Foundations of Democracy

ARTISANSHIP

Each unit of study is broken down into a series of essential objectives and learning points.  Each objective requires a context of understanding.  You will find that context here.  Remember learning follows after Darwin not Newton.  Artisanship is always a work in progress.  In the end we hope that by distilling the content of American government and politics to its bare essentials a larger number then before can count themselves as educated citizens.  Without such a citizenry our hope for a bright future is in peril.  Demonstrate here what you have learned.

  • How did the founders of the U.S. Constitution attempt to protect individual liberty, while also promoting public order and safety?

  • How have theory, debate and compromise influenced the U.S. Constitutional system?

  • How does the development and interpretation of the Constitution influence policies that impact U.S. citizens?

Unit 1: Foundations of Democracy

 

The U.S. Constitution arose out of important historical and philosophical ideas and preferences regarding popular sovereignty and limited government.  To address competing states’ visions for the allocation of governmental authority, compromises were made during the Constitutional Convention and ratification debates, and these compromises have frequently been the source of debate and negotiation in U.S. politics over the proper balance between federal and state power and between liberty and social order.

 

Enduring Understandings:

 

  • A balance between governmental power and individual rights has been a hallmark of American political development. (Liberty and Order)

  • The Constitution emerged from the debate about weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation as a blueprint for limited government. (Constitutionalism)

  • The Constitution creates a complex competitive policy-making process to ensure the people’s will is represented and that freedom is preserved. (Competing policy-making interests)

  • Federalism reflects the dynamic distribution of power between national and state governments. (Constitutionalism)

 

Learning Objectives:

 

  1. Explain how democratic ideals are reflected in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

  2. Explain how models of representative democracy are visible in major institutions, policies, events, or debates in the U.S.

  3. Explain how Federalist and Anti-Federalist views on central government and democracy as reflected in U.S. foundational documents.

  4. Explain the relationship between key provisions of the Articles of Confederation and the debate over granting the federal government greater formerly reserved to the states.

  5. Explain the ongoing impact of political negotiation and compromise at the Constitutional Convention on the development of the constitutional system.

  6. Explain the constitutional principles of separation of powers and “checks and balances.”

  7. Explain the implications of separation of powers and “checks and balances” for the U.S. political system.

  8. Explain how societal needs affect the constitutional allocation of power between national and state governments.

  9. Explain how the appropriate balance of power between national and state governments has been interpreted differently over time.

  10. Explain how the distribution of powers among three federal branches and between national and state governments impacts policy-making.

1.1     Explain how democratic ideals are reflected in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

 

1. Enlightenment thinkers stressed the importance of governments protecting natural rights.  In the state of nature one can find popular sovereignty.  This belief resulted in a desire to make all governments beholden to

 

a.  The divine right of kings

b.  The consent of the governed

c.  The hierarchy of wealth and privilege

d.  Centralized legal systems

 

2. One of the true ancestors of American government was Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679).  In Leviathan (1651), Hobbes wrote of the imperative need for a social contract with adequate checks and balances because in “the state of nature” mankind was

 

a.  “Enlightened and enchanted”

b.  “Rational and unsentimental”

c.  “Nasty and brutish”

d.  “Noble and magnanimous”

 

3. “No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disused, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will we proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land…”

 

This early affirmation of the rights of men based upon the rule of law can be found in

 

a.  Plato’s Republic, 380 BC

b.  The Magna Charta, 1215

c.  The Prince by Machiavelli, 1532

d.  Hobbes’ Leviathan, 1651

 

4. “Men being, as has been said, by nature, all free, equal and independent, no one can be put out of this estate, and subjected to the political power of another, without his own consent.”

 

In this quote from the Second Treatise on Government (1690), John Locke was clearly advocating for

 

a.  Popular sovereignty

b.  Separation of powers

c.  Checks and balances

d.  Federalism

 

5. “Men being, as has been said, by nature, all free, equal and independent, no one can be put out of this estate, and subjected to the political power of another, without his own consent.”

 

John Locke wrote this in the Second Treatise on Government (1690).  If he were alive today he would be pleased to know that

 

a.  Our House of Representatives is directly elected

b.  Congress declares war but the President is the commander-in-chief

c.  The House of Representatives can impeach sitting judges

d.  The Tenth Amendment protects states’ rights

 

 6. “When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty; because apprehensions may arise, lest the same monarch or senate should enact tyrannical laws, to execute them in a tyrannical manner.”

