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U.S. Government And Politics, 2nd Edition

Book Description

Do you really know how the U.S. government operates? Most Americans have simply forgotten what they learned in their high school government class. Providing an updated history and comprehensive overview, Idiot's Guides: U.S. Government & Politics, Second Edition, is written to help readers gain an understanding about the origins of the U.S government, in addition to its complex political system and key forces that drive a successful nation. Suitable reading for supplement coursework in high school government or civics classes or college political science classes, Idiot's Guides: U.S. Government & Politics, Second Edition, details the three branches of the U.S. government, the political process in America, civil liberties and rights, and how public policy is formed.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Introduction
  5. Part 1: The American System
    1. 1 Principles of Government
      1. What Is Government?
      2. What Is Politics?
      3. What Is Political Power?
      4. Origins of the Nation-State
      5. Forms of Government
      6. What Is Democracy?
      7. Foundations of American Democracy
      8. The Distribution of Power in a Democracy
      9. The Role of Government in American History
      10. Who Governs?
    2. 2 The Constitution
      1. English Roots of American Constitutionalism
        1. The Magna Carta: The Great Charter
        2. The Petition of Right
        3. The English Bill of Rights
        4. Natural Rights
      2. Colonial America
        1. The Mayflower Compact
        2. Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
        3. Massachusetts Body of Liberties
        4. The Flushing Remonstrance
        5. Pennsylvania Frame of Government
      3. The Continental Congresses and Independence
      4. The Articles of Confederation
      5. The Constitutional Convention
      6. Who Were the Framers?
        1. The Virginia Plan
        2. The New Jersey Plan
        3. The Great Compromise
        4. The Three-Fifths Compromise
        5. Other Issues
      7. The Final Document
      8. The Road to Ratification
        1. The Federalists
        2. The Anti-Federalists
        3. Final Ratification
      9. The Bill of Rights
      10. Formal and Informal Methods of Constitutional Change
        1. Formal Amendment Process
        2. Informal Methods of Constitutional Change
    3. 3 Federalism
      1. The Federal System
      2. Why Federalism?
        1. Unity and Uniformity
        2. Experimentation
      3. Government Close to the People
      4. The Constitutional Structure of Federalism
        1. Powers of the Federal Government
        2. Powers of the State Governments
        3. The Concurrent Powers
        4. The Prohibited Powers
        5. The Supremacy Clause
      5. Interstate Relations
      6. Constitutional Powers: The Early Years
        1. McCulloch v. Maryland and National Supremacy
        2. Gibbons v. Ogden and the Commerce Clause
      7. States’ Rights and Civil War
      8. Federal-State Relations and the Division of Power
      9. The Politics of Federalism
        1. The Expanding Role of the Federal Government
        2. The Devolution Revolution
        3. Twenty-First-Century Challenges
      10. Federalism and the Supreme Court
        1. Centralists and Decentralists
        2. Reducing the Power of the Commerce Clause
        3. State Sovereignty and the Eleventh Amendment
        4. Tenth Amendment Issues
  6. Part 2: The Political Process
    1. 4 American Political Culture
      1. What Is Political Culture?
      2. The Political System
      3. The Economic System
      4. The Sources of Political Culture
        1. The Family
        2. Education
        3. Religious and Civic Organizations
        4. The Mass Media
        5. Political Activities
      5. The American Dream
      6. The Culture War
      7. Political Efficacy
      8. Political Tolerance
      9. History and American Political Culture
        1. The Civil War: Brother Versus Brother
        2. Abolition and Emancipation
        3. Western Expansion
        4. The Labor Movement
        5. Teddy Roosevelt and Turn-of-the-Century Imperialism
        6. Manifest Destiny and American Exceptionalism
        7. The Great War and Wilsonianism
        8. The Great Depression
        9. World War II
        10. The Cold War
        11. The Vietnam War
        12. From Watergate to 9/11 and the War on Terror
        13. Mistrust of Government
    2. 5 American Ideology and Public Opinion
      1. Diversity and the Origins of Political Attitudes
        1. The Role of the Family
        2. Religion
        3. The Gender Gap
        4. Education
      2. Cleavages in Public Opinion
      3. Ideology and Tolerance
      4. What Is Liberalism?
      5. What Is Conservatism?
      6. Political Consistency
      7. Who Are Political Elites?
      8. Public Opinion and Public Policy
        1. How Polls Work
        2. The Paradox of Public Opinion
    3. 6 Political Parties
      1. What Political Parties Do for Democracy
      2. The Two-Party System
        1. Winner Take All
        2. State Laws
      3. The Role of Minor Parties
