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AP Government Study Guide

Unit One: Constitutional Underpinnings

Fundamental Principles of Democracy
Direct Democracy citizens meet and vote directly on government
Representative Democracy (Republic) citizens choose officials who
make decisions on government policy
agna Carta (1215 the first ever attempt to limit the power of the
!ritish "ing# guaranteed all people certain rights
$nlightenment Philosophers !oc"e and Rousseau
o Social Contract #$eory principle that people enter into a
social contract with the government and allow to %e ruled
o Consent o% t$e Governed & principle that there are no supreme
rulers# all rulers depend on the approval of the people# when
governments fail to protect rights the people have the right to
change the government
o 'atural Rig$ts & principle that all people are %orn with certain
rights& life# li%erty# and property ('efferson changes property
into pursuit of happiness
Declaration o% (ndependence (homas 'efferson)s document %uilt on
principles of *life# li%erty# and the pursuit of happiness+ consent of
the governed# and social contract theory, -t also .ustified /merican
revolution against $ngland
Common Good & !elief in doing what)s %est for the nation overall
Popular 0overeignty & !elief that the ultimate authority rests with
the people
1a.ority 2ule & !elief that government is run %ased on the will of the
(he First 3overnment Articles o% Con%ederation
4eak association of states (states very independent
5o central e6ecutive power
5o federal power to ta6 citizens directly
Federal government could raise an army# (%ut not pay for it# print
money# declare war# and run the post office
7 out of 18 states were re9uired to vote to pass a law
4ith no strong central government supervision# states could get away
with ta6ing and printing money# and making foreign treaties#
S$ays) Rebellion Farmer re%ellion in 1assachusetts 1:;<=1:;:
protesting mortgage foreclosures and terri%le economy, 2e%ellion
represented how weak the central government was# and terrified many
>onstitutional De%ate
>onstitutional >onvention meets in Philadelphia# 1:;: to write new
/ll delegates supported Representative Democracy (Republic)
democracy where people elect representatives who pass laws
0upported three %ranches e6ecutive# legislative# and .udicial
0erious de%ate %etween Federalists vs, /nti=Federalists# 5orth vs,
0outh# !ig 0tates vs, 0mall 0tates over new government
5orth=0outh >ompromises *+, Compromise counted slaves as 8?5 of
a person to give the south more representatives
Connecticut Compromise (-icameralism) $sta%lished two e9ual
%odies (@ouse of 2epresentatives and 0enate one %ased on
population# one giving all states e9ual representation, (his was a
compromise %etween %ig states (.irginia Plan and small states ('e/
0ersey Plan over the format of the >ongress
1ederalists (@amilton# 1adison supported the >onstitution %ecause it
gave power to a strong central government, Anti2%ederalists opposed
the constitution %ecause they thought the national government would
%ecome tyrannical and take power away from the states
1ederalist Papers & articles written %y 1adison# @amilton# and 'ay
arguing for the constitution
o 1ederalist Paper 345 & written %y 1adison# discusses
importance of factions# factions are inevita%le# %ut factions are
%est handled %y a large repu%lic,
o 1ederalist Paper 3,4 & written %y 1adison# discusses
importance of checks and %alances and the separation of
powers in the constitution
4eaknesses in the /rticles of
@ow the >onstitution Fi6ed these
>ongress could not ta6# it relied on
contri%utions from states
5ational government had power to
ta6 directly
>ongress couldn)t regulate
interstate trade
(nterstate Commerce Clause gives
>ongress interstate regulatory
5o chief e6ecutive to enforce the
/rticle -- creates president who
enforces the law
5o national .udiciary to handle state
/rticle --- creates Supreme Court
$ach state was given only one vote !icameral legislature represents
states %oth %y population# and
(he >onstitution of the Anited 0tates of /merica
/rticle - Begislative !ranch
/rticle -- $6ecutive !ranch
/rticle --- 'udicial !ranch
/rticle -C -nterstate relations
/rticle C /mendment process
Separation o% Po/ers $ach of the three %ranches has its own power
and independence
1, Begislative !ranch Passes laws
2, $6ecutive !ranch $6ecutes laws
8, 'udicial !ranch -nterprets laws (this power comes from
0upreme >ourt >ase arbury vs6 adison set dogma of
.udicial review# where the 0upreme >ourt may rule an act of
the President or >ongress unconstitutional
C$ec"s and -alances & $ach %ranch has some power over the others#
%ut retains independence&
Begislative $6ecutive 'udicial
/pproves %udget
Passes laws
>an override veto
>an impeach
president# .udges
appointments and
>onfirms .udges
and ca%inet
>an propose laws
>an veto laws
>an call special
sessions of
>an appeal to
/ppoints officials
and .udges
>an pardon
convicted felons
-nterprets laws
>an declare
e6ecutive acts
and legislative
1ederalism & 0eparation %etween powers of the Federal# 0tate# and
Bocal governments
Con%ederacy & 0ystem of government in which the central government
is very weak# and most of the true power lies in individual states
Unitary System & 0ystem of government in which the central
government is e6tremely powerful# and individual states have few
Dual Federalism# aka *Bayer >ake+ Federalism (1:;7=1782 !elief
that the state and national governments are supreme within their own
sphere of influence
>ooperative Federalism# aka *1ar%le >ake+ Federalism sharing
powers %etween state and federal governments
1iscal 1ederalism & government)s patterns of spending# ta6ing# and
providing grants to influence state and local governments
o Grants2in2aid & money given from the federal government to
the states
o Categorical grants & federal grants for specific purposes
(%uilding an airport
o -loc" grants & %road grants from the federal government that
give local?state governments a lot of freedom to spend money
as they please without many strings attached, (he 7el%are
Re%orm Act of 177< %egan transferring more authority %ack to
the states through %lock grants
o Revenue s$aring & federal sharing of a fi6ed percentage of its
revenue with the states
o andates & terms set %y the federal government that states
must meet if they accept federal grants
Devolution & process of returning power to the states# this %egan
during 'e/ 1ederalism under presidents 5i6on# 2eagan# and !ush
1ederal Po/ers & $6press# -mplied# and -nherent powers &
1, $6press powers powers listed (enumerated in the
constitution for the Federal government& go to war# raise an
army# regulate interstate and foreign commerce# esta%lish
post offices
2, -mplied powers !ased on necessary and proper clause
(elastic clause) gives congress fle6i%ility to make laws
