Newest Assignments and Dates (If assignment is online it shall be stated below)

  • 03-17-2008 - 03-21-2008 -Spring Break (FREEDOM)
  • 03-21-2008 -Art History Outline and images
  • Still during spring break: Read Lord of the Flies for techniques/devices, 3 allusions due.

Friday, February 8, 2008

AP Government -Vocab Module Notes-Chap 1

Module Notes:

Democracy: Aform of government, system f selecting policy makers and a way of orginizing so that policy represents and respond to the publics prefereces

Dictatorship: A form of ogvernment in which one person controls all aspects of governing, the general populatuib has little or no political participation, and their rights are restricted

Direct Democracy: System or process that depends on the voice of the people (and not representatives), usually through referendums or initiatives, to make public policy decisions

Elite $ class Theory: A theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided along class lines and that an upper-class elite will rule, regaurdless of the formal necessities of governmental orginization

Hyperpluralism: A theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakend.

Indirect Democracy: A system also called representative democracy in which the people elect representatives to run teh government and express their sentiments

Linakge institutions: The channels or access points through which issues and people's policy preferences get on the government's policy agenda. Int eh US elections, politcal parties, and interest groupd are the three main

Monarchy: Form of government in which one person has control, claiming power comes from divine rights passed from one generation to another of the royal class to the next

Olgarchy: Form of government called Dictatorship of the party. In which power is shared amoung an exclusive group and people have few rights and limited particiaption in government

Pluralists: A theory of government and politics emphasizing that politcs is mainly a compition amoung groups each one person pessing for its own preferred policies

Policy Agenda: Lists of su bjects or problems to which governemtn closly associated with those official are aying attention

Policy Making: Branches of gov. charged with taking action on political issues. Congress, president, and courts.

Policy making system: Process ny which political problems and communicated by the voted and acted upon by the government policy makers. System begins with the people's needs and expectations. People confront the government and try to influence their agenda

Political Socialization: The process through which an individual acquires political orientations knowledges, feelings, and evaluations regaurding his or her political world

Public Policy: Choice that gov. makes in response to a political issue, A policy is a course of action taken with regard to some problem

Representative Monarchy: Form of governemnt in which the monarch is more of a figurehead, people ahve political and civil rights

Republic: Form of governemnt that derives its power, directly formt e people. Those chosen to govern are responsable for those who elected them

Traditional Democratic Theory: Democratic government makes its decisions. It's cornerstones are equality in voting, effective particpation, enlighten understanding, final control over the agenda and inclusions.

Levithan: Influentioal writing by Hobbes describing his theory that government is necessary to give people peace and security, and for these benifits they must surrender some of their natural rights

Magna Carta: Presented to King John of England at Runnymade, outline restrictions to his power and granted certain rights to the barons

Petition of rightaL Members of paliment withheld their consent to increase taxes until Charels I approved this petition. Kept him from unfairly punishing people

Social Contract: Essay by Rousseau, explains his beliefs that government should act for the good of all people and that people have a social responsability and civic duty to be involved in their govenment

Two Treaties of the Government: Locke's essay in which he rejects the claim that monarchs have a divine right to rule. Gov. must act for the good of people and that people have the rights to rebel if it fail to protect their natural rights

English Bills of Rights: Mary of Orange signed this as a condition of their becoming new English monarchs. Ended Monarchs abuse of the people.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Government - Chap 1- Notes

Politic and government in life:

  • Prohibited schools from discriminating against genders and holding prayer sessions. Municipal boards regulate education and state certifies and pays teachers
  • Ages at which you can drive, drink, and vote regulated by federal government
  • Issues SSN and taxes wages for SS
  • As a college students you may by drawing money from a federal loan

    Government and the Young People

  • It is a proven stereotype that young people (under 25) are apathetic to politics and view it as corrupt and unchangeable
  • An age gap in the percentage of people who follow politics

    Defining Democracy

  • A means of selecting policymakers and organizing government so that policy reflects citizen's preferences

    Traditional Democratic Theory

  • Must satisfy the following:
    • Equality in voting: 'One person, one vote'
    • Effective participation: Citizens must have equal opportunities to express their preferences throughout the decision-making process
    • Enlightened understanding: A marketplace of ideas
    • Citizen control of the agenda: Citizens have collective right to control the gov's policy agenda
    • Inclusion: Must include and extend rights to all those subject to its laws
  • Must use majority rule: will of over half the voters should be followed
  • Majority cannot overrule minority rights: Rights such as freedom of speech
  • Representation: Make present once again (desires of the people should be replicated in government through the choices of elected officials

    Three Contemporary Theories of American Democracy

  • Pluralist theory:
    • Define: States that groups with shared interest influence public policy by pressing their concerns through organized efforts
    • (NRA or UAW)
    • Pluralist are positive that the public interest will eventually prevail in the making of public policy
    • Putnam argues that problems with democracy stem from a decline in group-based participation
    • Elite and Class Theory:
      • Critics of pluralists say that they miss the big picture by arguing that everyone can 'get a piece of the pie'
      • Define: Our society is divided along class lines and that an upper-class pulls the strings of thee government
        • Says that wealth is the basis of power
  • Hyperpluralism:
    • Define: Groups are so strong that government is weakened as the influence of many groups cripples government's ability to make policy
      • Many groups are so strong that the government is unable to act
    • Assets that there are too many groups for the political decision-making process
    • Groups are sovereign and government is merely the servant

    Challenges to Democracy

  • Increased technical expertise:
    • Ordinary citizens have the good sense to reach political judgments and that the government has the capacity to act on the judgments
    • However we live in a society of experts whose knowledge overshadows our own
  • Limited participation in government:
    • Americans do not take full advantage of their opportunities to shape the government or select its leaders
    • Challenges the foundation of democracy
  • Escalating campaign costs:
    • Political observers worry about the close connection between money and politics, especially in congressional elections
  • Diverse political interests:
    • The diversity of the American people is reflected in the diversity of interests represented in the political system
    • Interests find it easy to gain effective access to policymakers
    • Interest may use its influence to thwart those who's policy proposals they oppose
    • Policy gridlock: They have a veto over policy (occurs when there each policy coaltion finds its way blocked by others