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Civics & Govt Final Exam Review

I. Executive Branch
A. What Article of the Constitution outlines the executive branch? Article 2
B. What are the requirements to become president?
Must be a natural born citizen of the United States, a resident for 14 years, and 35 years of age
or older.
C. What are the powers and duties of the president? Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy
of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service
of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the
executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and
he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States,
except in Cases of Impeachment.

III. Judicial Branch

A. What are the three levels of the federal court system and what are the duties/responsibilities
of each? District courts (the trial court), circuit courts which are the first level of appeal, and
the Supreme Court of the United States, the final level of appeal in the federal system.

B. Supreme Court
- How are judges selected? Are chosen by a legislative committee based on each potential
judge's past performance. Some states hold "retention elections" to determine if the judge
should continue to serve.

IV. Political Parties

A. What five major things do political parties do? 1. Select candidate to run for office 2. Inform
the public to get support for their ideas 3. Act as a watchdog against the ruling party

B. What do the Republican and Democratic Parties stand for? Know the left/right spectrum and
be able to label the list of public policies from your notes as either being the belief of a
Republican/Conservative or of a Democrat/Liberal. Left = Liberals more open to change and
tend to be Democrats
Right = Conservatives prefer traditional values and tend to Republicans

C. How would you describe the chance that a minor party, like the Green Party or the Libertarian
Party, has in our political system? What impact can minor parties play in campaigns and
elections? The impact in minor parties play in campaigns is that they can support the big parties
or more people will vote for the minor parties

D. What are the differences between a two-party system like we have, and a multi-party system
like most other democracies have? Is one better than the other? Be ready to list 2 positives and
2 negatives to each system.

E. Why is it often frustrating for American citizens when politicians act in a partisan manner?

Voting & the Electoral Process

A. What were the five stages of extending voting rights? 1. Abolished religious qualifications
2.Civil War Amendments 3.Womens Suffrage 4.Civil Rights for Black Americans 5. Rights for
Young Americans
B. What techniques were used to interfere with peoples right to vote? For the black people,
there was a literacy test which the black people had to take

C. What are the voter registration requirements?




F. Vocabulary
Literacy Test
Poll Tax
Grandfather Clause
15th Amendment
19th Amendment
26th Amendment

G. Know the four steps to becoming the President of the United States.
1. Meet Eligibility Guidelines Set by the US Constitution
2. Test

the Water: Pre-Candidacy Process

3. Declare

Candidacy & File Applications with Federal Election Commission

4. Fundraise

and Campaign

5. Party

Primaries, Caucuses, and Delegates

6. Party


7. General

Election Campaign: The Final Candidates

8. Election

Day: Winning the Popular and Electoral Votes


What are the purposes of a partys national convention? to select the party's
nominee for President, as well as to adopt a statemen


t of party principles and goals known as the platform and adopt the rules for the
party's activities, including the presidential nominating process for the next election


1. Who are the Electors? who cast ballots to elect the President of the United States
and Vice President of the United States in the 2012 presidential election. There are 538
electors from the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
2. How is it determined how many votes each state gets? Each state receives as many
electoral votes as its combined total of senators and representatives. At a minimum each state
gets three electoral votes. Larger states have proportionately more electoral votes because a
state's House delegation is determined by population.
3. Why did the founders create the system? The first purpose was to create a buffer
between population and the selection of a President. The second as part of the structure of the
government that gave extra power to the smaller states.

V. Mass Media & Public Opinion

A. Why is public opinion important? Different facets of public opinion can work in different ways
to influence policy makers decisions.
B. What factors influence public opinion? Preexisting knowledge, values, and attitudes

C. How is public opinion measured? Election poll

D. What are the different forms of mass media? newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and
the internet.

E. What is meant by media bias? media is reporting the news in a partial or prejudiced manner

VI. Special Interest Groups

A. What are interest groups? an organization of people who share a common interest and work
together to protect and promote that interest by influencing the government.

B. What do interest groups hope to achieve? A good example is an election poll. Statistics that
are a week old are not usually very reliable when trying to predict a close presidential race.

C. What are the pros and cons of interest groups? Pros: 1. Democratic process 2. Has the
ability to motivate legislators 3. Provide positive solutions

D. What do lobbyists do? Typically very knowledgeable about the legislative process and know
who the decision makers are relative to congressional staff and Members of Congress.

VII. Budget

A. What are the largest sources of govt revenue? In 2010 the federal government
collected $2.2 trillion, an amount equal to 14.9 percent of GDP. ...

The individual income tax has been the largest single source of federal revenue since
1950, averaging 8 percent of GDP.

Payroll taxes swelled following the creation of Medicare in 1965.

B. What are the greatest federal government expenditures? The largest mandatory program is
Social Security, which comprises more than a third of mandatory spending and around 23
percent of the total federal budget.

C. What is the difference between Discretionary v. Mandatory spending? Mandatoryor direct

spending includes spending for entitlement programs and certain other payments to people,
businesses, and state and local governments.

C. Deficit and debt

How do they differ? Government takes in from taxes and other revenues, called receipts,
and the amount of money it spends, called outlays. The items included in the deficit are

considered either on-budget or off-budget. You can think of the total debt as accumulated
deficits plus accumulated off-budget surpluses.

What are the consequences of our national debt? The government must borrow money
to cover the difference. The government borrows by selling securities such as Treasury bonds,
then agreeing to pay bondholders back with interest. Over time, this borrowing accumulates into
the national debt.