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Study Guide for Civics Cycle II

1.1 Locke and Montesquieu-Recognize how Enlightenment (use of reason to understand the world) ideas
including Montesquieus view of separation of powers and John Lockes theories related to natural law
and how Lockes social contract influenced the founding Fathers.
-John Lockes natural law and the social contract-community agrees to obey ruler, ruler agrees to
protect the community and individual rights-natural rights-life, liberty, property (guaranteed by
natural law)
-Montesquieu-separation of powers and checks and balances-According to John Locke, individuals enter
into a social contract to form their own society.
-Parliament-part of government in England that made the laws
-English Bill of Rights-limited the powers of the king and firmly established the supremacy of
1.2 Founding Documents-the impact the Magna Carta, English Bill of Rights, Mayflower Compact, Thomas
Paines Common Sense had on colonists view of government.
-The Magna Carta -----Limited monarchy-trial by jury
-Mayflower Compact-----Self-government-agreement the Pilgrims signed a set of rules to govern
-Thomas Paines Common Sense-encouraged the colonists to declare their independence during the
American Revolution
Think about this: It is common sense that killing or stealing is wrong.
1.3 Colonial Concerns-British policies limit colonial rights----Colonial demand for political change
increases----British ignore colonial grievances----Declaration of Independence is approved
1.4 Declaration of Independence-natural rights, role of the government and complaints set forth in the
Declaration of Independence The king took away political rights from the people
-People have unalienable rights-life, liberty, pursuit of happiness
-Governments are created to protect these rights
-Governments that destroy rights can be overturned
-List of colonial grievances (complaints)
-Colonists therefore declare their independence
-Stamp Act-required every official document, newspaper or pamphlet in the colonies to have an
expensive government stamp
-petitions-formal request
-boycotted-refused to buy
-Townshend duties-placed a new tax on paper, paint, glass, lead and tea
-quartering-housing troops in private homes
-dissolve-to make disappear; end
-impel-to force
-unalienable-cant take away (also inalienable)
-tyranny-a cruel and oppressive government
-redress-something to correct a problem
-tyrant-a dictator-someone who uses power unjustly

1.5 Weaknesses of Articles of Confederation-Congress had no power to tax-to regulate trade-or to

enforce its laws
-the national government lacked a national court system (judicial branch) and central leadership
(executive branch)
-changes to the articles required unanimous consent of 13 states
How did the U.S. Constitution solve a problem created by the Articles of Confederation? It enabled
the federal government to collect taxes.
-Shays Rebellion-Daniel Shays led a group of angry farmers and debtors who attacked one of the
states courthouses. They demanded freedom for debtors (owing money), cheap paper money, and lower
taxes. There was no national army to put down the rebellion if Massachusetts had been unable to stop
its spread.
-Great Compromise-Each state would have two Senators in the Senate, and a number of
representatives proportional to its size (population) in the House of Representative.
1.8 Feds/Anti-Feds-the Anti-Federalists insisted on the inclusion of a bill of rights in the U.S.
Constitution-they believed the Constitution should protect fundamental rights
-The Anti-Federalist opposed ratification (passing, accepting). They felt the new federal government
proposed by the Constitution, would be too strong and would threaten individual rights and liberties. They
also demanded that a bill of rights be included in the Constitution.
1.6 Preamble-What is the goal of the preamble?
-goals: form a more perfect union (strong and unified country), establish justice (national court system),
ensure domestic tranquility (peace at home), provide for the common defense (strong national government
to protect American interests against foreign powers), promote the general welfare (general well-being
of all of its citizens), and secure the blessings of liberty (right to liberty and individual rights) to
ourselves and our posterity (future).
What does, We the People mean? Government depends on the people for its power and exists to serve
3.3 Structure and function of Three Branches-three branches of government established in Articles I, II,
and III with corresponding powers-government power is limited by separation of powers and/or checks and
Article I-Congress-Legislative
Article II-Executive-President-at least 35 years old-serves a 4-year term-appoints judges, serves as the
Commander in Chief of our armed forces, appoints ambassadors, negotiates treaties
Article III-Judicial-Courts-the Supreme Court decides all disputes between states or concerning foreign
1.7 Separation of Powers/Checks and Balances-legislative (makes laws), executive (enforces laws), and
judicial (interprets laws)
-Each branch was given several specific powers to check or stop the other two. This was meant to
prevent any one branch of the federal government from becoming too strong.
-Each house of Congress checks the other house; the approval of both houses is needed to pass any new
-To pass a bill into law, Congress requires the signature of the President. The President can check
Congress by vetoing it proposed legislation (refusing to sign the bill).
-The Supreme Court can check Congress by ruling that a federal law is unconstitutional (violates some
aspect of the Constitution)
-The President appoints Justices to the Supreme Court, ambassadors and other officials, but these
appointments must be approved by a majority of the Senate.
-The President negotiates treaties with foreign nations, but these treaties must be approved by twothirds of the Senate
-Only Congress can declare war
-Congress can impeach the President

