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  • 1. 1 The Study of American Government UNIT 1
  • 2. 2Copyright © 2013 Cengage What Is Political Power? ■ Power–the ability of one person to get another person to act in accordance with the first person’s intentions ■ Authority–the right to use power ■ Legitimacy–political authority conferred by law or by a state or national constitution
  • 3. 3 What is Government? ■ Composed of formal and informal institutions, people, and processes used to create and conduct public policy ■ Public Policy is the exercise of government powering doing those things necessary to maintain legitimate authority and control over society
  • 4. 4 Purposes of Government ■ Create a Strong Union While Maintaining State Sovereignty ■ Establish Justice: reasonable, fair, impartial law ■ Preserving Public Order ■ Protect / Maintain National Defense ■ Promote Individual Freedom
  • 5. 5 Forms of Government ■ Anarchy: lack of government ■ Autocracy: rule by one (monarch v dictator) ■ Oligarcy: rule by a few (aristocracy v theocracy) ■ Democracy: rule by the people (representative v direct)
  • 6. 6Copyright © 2013 Cengage What Is Democracy? ■ Democracy–the rule of many ■ Direct or participatory democracy– government in which all or most citizens participate directly ■ Representative democracy–a government in which leaders make decisions by winning a competitive struggle for the popular vote.
  • 7. 7Copyright © 2013 Cengage Influences ■ Aristotle defined democracy as rule by ordinary people, most of whom would be poor ■ John Locke argued against powerful kings and in favor of popular consent ■ Thomas Hobbes argued that an absolute, supreme ruler was essential to prevent civil war
  • 8. 8Copyright © 2013 Cengage How Is Political 
 Power Distributed? ■ Majoritarian politics – elected officials are the delegates of the people, acting as the people ■ Political elite – 4 descriptions • elites reflect a dominant social class • a group of business, military, labor union, and elected officials control all decisions • appointed bureaucrats run everything • representatives of a large number of interest groups are in charge
  • 9. 9Copyright © 2013 Cengage How Is Political 
 Power Distributed? ■ Class view–the government is dominated by capitalists ■ Power elite view–the government is dominated by a few top leaders, most of whom are outside of government ■ Bureaucratic view–the government is dominated by appointed officials ■ Pluralist view–the belief that competition among all affected interests shapes public policy
  • 10. 10Copyright © 2013 Cengage The Problem of Liberty ■ The Colonial Mind • Men will seek power because they are ambitious, greedy and easily corrupted ■ The Real Revolution ■ Weaknesses of the Confederation • Articles of Confederation 1781
  • 11. 11 Declaration of Independence ■ Theory of government based on social contract and rights ■ List of grievances against the King and Parliament ■ Statement of colonial unity and separation from Britain
  • 12. 12 Articles of Confederation ■ COULD ■ coin money ■ create post office ■ declare war ■ create army/navy ■ sign treaties with foreign governments
  • 13. 13 Articles of Confederation Weaknesses ■ Could NOT ■ tax ■ regulate commerce ■ enforce ■ one vote per state ■ 9/13 need to pass ■ unanimous to amend ■ no judiciary
  • 14. 14Copyright © 2013 Cengage The Challenge ■ The Virginia Plan–proposal to create a strong national government ■ The New Jersey Plan–proposal to create a weak national government ■ The Compromise • popularly elected house based on state population • state elected Senate, with two members for each state
  • 15. 15 Basic Principles Within the Constitution ■ Limited Government ■ Popular Sovereignty ■ Separation of Powers ■ Checks and Balances ■ Federalism
  • 16. 16 Copyright © 2013 Cengage The Constitution and Democracy ■ Republican Form of Government • Key Principles ■ Federalism ■ Enumerated powers ■ Reserved powers ■ Concurrent powers ■ Government And Human Nature • Separation of powers • Checks and balances
  • 17. 17Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 18. 18Copyright © 2013 Cengage ! ■ The Antifederalist View ■ Need for a Bill of Rights ■ The Constitution and Slavery The Constitution and Liberty Ratification of the Federal Constitution by State Conventions, 1787-1790
