American Politics

Where does a move to impeach someone start?
House of Representatives
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What type of vote is needed in the HoR to move forward in an impeachment?
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Once approved by the HoR, where does an impeachment trial move to?
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What type of vote is needed in the Senate for an impeachment?
Two thirds
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Name three presidents with impeachment trials brought against them
Johnson, Clinton and Nixon
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Name two presidents who were acquitted of impeachment
Johnson and Clinton
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What percentage of adults did not vote in the 2016 election?
Forty five
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What percentage of American voters voted for Clinton?
Fifty two
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How many more people chose Clinton over Trump?
2.86 million
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In a direct electoral system, what would happen to geographical votes?
The north would outnumber the south
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What did the Electoral College enable southern states to do?
Count slaves as 3/5 person
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What percentage of Americans are black?
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What percentage of Americans are Hispanic?
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What percentage of Americans are Native Americans?
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What percentage of Americans can name all three branches of government?
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Name some American political values
Distrust of government, commitment to liberty, federalism, self-rule, limited government, religion, patriotism, republicanism, anti-interllectualism and laissez-faire economics
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What is meant by distrust in government?
Private is good and public is bad
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Why is there such a commitment to liberty in American politics?
Owing to the founding of libertarianism by the founding fathers which tried to limit government
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Give an example of individualism in action
People voting for Trump as he pushed away from the establishment
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What is meant by the belief in equality of the American people?
Equality of opportunity, not outcomes
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Where is belief in religion as an American political view founded?
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Why did the Puritans come to America?
To practice religious freedom
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Who were the Pilgrims?
Those in England who wished to separate from the Church of England who thus moved to America
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What is Republicanism?
Belief in individual states and freedom of states
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Who were the Puritans?
A group who wanted to make reforms to the Church of England and make it less Catholic in practice
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Where did the Puritans settle?
New England
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What kind of government did the Puritans establish?
A religious one, where they obeyed the laws of God
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What was the name of the Puritans colony?
Massachusetts Bay Colony
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Give an example of American anti-intellectual political values impacting national politics
The 1952 election where Adlai Stevenson II was ridiculed for being an 'egghead' and Eisenhower was elected
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Name some of the major thematic clashes between American values and expectations
Tension between structures and public expectations of politicians, philosophy of limited government vs public expectations of democracy, nation of immigrants vs inequality and tolerance of some's suffering vs freedom of all
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What percentage of people own 85% of the wealth?
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Who is the #1 scholar to reference about American political values?
Alexis De Tocqueville
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What is the name of De Tocqueville's book?
Democracy in America
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When was Democracy in America published?
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What country was De Tocqueville comparing to America?
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What was the central theme which was intended to be examined by De Tocqueville?
Aristocracy in America
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What did De Tocqueville conclude about aristocracy in America?
That Americans do not believe in aristocracy but a distribution of wealth
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What did De Tocqueville conclude that a lack of aristocracy leads to in America?
Love of money, education and profession for all equally
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Due to a lack of aristocracy, what did De Tocqueville conclude that upper classes' strategy would be?
Not maintaining power (as in France), but instead winning good will
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What did De Tocqueville conclude about American politicians?
That they are not from the elite classes, they love their country as they are their country, they are more likely to be corrupt as they are not statesmen, they believe in religion to ensure moral order, men of the people and legacies are important
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What did De Tocqueville conclude about American's attitude towards money?
Taste for material well-being is endemic, everyone in America thinks they are middle class, Aristocrats enjoy wealth without thinking
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How did De Tocqueville believe that an aristocracy may form in America?
From the industry
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How would an aristocracy form from the industry?
Workers would ebcome more specialised and therefore more limited and dependent on the industry to sustain them. Meanwhile, the owners become more profitable and powerful, leading to a new aristocracy
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Why did De Tocqueville write Democracy in America?
In order to show the French people the fading prominence of Aristocracy in favor of Democracy
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What does De Tocqueville's writings offer?
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What are Presages?
An omen/fore-warning
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What did De Tocqueville predict?
Capitalism, the rise of individualism in politics, the growth of classism in America
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What is an Overton Window?
The window through which an idea has political viability, if an idea is seen as acceptable/ popular then it will have fallen in the overton window. Radical ideas fall outside of the overton window.
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Who has the ability to shift the jurisdiction of the overton window?:
The public
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What type of censorship is the overton window an example of?