 

In this quote from The Spirit of the Laws (1748), Montesquieu was clearly advocating for

 

a.  Popular sovereignty

b.  Separation of powers

c.  Checks and balances

d.  Federalism

 

7. The American offspring of Montesquieu’s writing in The Spirit of the Laws (1748) can best be seen the following example

 

a.  Our House of Representatives is directly elected

b.  Congress declares war but the President is the commander-in-chief

c.  The House of Representatives can impeach sitting judges

d.  The Tenth Amendment protects states’ rights

 

8. This transformative document has been and continues to be used as a manifesto of freedom to oppressed peoples around the world.

 

a.  Montesquieu’s The Spirit of the Laws (1748)

b.  The Mayflower Compact (1620)

c.  The Declaration of Independence (1776)

d.  The U.S. Constitution (1789)

 

9. The Declaration of Independence (1776) contained an argument that government should preserve

 

a.  Both liberty and equality

b.  Liberty but not equality

c.  Equality but not liberty

d.  Political rights but not economic rights

 

10. This seminal document established the essential blue print for a unique form of political democracy in America.  Even today it can be cited as the longest lasting and most durable government charter in human history.

 

a.  Montesquieu’s The Spirit of the Laws (1748)

b.  The Mayflower Compact (1620)

c.  The Declaration of Independence (1776)

d.  The U.S. Constitution (1789)

 

1.2     Explain how models of representative democracy are visible in major institutions, policies, events, or debates in the U.S.

 

1. As societies grew more and more complex governments were formed to help manage norms.  In representative governments these norms are primarily managed through:

 

a. Religious rites

b. Charismatic elites

c. Terror and violence

d. Laws and public policies

2. Essential to any government wishing to exert its authority is for said government to be readily accepted by its people.  In other words, all governments work towards

 

a. Democracy

b. Legitimacy

c. Authoritarianism

d. Aristocracy

 

3. Certain salient concepts gave breath to the grand American experiment in self-rule.  Fundamentally our Founders maintained an essential commitment to all of the following EXCEPT

 

a. Limited government

b. Separation of powers

c. Federalism

d. Direct democracy

 

4. The designers of the U.S. government feared direct democracy as much as they feared monarchy.  Republicanism represents all of the people and not just majorities.  Nevertheless the original U.S. Constitution did allow for the direct election of the

 

a. House of Representatives

b. Senate

c. President

d. Supreme Court

 

5. In the Declaration of Independence Jefferson wrote, “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government…” In this revolutionary statement, Jefferson was advocating

 

a. Separation of Powers

b. Checks and Balances

c. Popular Sovereignty

d. Federalism

 

6. Conservative groups like the Tea Party and liberal groups like Occupy Wall Street have mobilized thousands of every day citizens to advocate for new public policies by taking to the streets, calling their representatives, voting for alternative candidates and raising money.

 

What model of representative democracy is represented above?

 

a. Participatory democracy

b. Pluralist democracy

c. Elite democracy

d. This is an example of an autocratic government

 

7. Recently the president of the United States met with high-tech leaders, Hollywood stars and media moguls to discuss how best to address the issue of education reform.

 

What model of representative democracy is represented above?

 

a. Participatory democracy

b. Pluralist democracy

c. Elite democracy

d. This is an example of an autocratic government

 

8. A healthcare bureaucrat has said, “When a business needs to change relatively quickly, it’s much more important to just make a decision and get people moving than it is to take the time to conduct a thorough analysis and attempt to influence others to come around to your way of thinking. [Leadership is the] managerial equivalent of an emergency room surgeon, forced to do whatever it takes to save a patient’s life.”

 

What model of representative democracy is represented above?

 

a. Participatory democracy

b. Pluralist democracy

c. Elite democracy

d. This is an example of an autocratic government

 

9. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, like the Sierra Club, is an interest group that through its numbers can amplify the voices of every day citizens.  The Chamber advocates for small businesses.  The Sierra Club supports environmental issues.

 

What model of representative democracy is represented above?

 

a. Participatory democracy

b. Pluralist democracy

c. Elite democracy

d. This is an example of an autocratic government

 

10. James Madison in Federalist 10 wrote: “The inference to which we are brought is, that the causes of faction cannot be removed, and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its effects.”

 

According to Madison, how best to control the ill effects of factions?