necessary and proper for carrying out e6press powers#
upheld in cCulloc$ v6 aryland
8, -nherent powers powers dealing with foreign policy not in
constitution# %ut given to federal government
Federal Powers
($6pressed# -mplied#
Federal and 0tate
Powers (>oncurrent
0tate Powers
>oin?print money
Provide army
Declare war
federal courts
0et foreign
1ake all laws
*necessary and
Bevy ta6es
0pend for
general welfare
$nact and
enforce laws
$sta%lish local
$sta%lish pu%lic
Denied Po/ers & Powers e6plicitly denied to government&
o suspending /rit o% $abeas corpus (%eing imprisoned without
formal accusation
o passing bills o% attainder& laws that declare a person to %e
o e8 post %acto la/s& *after the fact#+ laws that make an act
illegal after it was performed
Concurrent Po/ers (shared %y Federal and 0tate governments
power to ta6 and spend# esta%lish courts# make laws
Reserved to States (45
amendment) & any power not denied nor
given to federal government is reserved for state governments
(create local governments
Supremacy Clause & Federal law is superior to state law, (his came
out of the court case cCulloc$ vs6 aryland# in which there was
de%ate as to whether or not the !ank of the Anited 0tates had to pay
1aryland state ta6es, (he 0upreme >ourt ruled that %ecause the
!ank of the A0 was 5/(-D5/B it did not have to follow 1aryland
0(/($ law, (his ruling overturned the idea of nulli%ication %y which
states could override federal law
(nterstate Commerce Clause 3ives Federal 3overnment authority
to regulate all of interstate commerce, (his clause gives the federal
government authority to regulate %usinesses that go %etween state
lines# and .ustifies many federal laws (>ivil 2ights /ct
#a"e Care Clause president must enforce /BB laws passed %y
1ull 1ait$ and Credit states must honor laws and court rulings of
other states
Privileges and (mmunities re9uires states to e6tend same privileges
and immunities to all citizens (even of other states
-ill o% Rig$ts First 1E amendments to the >onstitution that
guarantees individual and states) rights, (his was a concession the
federalists made to the anti=federalists to ensure constitution would
%e ratified
o Amendment 4 freedom of speech# assem%ly# petition# religion#
o Amendment 9 & right to %ear arms
o Amendment : & no unreasona%le searches and seizures
o Amendment , & right to a trial# no dou%le .eopardy# individuals
are not re9uired to testify against themselves
o Amendment ; & right to a speedy# pu%lic# and impartial trial
with lawyer
o Amendment < & no e6cessive %ails or fines# no cruel and unusual
o Amendment 45 & powers not given to the federal government
or denied of the states are reserved to the states (states
=o/ to Amend t$e Constitution
1, 2?8 of congress propose amendmentF8?G of states ratify it
2, 0tate convention called %y 2?8 of states propose
amendmentsF8?G of states ratify (this method has only %een
used once# 21
Unit #/o: Political Culture> -elie%s> and -e$aviors
Ale8is de #oc?ueville & Frenchmen who visited /merica in the 1;EEHs
and descri%ed the young democracy he saw
Political Culture & a coherent way of thinking a%out how politics and
the government ought to %e carried out
o /mericans tend to support free enterprise with some limits
o /mericans tend to %e committed to individual responsi%ility
and economic individualism
o /mericans %elieve strongly in e9uality of opportunity# 5D(
o /mericans tend to %e particularly patriotic and aware of
their rights
o 2eligion tends to play a very influential role in determining
an individual)s political views
Political Sociali@ation & manner in which people develop their political
views (family# friends# media# current government# education
1, Bi%eral large federal government involvement needed to provide
for the people (welfare# new deal# great society
2, 0ocialist %elief in an e6tremely powerful state to protect people
8, >onservative %elief that limited government is necessary to grow
strong economy# very pro=%usiness anti=regulation
G, Bi%ertarianism %elief in very small government and e6treme focus
on individual and %usiness rights# no regulation of industry
People may %e li%erals?conservatives either economically or socially,
Demograp$ics & characteristics of population on income# education#
race# gender
Demograp$ics trends & changes in the way people of a certain socio=
economic %ackground vote (politicians follow these very closely
o 4ho votesI 4hites vote more than %lacks, 2ich vote more
than poor, 4omen vote more than men, Dld vote more than
young, $ducated vote more than uneducated,
o 4omen# %lacks# @ispanics# young people# %lue collar workers
vote li%eral, 1en# wealthy whites# religious people# rural
people vote conservative
#$e Census & $very 1E years a count of the total population#
different ethnic groups# religions# and how people vote
Redistricting after every census the congressional districts are
redrawn %ased on population
Reapportionment state legislatures reapportion (resize state
congressional districts after every census
Gerrymandering & (he practice of redistricting in order to %enefit a
specific party %y drawing districts %ased on the demo of their
residents (Baker v. Carr and Shaw v. Reno were court cases in which the
supreme court ruled that gerrymandering was unconstitutional
.oting -e$avior 0ince 17<E voting turnout has greatly decreased
%ecause of the very difficult process of voter registration, People
vote %ecause of the party of the candidate# on %asis of candidate# and
on %asis of issues
Party (denti%ication when people identify with a political party
%ased on issues
Political A%%icacy & %elief that you can participate in politics# or that
government will respond (my vote counts
Civic Duty & %elief that one has an o%ligation to participate in civic
and political affairs
(ypes of $lections
General elections & held every four years in which president is
Primary elections & a political party)s elections to determine nominee
for general election
1, Dpen primaries people from either party can vote (must
choose to vote for either democrats or repu%licans
2, >losed primaries people can only vote if they are a
registered mem%er of the party
Caucuses & candidate nomination process in which party mem%ers
meet to discuss and decide on candidate
1any people think primary season is too long# and we should have one
national primary# or a much shorter season
>hanges to 0ystem of >hecks and !alances
Re%erendum & people vote on whether or not to accept a law passed
%y state legislature# or a proposed amendment to the state
(nitiative & people vote on laws and constitutional amendments within
state (direct democracy
Recall & voters remove elected officials
Unit #$ree: Political Parties> (nterest Groups> and ass
Binkage Drganizations organizations that link the people with
Political Parties
