Political Systems Final Exam Review Sheet


Political Systems Final Exam Review Sheet

Political Systems Final Exam Review Sheet


  1. What are the four theories of the origin of state?Force Theory (One person or a small group claimed control over an area and forced all within to submit), Evolutionary Theory ( (naturally developed out of the early family), Divine Right Theory (God created the state and that God had given those of royal birth a “divine right” to rule, and the Social Contract (State arose out of a voluntary act of free people giving up some of their rights in exchange for security – See Hobbes and Locke).
  2. What is :

-State can be defined as a body of people, living in a defined territory, organized politically (that is, with a government) and with the power to make and enforce law without the consent of any higher authority.

-Government is the institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies.


  1. What is a democracy? When the responsibility for the exercise of powers rests with a majority of the people, the form of government is known as a democracy. In a democracy, supreme authority rests with the people.
  2. What does it mean to be a sovereign state? Every state is sovereign- it has supreme and absolute power within its own territory and can decide its own foreign and domestic policies. It is neither subordinate nor responsible to any other authority. Thus, as a sovereign state, the United States can determine its form of government.
  3. How is power divided in a federal government? In a federal government power is divided between the state or local government and the national government.
  4. What are the 3 most basic types of power in most governments? Unitary, federal and confederate (Page 14)
  5. Difference between unicameral and bicameral congress. Unicameral is an adjective used to describe a legislative body with one chamber. A bicameral congress has two chambers.
  6. What was the debate at the Constitutional Convention between small states and large states about? The major issue was how representation in the legislative branch would be determined. What compromise solved this debate? The Great Compromise also known as the Connecticut Compromise solved the debate by creating a bicameral legislative branch – the House of Representatives would use a state’s population to determine representation and the Senate would have equal representation in each state (2 members per state).
  7. Who was the father of the constitution? James Madison
  8. Describe capitalism vs. socialism. Capitalism exists where individuals control the factors of production – land, labor, capital and entrepreneurship. The free enterprise system (capitalism) allows for private ownership, individual Initiative, profit and competition. (Page 659) Socialism is an economic and political philosophy based on the idea that the benefits of economic activity (wealth) should be equitably distributed throughout a society. Characteristics – Nationalization of resources, Public welfare, taxation and a centrally Planned Economy (Page 668)
  9. What is Judicial Review? The power of a court to determine the constitutionality of a governmental action. What case does this come from? Marbury vs. Madison
  10. Which branch carries out the law? Executive
  11. Which branch makes the law?Legislative
  12. Which branch interprets the law? Judicial
  13. Define limited government. Basic principle of American government which states that government is restricted in what it may do, and each individual has rights that government cannot take away.
  14. List the 1st amendment rights. Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, Freedom to peaceably assemble and Freedom to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
  15. What does the Elastic Clause allow for? Also called the necessary and proper clause. Implied power that allows congressional and court to do what is necessary to work.
  16. Why were the Anti- Federalists against ratifying the constitution? They believed a Bill of Rights was necessary.
  17. What is it called when the President addresses the nation each year? State of the Union
  1. Who were poll taxes aimed at? What eliminated poll taxes?
  1. What do you call the seven different sections of the constitution? Articles
  1. What is political efficacy?
  1. What is the electorate?
  1. Describe the process candidates go through when running for president. There are several steps.
  1. What is the difference between a primary and general election?
  1. What is the function of an interest group?
  1. Why do candidates use propaganda when running for office?
  1. What does grass-roots mean? Give an example
  1. How many members are in the electoral college? How many of these votes is needed to win the presidency?
  1. What does Congress need to override a presidential veto?
  1. How many members are in the Senate?100House of Representatives? 435
  1. What some of the roles/ jobs a member of Congress does?
  1. Why is the Senate called the Upper House?
  2. How old must a Representative be? A senator?
  3. How many years does a Representative serve? A senator?
  1. List the formal qualifications to be president:
  1. What are the different roles or “hats” that a president wears?
  1. What is the maximum number of years a president serves? 4 year term - But can serve up to 10 years
  1. Who is the current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? John Roberts
  1. What is the written verdict of the Supreme Court called?
  1. What is naturalization?
  1. What does Miranda Rights tell accused people? “You have the right to remain silent.
  1. What is the free exercise clause? The establishment clause? (Think Religion)
  1. What is due process?The government must act fairly and in accord with established rules in all that it does.
  1. What is a writ of habeas corpus?A court order which prevents unjust arrests and imprisonments.
  1. In what ways are your freedom of speech limited? Slander – False and malicious use of spoken words. Libel – False use of written word. Seditious speech – the advocating, or urging, of an attempt to overthrow the government by force, or to disrupt its lawful activities with violence. Symbolic Speech – Expression by conduct; communicating ideas through facial expressions, body language or by caring a sign or wearing an arm hand.
  1. What is guaranteed in the 5th amendment?

6th amendment?

4th amendment?

  1. What was wrong with the Articles of Confederation?
  1. Which social theory gives rise to Democracy?
  1. Who holds the sovereignty or power in a democracy?
  1. What is a subpoena?
  1. Other than democracy, what form of government could you say the United States is?
  1. Name a few checks each branch has on the others:




  1. What is redistricting? Gerrymandering?
  1. What is a lobbyist?
  1. Through what process can our constitution be changed? Amendment
  1. What does Brown v. Board say?
  1. What is the function of committees in congress?
  1. What is the supremecy clause? (think state v. federal power)
  1. What is a bureaucracy? A large, complex administrative structure that handles the everyday business of an organization.
  2. What are the six basic principles of the US Government? (ex. Limited government)

Popular SovereigntyLimited GovernmentSeparation of Power

Checks and BalancesJudicial ReviewFederalism

  1. Describe these powers:
  2. Expressed-Those delegated powers of the National Government that are spelled, expressly, in the Constitution. Also called the “Enumerated Powers.”
  3. Implied – Those delegated powers of the National Government that are suggested by the expressed powers set out in the Constitution: those “necessary and proper” to carry out the expressed powers.
  4. Inherent – Powers the Constitution is presumed to have delegated to the National Government because it is the government of a sovereign state within the world community.
  5. What kind of party system do we have? Two Party SystemWhat are those parties named? Democratic and Republican
  6. What purpose do 3rd parties serve? Third parties can play the “spoiler role.” They can play the part of critic and innovator.
  7. What is suffrage? The right to Vote
  8. What does the Voting Rights Act of 1965 do? The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made the 15th Amendment a truly effective part of the Constitution. It suspended the poll tax and any literacy text or similar device that prevented people from voting.
  9. What are some ideals of the Republican Party? Conservative to Moderate – Supporters are much more likely to favor the play of private market forces in the economy and to argue that the Federal Government should be less extensively involved in social welfare programs.
  10. What are some ideals of the Democratic Party? Moderate to Liberal – More likely to support such things as social welfare programs, government regulation of business practices, and efforts to improve the status of minorities.
  11. Why don’t people vote? Voters do not vote because they have lost patience and believe that they can not impact the outcome
  12. What prevents the government from denying people their life, liberty and property? (Due Process clause)