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Give examples of other influential thinkers on values in American politics
John Locke, John Stuart Mill and James Maddison
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What did John Locke advocate?
That government needs the consent of the people in order to function
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What did John Stuart Mill assert regarding discourse in American politics?
That free discourse is essential to intellectual and social progress
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Give an example of where free discourse has enabled social progress
Women's suffrage, civil rights and prohibition
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What did James Maddison believe regarding free expression?
That it is impossible and wrong to limit, therefore all should be encouraged to exercise it
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What are the main desires of the Liberal perspective in American politics?
More governmental involvement, taxes to help the unfortunate, societal norms should evolve, war should be avoided, emphasis on civil liberties and values differences amongst citizens
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What are the main desires of the Conservative perspective in American politics?
Less government involvement, less taxation, people are responsible for themselves, traditional norms are best, national security must be protected and values conform
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What day of the week do Americans vote on?
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What does voting on a Tuesday do to voting?
Makes it hard for working class to vote and makes it unrepresentative
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Who cannot vote in America?
Felons, immigrants, those who have not registered
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What do you need in order to vote in America?
Voter ID
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What does the need for voter ID do to voting in America?
Excludes immigrants, disabled and often the elderly who may not have ID
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Who wants to make it harder to vote?
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Why do Republicans want to make it harder to vote?
Because those who do not vote would likely vote for the Democrats
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What percentage of Americans could name the VP?
Thirty eight
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What, according to Reagan, are the nine more terrifying words in the English language?
I'm from the government and I'm here to help
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What are belief gaps driven by?
Group affiliation
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What are knowledge gaps driven by?
Education and the media
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What percentage of Democrat voters believe that global warming is happening?
Ninety one
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What percentage of Republicans believe that global warming is happening?
Sixty six
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Give an example of a conspiracy in American politics
That Obama was born outside of the US and that he is a Muslim
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What is the concept of the perceptual screen?
The idea that we depend on our social groups and thus see the world reflected upon their values and needs
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Give reasons why there may be a knowledge gap in American politics
Perceptual screen, misperceptions, better to fit in than be correct, accuracy vs self esteem, education, wealth gap, media polarization etc
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What type of affiliations do the media enforce?
Party affiliations
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What are the public increasingly feeling towards the American media?
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What does a distrust in the general media lead many American's to do?
Choose one specific news outlet that they trust and that represents their ideology
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What is the hostile media effect?
Partisans on both sides tend to see all other media, even 'neutral media' as biased against thrm
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Who has studied why Americans hate the media?
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What year was Ladd's work published?
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When was the so called golden age of media?
Watergate, Vietnam, Civil Rights etc (1960s), when the media was investigative and informative
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What class group controlled the American Revolution?
Middle class
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When was the Declaration of Independence signed?
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What was the Articles of Confederation?
The agreement amongst the thirteen states which became the USA's first constitution
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What year was the Articles of Confederation signed?
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What was wrong with the AoC? (7)
Weak central government, no power over states, no judiciary, no taxation power, couldn't coin currency, couldn't regulate commerce, needed unanimity of 13 states
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Why was it so hard to strengthen central government after the AoC?
More power to the government was seen as a move against the revolution and its aims
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Who were the founding fathers?
Those seven men who led the revolution against Britain
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Who was the most influential founding father with regards to the constitution?
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Name the founding fathers
Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton, Franklin, Jay and Maddison
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How many states were there in the first USA?
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What is the most important document when carrying out constitutional interpretation?
The federalist papers
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What are the federalist papers?
Over 80 essays and texts published by some of the founding fathers which promoted the ratification of a constitution
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What was the main worry of states when ratifying the national constitution?
Losing the power of states
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Give an example of a state which originally did not want to ratify a national constitution
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When was the Constitutional Convention?
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What did failure to attend the Constitutional Convention do to states?
Weakened their position and ability to barter
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Was the CC publicized?
No it was kept secret
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Why was the CC kept secret?
In order to protect freedom of speech at the convention without feeling that they would face public repercussions
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Why was the CC successful?
Wasn't ideological, relatively little self-interest, increased the power of the executive
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When did a federal system of government emerge?
The Constitutional Convention
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What were the two plans proposed for the constitution?
The Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan
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What was the New Jersey plan?