  • 19. 19 Liberties Guaranteed in the Original Constitution ■ Writ of habeas corpus protected ! ■ No bills of attainder ! ■ No ex post facto laws ! ■ Right of trial by jury Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 20. 20 Liberties Guaranteed in the Original Constitution (cont’d) ■ Citizens of each state entitled to the privileges and immunities of the citizens of every other state ! ■ No religious test or qualification for holding federal office ! ■ States cannot pass laws impairing the obligation of contracts. Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 21. 21Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 22. 22Copyright © 2013 Cengage ! ■ Reducing the Separation of Powers • Increase presidential authority • Lengthen terms for members of the U.S. House of Representatives ■ Making the System Less Democratic • Balanced Budget Amendment • Line-item veto Constitutional Reform: Modern Views
  • 23. 23 Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 24. 24 Marbury v Madison (1803) ■ Established Judicial Review: the right of the Supreme Court to decide the constitutionality of Congressional or Presidential acts ■ Involved Adams’ judicial appointments to retain Federalist control ■ Challenged by Jefferson
  • 25. Why Federalism Matters ■ Federalism is a system in which the national government shares power with state/local governments. ■ State governments have the authority to make final decisions over many governmental actions. ■ The most persistent source of political conflict is between national and state governments. Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 26. Figure 3.1 Lines of Power in the Federal System of Government Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 27. Figure 3.1 Lines of Power in the Federal System of Government Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 28. Figure 3.1 Lines of Power in the Federal System of Government Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 29. Copyright © 2013 Cengage The Founding ! ■ A Bold New Plan: A “federal republic” for which there was no precedent ■ Elastic Language ! Congress shall have the power to “make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers.” -from Article I
  • 30. Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 31. Copyright © 2013 Cengage The Debate on the Meaning of Federalism ■ The Supreme Court Speaks (Chief Justice John Marshall was an advocate of Federalism) ! 1819 - McCulloch v Maryland • referenced “necessary and proper” powers of Congress • confirmed “Supremacy” of the federal (national) government
  • 32. The Debate on the Meaning of Federalism ■ Nullification - theory advanced by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson suggesting that states had the right to declare federal law “null and void” (nullify) if they felt it violated the Constitution • newspaper • slavery 32
  • 33. The Debate on the Meaning of Federalism ■ dual federalism - a constitutional theory that the national government and the state governments each have define areas of authority, especially over commerce • interstate v. intrastate ■ state sovereignty - ultimate authority rests with the states in matters not enumerated in the Constitution (police power - health, safety, moral) 33
  • 34. Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 35. Governmental Structure ■ Federalism: Good or Bad? ■ Increased Political Activity ■ What the States can do • Initiative - voters submit a law to popular vote • Referendum - submitting an existing law to popular vote • Recall - voters can vote to remove an elected official from office Copyright © 2013 Cengage Federalism has permitted experimentation. Women were able to vote in the Wyoming Territory in 1888, long before they could do so in most states. The Granger Collection, New York
  • 36. Federal-State Relations! ■ Grants-In-Aid: funds provided to states and localities (airport, roads) ! ! ■ Meeting National Needs ■ Intergovernmental Lobby ■ Categorical Grants: funds for specific purpose defined by law (require some state matching) ■ Rivalry Among the States Some of the nation’s greatest universities, such as Penn State, began as land-grant colleges.
  • 37. Figure 3.2 The Changing Purpose of Federal Grants to State and Local Governments Copyright © 2013 Cengage
  • 38. Federal Aid and Federal Control ■ Mandates: rules imposed by the federal government as a condition for obtaining a federal grant (civil rights oriented - required) ■ Conditions of Aid: federal rules attached to grants states receive (voluntary) A National Guardsman watches over the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona. The Guardsmen cannot make arrests but can call the Border Patrol.
  • 39. A Devolution Revolution? ■ Devolution shifts many federal functions to the states. • second-order = states to local • third-order = local to nonprofit ■ Most Americans favor devolution, but not if that means cuts in government programs that benefit most citizens. ■ What have been the consequences of devolution? Copyright © 2013 Cengage