2 CONTENT DESCRIPTION Government/Civics (18% of the test) Assesses the philosophical foundations of the United States government and how the structure and functions of government developed (local, state, and national) and the relationship between the federal government, the states and individual citizens.
3 The Declaration of Independence Based on social contract theories of British Political Philosopher--John Locke ( )A government’s power comes from the consent of the people. (a social contract)-Jefferson declared that people the right to abolish an oppressive government and establish a new one.Locke “All people are born free and equal, with natural rights to life, liberty, and property.”-Jefferson changed the last of these to pursuit of happiness.
4 Foundational Principles of the Constitution Rule of law (Written law restricts the government’s power)Federalism (balance of local, state, and national government)Popular sovereignty (the government serves the people)Separation of powers (prevents theconcentration and abuse of power)Checks and balances (Allowsbranches of government torestrain each others powers)
5 Ratification of the Constitution Debate centered on the need for a strong central government versus state rights and individual rightsJames Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay argued for a stronger central government in The Federalist Papers—they were concerned that regional factions might split up the country.
6 The Legislative Branch Article I of the Constitution describes the powers, roles, and responsibilities of the legislative branchLaw-making powers of Congress (Senate and House of Representatives)Law-making process (how a bill becomes a law)Other responsibilities of government: budget, federal appointments, etc.Describe the system of checks and balances by citing the checks and balances involved in the passing of a bill (e.g., presidential review and judicial review).
8 Legislative Branch-Congress Membership of the House of Representatives1. Each state represented proportional to theirpopulationtotal members3. Representatives electedevery 2 yearsMembership of the Senate1. Each State elects two representativestotal members3. Senators elected for 6 year terms
9 Congressional Committees Two basic types of Committees1. authorizing (establish policies)2. appropriations (funding)Standing Committees (permanent)-19 in House, 17 in Senate- further divided into subcommittees (175 total)Select Committees (special issues or investigations)Joint Committees and Conference Committees-House and Senate Committees working together
10 Congressional Leadership HouseSpeaker of the HouseHouse Majority LeaderHouse Majority WhipHouse Minority LeaderHouse Minority WhipSenatePresident= Vice-President (votes only as tie-breaker)President pro temporeSenate Majority LeaderSenate Minority Leader
11 Powers of Congress expressed powers (Written in Constitution) examples: Making Laws, FUNDING, Regulating Trade, Declaring War, ImpeachmentArticle I Section 8—known as the Elastic Clause-gives congress power to pass laws “necessary and proper” for doing its job.Thus, Congress has Implied Powers.(not expressly written in the Constitution)
12 Checks and Balances Legislative Branch PowersPasses bills into lawOver-ride Presidential veto by 2/3 voteApproval of Cabinet positions (Senate)“power of the Purse”Checks on PowersPresident’s power to veto laws passed by CongressSupreme Court’s power to rule laws unconstitutional
13 The Executive BranchArticle II gives power of Enforcement and Implementation of federal law to the Executive Branch which is led by the President of the United States who is the Chief executive and chief agenda setterMilitary power is under the President-he is the commander in chief of the armed forcesDiplomatic powers –negotiates agreements with other nations in the forms of treaties or executive agreements- he is representative of the nation, chief of state, and foreign policy leaderThe President is the party leader—the head of his/her political party
14 Checks and Balances Executive Branch PowersApproves or vetoes lawsCarries out lawsAppoints federal judges and officialsNegotiates treatiesChecks on PowersCongress can override veto by 2/3 voteCongress has power to approve spendingSenate has power to approve appointmentsSenate approves treatiesCongress can impeach
15 Impeachment ProcessAny person in the executive or judicial branch—including the President--can be removed from office by the legislature using the Impeachment Process—a two step processThe 1st step involves impeachment—or indictment (charges passed in the House of Representatives by a simple majority)The 2nd step involves a trial in the Senate—which requires a two thirds majority to remove a person from officeExample: President Clinton wasimpeached by the House but notconvicted in the Senate trial.
16 The CabinetSecretary of State – State Department (Relations with Foreign Countries)Attorney General – Justice Department(Chief Prosecutor for the Government)Secretary of Defense – In charge of all armed forces including: Army, Navy,Air force, Marines, National Guard(New Department) Homeland Security-combines several agencies such as FBI, CIA, and Immigration and Naturalization
17 Presidential Election Process Candidate announces candidacyPresidential primaries in each state to determine delegates to party conventionParty conventions elect President and Vice-Presidential nomineesGeneral Election Campaign between major party candidatesGeneral Election –each state’s popular vote is converted to a winner take all electoral voteElectoral College votes based on electoral vote totals
18 The Judicial BranchArticle III establishes the Supreme Court --Main role is Interpretation of the law-Judicial Review (Interpreting the Constitution)Federal court system (three levels)Supreme Court (1- 9 Justices)Circuit Court of Appeals (13 Circuits)US District Courts ( to 4 in each state)
19 Checks and Balances Judicial Branch PowersInterprets the meaning of Constitution and lawsRules on constitutionality of laws passed by congress and actions of the Executive BranchChecks on PowersCongress and States have the power to amend the ConstitutionSenate has authority to refuse appointments to the federal courtsCongress can impeach a federal judge
20 Powers of the Federal Government State GovernmentsPowers of the Federal GovernmentPowers Shared byFederal andState
21 Responsibilities of Citizenship participation in the communityrespect for the property and views of otherspaying taxesobeying the lawvotingserving on a juryregistering for militarydutykeeping informed oncurrent issues
22 Political Parties Democratic Party (established in 1828) -promote strong central government that support the rights of the poor and minorities- more taxes for wealthyRepublican Party (established in 1854)- support smaller central government with more state and local control- less taxes for wealthy and businesses
23 Citizens Rights - The Bill of Rights 1. Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, petition2. Right to bear arms3. No quartering of troops without permission4. No search and seizure without a warrant5. Rights of the accused to remain silent6. Right to a speedy trial7. Right to a jury trial in civil cases8. Rights to reasonable bail, fines and punishments9. Powers reserved to the people (we have more rights than are listed)10. Powers reserved to the states
24 Other Key Amendments 13th – Ended slavery 14th-Equal protection under the law for all persons born in the United States15th-Gave African American males voting rights17th –Direct election of Senators18th prohibition (cant drink or sale alcohol )19th –Gave women voting rights21st- overturned prohibition24th –Abolished the poll tax26th –Extended voting rights to 18 year olds
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