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Almost Everything You Need to Know for the AP Government AP Test

Almost Everything You Need to Know for the AP Government AP Test

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Published by Brian Herrmann

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Published by: Brian Herrmann on May 01, 2011


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AP Government Midterm ReviewDecember 29, 2010
 The fundamental beliefs of a constitutional democracy-LIFE: The individual's right to life should be considered inviolable except in certain highly restricted and extreme circumstances, such as the use of deadly force to protect one's own orothers' lives.LIBERTY: The right to liberty is considered an unalterable aspect of the human condition.Central to this idea of liberty is the understanding that the political or personal obligations of parents or ancestors cannot be legitimately forced on people. The right to liberty includes
Personal freedom 
: the private realm in which the individual is free to act, to think and tobelieve, and which the government cannot legitimately invade;
 political freedom 
: the right to participate freely in the political process, choose and removepublic officials, to be governed under a rule of law; the right to a free flow of informationand ideas, open debate and right of assembly; and 
Economic freedom 
: the right to acquire, use, transfer and dispose of private property without unreasonable governmental interference; the right to seek employment whereverone pleases; to change employment at will; and to engage in any lawful economic activity. THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS: It is the right of citizens in the American constitutionaldemocracy to attempt to attain - "pursue" - happiness in their own way, so long as they do notinfringe upon the rights of others. JUSTICE: People should be treated fairly in the distribution of the benefits and burdens of society, the correction of wrongs and injuries, and in the gathering of information and making of decisions.EQUALITY: All citizens have: political equality and are not denied these rights unless by dueprocess of law; legal equality and should be treated as equals before the law; social equality so asthere should be no class hierarchy sanctioned by law; economic equality which tends to strengthenpolitical and social equality for extreme economic inequality tends to undermine all other forms of equality and should therefore be avoided. TRUTH: Citizens can legitimately demand that truth-telling as refraining from lying and fulldisclosure by government be the rule, since trust in the veracity of government constitutes anessential element of the bond between governors and governed.POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY: The citizenry is collectively the sovereign of the state and hold ultimate authority over public officials and their policies.RULE OF LAW: Both government and the governed should be subject to the law.
AP Government Midterm ReviewDecember 29, 2010
REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT: The republican form of government established underthe Constitution is one in which citizens elect others to represent their interests.INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS: Fundamental to American constitutional democracy is the belief thatindividuals have certain basic rights that are not created by government but which governmentshould protect. These are the right to life, liberty, economic freedom, and the "Pursuit of happiness." It is the purpose of government to protect these rights, and it may not place unfair orunreasonable restraints on their exercise. Many of these rights are enumerated in the Bill of Rights.FEDERALISM: Power is shared between two sets of governmental institutions, those of the statesand those of the central or federal authorities, as stipulated by the Constitution.
Direct Democracy 
is a pure democracy in which the government is directly run by the people without theuse of an intermediary such as a representative in a republic. The
Constitutional Convention 
is the convention held from May 25 to September 17, 1787 after theAnnapolis Convention of 1786 that framed the Constitution of the United States.
 James Madison,
only 36 at the time of the framing of the Constitution, was already a distinguished scholarat the time and helped frame the Virginia Constitution while also serving in the Virginia Assembly and inthe Continental Congress. Madison was the leader of those who favored 
a strong central government 
inthe Constitutional Convention.
The Great Compromise,
also known as the
Connecticut Compromise,
is the compromise made between theVirginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan. This took parts from both plans to appease the supporters of small states and large states and concluded with having a lower house based on population to appease thelarger states and an upper house with equal representation to appease the smaller states. This is thecompromise that formed the Constitution. The
Three-Fifths Compromise 
also led to the unification of the north and south under theConstitution by imposing that three-fifths of slaves counted for taxes and population.
are people who vouched for the adoption of the new constitution. Prominent membersincluded Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay; all writers of 
are those who opposed the constitution on some grounds or another, most notably the lack of a
Bill of Rights 
. Prominent members included Edmund Randolph, George Mason, and Patrick Henry.
AP Government Midterm ReviewDecember 29, 2010
Examples of Checks and Balances include:
The Necessary and Proper Clause,
also the
Elastic Clause: 
Art. I, Sec. 8, Cl. 18, empowers Congress to make
all laws that are “necessary and proper” for it to fulfill the powers it was given in the Constitution, also
enumerated powers.
Implied Powers 
are powers not found explicitly stated in the Constitution, but are reasonably implied by the expressed powers.
Examples of implied powers include Congress’s regulation of labor
-management agreements,the prohibition of racial discrimination in public palaces, and the building of an interstatehighway system. Although these powers are very diverse, Congress acted on its authorityunder one expressed power
thepowerto regulate foreign and interstate commerce
initiate these acts.”

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