Section 1 Multiple Choice Questions – type in the letter (a – d) of the answer you choose (if you think that more than one choice is correct, choose the one that you believe is most correct)
1. The writers of the Constitution used the term___________to describe the form of government in which power resides in the people but is exercised through representative institutions.
d. constitutionalism Your answer___
2. A fear about majority rule in a democracy is that it could lead to a. public apathy. b. the election of incompetent leaders. c. tyranny by suppressing the minority. d. elite rule. Your answer___
3. The removal of a president from office through impeachment and conviction requires action by a. the House of Representatives only. b. the Senate with the approval of the U.S. Supreme Court. c. the House and Senate in a joint session. d. the House and Senate in separate proceedings. Your answer___
4. Which of the following describes third parties in the American political system? a. They bring new groups into the electorate. b. They weaken or disappear entirely as one or both of the major parties adopt their ideas c. They form around a strong leader and/or have a specific issue focus. d. All of the above are true. Your answer___
5. Which of the following statements is true? a. Political parties already existed in the United States when the Constitution was written in 1787. b. Political parties emerged during the presidency of Andrew Jackson. c. Article I of the U.S. Constitution specifically provides for the creation of political parties d. The first political parties grew out of a rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson after the Constitution was written. Your answer___
6. The president’s constitutional roles, such as chief executive and commander-in-chief, a. have expanded in practice to be more powerful than was intended by the Framers of the Constitution. b. are limited to very precise constitutional grants of power. c. are found under Article 1 of the Constitution d. are not subject to checks and restrictions by the Congress. Your answer___
7. Which of the following statements does not fit the pluralist theory of interest groups in the U.S.? a. Interest groups often become more dominant in the political system than Congress or the president. b. Interest groups play an important role in representing people in the policy making process. c. Interest groups often counter-balance each other to prevent dominance by particular groups. d. Interest group competition is a healthy component of American democracy. Your answer___
8. The major source of a committee’s power is a. the size of the committee’s membership. b. its jurisdiction and expertise over a particular policy area. c. the relationship between the chairperson and the Speaker or Majority Leader. d. the amount of support it gets from political action committees (PACs). Your answer___
9. A bill has been approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate, but in different versions. The bill now goes to a. the president for his veto or signature. b. the committee in the House or Senate where the bill originated. c. the House Rules Committee. d. a conference committee. Your answer___
10. Which of the following statements does not accurately describe the U.S. Supreme Court? a. The Supreme Court has expanded the power of the federal government to regulate the economy. b. In recent years, the Supreme Court has made it harder for individuals, corporations, and unions to contribute to political candidates and parties of their choice. c. In recent years, the justices of the Supreme Court have increasingly voted along the party lines and ideologies of the presidents who appointed them. d. The Warren Court led the way in desegregation of public schools. Your answer___
11. In the Electoral College system a. politicians attend college in order to learn strategies for getting elected. b. electoral votes in each state are based on the candidates’ percentage of the popular vote. c. candidates can only receive electoral votes if they get an absolute majority of popular votes. d. in all but two states, all of the electoral votes go to the candidate with the most popular votes Your answer___
12. From 1789 to 1865, the most significant issue of federalism was a. the application of the Bill of Rights to action by the state governments. b. whether the states would accept the constitutional authority of the national government. c. whether business trusts would be regulated primarily by the states or by the national government. d. whether the states or the federal government would be responsible for public education. Your answer___
13. Low voter turnout in U.S. elections compared to other democracies is explained by all of the following except: a. frequency of elections b. absence of the secret ballot c. more difficult registration requirements d. fewer political party choices Your answer___
14. Which theory places the most emphasis on the role of interest groups in explaining who influences public policy in Washington, D.C.? a. majoritarianism b. pluralism c. elitism d. none of the above Your answer___
15. The political opinions of men and women differ most significantly on issues of: a. crime and criminal justice b. abortion and women’s right to choose c. national defense and the use of military force d. the environment and climate change Your answer___
16. Which of the following is not an important factor in the success of presidents in getting their policy proposals passed by Congress? a. The force of events such as war or economic volatility. b. Stage of the president’s term c. Ability to raise campaign funds d. Level of public support for the president’s leadership Your answer___
Continue to Section 2 on the next page.
Section 2 Essays – You will write about two of these topics. Choose from either Topic 1 or 2 and from either Topic 3 or 4. For example, you may choose Topic 2 and Topic 3, but you cannot write about Topics 1 and 2 or 3 and 4. Your essays should be complete enough to cover, and demonstrate an understanding of, the topics. Be sure to cover each part of the topic. Essays should be approximately 400 to 500 words. Number each essay according to its topic number.
1. Discuss the presidential nomination process and the general election process. What resources and strategies must a candidate use to be successful in securing the nomination of his/her political party? In this part of your essay, explain the role of state primary elections. How do the political party nominees’ strategies differ in the general election campaign? In this part of the essay, include discussion of how the Electoral College affects campaign strategy. or
2. Why have the Democratic and Republican parties been so stable and able to maintain their existence from the Civil War period to the present? What factors have maintained the two party system in the U.S. and make it difficult for minor parties to succeed? Be specific in your response and include an explanation of how the nature of the electoral system (winner take all) has contributed to the durability of the two party system. and
3. Discuss the relationship between the president and Congress. Why does the president need congressional support and how does he get it? What impact do political parties have in determining how effective the president is in getting his policies enacted. What obstacles are there in the way of presidents getting their agenda passed? In your essay, give some examples of how presidents have or have not been successful in dealing with Congress. or
4. Members of Congress have dual responsibilities. First, they must serve the people in their states and districts. Second, they must deal with issues and legislation of interest to the whole nation. How do legislators balance these responsibilities? When there is a conflict between representing local interests and national interests, how do you think representatives and senators should decide which is more important – should they consider the preferences of their constituents or the public-at-large? What are the consequences of deciding one way or the other?