>ongressional elections use winner=take=all systems in which the
winner of a plurality wins (single2member district)
!ecause of the winner=take=all system# we have a t/o party system
#$ird parties & represent specific ideological positions# sometimes
can serve as *spoilers+ %ut rarely make much of an impact
Parties help organize the government# organize election process#
fundraise# hold national convention and form party platform# educate
voters# and get out the vote
!efore primary system# party leaders actually chose the candidates
Parties are e6pected to %e *loyal opposition+ when other party is in
(ypically we have Divided Government one party controls white
house# other controls congress
Parties have a national leadership# %ut local chapters have a lot of
Realignment ma.or change in the core mem%ers?%eliefs of a political
party= either one ma.or party is replaced %y another# or the two
ma.or parties completely change viewpoints
Dealignment & when people a%andon parties and %ecome independents
Party activists promote certain policies# candidates# and ideologies
Presidents are elected %y the electoral college
(he A0 pu%lic does not vote directly for the president# instead they
vote in statewide elections for electors, (hese electors then vote
directly for the president and vice president
0tates have electoral votes e9ual to num%er of senators J num%er of
-f candidate wins the plurality of popular vote in state he gets all the
electoral votes (two e6ceptions 1aine# 5e%raska
1a.ority of total electoral votes is needed to %ecome president# if no
candidate has a ma.ority# the house votes
-t is possi%le to win popular vote %ut lose electoral vote (3ore
1any people suggest using a popular vote to decide president# or using
the proportional system used %y 1aine and 5e%raska
-n senate elections# total state votes for 2 senators
-n house elections# each district has a single representative# and the
candidate with a plurality winsF2 party system (its harder for 8

parties to get represented
(hroughout /merican history there have %een many changes to who
can vote&
o $limination of race re9uirement (4,
o Direct election of senators (4B
o 4omen allowed to vote (4C
o $limination of laws that discriminated against %lacks from
various civil rights acts like the voting rig$ts act (grandfather
clause# literacy tests# white primaries
o /llowing D> residents to vote (28
o $limination of poll ta6 (2G
o Bowering voting age to 1; (2<
-nfluencing $lections
(nterest Group & a collection of people who share a common interest
or attitude# and seek to influence government, (hese groups use
fundraising and lo%%ying to influence the political process, -nterest
groups can %e unions# government groups# %usinesses# think=tanks# or
ideological groups
Political Action Committees (PACs) form financial %ranch of
interest groups (donate to candidates
(ron triangle close relationship %etween interest groups# congress#
and agencies
Revolving door government officials often retire and move on to
work as lo%%yists for interest groups
!obbying & activities aimed at influencing pu%lic officials (legislators
and trying to promote or defeat certain legislation, Bo%%ying often
comes in the form of supplying data to government officials to
convince them to vote a certain way
-nterest groups often appeal to public opinion %y issuing television and
radio ads# or sending out newsletters
(he 1edia
#$e edia is referred to as the G
estate (%ranch of government
%ecause of its huge impact
1edia is a %usiness# driven %y profit# so media is often %ias
edia -ias the media has a tendency to spin the news towards a
certain political ideology
0elective perception people hear what they want to hear
0elective e6posure people avoid listening to media with other
=orserace 0ournalism & 'ournalists cover elections like a horserace#
focusing almost e6clusively on the candidate who is doing well at that
particular moment
>ampaign Finance 2eform (/s of the >itizens Anited vs, F$> case none of
the following information is accurate# %ut this is the information you are
responsi%le to know for the /P e6am
Driginally individuals could donate infinite sums of money to
candidates (%ri%ing them
>andidates could spend infinite amounts of hard money
Federal $lection >ampaign /ct
1, 0et limits on individual contri%utions to candidates
2, Bimited how much money is spent %y candidates (later ruled
unconstitutional in !uckley v, Caleo
8, -ndividuals must disclose contri%utions
G, 0et up option to use pu%lic financing of presidential funds
-nterest groups and individuals got around F$>/ %y donating to
parties (so%t money
1c>ain=Feingold /ct
1, Bimited soft money
2, 0till allowed P/>s and interest groups to spend infinite
amounts of money on issue advocacy
Political Action Committees (PACs) & Financial %ranch of an interest
group (the part of the %usiness that donates money
,9B Groups & (a6 e6empt organization created to influence the
nomination?election of a candidate
>urrently# groups are free to spend infinite amounts of money on issue
advocacy# as long as they do not say the name of a specific candidate
Proposed >ampaign Financing 2eforms
Pu%lic Financing
Bimit e6penditures
Free (C ads
0horten >ampaign 0eason
Unit 1our: (nstitutions: Presidency and Congress
>ongress has two %odies# the @ouse and the 0enate# in order for a %ill
to pass it must %e passed %y %oth houses
/fter a congressmen proposes a %ill# the 0peaker (in the house or the
1a.ority leader (0enate gives that %ill to a committee# which gives it
to a su%committee
>ongress holds hearings to oversee the e6ecutive
-ncum%ents have great chances of wining reelection
@as power to create e6ecutive agencies (for e6ample the clean air and
water act esta%lished the $P/
/uthorizes and appropriates money for the e6ecutive
/pproves the %udget
@ow they Cote
0ometimes politicians *trade+ votes# a process known as logrolling
Politicians like to add on e6tra# unrelated programs to %ills that will
%enefit their constituents# these additions are known as por" barrel
(he @ouse of 2epresentatives
(he house is regarded as the *lower house+
0tates are given representatives %ased on population
-mpeaches mem%ers of e6ecutive# .udicial
Representatives serve t/o year terms
$ach rep, represents a certain congressional district
(he @ouse has a Rules Committee determines whether %ills have
closed rule (no amendments# time limit on de%ate or open rule (open
to relevant# germane amendments# no time limit
(he Beader of the @ouse is the 0peaker of the @ouse who assigns
people to a committee that assigns people to committees# directs
floor de%ate# and gives %ills to appropriate committee
0enate is considered the *upper house+ older and wiser
$ach state has two senators (e9ual representation
(ries impeached mem%ers of e6ecutive# .udicial
Senators serve si8 year terms