 

a.  Build a small participatory democracy

b. Encourage a large pluralist republic

c.  Attract groups of privileged elites

d.  Appeal to strong willed autocrats to govern

1.3     Explain how Federalist and Anti-Federalist views on central government and democracy as reflected in U.S. foundational documents.

 

1. With the close of the American Revolution in 1776, power and rights in America were equally vested in the people.  Another name for this is 

 

a.  Popular sovereignty

b.  Limited authoritarianism

c.  A confederation of elites

d.  Parliamentary prerogatives

 

2. A constitutional convention in 1787 created a blue print for American government.  The Founding Fathers settled upon a republican form of government, also called a

 

a.  Confederation of elites

b.  Representative democracy

c.  Parliamentary polity

d. Direct democracy

  

3. Early in the life of American government questions emerged over “who to empower and where?”  The Federalists, an early political party, envisioned a government

 

a.  Strongly centralized but not too strong

b.  Made up of smaller localized units

c.  Centralized around a strong king

d.  Made up of landless serfs

 

4. Early in the life of American government questions emerged over “who to empower and where?”  The Anti-Federalists, an early political party, envisioned a government

 

a.  Strongly centralized but not too strong

b.  Made up of smaller localized units

c.  Centralized around a strong king

d.  Made up of landless serfs

 

 5. In Federalist 10 James Madison argued that the “mischief of factions” could best be controlled by

 

a.  Expanding suffrage

b.  Frequent elections

c.  An energetic president

d.  A large republic

 

6. According to James Madison in Federalist 10, if factions, interest groups and cliques are so dangerous to democratic government – why not remove them?

 

a.  Factions are difficult to identify

b.  Factions could turn violent

c.  Factions are rooted in nature, and liberty protects them

d.  Factions can join with other factions and threaten to secede

 

7. The Anti-Federalists, an opposition party, argued in their Brutus essays that strong centralized governments tend to be corrupted by

 

a.  Farmers

b.  Religious clerics

c.  Wealthy citizens

d.  Immigrants

 

8. In 1788 the Anti-Federalists felt threatened most by the Federalist argument for

 

a.  Expanding suffrage

b.  Frequent elections

c.  An energetic president

d.  A large republic

 

9. In opposition to the Federalists, Anti-Federalists argued that the seat of government should be found in

 

a.  Republican national governments

b.  Democratic centralized governments

c.  Local state governments

d.  Authoritarian political machines

 

10. When assessing government in America today, the Federalists seemed to have succeeded in securing a strong ­­­­­_____ government; and the Anti-Federalists also succeeded in securing viable _____ governments.

 

a.  Central; local

b.  Local; central

c.  Autocratic; authoritarian

d.  Authoritarian; autocratic

 

1.4     Explain the relationship between key provisions of the Articles of Confederation and the debate over granting the federal government greater formerly reserved to the states.

 

1. Historians have labeled the years following the victory over the British in the American Revolution the “critical period.”  What made these years so critical?

 

a.  Debates and disputes over “good government”

b.  The French and Spanish were planning an imminent invasion

c.  Gold prices plummeted after the war

d.  The British, plotting reprisals, never fully surrendered

 

2. The first national charter, a government blue print, that established a “firm league of friendship” between the thirteen original colonies after the American Revolution was called the

 

a.  Federalist Papers

b.  Mayflower Compact

c.  Articles of Confederation

d. U.S. Constitution

 

3. A rowdy Shays’ Rebellion in Massachusetts following the American Revolution exposed the weaknesses of our first United States government.  What weakness of that early central government was exposed the most by Shays’ Rebellion?

 

a.  The lack of a national standing army to put down the rebellion

b.  The inability of state governments to forgive debt

c.  Porous borders that allowed for unsustainable numbers of immigrants

d.  Irresolvable disputes between northern and southern states

4. During the “critical period” George Washington wrote to a friend saying, “The disinclination of the individual States to yield competent powers to Congress for the Federal Government – their unreasonable jealousy of that body and of one another – and the disposition which seems to pervade each, of being all-wise and all-powerful within itself, will, if there is not a change in the system, be our own downfall as a Nation.  This is as clear to me as the A.B.C.”

 

This quote clearly shows that George Washington

 

a.  As a Federalist knew that the Articles of Confederation created an inadequate central government

b.  As a Federalist advocated keeping the Articles of Confederation in order to protect liberty

c.  As an Anti-Federalist feared that a strong central government threatened states’ rights

d.  As an Anti-Federalist knew early on that state debts would threaten public school systems

 

5. John Dickinson, a Founding Father and contributor to the new U.S. Constitution in 1787, wrote: “Let our government be like the sun and the states the planets, repelled yet attracted, and the whole moving regularly and harmoniously in several orbits.”

