment
  • Refusing to elect an appointtee (Senate only)
  • Refusing to ratify a treaty the President has signed (Senate Only)
The Courts check the President by declaring actions unconsitutional (Unit I)
Checks and Balances on the Federal Courts
Congress checks the Federal Courts as follows:
  • Changing the number and jurisdiction of lower courts
  • Impeach a judge from office
  • Refusing to approve a person nominated to be a judge (Senate only)
The President checks the courts by nominating judges (Unit I)
Checks and Balances on Congress
The President checks Congress by vetoing a bill it has passed. The Courts check Congress by declaring a law unconsitutional (judical review) (Unit I)
How to Amend the Constitution
Allowed by Article V of the Constitution. First an amendment is proposed and has 7 years to go through the process. 2/3rds of both houses must approve the bill. If its passed then its ratified. 3/4ths of the state legislatures must approve and then its added.  (Unit I)
Federalist Paper #10
Written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. Express the need of a strong government (republic) and that the fear of factions was inevitable (the problem would be solved by checks and balances). (Unit I)
The Elastic Clause
Can be found in Article I, Section 8 (Powers of Congress). States that Congress can pass any law that they see as "necessary and proper", first tested out in McCulloch vs Maryland. (Unit I)
Commerce Clause
Found in Article I Section 8 (powers of Congress) Clause 3 of the Constitution giving Congress the authority to regulate interstate commerce and commerce with foreign countries. (Unit I)
Spending Clause
Found in Article I Section 8 (powers of Congress) Clause 1 that allows Congress to tax and spend money. (Unit I)
Pluralist Theory
Competition among all affect interests; shapes public policy. Many people are responsible for democracy. (Unit I)
Block Grant
Large sum of money given to the states to spend as they please (Unit I)
Categorial Grants
Money given to states for a specific purpose (airport). (Unit I)
Project Grants
Money for a specific project (factory, dam) (Unit I)
Laws that states must obey to get the money that is pomised by doing so. In turn, the states are fined if they do not abide by them. (Unit I)
Unfunded Mandates
Those regulations passed by Congress or issued by regulatory agencies to the states without federal funds to support them. (Unit I)
The concept of the Federal gov. going back to how things once were. This means that the gov. would take a back seat and cut off the states so everything is on the states and the gov. would only step in if extremely necessary. (Think Reagan!) (Unit I)
Concurrent Powers
Shared powers...
  • Elections
  • Collect and levy taxes
  • Establish Courts
(Unit I)
Enumerated/ Expressed Powers
Stated in the Constitution...
  • Tax
  • Regulate Commerce (interstate)
  • Declare War
  • Coin Money
(Unit I)
Reserved Powers
State powers...
  • 10th Amendment
  • Regulate intrastate commerce
  • Establish public schools
  • Pass license requirements
(Unit I)
Implied Powers
Not directly stated but the necessary and proper clause (Unit I)
Denied Powers
Powers not allowed...
  • Succession
  • Issue a new type of currency
(Unit I)
Process that allows voters to put legislative measures directly on the ballot. Aka Propositions. (Unit I)
Procedure that allows voters to reject a measure passed by the legislature. (Unit I)
Procedure where voters can remove an elected offical from office. (Unit I)
Political Socialization
The factors that determine voting behavior such as family, religion, and ethnic background. (Unit I)
Political Efficacy
Nations ability to understand and influence political events. (Unit I)
Elements of Political Culture
  • Liberty- Americans should be free to do as they please as long as they don't hurt anyone
  • Equality- All Americans should have an equal vote and equal chance to participate or succeed but NOT economic equality
  • Democracy- Gov officials should be accountable to the people
  • Civic Duty- People should take community affairs seriously and help out when possible
  • Individual Responsiblity- Individuals are responsible for their own actions and well being
(Unit I)
Motor Voter Act of 1993
Signed into law by Clinton, it enables people to register to vote at motor vehicle departments. (Unit I)
Factions within a group that do not vote the norm. Examples are Latinos/Koreans votes liberal while Cubans/other asians vote conservative. (Unit II)
Democratics. Believe in civil rights, pro social programs, pro immigration, pro enviornment, pro tax increases. (Unit II)
Republicans. Believe in war, pro gun usage, pro big buisness, pro small rual communities, pro death penalty. (Unit II)
Random Sample
Selecting an amount from a population where everyone has an equal chance of being picked so there is a good variety of people in a survey so it can be more accurate.  (Unit II)
Sampling Error
A major problem with polling. Basically the difference  between the results of a random sample. Occurs because some people don't know who or what they are voting for or a person votes for another. (Unit II)
Exit Poll
A poll taken right after a vote has been cast. Tend to be the most accurate because people see no point in lying when they've just casted the vote. (Unit II)
Focus Group
Technique used by pollsters to determine how a cross section of voters feels about a particular topic. (Unit II)
Forms of Political Participation
  • Voting
  • Joining civic associations
  • Protesting
  • Supporting social movements
  • Writing to legislation
(Unit II)
Reasons for Lack of Political Participation
  • Apathy
  • Ballot fatigue
  • People don't know how
  • Same day voting
(Unit II)
Meeting of party regulars that ask questions, discuss qualifications regarding a candidate, and voting on candidates. (Unit II)
Open Primary
Primary election in which voters may choose in which party to vote as they enter the polling place. (Unit II)
Closed Primary
Primary election in which voting is limited to already registered party members. (Unit II)
Blanket Primary
Primary election in which each voter may vote for candidates from both parties. (Unit II)
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