(he senate has the responsi%ility of confirming presidential
appointments and nominees# ratifying treaties# and confirming the
(here is no rules committee# de%ate is always unlimited
!ecause de%ate is unlimited# the minority party can %ilibuster kill a
%ill %y continuing to talk
(o end de%ate and a fili%uster# cloture (a vote %y 8?5 of the senate
is re9uired
0enate can also add riders (irrelevant amendments to %ills
1ost work is done in committees (especially in house
1ost %ills D-$ in committee
>ommittee (ype Description @ouse $6amples 0enate $6amples
Permanent panel
with full
functions and
(he mem%ers
%ecome e6perts
sets specific
e6penditure for
the federal
determines under
what rules %ill
comes to floor
/rmed 0ervices
oversees military
and Defense
Foreign 2elations
provides foreign
policy leadership
0u%committee Formed to tackle
specific tasks
within standing
Bivestock# Dairy#
and Poultry
(su%committee of
@ealth >are
(su%committee of
0elect or 0pecial
groups with
limited purposes
@ouse 4atergate
0elect committee
on $thics
'oint >ommittee -ncludes
mem%ers of %oth
houses to
tasks of studies
'oint $conomic
'oint $conomic
0pecial type of
.oint committee
that reconciles
senate and house
versions of a %ill
formed as
formed as needed
2e9uirements for office
1, 5atural %orn citizen
2, /t least 85 years old
8, 2esident of /merica for at least 1G years
Powers as >ommander in >hief (civilian power over military
1, @ead of /rmy and 5avy
2, @ead of 5ational 3uard
Powers as >hief $6ecutive of 3overnment
1, *Faithfully e6ecute+ the laws
2, re9uire opinions of heads of agencies
8, grant pardons e6cept in cases of impeachment
G, nominate .udges to federal courts and nominate ca%inet
(confirmed %y senate
5, call for special session of congress
Powers in Foreign /ffairs
1, appoint am%assadors
2, make treaties (to %e confirmed %y senate
8, send troops anywhere in the world if >ongress authorizes it
or during national emergency (4ar Powers /ct (he
president has G; hours to .ustify in writing to congress why
troops were sent# and <E days %efore he must withdraw
troops (unless congress e6tends time
Begislative Powers
1, 3ive 0tate of the Anion address to >ongress to push his
2, recommend and suggest %ills for congress
8, call special sessions of congress
G, veto %ill (can %e overturned %y 2?8 of congress
5, pocket veto not signing a %ill within 1E days and having
>ongress ad.ourn
>a%inet president picks (senate confirms the heads of the 15 most
important agencies# these agencies help e6ecute the law
1, Department of Defense# Department of 0tate# Department
of (reasuryK
2, O%%ice o% anagement and -udget writes %udget (must
%e confirmed %y the senate
Council o% economic advisers part of e6ecutive office# help advise
the president on economic issues
-nformal Powers of the President
1, A8ecutive orders orders written %y president or agency
that have the weight of law, (here are several ways to undo
e6ecutive orders& president can rescind it# ne6t president
can rescind it# the supreme court can rule it unconstitutional
2, A8ecutive privilege right of president to keep certain
documents private if pertaining to national security (in USA
vs. Nixon the supreme court ruled that e6ecutive privilege is
5D( unlimited
8, Agenda Setting president sets out the legislation he wants
passed (he uses his %ully pulpit
G, (mpoundment a%ility to refuse to spend money
appropriated %y congress (this was ruled unconstitutional
Unit 1ive: #$e -ureaucracy
!ureaucracy administrative system that divides work into specific
departments carried out %y non=elected officials
(he %ureaucracy remains politically neutral through the =atc$ Act>
which %ats %ureaucrats from running for pu%lic office# making political
speeches# or soliciting campaign funds from su%ordinates
(he %ureaucracy has grown tremendously over the past 1EE years#
taking on more and more responsi%ilities
>urrently it employs G million people# 2,; are civil servants# the rest
are military
1any other people are indirectly employed %y the federal government
(he %iggest department is the Department of Defense
Dver time# the %ureaucracy has increased its discretionary aut$ority
& its power to choose course of action and make policies not e6plicitly
spelled out %y laws
1any federal officials %elong to the competitive civil service &
government offices to which people are appointed on the %asis of
merit (%y taking an e6amL this ended the *spoils system+ where
government .o%s were given in e6change for political supportL managed
%y the O%%ice o% Personnel anagement (OP)
-t is very difficult to fire a %ureaucrat
/t the higher levels there are more whites than /frican /mericans#
and there are more men than women
Dften many departments are responsi%le for similar tasks# there are
many procedures %ureaucrats must go through to do anything
Red #ape comple6 rules and procedures that must %e followed to
get stuff done
1any people are critical of the large amounts of waste (pork in the
(ron #riangle: informal alliances that work together to formulate and
implement policy in their area of interestL they are made up of&
1 particular industry and its lo%%yists
2 the congressional committee dealing with that industry
8 the agency that is actually affected
Alliance (or issue net/or": coalitions of interest groups# mem%ers of
>ongress# and %ureaucrats form a close working relationship (more
complicated than a simple iron triangle
Deregulation: removing government restrictions and regulationsL
deregulation has occurred recently in the telecommunications and
transportation industries
(he %ureaucracy has 8 main roles&
1, (mplementation carry out laws# e6ecutive orders (homeland
security enforces airport security laws
2, Administration routine administrative work (social security
administration sends out social security checks# postal service
delivers mail
8, Regulation issue rules and regulations that impact the pu%lic
($P/ sets out standards for clean air and water
(he 0tructure of the !ureaucracy
>omponent >haracteristics $6amples
>omprised of the 15 main
departments, @eaded up %y
secretaries# secretaries are
appointed %y president#
confirmed %y senate, $ach
has its own %udget
Department of
Department of
Department of 0tate
Perform services on %ehalf of
government, (hese are
esta%lished %y >ongress
outside of the $6ecutive
0ocial 0ecurity
>entral -ntelligence
Protection /gency
2egulate economic activities#
operate independently, Dnce
appointed# leaders cannot %e
removed without cause,
Beaders serve fi6ed terms
Duasi2!egislative Agencies:
independent agencies
responsi%le for filling in
1ederal Reserve
>ommission (F>>
1ederal #rade
Commission (1#C)
-nterstate >ommerce
.urisdiction gaps and writing
Duasi20udicial Agencies:
responsi%le for rule
enforcement and punishing
>ommission (phased
0ecurities and
$6change >ommission