 

What founding principle is Dickinson’s metaphor describing?

 

a.  Popular sovereignty

b.  Federalism

c.  Separation of powers

d.  Checks and balances

 

6. Weaknesses found in the Articles of Confederation were addressed in the new U.S. Constitution in all of the following ways EXCEPT

 

a.  A legislative branch that could regulate interstate commerce

b.  Creation of an energetic president

c.  Creation of a Congress that could levy taxes

d.  The elimination of unequal state courts

 

7. The Articles of Confederation, the first governing charter of the U.S., succeeded in ending the war with England and proposing territorial rules for expansion but maintaining order it could not.  All of the following were fatal flaws in the Articles EXCEPT

 

a.  There was no executive branch

b.  Congress could not regulate trade

c.  Inability to pacify rebellions

d.  The central government was too strong

 

8. Which of the following was the most important affect of replacing the Articles of Confederation with a new constitution?

 

a.  The addition of a Bill of Rights

b.  Establishment of a strong national government

c.  The creation of strong state governments

d.  The creation of a strong judiciary

 

9. If the United States were still governed by the Articles of Confederation, issues like health care and education would be primarily handled by

 

a.  The President

b.  Congress

c.  The Supreme Court

d.  The States

 

10. The first governing charter of the United States, the Articles of Confederation, failed.  Why?

 

a.  The central government was too weak

b.  The central government overtaxed the people

c.  The central government overregulated commerce

d.  The central government suppressed the votes

 

1.5     Explain the ongoing impact of political negotiation and compromise at the Constitutional Convention on the development of the constitutional system.

 

1. Who was emboldened by the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation to call for a new constitutional convention?

 

a.  Elite

b.  Small farmers

c.  Urban merchants

d. Military leaders

 

2. The most pressing need at the constitutional convention in Philadelphia in 1787 was

 

a.  The central government would need to be stronger

b.  State governments would need to pay their fair share

c.  The issue of slavery would need to be resolved

d.  Foreign policy issues threatened national security

 

3. Compromise between the original 13 colonies in 1787 would prove to be difficult.  There were numerous differences.  Despite the political, economic and regional differences the 13 colonies could all agree on needing a

 

a.  Weaker national president

b.  Weaker military industrial complex

c.  Stronger national bank

d.  Stronger functioning central government

 

4. The United States Constitution would never have succeeded had it not been for the Great Compromise.  This compromise resulted in a bicameral legislature.  What fundamental issued divided the convention?

 

a.  Northerners versus southerners

b.  Urban citizens versus rural citizens

c.  Big states versus small states

d.  Internationalists versus isolationists

 

5. Slavery was protected in the Articles of Confederation based upon the principle of

 

a.  Executive prerogative

b.  State sovereignty

c.  Individual agency

d.  Equal protection

 

6. The new U.S. constitution would endanger state powers once given under the Articles of Confederation.  Compromises with respect to slavery would be necessary if the new constitution was to be ratified.  This can be clearly seen in all of the following provisions EXCEPT

 

a.  Three-fifths formula when counting slaves for apportioning representation

b.  Legal importation of slaves until 1807

c.  Fugitive slave laws

d.  Federal compensation for voluntary manumission

 

7. Compromises at the Philadelphia constitutional convention in 1787 were necessary in order to assure ratification.  Some important issues were left unresolved.  It is for this reason, perhaps, that the escape hatch found in Article V was included.  What did Article V provide for?

 

a.  A route to return to the Articles of Confederation

b.  A means to breach the original charter and thus beginning anew

c.  A means of amending and changing the original constitution

d.  State legislatures were given the power to veto Presidential acts

 

8. The formal amendment process, changing the language of the U.S. Constitution, has been used sparingly.  This is true, in part, because of the difficulty of the amendment process.  Two-thirds of ­­­­­­­­­­­_____ must propose a change and three-fourths of _____ must ratify.