Each state is equally represented, legislature appoints the executive, power derived from states, one chamber
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What was the Virginia Plan?
Power derived from the people, population apportioned to seats, upper chosen by lower, executive has a veto over Congress
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Which plan ended up being most like the constitution?
The Virginia Plan
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What was the main issue when drafting the first constitution?
Conflict between representation of small vs larger states
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What kind of government did Hamilton support?
A centralist one, like that of Britain (monarchist)
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What external theorist greatly influenced the constitution?
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What did Locke advocate?
The protection of citizen's rights
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When was the first presidential election?
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How many senators are there per state?
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What is the amount of representatives in the HoR based on?
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How many years is a senator's term?
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How many years is a representative's term?
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What is the lower house of congress?
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What is the upper chamber of congress?
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What are the three branches of government?
Executive, Congress and the Judiciary
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What do the branches of government do to each other?
Check and balance each other
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What are the powers of congress?
To pass legislation, control the budget, override vetos, confirm appointments, ratify treaties and impeachment
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Who is the 45th president?
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Who is the 44th president?
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What are the powers of the president?
Veto Congress, executive order, write regulations and nominate federal justices
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What are the powers of the SC?
Declare executive orders unconstitutional and judicial review
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What did the second amendment do?
Gave citizens the right to bare arms
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What is an executive order?
It is a law made by the president which can bypass Congress
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Are executive orders written into the constitution?
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Where may executive orders be dervied from in the constitution?
Article two
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How can executive orders be overridden?
Judicial review
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So far, how many executive orders has Trump issued?
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How many EOs did Obama issue during his presidency?
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How many EOs did Trump use in his first week as president?
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Name some of the EOs used by Trump
Unlocking Keystone Pipeline project, repealing Obamacare, reinstating Mexico City Policy and border security
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What is a judicial review?
The ability of the SC to review government laws an declare them unconstitutional
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Give an example of a judicial review
Marbury v Maddison and Brown v Board of Education
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How many members are there of the HoR?
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How often are midterms held?
Every two years
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How much of the senate is up for election every two years?
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How often are presidential elections held?
Every 4 years
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Who was the only President to serve more than two terms?
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How do you become a member of the judiciary?
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What kind of terms do judges serve?
Life terms
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Why are judges appointed and not elected?
In order to avoid external biases
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How much of the Senate is needed in oder to ratify a treaty?
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What is a supermajority?
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What is needed in order to perform a constitutional amendment?
2/3 approval from both houses and then 3/4 of states
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How many amendments were made in the civil war?
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What do amendments typically do?
Increased rights and suffrage
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What is the Bill of Rights?
The first ten amendments to be made to the US constitution
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What does the 5th amendment enable?
The defendant to protect themselves from self-incrimination
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What did the BoR do?
Gave widespread rights to citizens
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Who published the federalist papers?
The federalists
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Who advocated for a bill of rights?
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What are the functions of Congress?
Constituent services, policy making, oversight etc
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What is the least favourite branch of government?
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What percntage of people preferred cockroaches to Congress?
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Why is Congress unpopular?
Polarization, very little voting across party lines, control of houses often doesn't match and ineffective
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What is happening to the amount of laws passed by congress?
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What is a split Congress?
When the house and senate majority doesn't match, making the government inefficient
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What kind of candidates does the american poltical system produce?
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Who is a good scholar to reference about congressmen's goals?
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When was Fenno's work published?
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What did Fenno believe are members goals?
Reelection, power and prestige in Washington, good public policy
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According to Fenno, what can members use to help them achieve their goals
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What chamber system does the US Congress have?
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From what compromise did the bicameral system come from?
Connecticut Compromise
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What are the functions of the media?
Agenda setting, priming and framing
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Give an example of agenda setting by the media
The more an issue is covered by the media, the more likely it is that people will see this as the issue of the day and the government will take notice (Lyengar and Kinder)
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What is priming
Shaping how the public perceive an issue or person
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What do representatives represent?
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What quality are many of the people in districts?
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What quality are the people in states?
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Owing to the homogenous nature of districts, what is it easy for representatives to do?
Successfully represent their districts without contestation (minority interests etc)
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Owing to the heterogenous nature of their states, what do senators have to be?
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What are the two models of representation in Congress?
Agent model and sociological model
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What is the sociological model of representation?