!usinesses esta%lished %y
government# serve a pu%lic
need# intended to %e
A0 Postal 0ervice
>orporation for Pu%lic
>ongressional Dversight 'udicial Dversight
(he president
controls the
agencies) %udget
access, President
appoints heads to
departments and
can issue e6ecutive
>ongress can create?a%olish
agencies, 0enate confirms all
presidential appointees to the
%ureaucracy, >ongress must
aut$ori@e agencies to spend
money, >ongress must also
appropriate (fund all
government agencies and
programs, -n some cases
congress may use committee
clearance the a%ility of a
committee to review and approve
decisions of agencies, >ongress
may hold committee $earings to
hold agencies responsi%le#
congress may also launch
investigations of the
%ureaucracy, >ongress can punish
agencies %y cutting their
Federal >ourts
can use their
power of .udicial
review to
whether an act
taken %y a
department was
#$e 0udicial -ranc$ and Civil !iberties
(he .udicial %ranch was never e6pected to grow as powerful as other
1:;:=1;<5 >ourt asserts federal supremacy
1;<5=178: >ourt puts restrictions on government
178:=2E1E >ourt deals primarily with individual freedoms
Criminal !a/ & type of law dealing with crimes and their punishments
o Protects interests of state (state vs, individual
o !etween prosecutor (government and defendant
o Defendant must %e guilty *%eyond reasona%le dou%t+ to %e
o >onviction results in removal of *life# li%erty# or property+
Civil !a/ type of law dealing with the rights and relationships of
o Protects interests of individual (individual vs, individual
o !etween plaintiff and defendant
o / preponderance of evidence (a%ove 5EM is necessary
o -f convicted# there are monetary penalities
!ased on principle of Eudicial revie/ allows .udges to interpret the
>onstitution and deem something unconstitutional
Stare Decisis the rule of precedent# where%y a rule or law contained
in a .udicial decision is viewed as %inding on .udges whenever the same
9uestion is raised *let the decision stand+
Strict2constructionist approac$ & the view that .udges should decide
cases strictly on the %asis of the language of the laws and the
0udicial Restraint & principle that courts will not overturn previous
Activist approac$ & the view that .udges should discern the general
principles underlying the constitution# and apply them to modern
circumstances, (hese .ustices typically try to overturn precedent
0tructure of the Federal >ourts
$ach state has at least one district court
7G district courts in the 5E states# the District of >olum%ia and the
>ommonwealth of Puerto 2ico,
District .udges are %ound %y the precedents of higher courts
Federal .udges are appointed %y the president# and confirmed %y the
-f for whatever reason the supreme court is tied# then the precedent
set forth %y the previous court is maintained 4-(@-5 (@/(
District Courts & the lowest federal courts# where federal trials
usually go first# use .ury
Courts o% Appeals (circuit courts) Federal courts that hear appeals
from district courts# no .uries# decisions made %y panels of appointed
.udges, (o get here someone must claim that their constitutional
rights have %een violated
Supreme Court & @ears appeals of appeal court rulings (some%ody
appeals the decision of the circuit court, G of 7 .ustices must agree
to hear case (/rit o% certiorari, 0upreme >ourt has original
.urisdiction in cases %etween states or with foreign am%assadors
/ppointing 'udges
1, (he president)s staff presents him with possi%le nominees (typically
other .udges# F!- does %ackground check# president looks at previous
record of the individuals# conducts litmus test (determines political
views# uses senatorial courtesy (uses preferences of senators from
the district where the .udge will serve and finally selects nominee
2, (he 0enate 'udiciary committee mem%ers and staff review
candidates# interest groups campaign for?against nominees# senate
.udiciary committee holds hearing# asking nominee 9uestions# finally
votes up?down on whether to send recommendation to the full senate
12 Courts of Appeals
(general appellate
94 U.S. District Courts
(original jurisdictions)
The Supreme Court
(original and appellate jurisdictions)
Court of Appeals for the
Armed Forces
And other Legislatie
Court of Appeals for the
Federal Circuit
(speciali"ed appellate jurisdiction)
8, (he full senate has open floor de%ate on nominee# votes on
G, -f confirmed# the .udge is given an oath of office %y the >hief
!ecause .udges serve life terms# there is no political pressure on them
to rule a certain way# and they are allowed to act independently
(he >ourt
(o apply for writ of certiorari costs N8EE, / cheaper means is to use
in %orma pauperis in which poor people have their cases heard in
federal court for free
0overeign -mmunity & rule that citizens cannot sue the government
without the government)s consent
>lass=action 0uit & a case %rought %y someone to help him or her and
all others who are similarly situated
!rief & a written statement %y an attorney that summarizes a case
and the laws and rulings that support it
Amicus Curiae & %rief su%mitted %y a third party *friend of the
court+ (typically an interest group
Opinion o% t$e Court & a signed opinion %y the ma.ority that decided
the ruling in a case
>oncurring Dpinion & a signed opinion that agrees with ma.ority for
other reasons
Dissenting Opinion & a signed opinion from the .ustices on the losing
>ivil Bi%erties
Civil !iberties & freedoms protected against government restraint#
secured %y 1
# 1G
# and 15
Due Process Clause & denies government the right to deny people of
life# li%erty# or property without due process of law (trial
Selective (ncorporation & the process %y which individual li%erties
originally only applied to the federal government are applied to the
states (through the due process clause of the 1Gth amendment
A?ual Protection o% t$e !a/ & a standard of e9ual treatment for all
1reedom o% A8pression & right of people to speak# punish# assem%le#
and petition
'on2protected Speec$ & li%el# o%scenity# fighting words# and
commercial speech do not receive first amendment protection
1reedom o% Religion & people shall %e free to e6ercise their own
religion (%ree e8ercise clause) and government cannot esta%lish an
official religion (establis$ment clause)
A8clusionary Rule & evidence that is o%tained through illegal means
cannot %e used, (his means that police can only conduct searches if
they have search warrants and there is pro%a%le cause (G

5o self=incrimination# right to a trial (,
5ota%le >ases (highlighted cases especially important
1ar%ury v, 1adison $sta%lished 'udicial 2eview
1c>ulloch v, 1aryland $sta%lished federal supremacy over states
3i%%ons v, Dgden >ommerce >lause gives congress %road regulatory
Dred 0cott v, 0anford 0laves are property# not citizens