 

a.  State legislatures; Congress

b.  Congress; State legislatures

c.  State legislatures; the Supreme Court

d.  Congress; the Supreme Court

 

9. The “Great Compromise” made at the constitutional convention in 1787 was settled by the inclusion of

 

a.  An energetic president

b.  A bicameral legislature

c.  Slave states in the south

d.  An independent judiciary

 

10. When changing the U.S. Constitution there is a two-step process.  Amendments would need to be proposed and ratified.  The central government was empowered to propose changes and state governments were empowered to ratify changes.  What foundational principle is evident in the formal amendment process?

 

a.  Separation of powers

b.  Checks and balances

c.  Federalism

d.  Judicial review

 

11. The debates that were widespread during the period of ratification in 1787 and 1788 still continue today.  When a strong central government was called for in response to the attacks of September 11 one can still hear the echoes of

 

a.  The Federalists

b.  The Anti-Federalists

c.  The Tories

d.  The mercantilists

 

12. The debates that were widespread during the period of ratification in 1787 and 1788 still continue today.  When Tea Partiers take to the streets complaining about the growth of an imperial presidency one can still hear echoes of

 

a.  The Federalists

b.  The Anti-Federalists

c.  The Tories

d.  The mercantilists

 

13. The debates that were widespread during the period of ratification in 1787 and 1788 still continue today.  When the federal government began to encourage and mandate centralized educational goals like “Common Core” in order to reform public schools one can still hear echoes of

 

a.  The Federalists

b.  The Anti-Federalists

c.  The Tories

d.  The mercantilists

 

14. When president Ronald Reagan (R) called government the problem and not the solution and when president Bill Clinton (D) said “the era of big government is over” they were drawing upon a common theme expressed early in our political history by

 

a.  The Federalists

b.  The Anti-Federalists

c.  The Tories

d.  The mercantilists

 

15. In the ratifying debates Federalists argued for

 

a.  A stronger central government

b.  Maintaining stronger local governments

c.  Direct democracy

d.  Stronger alliances with France

 

16. In the ratifying debates Anti-Federalists argued for

 

a.  A stronger central government

b.  Maintaining stronger local governments

c.  Direct democracy

d.  Stronger alliances with England

  

1.6     Explain the constitutional principles of separation of powers and “checks and balances.”

 

1. Despite the need for a stronger government, our Founding Fathers were weary of consolidating the functions of government.  To assuage against the abuse of power the new U.S. Constitution made central

 

a.  The separation of powers

b.  Federalism

c.  A Bill of Rights

d.  Judicial review

 

2. Our tripartite government was described in Article 1, Article 2 and Article 3 of the new U.S. Constitution.  Respectively each article described

 

a.  A different type of national election

b.  A different function of the president

c.  A different branch of government

d.  A different legislative power

 

3. Dividing power through three branches, according to James Madison, was necessary because history taught that abuses of government

 

a.  Are to be expected due to human nature

b.  Are to be expected due to poorly written constitutions

c.  Are to be expected in large republics

d.  Are to be expected in direct democracies

 

4. Arguably, the separation of powers makes abuse and corruption even more likely due to

 

a.  Its overemphasis on individual liberty

b.  Its inevitable culture of rebellion

c.  Its dominant court system

d.  Its inherent multiple access points

 

 5. Democratic accountability and conformity with the rule of law is best safeguarded in our constitution through a system of

 

a.  Judicial review

b.  Checks and balances

c.  Federalism

d.  Civil liberties

 

6. One example of checks and balances built into our U.S. Constitution is

 

a.  The House can impeach a president but the Senate must hold the trial of removal

b.  The president must declare war but the Congress funds troop deployment

c.  The Congress writes laws but the state legislatures approve them

d.  The Electoral College chooses nominees but the people vote for president

 

7. One example of checks and balances built into our U.S. Constitution is

 

a.  Political parties nominate judges but the president approves them

b.  The president appoints federal judges but the Senate confirms them

c.  Federal judges propose bills but presidents sign them into law

d.  Presidents declare war but state governments provide the troops

 

8. One way the Congress can check the Courts is to

 

a.  Veto Supreme Court decisions

b.  Deny enforcement

c.  Change the size and jurisdiction of the federal courts

d.  Abolish the federal court system

 

9. Today the most important way the Courts check the other branches is by ruling on the constitutionality of their activity.  This is called

 

a.  Reinventing government

b.  The elastic clause

c.  The necessary and proper clause

d.  Judicial review

 

10. In Federalist 51 (1788) James Madison wrote:

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions...”

