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The US Constitution

Beginnings of American Settlement in 6 Points
1. Stuffing thousands of explorers, tended to be searching for a route to Asia
from the other side
2. After settlement from many different European powers, conflict ensued
3. By 1754, the UK claimed the east and north, France claimed…

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a. A `league of independent states in which the central government lacks
significant powers and resembles more an international organisation
­ such as the United Nation ­ than a traditional national government'
the union was far too weak to withstand Britain trying to get the
colonies back
5. What happened…

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o Article III: Judicial power goes to a Supreme Court, but Congress can
make and get rid of other little courts occasionally
o Article IV: Relationships between central and local government, and
also between local governments
o Article V: How to change the Constitution
o Article VI: Other stuff, like…

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a. Tax cuts
b. Small government (apart from the military)
3. What did Obama want to do?
a. Tax rises
b. Bigger welfare state
4. What did Obama choose to do?
a. A compromise
b. Accepted reduced tax rates for high as well as middle and low
income earners

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evolving way in which the Constitution is interpreted makes its value in
modern debate limited at best, and pointless at worst.
c. Also, concepts about federalism and its importance have changed
over time from the Dual Federalism of the 19th century (promoting
small government and freedom for states) to Cooperative…

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to ratify). Several hundred amendments have been proposed, but only
27 have made it past both Houses and the state ratification process.
b. It is not just the process of amendment that prevents the Constitution
being tampered with, however. Americans tend to be cautious about
amending the Constitution, somewhat revering…

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4. What is `divided government' and how does it affect the system of checks
and balances between the President and Congress?
a. Divided government is the term used to describe a situation in which
one party controls the White House and another controls Congress. In
the forty years between 1969…

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large the group may be. For example, in the case of the Supreme
Court, Congress has to approve all judicial appointments suggested
by the President. Richard Neustadt said that powers are not actually
separate, but rather America has "separate institutions sharing
powers". It is this sharing of virtually all potent…

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a. Federalism is one of the key features of US government, and is
enshrined in the Constitution in a number of ways and for a number of
b. It can be argued that, because federalism is not explicitly mentioned
in the Constitution, it was not seen as particularly crucial…

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h. To sum up, then, federalism is quite firmly enshrined in the
Constitution and for a variety of reasons ­ virtually all basically related
to the protection of rights and prevention of tyranny.

Essay Questions (45)
1. To what extent is there disagreement about how effectively the constitution
protects freedom?…


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