Plessy v, Ferguson *0eparate %ut e9ual+ is ok# allows for segregation
0chenk v, A0/ 3overnment can limit speech *clear and present
danger test+
3itlow v, 5ew Oork Bimits on speech if it threatens government
"orematsu v, A0/ 3overnment can detain citizens in emergencies
!rown v, !oard of $d Dverturned Plessy# rules segregation is
1app v, Dhio 0earch warrants needed# otherwise evidence is
thrown out
!aker v, >arr /pportionment of districts must %e as fair as
possi%le *one man# one vote+
$ngel v, Citale 5o school=led daily player allowed in pu%lic schools
3ideon v, 4ainwright 0tates must provide attorneys to defendants
3riswold v,
-nformation a%out %irth control is protected under
rig$t to privacy
1iranda v, /rizona Police must inform suspects of their rights (1iranda
(erry v, Dhio Police can search and seize with pro%a%le cause
Bemon v, "urtzman 0ome government aid to church schools is allowed as
long as its fair to schools of all faiths, (Bemon test
(he lemon test is the standard set %y the 0upreme
>ourt to measure the constitutionality of state laws
in regard to freedom of religion
5O (imes v, A0/ (aka
Pentagon Papers
President cannot withhold pentagon papers from the
press (no unlimited right to e6ecutive privilege
1iller v, >alifornia D%scenity is not protected under freedom of speech
2oe v, 4ade First trimester a%ortions are ok
A0 v, 5i6on $6ecutive privilege is not unlimited
3regg v, 3eorgia Death penalty is ok
!uckley v, Caleo >ampaign money limits# independent e6penditures ok
(e6as v, 'ohnson Flag %urning is ok# freedom of e6pression (symbolic
/llegany v, />BA >ourts cannot prominently display religious sym%ols
Boving v, Cirginia !i=racial marriage is ok
Aconomic Policy
3overnments work to avoid de%icits (spending more than we make and
debt (the sum of all the deficits
Opportunity Cost & 1ost highly valued alternative given up or forgone
when choice is made (making trade=offs
Supply & amounts of product producers are willing to sell
o !a/ o% Supply & as price increases# the 9uantity suppliers are
willing to supply increases
Demand & Carious amounts of a product or service consumers are
willing and a%le to %uy at a price
o !a/ o% Demand & /s price falls# the 9uantity demanded rises
1aintaining good levels of supply and demand is critical for sta%le
1onetary Policy
onetary Policy & /ctions the 1ederal Reserve takes to control the
economy %y promoting growth and contractions# and to control the
money supply
(n%lation & there is too much currency in circulation# so the value of
money falls
(he Federal 2eserve is allowed independence in setting monetary
policy %ecause this removes politics from economic policy# and allows
the Fed to rely on e6perts and not politicians
(he Federal 2eserve tries to keep the economy sta%le# it has three
1, Reserve Re?uirement & the amount of money the Fed
re9uires %anks to keep in reserve, (o slow growth# the fed
raises the reserve re9uirement# to increase growth# the fed
decreases the reserve re9uirement
2, #$e Discount Rate & interest rate the fed charges on %anks
when they %orrow money, (o slow growth# the fed raises
discount rate# to increase growth# the fed lowers the
discount rate
8, Government -onds & %onds are investments in which an
investor loans money to the government for a certain amount
of time at a certain interest rate, (o slow growth# the fed
sells %onds (takes money out of economy, (o increase
growth# the fed %uy %onds (in.ects money into the economy
Fiscal Policy
1iscal Policy & 4hat the president and congress do to control
economy via ta6ing and spending
-udget & the president)s formal estimate of how much every
government agency and program will cost, >ongress has to confirm
this %udget# and then find ways to pay for all these e6penditures
Progressive #a8ation & a ta6 system that forces people with higher
incomes to pay a larger fraction of their income than do people with
lower incomes
1lat #a8ation & a ta6 system that charges a flat payment of ta6es
from people of all different income levels
Regressive #a8ation & a ta6 system in which people with lower
incomes pay a higher fraction of their incomes than do people with
higher incomes
(a6es income government gets from people
2aising ta6es Fslows economic growth
>utting ta6es Fspeeds up economic growth
0pending money spent %y government on goods and services
Decreased government spending Fslows economic growth
-ncreased government spending Fspeeds up economic
2egulatory Policy the manner in which government regulates the
economy to provide for the greater good
1ore regulation Fslows economic growth
Bess regulation Fspeeds up economic growth
$conomic (heories
Feynesianism & !elief that government must manage the economy %y
spending more money during recessions and cutting spending when
there is inflation
onetarism & (he %elief that inflation occurs when government prints
too much money# and that government should leave the economy to the
free market
Planning & (he %elief that total government control over the economy
such as wage and price controls or direction of investment can improve
the economy
Supply2Side Aconomics & !elief that lower ta6es and fewer
regulations stimulate economic growth
Reaganomics & 2eagan)s economic policies that com%ined monetarism#
supply=side economics# and lower spending (e6cept on the military to
stimulate the economy
Social 7el%are
>apitalism is inevita%ly a class=%ased society with ine9uities %etween
0ocial policy aims at helping poorest mem%ers of society
Bi%erals tend to %lame society and favor government intervention#
conservatives tend to %lame individuals and favor private sector
4elfare programs are funded %y ta6es
(ypes of 4elfare
aEoritarian Politics Aniversal welfare programs in which everyone
pays and everyone %enefits (0ocial 0ecurity# 1edicare
Client Politics & 1eans tested programs in which everyone pays yet
only a few %enefit (Food 0tamps# 1edicaid
Service Strategy & policies that provide poor people with
education and .o% training to lift them out of poverty
(ncome Strategy & policies that give poor people money
to lift them out of poverty
Aarned (ncome #a8 Credit & provision of 17:5 law that
entitles working families with children to receive money
from government if their income is %elow a certain level
4elfare in A0/
1, State Sponsored Ara 1:;7=1782
During this period most of the welfare in the nation came
from the state governments# federal government didn)t
play any role in it, 0tates passed laws dealing with social
pro%lems (child la%or# pu%lic schools# unemployment
%enefits# mandated pensions
2, 1ederal Ara 1782=17;E
During this period the federal government took more
responsi%ility for the poor, (his %egan %ecause of the
crisis following the 3reat Depression, FD2 in the 5ew
Deal esta%lished 0ocial 0ecurity, B!' in the 3reat
0ociety esta%lished 1edicare# Food 0tamps# and
8, Sa%ety 'et Ara 17;Es
