December 08, 2006

US Gov't Exam Review

Class, here you are. There will be items not on this list, but really only the most basic points of reference. You may bring in a one-sided sheet of notes into the exam (Typed, handwritten – I don’t care). We’ll also have 10-15 min. to talk before the exam. Thanks for everything this semester.

Exam Review, US Gov’t:
  • Framing of the Country – Escape from Central Gov’t

  • Shay’s Rebellion/Madison.

  • “Tyranny of the Majority” – changing nature of that term

  • States as Key Players; controlling component part of Constitution (that is an inarticulate phrase…what I mean, is STATES ARE IMPORTANT and the BUILDING BLOCKS of the Constitution!)

  • The Civil War Amendments’ greatly expanding the power of the federal government

  • “State Action” requirement, and the ONE exception to that

  • Locke/Jefferson – remember chart on p. 32 – MEMORIZE it!

  • Conception of equality and how it has changed.

  • Establishment of Judicial Review – facts and aftereffects. Be prepared to detail specifically the facts leading up to the suit being filed.

  • Explain why the suit was filed in the Supreme Court, instead of one of the ‘lower courts’ Congress established.

  • Explain the difference between Appellate and Original Jurisdiction as it relates to MvM and the Judiciary Act.

  • Explain the political tension the court was under (remember – John Marshall was appointed by Adams, who was just defeated by Jefferson). Explain the ‘two bad alternatives’ assumed that the court was under, and explain the ‘third option’ invented by Marshall. And be sure to use its proper name (Hint: J_______ R________).

  • Difference between ‘state courts’ and ‘inferior/lower courts’

  • Appointment process of Sup Ct Justice


  • Nature of House v. Senate – which body represents what constituency?

  • Two Chambers compared to England’s Parliament (will also be an ‘executive/presidency question). Why do we have a separation of powers? (Remember English/Colonial history here!)

  • What is the appointment process and how is it similar to passing a bill?

  • How are Senators elected? How were they elected, and why?

  • How are Members of Congress elected, and  what process, held each ten years, determines how districts are set up?

  • Who is the leader of the House of Representatives? Who elects her? Compare that to how party leaders are elected.


  • Who elects the President, and how are they chosen?

  • What did the 12th Amendment seek to remedy?

  • What does the popular vote determine in the several states?

  • What body determines the manner of elections for federal office?

  • Who won the popular vote in the year 2000?

  • Who won the popular vote in the year 2004?

  • Name the only two Vice Presidents in history  (that we know of…I hear Nelson Rockefeller was pretty tough) to have shot a person while in office.

  • What is the group of people who collectively make up the Executive Branch called, and who hires and fires them?

Be prepared to discuss your personal development as voter/potential voter this cycle, specifically regarding your state legislative race.


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