 

Which of the following best reflects how the original U.S. Constitution embodied Madison’s argument?

a.  Checks and balances

b.  Republicanism

c.  Authoritarianism

d.  The Bill of Rights

1.7     Explain the implications of separation of powers and “checks and balances” for the U.S. political system.

 

1. Elihu Root called the separation of powers “one of the great underlying principles of our Constitution.”  Why was the separation of powers considered so important by our Founding Fathers?

 

a.  The concentration of power in one place was considered “the very definition of tyranny.”

b.  Three branches of government were necessary to fulfill all of the expectations of government.

c.  State governments were considered more likely to be corrupt than a strong national government.

d.  Copying the English system advanced trade and diplomatic relations during the “critical period.”

 

2. The legislative branch of the U.S. government has been empowered by the Constitution to

 

a.  Make laws

b.  Enforce laws

c.  Interpret laws

d. Make, enforce and interpret laws

 

3. The executive branch of the U.S. government has been empowered by the Constitution to

 

a.  Make laws

b.  Enforce laws

c.  Interpret laws

d. Make, enforce and interpret laws

 

4. The judicial branch of the U.S. government has been empowered by the Constitution to

 

a.  Make laws

b.  Enforce laws

c.  Interpret laws

d. Make, enforce and interpret laws

 

 5. Another check and balance on our central government came about through the passage of the Federal Torts Claims Act (1946).  This statute allowed for

 

a.  Private citizens to withhold their income taxes when Congress acts inappropriately

b.  Private parties to sue the U.S. government in federal court

c.  Private corporations to negotiate their own trade agreements

d.  Private mercenaries the chance to fight in foreign wars

 

6. In addition to the separation of powers, our political arena is characterized by the separation of parties.  This has resulted in all of the following EXCEPT

 

a.  Partisanship

b.  Polarization

c.  Gridlock

d.  Tyranny of the minority

7. Many political scientists have acknowledged that hazardous leaks, resulting in possible security breaches, are a byproduct of the separation of powers.   Governments characterized by the separation of powers are vulnerable to security leaks because

 

a.  Checks and balances have never been fully funded

b.  The number of access points given to corrupting influences

c.  The three branches rarely communicate with each other

d.  The Supreme Court has advocated for security leaks as a means of protecting liberty

8. All of the following actions serve as checks on federal government officials who abuse their power EXCEPT

 

a.  Impeachment

b.  General elections

c.  Criminal prosecution

d.  Recall elections

9. Which of the following correctly describes the impeachment process as found in the U.S. Constitution?

 

a.  The House of Representatives impeaches; the Senate holds the impeachment trial

b.  The Senate impeaches; the House of Representatives holds the impeachment trial

c.  The House of Representatives impeaches; the Supreme Court holds the impeachment trial

d.  The Senate impeaches; the state legislatures vote collectively to remove

 

10. The separation of powers and checks and balances are all a part of the promise of good government that lies behind the creation of our U.S. Constitution.  Which of the following provides an example of this promise is action?

 

a.   The EPA can regulate air quality around the world

b.  The legislative branch checks governors by controlling their respective budgets

c.  The executive branch prepares the budget; the legislative branch approves the budget

d.  State governments can veto presidential actions

 

1.8     Explain how societal needs affect the constitutional allocation of power between national and state governments.

 

1. A fundamental question we as a representative democracy have had to answer since our inception is

 

a.  How strong should our central government be?

b.  How many states should we have?

c.  Should we have a king or a parliament?

d.  Should our Supreme Court be the least dangerous branch?

 

2. Which of the following best defines federalism?

 

a.  The separation of power between national, state and local governments

b.  The separation between legislative, executive and judicial branches

c.  The separation between foreign and domestic policy

d.  The separation between church and state

 

3. The discussion over the allocation of government power throughout our political history can best be summarized as

 

a.  A settled debate

b.  A contentious debate

c.  A one-sided debate

d.  Never truly debated

4. What did Thomas Jefferson mean when he stated: “The Constitution belongs to the living and not to the dead”?

 

a.  The Constitution should be rewritten by every generation

b.  Each and every citizen should uniquely personalize the constitution

c.  Meanings and interpretations evolve with time

d.  Meanings and interpretations are rooted in original contexts

 

 5. All of the following have been used to negotiate the balance of power between national and state governments EXCEPT

 

a.  Interpretations of the Tenth Amendment

b.  Interpretations of the Fourteenth Amendment

c.  The Commerce Clause

d.  Federal Reserve white papers

6. In Franklin Roosevelt’s Second Inaugural Address he stated:

 

We of the Republic sensed the truth that democratic government has innate capacity to protect its people against disasters once considered inevitable, to solve problems once considered unsolvable. We would not admit that we could not find a way to master economic epidemics just as, after centuries of fatalistic suffering, we had found a way to master epidemics of disease. We refused to leave the problems of our common welfare to be solved by the winds of chance and the hurricanes of disaster.