(his period was during the 2eagan /dministration,
2eagan %elieved that welfare spending was too much and
had created a dependency on the state, @e decreased
spending on 1edicare and reduced welfare to %e a
*safety net+
G, -loc" Grant Ara 1775=2E1E
>ongressional repu%licans pass laws returning
responsi%ility to the states, !lock grants to the states
have very few re9uirements, For instance the 4elfare
2eform /ct of 17<< replaced aid programs with voucher
programs (the /id to Families with Dependent >hildren
*A1DC+ program was replaced %y a voucher program
(emporary /ssistance for 5eedy Families *#A'1+,
1edicare and 0ocial 0ecurity
1edicare and 0ocial 0ecurity are the two most famous 1a.oritarian
Social Security & a program that %egan in 1785 that ta6ed individuals
to provide funds that were used to support the poor# elderly# and
edicare & an insurance program %egun under B!' in 17<G that paid
for the medical e6penses of senior citizens
!oth of these programs are failing economically and will soon %e
4elfare 2eform
(here are several proposals to reform the welfare system
(he retirement of the %a%y %oom generation and the aging of the
/merican population will lead to the %ankruptcy of these programs
!ecause 0ocial 0ecurity will soon %e %ankrupt# proposed reforms are&
1, 2aising the retirement age
2, -ncreasing ta6es
8, Decrease retirement %enefits
G, Privatizing social security %y re9uiring citizens to invest their
social security ta6es in the stock market
1edicare)s pro%lems include&
1, !ecause it is free# hospital visits %y seniors are very common
2, 1any elderly get treatment that isn)t necessary
8, Doctors and hospitals are paid with contracts that could change
1edicare)s pro%lems need to %e addressed soon# or the costs will %e
1oreign and De%ense Policy
A0 3overnment -nterests
5ational 0ecurity
0trategic importance of the area
0trength of the economy
/vaila%ility of resources
Previous agreements with nations
2eaction of People
>oncerns from political parties and interest groups
Pu%lic opinion
0trength of the national economy
Factors 2elating to Dther >ountries
/ssets %elonging to the other country
/lliances with other nations
Pro%a%le response to the policy
@istory?culture of the country
/ctions to %e (aken
Positive /ctions 5egative /ctions (conflict
1ake statements of
$6change key info
@old summit meeting
Boosen immigration policy
0end peace corps
3rant economic aid# give loans
Provide humanitarian
Forgive de%t
>ut tariffs# remove
Provide military aid# sell
>ultural e6changes
0tatements of condemnation
>ut diplomatic ties
Bimit travel?visas
2aise tariffs# impose
-ssue threats
Demand de%t payments
1o%ilize?deploy troops
Perform covert operations to
weaken government
0upport anti=government
/ssassinate leaders
0pread propaganda
/rrest their citizens
(he President and Foreign Policy
(he President is considered the leader in developing foreign policy
President is the commander and chief# and has the power to negotiate
treaties and e6ecutive agreements# appoint am%assadors# and set the
nation)s tone on foreign policy issues
'ational Security Council chaired %y the president# includes vice
president# 0ecretary of 0tate# 0ecretary of Defense# 0oint C$ie%s o%
Sta%%> head of >-/# /ttorney 3eneral, -t is designed to present
various perspectives# facilitate presidential decision making
discussions# and implement presidential decisions
>ongress and Foreign Policy
>ongress)s most powerful tool is its po/er o% t$e purse# >ongress is
responsi%le for aut$ori@ing and appropriating the funds needed for
foreign policy missions
7ar Po/ers Act o% 4CB* & /ll commitments of troops in hostile
situations must %e reported within G; hours, (roops may only %e
deployed for <E days without a formal congressional declaration of
war or statutory authorization
-n reality the 4ar Powers /ct is relatively weak# %ecause
>ongressmen are typically very unwilling to end an operation after
troops have %een deployed
Four 4orldviews
(solationism & opposes involvement in wars?conflicts# %elieves
/merican should withdraw from world affairs
Containment (antiappeasement 2 %elief that the A0 should resist
the e6pansion of aggressive nations (especially the 0oviet Anion
Disengagement & %elief that /merica was harmed %y the Cietnam
4ar and should avoid similar events
=uman Rig$ts & view that /merica should intervene to improve the
lives of people in other countries
Previous AP Assay Duestions and Response Guidelines
Dn the /P 50B e6am you will %e given 1EE minutes to answer G essay
9uestions# here are some of the previous essays, (here should %e enough
information in the study guide to answer all of these 9uestions# if not please
contact me or look for more information at this we%site&
4hen answering /P free responses it is important to remem%er that your
grader is 5D( 1rs, 0tarin# and does 5D( care a%out the 9uality of your
writing, 'A0( @-( (@$ 1/-5 PD-5(0, Oou earn points %ased on whatever
you write that is correct# so please# don)t %e fancy .ust answer the
9uestion as %riefly as possi%le, (his is 50B# not $nglish,
-t is also important to note that it is unlikely to have an essay on a topic
covered in the 2E1E e6am, (herefore it is wise to go through this we%site to
see what essay topics are likely to %e asked, ($ven though the final 9uestion
included %elow seems to violate this principle# it is included %ecause it is a
good e6ample of a 9uestion that demands graph comprehension as well as a
sound knowledge %ase,
2EE;# Puestion Dne&
>ongressional reapportionment and redistricting are conducted every ten
years, 4hen redistricting is conducted# politicians often engage in
(a Define congressional reapportionment and e6plain one reason why it is
important to states,
(% Define congressional redistricting,
(c $6plain two goals of politicians when they gerrymander during
(d Descri%e two limits that the Anited 0tates 0upreme >ourt has placed on
congressional redistricting,
(a 2eapportionment (he reallocation of the num%er of representatives
each state has in the @ouse of 2epresentatives, -t is important
2eapportionment increases or decreases the num%er of seats a
state has in the @ouse?>ongress (not the 0enate
1ore representatives mean that a state has more influence
2eapportionment increases or decreases a state)s num%er of
electoral votes
(% 2edistricting the drawing?redrawing of @ouse (not 0enate district
(c 3oals may include&
(o enhance political strength of a party
(o protect incum%ents?weaken challengers
(o increase minority representation or decrease minority
(o reward political allies
(d Bimits may include&
/ discussion of 0upreme >ourt cases& !aker v, >arr and 0haw v,
Districts must %e e9ually populated# and may not weaken
2EE;# Puestion (hree&
Fiscal policy and monetary policy are two tools used %y the federal
government to influence the Anited 0tates economy, (he e6ecutive and