2.4 Bill of Rights-First 10 amendments to the Constitution

-The Constitution can be amended (added to or changed)

-The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. (Like the skeleton is to our bodies, the
constitution is what supports our country)
-Enumerated Powers are specific, listed powers.
-Elastic Clause-necessary and proper clause implied powers that are not directly stated in the
Constitution but that are strongly suggested by its other provisions.
our liberty, which cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press Why should freedom of
the press be maintained? To keep the government from becoming the primary information
source of news
2.1 Citizenship Review:
Law of Soil-any person born on American soil is automatically an American citizen
Law of Blood-A baby born in another country is still an American citizen at birth if both parents
are American citizens, or if one parent is an American citizen who has lived at least one year
continuously in the U.S. If the father but not the mother is an American citizen and the parents
are not married, special rules will apply.
14th Amendment-naturalization process-at least 18 years old, lawful permanent resident, lived in
U.S. for five years, be of good character, working knowledge of English-----must pass a test on
American history and government-complete an application formswear an oath of allegiance
2.2 Obligations of Citizenship:
-Obey the laws
-Pay taxes
-Register with the Selective Service
-Serve on juries if summoned
Responsibilities of citizenship:
-be informed about local, state and national public affairs
-run for political office
-Serve on local committees
-Attend public meetings
-Petition government

Jury Duty: Why are citizens obligated to respond to a summons for jury duty? Because it
protects the constitutional right to be tried by ones peers

2.10 Impact of the media, individuals, and interest groups on monitoring and influencing
Think about it: Based on the government system in the United States, which individual activity is
used to directly influence legislative decision: gathering signatures for a petition
Interest Groups
A group of individuals with common interests who see to influence public policy. Tends to focus
on a specific issue or area.
Lobbying-is an activity protected by the right to free speech. Paid lobbyists speak to state
legislator, members of Congress, or government officials in order to influence new legislation or
2.11 Media and political communications-analyze sources of bias
Newspapers, magazines, radio, the Internet
People get their knowledge of public affairs from the media
The media act as Watchdogs exposing corruption, wrongdoing or error
Bias-one sided
Propaganda-appeals to emotions
Symbolism-represents something
2.12-Scenario of public policy example
2.13 Public Policy
Actions taken by governments to solve problem and achieve goals.
Multiple perspectives (different points of view) can bring insight into how to solve the
Steps in the Public Policy Process
1. Identify the problem
2. Conduct research/gather data
3. Identify the appropriate level of government and the best agency to address the
4. Develop various options
5. Evaluate pros and cons
6. Consider multiple perspectives
7. Choose the best policy alternative
8. Implement the plan: present it
9. Evaluate the effectiveness of your decision

1.9 Rule of Law-protects citizens from arbitrary and abusive uses of government power.
Impact of the rule of law on governmental officials and institutions (accountability to the law,
fair procedures, decisions based on the law, consistent application, enforcement of the law, and
transparency of institutions. It serves as a long term protection against tyranny and is a
foundation of liberty in the U.S.
2.8 Which issue represents a basic disagreement between Republicans and Democrats? --The
responsibilities of government Impact of political parties
Democrats: Generally favor government intervention to promote greater social justice and to
achieve equality of opportunity. Willing to tolerate increased taxes if they benefit the public
good. Support interests of hard-working, middle class Americans. Favor a strong government to
prove high quality public education, affordable health care, and a growing economy.
Republicans: party of less government interference, more private enterprise, lower taxes, and a
strong foreign policy. Strong military.
Libertarian-party that wishes to maximize human freedom and to reduce government and
Green Party: protects natural environment
Socialist Party: favors more public services, public ownership of utilities and some industries
Communist Party: believes capitalists exploit workers

2.7/2.9-Scenario on candidate qualifications

Identify constitutional requirements to run for political office.
A member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
1. 25 years old
2. 7 years as a U.S. citizen
3. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives do not have to live in the district that they
represent, but they must live in the state in which their district is located
A member of the U.S. Senate
1. 30 years old
2. 9 years as a U.S. citizen
3. Members of the U.S. Senate must live in the state that they represent.
4. No term limits
A member of the U.S. Senate elected to represent an entire state-there are two senators per

President: Natural born citizen, at least 35 years of age, U.S. resident at least 14 years
Qualifications: The background, education, employment, and achievements of each candidate
Issues-what the candidate believes in (platform)
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Good Luck!