POL 101: Introduction to American Government

-Definition of politics
-Definition of social contract theory
-Definition of popular sovereignty
-Definitions of different forms of government (including monarchy, dictatorship, oligarchy, democracy, anarchy)
-Definition of direct and indirect democracy—how are they different
-Definition of capitalism, socialism, laissez-faire capitalism, procedural guarantees, substantive guarantees
-Changes in the characteristics of the American public (population growth, changes to racial/ethnic composition, age, religious beliefs, family size, etc.)

-Definition of ideology, liberal, conservative, social conservative, moderate; economic and social dimensions
-Definition of political culture, U.S. political culture
-Political ideas that unite Americans (procedural guarantees, individualism, values) -Core American values (democracy, freedom, equality)

-Definition and examples of normative
-Citizenship and naturalization (jus sanguinis, just soli, asylum, refugee)

-Why the colonists came to the new world, including feudalism
-What events led up to the Revolutionary War? What is the role of the French and Indian War, the Stamp Act, Common Sense, and the Declaration of Independence? -Basic provisions of the Articles of Confederation
-Problems/weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
-Shays’s Rebellion and how it exemplifies problems of the Articles of Confederation -Virginia Plan features
-New Jersey Plan features
-Connecticut Compromise
-Disputes between large/small states; north/south
-Definition of separation of powers; role of each branch of government
-Definition of checks and balances; examples
-Definition of federalism
-Basic argument of Federalist No. 10
-Basic argument of Federalist No. 51
-Concerns of the anti-federalists—what type of government did they want and why?

-Formal and informal methods of amending Constitution (formal process and judicial interpretation, social and cultural change)

-Article I, Article II, and Article III of the Constitution—what do they do? What is the role of each branch of government? (Make laws, enforce laws, interpret laws . . . ) -What are enumerated powers for Congress? For the executive? For the judiciary? -Definition of enumerated powers and examples from the Constitution

-Definition of implied powers and where they come from
-Elastic clause (definition and how it creates implied powers)
-Definition of supremacy clause; when is it applicable?
-Federalism (definition; comparison to unitary and confederal systems) -Requirements to be classified as federalist system
-Define both types of federalism (layer cake and marble cake)
-What powers are given to the national government under the Constitution? And the state governments? Concurrent powers?
-Where do local government derive their powers from?
-Powers prohibited from government (ex post facto laws and bills of attainder) -Definition of concurrent powers and examples
-10th Amendment and reserved powers
-Definition of interstate compacts and examples
McCulloch v. Maryland (basic facts of the case and what the court found)
-How federalism has changed—changes in the balance of power between the federal government and the states over time
-How the federal government tries to influence the states (categorical grants, block grants, unfunded mandate)

Extended Response Questions:

-Define democracy—how is it different than a monarchy or oligarchy? What is the difference between a direct democracy and an indirect democracy?
-Define checks and balances and discuss three examples from the Constitution -Define checks and balances and separation of powers and describe how each is manifested in the Constitution

-Define federalism and describe both types (layer cake/dual federalism vs. marble cake/cooperative federalism)
-Describe unitary system, confederacy, and federalism and discuss how they are different (where the source of power derives from and where it flows to)

-Discuss three weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
-Explain the necessary and proper clause (aka elastic clause)—be sure to explain how this relates to enumerated and implied powers
-Describe how the Constitution can be formally amended and how it has been informally changed over time

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