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AP Government Test Prep Topics

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Presentation on theme: "AP Government Test Prep Topics"— Presentation transcript:

1 AP Government Test Prep Topics
Everything you wanted to know about AP Government but were afraid to ask

2 Issues and Theories involved in the framing and ratification of the Constitution
Articles of Confederation (especially weaknesses) Shay’s Rebellion (rationale for convention) Characteristics of delegates Ordered, limited, balanced government (how was this achieved?) Compromises (what did they settle?)

3 Issues and Theories involved in the framing and ratification of the Constitution
Federalists v. Anti Federalists (leaders and positions of each) Arguments offered in Federalist Papers (especially #s 10, 51, 78) Bill of Rights

4 The nature and political impact of federalism
Definition Alternatives Advantages and Disadvantages Powers (How are they divided?) Role of the courts Use of money by federal government (especially grants) Federal mandates

5 Democratic theory Definition of democracy (distinguish between types)
Characteristics of representative democracy Elite versus Pluralist theories

6 Constitutional development of the national government
Mostly the workings of the Constitution or how the federal government is structured Concept of constitutionalism Checks and balances (examples) Judicial Review Formal and informal process of amending Constitution

7 Issues relating to the separation of powers
Powers inherent to each branch Relative power of each branch to the others Growth of presidential power Diminishing power of Congress? Court’s power?

8 American political culture
Define political culture Identify characteristics peculiar to U.S. Distinguish between political ideologies (conservative v. liberal; socialist v. libertarian, etc.)

9 Political socialization
Agents of socialization Reinforcing v. cross-cutting cleavages in society Demographic characteristics and impact on political participation

10 The political impact of the media
Sources of mass media Importance of TV Ways media uses politicians Ways politicians use media Media bias Campaign and election coverage

11 The nature, sources, and consequences of public opinion
Ways to measure public opinion Polling (How to conduct, types?) Effects of public opinion on politicians, public policy

12 Voting behavior Constitutional requirements History of voting rights
Registration of voters Voter turnout (what affects it?) Sociological v. Psychological voting behavior Party identification

13 Political participation other than voting
Joining interest groups, political parties Running for office Variations by socioeconomic group Variations by other demographics

14 Factors that lead to group differences in political beliefs and behavior
Issue politics; Cross cutting cleavages Candidate’s appeal Other demographic factors

15 Political beliefs and behavior of minority groups
Group orientation Voting tendencies Political participation strength/weakness

16 Women’s political participation
Voting rate Candidate support Representation in government Gender gap in voting? Women’s issues Income inequality

17 Political parties Dominance of two-party system (why?)
Purpose of major parties Organization of parties Role of minor parties Weakening of party system (factors)

18 Campaigns and elections
Distinguish between congressional and presidential campaigns Role of interest groups and party affiliation Incumbency Differences between House and Senate Factors for presidential nomination

19 Campaigns and elections
Primary season (types of primaries) Presidential debates (characteristics) Convention stage (what happens?) Electoral College (how does it work?) Campaign financing (including soft money, McCain-Feingold-Cochran, Buckley v. Valeo) Reform proposals

20 Interest group politics
Federalist #10 Purpose of interest groups Types of interest groups Techniques Lobbying Iron-triangles

21 Political action committees
Definition Role in the political process Tactics Regulation of PACs

22 The Congress Congressional elections (gerrymandering, incumbency)
Structure (bicameral, party leadership – differences by house) Representation (demographic background) Roles of Congressmen/Senators Powers (especially elastic clause)

23 The Congress Committee System (differences in each house)
Bill-making process Regulations and criticisms of Congress

24 The Presidency Formal and informal qualifications Roles of the office
Powers of the presidency Vice president Presidential succession Cabinet and White House Office Accountability Presidential legacy

25 The federal courts Structure (district courts, courts of appeal, Supreme, etc.) Concept of jurisdiction (original, appellate, concurrent) Judicial review Federalism as it applies to caseloads Composition of the Supreme Court Terminology (Writ of certiorari, Rule of 4) Opinions (majority, dissenting and concurring)

26 The bureaucracy Historical evolution (patronage to Pendleton, Civil Service, Hatch Act, etc.) Purpose and responsibilities (Iron triangles, enforcement, information) Parts of bureaucracy (name game) Special distinction w/ independent regulatory commissions Criticisms and accountability

27 Relationships between the institutions of federal government
Constitutional relationship (How a Bill Becomes a Law, Budgetary process, other checks and balances) Political relationship (Party politics, ideology, institutional turf) Current examples?

28 Links between the institutions of the federal government and public opinion, interest groups, political parties, the media, and sub-national governments Impact of each non-institutional group on each institution (consider susceptibility and likelihood of influence from each) Current examples?

29 Policy processes and outputs
Overall understanding of implementation of public policy Consider theoretical law and actual interpretation of law by bureaucratic agency

30 Economic policy Fiscal policy
Taxation (regressive, progressive, both economic and political impact of tax cuts/raises) Spending (mandatory versus discretionary spending) Monetary policy (remember the role of the Fed) Budget process (Constitutional mechanics and the politics involved)

31 Social and social welfare policy
History of the safety net (especially New Deal and Great Society) Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, other entitlements Role of federalism in social welfare policy (experimentation, funding issues) Recent changes/challenges to welfare

32 Making foreign policy President’s role Advising the president
Congressional role Historical approaches (isolationism, internationalism) Foreign Policy issues (trade, terrorism, national security interests, humanitarian interests) Foreign aid (politics involved)

33 Making environmental policy
Responsibilities of federal government Environment v. Industry (whales v. jobs) Legislation (Clean Air and Water Acts) & enforcement (EPA) International agreements (Kyoto)

34 The development of civil rights for African Americans
Reconstruction amendments Relevant court cases (Plessy, Brown, etc.) Tools of discrimination (poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses) Strategies/Leadership Legislation (Civil Rights Act 64, Voting Rights Act 65) Unresolved issues (de facto segregation, busing, etc.)

35 The development of civil rights for other minority groups: Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, gender, etc. Impact of Civil Rights Act 64 Political participation Immigration status

36 Gender and equal rights
Women’s suffrage (19th) ERA amendment Gender politics Gay and lesbian political movement (especially through the courts and through federal and state legislation)

37 Affirmative action Definition Court cases (Bakke, Adarand, Richmond)
Pro affirmative action position Con affirmative action position

38 First Amendment issues
Be familiar with all parts of the amendment Religion - establishment clause, exercise clause & relevant cases (Lemon test) Speech & Press (Miller test, Schenck, fighting words, clear & present danger, libel v. slander, prior restraint) Assembly/Petition (limitations)

39 Rights of the accused; due process
Distinguish between substantive and procedural due process (14th Amendment key so understand it) Searches & seizures (Mapp, exclusionary rule, Miranda rule) Trial (Gideon, double jeopardy, cruel & unusual punishment)

40 Privacy rights; abortion rights
Parts of Constitution that contribute to privacy rights Griswold (right to privacy) Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, partial-birth abortion bans Application of privacy rights to gays & lesbians

41 Political economy Politicization of the economy
Media fixation on the numbers (GDP, consumer spending, unemployment) Politicians use of numbers for support & attack (especially during campaigns) Impact of political issues on economy (war, terrorism, immigration, taxes, outsourcing, etc.)

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