Where the representative shares characteristics of backgrounds and interests with their constituents
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What is the substantive model of representation?
Representatives advocate policy preferences of the constituents and are accountable through elections
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What is the delegate model of representation?
Representatives should do just as representatives would
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In elections, who has an advantage?
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What does a good candidate need?
Name recognition, success in prior elected offices, ability to raise money, willingness to campaign and ability to reach out to voters
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What privileges do incumbents have?
Franking privilege, pork barrell politics, patronage, name recognition and constituency services
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What is patronage?
The act of offering someone a job
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Who is the speaker of the house typically?
Leader of the majority party
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Who is the current speaker of the house?
Paul Ryan
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Who is president of the Senate currently?
Mike Pence
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How are the majority and minority leaders chosen?
Through party elections
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Who decides the congressmen who sit in specific committees?
The parties
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Who chairs the senate?
The VP
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What kind of role is the chair of the senate?
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Who serves as chair of the senate when the VP is not acting symbolically?
The senate president pro tempore
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Who is the current president of the senate pro tempore?
Orrin Hatch
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What are the different types of committees?
Standing committees, select committees, joint committees and conference committees
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What are standing committees?
Permanent committees where the majority of legislation is written
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What is a select committees?
Temporary committees formed to focus on specific issues, they bring attention to a specific subject
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Name some of the standing committees
Agriculture, armed forces, appropriations, science, banking etc
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What are joint committees?
Committees with members from both chambers which gathers information and covers issues integral to congress
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Give an example of a joint committee
Joint committee on taxation
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What are conference committees?
Committees which are formed in order to secure the final wording of bills passed through congress
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What is the proportion of party representation on committees based on?
Representation in Congress (roughly)
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What is your committee assignment based on?
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Are the chairs of committees limited and if so how?
Yes, by term limits and the ability of the party caucus to remove them
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What kind of people do congressmen rely on?
Congressional staffers who are experts in their specific field
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What is the name of the research branch of congress?
Congressional research service
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What are congressional caucuses?
Groups of senators which have common interests and goals that may use their influence to accomplish policy goals
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Which committee determines how long a bill will be discussed for?
The full committee
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What can the president do to a bill?
Sign it, ignore it (it will go through anyway) or veto it
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How much is needed for congress to override a veto?
2/3 in both chambers
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What is a pocket veto?
If there is less than ten days left in the congressional calendar and the president does not sign the bull, then it dies
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How many days does the president have to veto a bill before it becomes law?
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What did the 15th amendment do?
Ensured civil right to vote for african americans
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What did amendment 23 do?
Enabled residents of DC to vote for president but not congress
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What did amendment 26 do?
Lowered the voting age to 18 (Vietnam)
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How many local governments are there?
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What was the 19th amendment?
Enabled women to vote
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What did the voting rights act of 1965 do?
Ensured the implementation of amendments 14 and 15 by prohibiting the introduction of laws which are discriminatory
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Which president enforced the voting rights act?
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Which scholar believes that rational voters would never turn up to vote?
Downs 1957
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What is gerrymandering?
Giving unfair advantages to one party by redrawing district lines based on voter behaviour
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what can be gerrymandering be used to o?
Dilute the influence of a minority etc
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What is the gerrymandering bias percentage?
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Give an example of an odd gerrymandering district?
The mask of zorro (lousiana's 4th)
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What does Duverger's law predict?
That plurality rule systems will tend to produce two party systems
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What is median voter theorem?
The concept that with the spectrum of issues and perspectives, in ordeer to gain the most votes, the candidates will be pushed towards the middle
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Is the party organisation strong in the USA?
No, it is weak and limited whip system
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In what decade did parties become stronger and more ideologically coherent?
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What type of voting system does the uSA have?
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What does a majoritarian do negatively?
Excludes smaller parties and often misrepresents the size of the vote
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Give an example of where the majoritarian system meant that the votes and seats did not match up
2014 when Reps won 51% of vote but 57% of the seats
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What does a candidate need before running for office?
A cenrtain amount of signatures and other state-based requirements
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What is the timeline of the presidential election?
Invisible primaries, primaries and cacuses, national conventions and election campaign
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What is a primary similar to?
A party election in a state
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What is a caucus similar to?
A town hall meeting
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What type of state nomination process is more difficult?
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What type of party nomination process does Texas use?
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How many districts does Alaska have?
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How many electoral college votes are needed to win?
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How many electors does California have?
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What determines how many electors a state has?
Population size
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Which party has superdelegates?
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What is a superdelegate?
A delegate who can overrdie the decision of the state and vote the way they want to vote for a nominiee
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What does the electoral nomination process do to party politics?
Undermines it and takes power away from the party
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Over what number did both Obama and Romney spend on their campaigns?
Over a billion
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When was Buckley vs Valeo?
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What did Buckley v Valeo rule?
Tjhat money is a form of speech
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When was the Campaign Reform Act passed?
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What is another name of the Campaign Reform Act?
McCain Feingold Act
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When was Citizens United v Fed Election Commission?
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What did citizens united v fed election committee rule?
That limits on spending are wrong and corporations can spend as much as they want
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What are the disadvantages of the electoral college?
Ignores smaller states, can be disprportionate, encourages two party system, complicated and undemocratic
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Did the constitution mention the size of the court?
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How many justices were there on the first SC?
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Which president tried to pack the court with his supporters?
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By 1863, how many justices were there?
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Who was the last judge to be replaced in the SC?
Antonin Scalia
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who did Obama try to replace Scalia with?
Merrick Garland
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Who was nominated by Trump to replace Scalia?
Neil Gorsuch
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What does Obama's inability to nominate a justice demonstrate?
That the nomination process has become more political over time
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how many justices are there on the SC?
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What is said to be the least dangerous branch of American government?
The judiciary
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Does the judicary have any enforcement?
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Who appoints justices?
The president
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Who is referenced as saying that the judiciary is the least dangerous?
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Who has to approve SC nominations?
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Which SC case outlawed segregation?
Brown v Board of Education
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What year was Brown v Board?
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Where did the miranda rights come from?
Miranda v Arizona
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Which case legalised abortion?
Roe v Wade
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Is the power to use a judicial review written in the constitution?
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What case established a power of using a judicial review?
Marbury v Madiosn
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What does the ability to use a judicial review make the SC?
A law making body
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Why is the SC the least legitimate form of power?
Because they are unelected
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What are the three odels of judicial decision making?
Legal, attitudinal and rational choice
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What is the legal model of judicial decision making?
Take in to account the facts, precedent and constitutional intent
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What is wrong with the legal model of ecision making?
Laws are subject to interpretation
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What is the rational choice model of deicsion making?
Judges persue ideal points, avoid being overruled
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What is wrong with the rational choice model?
It assumes ttha judges have perfect information, that they face no reercsusions for their actions and that judicial preferences aren't a factor
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What is the attitudinal model of decision making?
Personal policy preferences of judges are filtered by rules and situations
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Which model of judicial decision making did Segal and Spaeth find most support for?
The attituduinal model
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What is the meaning of loose construction regarding the constitution?
Constitutio is a living document thtat changes
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What is the meaning of strict construction in ref to the constitution?
Origional intent of founding fathers should be based upon
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Which case justified judicial activism?
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What is judicial restraint?
Taking the ncostitution as it is and trying not to change anything
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What is judicial activism?
Using the SC as a political body in order to protect and enact change
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Give examples of judicial activism
REversing past ddecisions, deciding political questions and requiring remedies
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What is Congress' dilemma regarding bills?
If they make them too broad, then the exec can subvert them, if they are too specific then they cannot adapt over time
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Why is the court cautious as tho overturn presidential decisions?
Because the Conrgess can also do so
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What can the court more easily respond to rather than electorally bound congressmen?
Changing social norms
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When is the court unlikely to apprehend the president?
During times of war
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What is it called when a SC agrees to hear a case?
Writ of Ceritorari
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What must an appeal to the SC regard?
Substantial federal question
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What percentage of cases are granted a hearing from the SC?
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What is an Amicus Curaie brief?
More money from external parties and so can provide the court ith more information
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How can an Amicus Curaie increase success?
Becuase they have more money and so can prvide the court with more information
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Give an example of a nominnee for SC that had to pull out
Harriet Miers
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Card 2


What type of vote is needed in the HoR to move forward in an impeachment?



Card 3


Once approved by the HoR, where does an impeachment trial move to?


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Card 4


What type of vote is needed in the Senate for an impeachment?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Name three presidents with impeachment trials brought against them


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