      4. The Rise and Decline of the Political Party
      5. The Founding Period
        1. The Jacksonians
        2. The Civil War
        3. The Reform Era
        4. The Decline of the Political Party
      6. The National Party Organization
        1. The National Convention
        2. The National Committee
        3. The National Chairperson
        4. The Congressional Campaign Committees
      7. State and Local Party Organizations
      8. The Road to the Party Presidential Nomination
        1. Who Are the Delegates?
        2. Who Votes in Caucuses and Primaries?
    4. 7 Campaigns and Elections
      1. The Nominating Process
        1. Why Do People Run for Office?
        2. The Closed Primary
        3. The Open Primary
        4. The Runoff Primary
        5. The Blanket Primary
        6. The Presidential Primary
        7. The Caucus
      2. Presidential and Congressional Campaigns
      3. Running for President
        1. Candidate-Centered Campaigns
        2. Who Gets Nominated?
      4. Running for Congress
        1. The Power of Incumbency
        2. The Importance of the Primary
        3. The Map Advantage
      5. Primary and General Campaigns
      6. Money in Politics Today
      7. The Federal Election Commission
        1. Disclosure Requirements
        2. Limits on Contributions
        3. PAC Contributions
        4. Limits on Expenditures
        5. Public Funding of Presidential Campaigns
      8. The Electoral College
    5. 8 Political Participation and Voting
      1. The History of Voting Rights
      2. Voter Qualifications
        1. Voter Registration
        2. Literacy Tests
        3. Taxes
      3. Congressional Districts
      4. Why People Vote the Way They Do
      5. Why People Do Not Vote
      6. Voters and Voter Behavior
      7. Other Forms of Political Participation
  7. Part 3: The Legislative Branch
    1. 9 Congress
      1. The National Legislature
        1. Bicameralism
        2. Terms and Sessions of Congress
      2. The Evolution of Congress
        1. Evolution of the House
        2. Evolution of the Senate
      3. The Limits of Congressional Power
      4. The Expressed Powers
        1. The Power to Tax
        2. The Power to Borrow
        3. The Commerce Power
        4. The Power to Print and Coin Money
        5. Bankruptcy Law Powers
        6. Foreign Relations Powers
        7. War Powers
        8. Naturalization Powers
        9. Postal Powers
        10. Copyright and Patent Powers
        11. Weights and Measures Power
        12. Territorial Powers
        13. Eminent Domain
        14. Judicial Powers
      5. The Implied Powers
      6. The Nonlegislative Powers
        1. Constitutional Amendments
        2. Electoral Duties
        3. Impeachment and Removal from Office
        4. Executive Powers
        5. The People’s Investigator
    2. 10 The House of Representatives
      1. Legacy and Unique Aspects
        1. The Distribution of Representatives
        2. Malapportionment and Gerrymandering
        3. Power to Elect the President
        4. Power of Impeachment
        5. Power to Initiate Revenue Bills
      2. Qualifications of Members
      3. Compensation and Privileges
      4. Party Structure of the House
        1. The Speaker of the House
        2. Other House Officers
      5. Committees in the House of Representatives
        1. Standing Committees
        2. The Rules Committee
        3. The Ways and Means Committee
        4. Select Committees
        5. Joint Committees
        6. Caucuses
        7. Staff Agencies
    3. 11 The Senate
      1. Legacy and Uniqueness
      2. Terms and Qualifications of Members
      3. Compensation and Privileges
      4. Party Organization
        1. Majority and Minority Leaders
        2. The Whip
        3. Committee Chairpersons
        4. Seniority Rule
      5. Committees in the Senate
        1. The Importance of the Standing Committees
        2. Select Committees
        3. Joint Committees
      6. Caucuses
    4. 12 How Laws Are Created
      1. The First Steps in the House
        1. Types of Bills
        2. Types of Resolutions
        3. The First Reading
      2. The Bill in House Committee
      3. Scheduling Floor Debate in the House
      4. The Bill on the Floor of the House
        1. Limits on Debate
        2. Voting on a Bill
      5. Rules for Debate in the Senate
        1. The Filibuster
        2. The Cloture Rule
      6. Conference Committees
      7. Presidential Action
  8. Part 4: The Executive Branch
    1. 13 The Presidency
      1. The Evolution of the Presidency
        1. The Electoral College
        2. Qualifications
        3. Term of Office
        4. Salary and Benefits
      2. The Many Roles of the President
      3. The President’s Executive Powers
        1. Executing the Law
        2. The Ordinance Power
        3. Congressional-Executive Agreements
        4. The Appointment Power
        5. The Removal Power
      4. Diplomatic and Military Powers
        1. Undeclared War Powers
        2. Wartime Powers
      5. The Legislative and Judicial Powers of the President
        1. The Veto Power
        2. The Power to Pardon
      6. Vice President
        1. Origin of Office
        2. Unique Duties and Responsibilities
      7. