Social Contract- an implicit agreement among the members of a society to cooperate for social benefits, for example by sacrificing some individual freedom for state protection. Theories of a social contract became popular in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries among theorists such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as a means of explaining the origin of government and the obligations of subjects.
Common Good- In philosophy, economics, and political science, the common good (also commonwealth or common weal) is a term of art, referring to either what is shared and beneficial for all or most members of a given community, or alternatively, what is achieved by citizenship, collective action.
Political Parties- An alliance of like-minded people who work together to win elections and control of the government. Political parties compete against one another for political power and for the ability to put their philosophies and policies into effect.
Representative Democracy- Representative democracy (also indirect democracy, representative republic, or psephocracy) is a type of democracy founded on the principle of elected officials representing a group of people, as opposed to direct democracy
The Enlightenment- The period in the history of western thought and culture, stretching roughly from the mid-decades of the seventeenth century through the eighteenth century, characterized by dramatic revolutions in science, philosophy, society and politics; these revolutions swept away the medieval world-view and ushered in our modern western world.
John Locke- The English philosopher and political theorist John Locke (1632-1704) laid much of the groundwork for the Enlightenment and made central contributions to the development of liberalism. Trained in medicine, he was a key advocate of the empirical approaches of the Scientific Revolution. In his “Essay Concerning Human Understanding,” he advanced a theory of the self as a blank page, with knowledge and identity arising only from accumulated experience. His political theory of government by the consent of the governed as a means to protect “life, liberty and estate” deeply influenced the United States’ founding documents. His essays on religious tolerance provided an early model for the separation of church and state.
Jean Jacques Rousseau- kept editing the social contract. Believed that a good government was one that was formed freely
Thomas Hobbes- came up with the idea of the social contract. Believed that nature was always in a state of war and people give up their rights for security. He was also against parliament.
Baron De Montesquieu- Believed that people will always be hungry for power and fear driven. He came up with the idea of the separations of powers
The Magna Carta- Signed by King John in 1215 after being convinced by his nobles. It limited the power of the king and listed out the duties for a noble. It established the principle of "The rule of law"
Committee-a group of people appointed for a specific function, typically consisting of members of a larger group.
The English Bill of Rights- The English Bill of Rights is an act that the Parliament of England passed on December 16, 1689. The Bill creates separation of powers, limits the powers of the king and queen, enhances the democratic election and bolsters freedom of speech.
Apportionment- The distribution of seats in a legislature according to law
Gerrymandering- Drawing the boundaries of a legislative district with the intent of giving one party or group a significant advantage.
Redistricting- The process of redrawing the the geographic boundaries of legislative districts after a census to reflect population changes
Expressed, Delegated Powers- Powers granted to the national government rather than to the states under the U.S. Constitution
Implied Powers- Powers of the national government, and particularly of Congress, that are not specifically listed in the Constitution, but which the government can reasonably claim as their responsibility.
Inherent Powers- Rights that are not depended on laws or customs of any particular culture or government. They cannot be repealed or
Reserved Powers- Powers kept by the states under the U.S. Constitution
Privileges and Immunities- Special rights or promises that are given to the government
NOTES Q AND A
1.) Democracy- A system of government in which citizens exercise supreme power, acting either directly or through elected represenatives
2.) Parliamentary Democracy- A political system in which voters elect lawmakers to represent them in the nation's parliament; the elected lawmakers choose a prime minister to head the executive branch
3.) Monarchy- A system of government in which a single ruler exercises supreme power based on heredity or divine right
4.) Communism- A system of government in which a single political party controls both the government and the economy.
5.) Federalism- A political system in which power is divided between a central government and smaller regional governments
How are they Alike- The powers in all of these governments go to an established group or person who has the supreme rule.
How are they different- Some governments establish one ruler or one party to have power. Sometimes that group is the citizens, a group of elected officials, or one single person or group making all of the decisions.
What is the importance of committees in the legislative process?
Committees are formed so that a group of people can focus on a topic that they are interested in changing or improving. Committees make the legislative process function efficiently
How can individuals have a voice in their government?
There are multiple ways an individual can voice an opinion in government. For example, a person can join a political party, write ideas for laws to congress, participate in elections for government officials and join committees. These are all great ways to share opinions with governments.
Magna Carta- The Magna Carta was considered to be the first written document that established the rule of law. It was signed by King John in 1215 after his nobles presented it to him because they were angry with their unfair treatment. The Magna Carta lists out the duties of the nobles to the king and what the king must do. Because this was an early document, rights were only listed to the nobles and the king, not to anyone else who was a lower class.
English Bill of Rights- an act that the Parliament of England passes in 1689 that limited the powers of the kings and queen, enhanced the democratic election, called for the separation of powers and gave citizens the freedom of speech.
Theories of power-
1. Divine right- Also known as the Divine Right of Kings, this idea stated that European monarchs had a god given right to rule and for that reason deserved absolute power. Used in monarchy's
2. Social Contract- The idea that the legitimacy of a government stems from an unwritten contract between the ruler and the ruled; a ruler who breaks this contract by abusing peoples rights by abusing peoples rights loses legitimacy and may be overthrown
Thomas Hobbes- Believed that all individuals in nature are equal. He was pessimistic about humans, saying that nature is a state of war and that people give up their rights for security. He was against the idea of parliament
John Locke- Believed that all people were born equally. Locke had an overall good impression of the human race unlike Hobbes, who believed that humans were incapable of maintaining a good government.
Baron de Montesquieu- Had similar opinions of the human race to Hobbes. Baron de Montesquieu believed that all people were power hungry
Articles of Confederation- The articles state the powers of the federal government and the powers that the states had, It prevented the States from ignoring the federal government while still giving them rights to govern themselves
What is the preamble?
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
The 3 branches of government
Legislative- Makes the laws. It is a bicameral legislative consisting of the house of representatives and the Senate. Bills are sent in to the house to be voted on. If there is a 2/3 majority, then the bill is passed to the Senate, which fallows the same process. If the Senate and the house approve, then the bill is passed on to the executive branch
Executive- Carries out the laws. The Executive branch consists of the president and his cabinet. When the bill comes to the president, he can either pass it, which means that the bill will go to the Judicial branch for a final check. If the president vetos the bill, it is sent back to the Legislative branch for revisions.
Judicial- Interprets the law. The Judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court and all the other federal courts. The job of the court is to make sure that the law is constitutional
Checks and balances
Congress passes bills to president, but the president can veto a bill
If congress feels that the bill is fine, they can override the veto with a 2/3 majority vote.
After the law is passed, if the law is deemed unconstitutional, the law is scrapped.
The president has the power to choose who he wants to serve as a supreme court justice, but congress has to approve of his choice.
The First Ten Amendments
1. Freedom of religion, Speech and Press- People can practice any religion, say want they want and use media to inform themselves of the government's actions.
2. The right to bear arms- People have the right to own a firearm
3. The Housing of Soldiers- No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
4. Protection from Unreasonable searches and seizures-The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
5. Protection of Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property-No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.
6. Rights of Accused Persons in Criminal Cases- In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
7. Rights in Civil Cases- In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States than according to the rules of the common law.
8. Excessive Bail, Fines, and Punishments Forbidden- Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
9. Other Rights Kept by the People-The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
10. Undelegated Powers Kept by the States and the People- The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
What is federalism?
A political system in which power is divided between a central government and smaller regional governments
Powers of the federal government
1. Printing Money
2. Declaring war
3. Making treaties
4. regulating trade
5. Building roads
Powers of the States
1. Taxing and tarifs
2. Charter banks and corporations
4. Make and enforce laws