 

What was President Roosevelt essentially saying?

 

a.  Good governments solve problems

b.  Good governments should acknowledge their limitations

c.  Good governments are characterized by their reliance on precedent

d.  Good governments first and foremost protect elite interests

 

7. Franklin Roosevelt’s words above can literally be seen in this example

 

a.  Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)

b.  The Federal Reserve System

c.  The American Dairy Association

d.  The creation of a bicameral legislature

 

8. All of the following have proven to limit the natural aggrandizement of the central government EXCEPT

 

a.  The rule of law

b.  Election results

c.  Activist judges

d.  Global privatization

9. The emergence of a movement to legalize marijuana at the state level provides an example of

 

a.  The persistent tension over where government power is best suited

b.  The settled debate over where government power is found

c.  The negligible authority that still remains at the state level

d.  The authoritative role played by national governments

 

10. Using what you have learned, what constitutional provision do you suppose legitimized the passage of The Controlled Substances Act (1970) which authorized the national government to preside over a vast drug policy?

 

a.  Free faith and credit clause

b.  The interstate commerce clause

c.  The necessary and proper clause

d.  Tenth Amendment

 

1.9     Explain how the appropriate balance of power between national and state governments has been interpreted differently over time.

 

1. Federalism has had all of the following natural results EXCEPT

 

a.  Creation of dual sovereignty

b.  Centralized power

c.  Encouraged efficacy

d.  Provided a safeguard to individual liberty

 

2. Assessing the distribution of power in American government invariably involves familiarity with technical terms.  All of the following terms are matched correctly EXCEPT

 

a.  Decentralized powers – exclusive power given to the President

b.  Delegated powers – given exclusively to the national government

c.  Concurrent powers – shared between national and state governments

d.  Reserved powers – given exclusively to the state governments

 

3. Reserved powers, powers retained by the states, were given Constitutional authority in which amendment?

 

a.  First

b.  Second

c.  Fifth

d.  Tenth

 

4. Political scientists have like to use metaphors to explain the unique relationships developed by federalism in American government and politics.  Which of the following metaphors has been used most often?

 

a.  Layer cake

b.  Marble cake

c.  Angel food cake

d.  Fruit cake

 5. The story of American government is a story of national aggrandizement.  What does this mean?

 

a.  The national government has grown in power at the expense of state and local governments

b.  State and local governments have grown in power at the expense of the national government

c.  Federalism no longer exists

d.  Governmental legitimacy has been replaced with national authority

 

6. Which of the following Supreme Court cases provided the seminal interpretation for the following language found in the U.S. Constitution?

 

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”

                                                                                                U.S. Constitution Article 6, Section 2

 

a.  Marbury v. Madison (1803)

b.  McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

c.  Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)

d.  Barron v. Baltimore (1833)

 

7. The following language found in the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, has often been called the elastic clause.  How has it impacted government over time?

 

“…To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.”                                                                               U.S. Constitution Article 1, Section 8

 

a.  Clearly defined the parameters of the enumerated powers

b.  Clearly defined the parameters of the concurrent powers

c.  Clearly defined the parameters of the reserved powers

d.  Allowed the national government to grow in its power and authority

e.  Allowed state and local governments to grow in their power and authority

 

8. Historical events along with immediate crises often serve as seminal turning points in the allocation of government power.  All of the following events helped to centralize power in the U.S. government EXCEPT

 

a.  The Great Depression

b.  World War II

c.  Devolution in the 1980s

d.  The attacks on 9/11

 

9. In this case the Supreme Court ruled the Gun-Free School Zones Act went beyond what the Constitution’s commerce clause could allow.  For the first time since the New Deal the Court limited the scope and reach of the Commerce Clause.

 

a.  Mapp v. Ohio (1961)

b.  Miranda v. Arizona (1966)

c.  Roe v. Wade (1973)

d.  U.S. v. Lopez (1990)

10. “After a third of a century of power flowing from the people and the States to Washington it is time for a New Federalism in which power, funds, and responsibility will flow from Washington to the States and to the people…For the first time, applying the principles of the New Federalism, administration of a major established Federal program would be turned over to the States and local governments, recognizing that they are in a position to do the job better.”  Excerpted from a Presidential Address to the Nation, August 8, 1969.

 

Using the text above and what you already know what political party today would most likely advocate for the main argument stated here?

 

a.  Democrat Party

b.  Republican Party

c.  Green Party

d.  Libertarian

 

11. Using the text above and what you already know what concept below best serves as a synonym for New Federalism?

 

a.  Devolution

b.  Reserved Powers

c.  Marble Cake Federalism

d.  Holocracy

 

1.10   Explain how the distribution of powers among three federal branches and between national and state governments impacts policy-making.

 

1. Despite what we might hear on the news most Americans throughout history would agree that government is

 

a.  A positive evil

b.  A negative evil

c.  A positive good

d.  A negative good

 

2. Making public policy in America can often be long, complex and competitive.  It is anything but easy.  Gridlock may in fact be an intentional consequence of our founding.  Which of the founding principles is most responsible for our cumbersome public policy process?

 

a.  Separation of powers and checks and balances

b.  Civil liberties and civil rights

c.  Popular sovereignty and ex post facto laws

d. Equal protection and the rule of law

 

3. The public policy cycle is often long, complex and competitive.  The public policy cycle typically follows all of the following steps:

 

a.  Make up problem; debate problem; fund the solution; vote on passage

b.  Make law; enforce law; interpret law

c.  Agenda setting; formulate policy; legitimize the policy; implement the policy

d.  Legitimize difficulty; elites formulate a solution; authoritarian enforcement; autocratic interpretation

4. Our Congress, the legislative branch, often leads in the public policy process because of

 

a.  Its legislative authority

b.  Its virtual representation

c.  Its access to media outlets

d.  Its high incumbency rates

 

 5. Our President, along with the whole executive branch, have taken on an increased role in the policy making process because of

 

a.  The growth of public trust in the president

b.  The growth of the administrative state

c.  The growth of the role played by the Vice President

d.  The Constitutional authority vested in the president

 

6. The Supreme Court isn’t just blind anymore.  It too is involved in the public policy making process.  The principal way the Supreme Court can influence public policy is to

 

a.  Alert the media

b.  Work closely with the Congress

c.  Set agendas and formulate solutions

d.  Formally amend the constitution through their opinions

 

7. There were many players involved in developing the comprehensive health care policy known as the Affordable Care Act (2010).   All of the following combinations are correctly matched EXCEPT

 

a.  Progressive voices set the agenda by highlighting the problem

b.  Congress formulated the policy

c.  The Supreme Court legitimized the solution

d.  State governors implemented the policy

 

8. There have been many players involved in addressing “the American dilemma” of race relations.  Public policy solutions addressing racial inequality have been long, complex and competitive.  All of the following combinations are correctly matched EXCEPT

 

a.  The State Department built relationships between competitive regions

b.  Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964

c.  The President enforced the Civil Rights Act of 1964 at the state-level

d.  Supreme Court decisions broke down discrimination in American public schools

9. The Congress, the president and the Courts have used this constitutional provision to legitimately advance the rights and privileges of certain minority groups

 

a.  The supremacy clause

b.  The necessary and proper clause

c.  The interstate commerce clause

d.  The Bill of Rights

10. The Supreme Court in the case Hearts of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States (1964) argued:

 

The power of Congress to deal with these obstructions depends on the meaning of the Commerce Clause. Its meaning was first enunciated 140 years ago by the great Chief Justice John Marshall in Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) in these words: ‘The subject to be regulated is commerce, and . . . to ascertain the extent of the power, it becomes necessary to settle the meaning of the word. The counsel for the appellee would limit it to traffic, to buying and selling, or the interchange of commodities . . . but it is something more: it is intercourse . . . between nations, and parts of nations, in all its branches, and is regulated by prescribing rules for carrying on that [activity].’

 

To what commerce does this power extend? The constitution informs us, to commerce ‘with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes.’

 

It has, we believe, been universally admitted that these words comprehend every species of commercial [activity]. . . . No sort of trade can be carried on . . . to which this power does not extend.

 

As a result of this Court argument

 

a.  The Court expanded the legitimate power of the central government

b.  The Court formulated a policy that set back the civil rights movement

c.  The Court enforced once and for all states’ rights

d.  The Court reduced the size and reach of the Department of Commerce

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