legislative %ranches share the responsi%ility of setting fiscal policy, (he
Federal 2eserve !oard has the primary role of setting monetary policy,
(a Define fiscal policy,
(% Descri%e one significant way the e6ecutive %ranch influences fiscal
(c Descri%e one significant way the legislative %ranch influences fiscal
(d Define monetary policy,
(e $6plain two reasons why the Federal 2eserve !oard is given independence
in esta%lishing monetary policy,
/ full e6planation of correct answers can %e found on pages 1:=1;
2EE:# Puestion Dne&
/ significant feature of the $lectoral >ollege is that most states have a
winner=take=all system,
(a Descri%e the winner=take=all feature of the $lectoral >ollege
(% $6plain one way in which the winner=take=all system affects how
presidential candidates from the two main political parties run their
(c $6plain one way in which the winner=take=all feature of the $lectoral
>ollege hinders third party candidates
(d $6plain two reasons why the $lectoral >ollege has not %een a%olished
a (he candidate who gets the most votes (a plurality wins all the
electoral votes from that state
% >andidates focus more on swing states# spend more money for ads
in swing states# choose running mates who are popular in swing
states# and focus on issues that are important in swing states
c (hird=party candidates may get many individual votes# %ut unless
they win the entire state they will get no electoral votes
d -t helps to ensure that a candidate will win a ma.ority of the
electoral votes# it would re9uire a constitutional amendment to
change it# there is no clear consensus for an alternative# it favors
the two party system# and small states support the electoral
college system %ecause it gives them more representation
2EE:# Puestion (hree&
>onflicts %etween congress and the president over war powers have their
origin in the Anited 0tates constitution, -n 17:8 congress passed the 4ar
Powers 2esolution in an attempt to clarify the %alance of powers %etween
the two %ranches of government
(a Descri%e the primary constitutional conflict %etween >ongress and the
President over the decision to go to war
(% Descri%e two provisions of the 4ar Powers 2esolution that were
designed to limit the president)s power over war making
(c (he 4ar Powers 2esolution has received mi6ed reviews# %ut >ongress has
other powers over war making, Dther than the constitutional power that you
descri%ed in (a# identify and e6plain two other formal powers >ongress has
over war making
a (he president is the commander and chief# %ut the congress has
the power to declare war
% (he president must notify congress G; hours after sending troops
and conflicts are limited to <E days without a congressional
declaration of war or a statutory authorization for continued action
c >ongress has the power to authorize?appropriate any funds needed
%y the military# congress has the power to ratify treaties# congress
can hold investigative hearings# and congress has the power to confirm
presidential nominees
2EE:# Puestion Four&
(a Define federalism
(% 0elect two of the following and e6plain how each has %een used to
increase the power of the federal government relative to the states
>ategorical 3rants
Federal 1andates
0elective -ncorporation
(c 0elect two of the following and e6plain how each has %een used to
increase the power of the states relative to the federal government
4elfare 2eform /ct of 177<
!lock 3rants
a) Federalism a constitutional division of powers %etween the
federal and state levels
#) >ategorical grants are designed for specific purposes# and are
watched over closely %y the federal government, Federal
mandates instruct states to implement certain policies, 0elective
incorporation allows federal courts to overturn state and local
c) (he 4elfare 2eform /ct returned power and resources to the
states to run their own welfare programs, !lock grants are given
to states with few strings attached# so states have a great deal of
freedom in deciding how to use the money, (he tenth amendment
reserves power to the states and the people, -t is used to argue
for a return of power to the state governments,
2E1E# Puestion (hree&
Dver the last several decades# the composition of the Democratic and
2epu%lican parties has changed in important ways, / ma.or partisan shift has
occurred in the 0outh# %ut other demographic changes have also %een
identified, >hanges in party composition are reflected at different rates in
presidential elections than in congressional elections,
(a -dentify one specific trend evident in the figure a%ove,
(% >hoose two of the following and use each to e6plain why southern voters
from 17G; to 2EEE were electing Democratic candidates to >ongress more
fre9uently than choosing Democratic candidates for the presidency,
-ncum%ency advantage
Differences %etween state and national parties
(c 0everal other changes in party composition have emerged in the past few
decades, 0elect three of the following groups and for each e6plain how
parties have changed in composition with respect to that group,
Ba%or union mem%ers
0ocial conservatives
a (his 9uestion re9uires only %asic graph reading a%ilities&
Percentage of @ouse seats for Democrats has trended down
Percentage of presidential electoral votes for Democrats has
trended down
% (he easier two topics would pro%a%ly %e incum%ency advantage and
gerrymandering# %ut all three are included %elow&
-ncum%ency advantage Q /lthough 0outhern voters were voting
for 2epu%lican presidential candidates# they continued to vote
for incum%ent Democratic congressional candidates %ecause of
the incum%ency advantage,
3errymandering Q District lines created safe seats?ma.ority
minority districts# which protected Democratic seats even
though there were more 2epu%lican voters in statewide
presidential elections,
0tate versus national parties Q !ecause national and state
parties were largely independent of each other# to get votes
Democratic congressional candidates responded to local
interests# whereas Democratic presidential candidates
responded to a national constituency,
c !e %rief with these answers# the 9uestion does not ask for *why+
>atholics Q (hey have %ecome less relia%le Democratic voters,
Ba%or union mem%ers Q (hey have %ecome less relia%le
Democratic votersL have decreased in num%er and thus there
are fewer Democratic supportersL have %ecome a smaller
percentage of the Democratic voting %loc,
4omen Q (hey have %ecome more relia%le Democratic votersL
have increased in num%er and thus there are more Democratic
supportersL have %ecome a larger percentage of the Democratic
voting %loc,
0ocial conservatives Q (hey were previously none6istent and
have now crystallized to %ecome more relia%le 2epu%lican
votersL previously found in the Democratic party and have
moved to the 2epu%lican party,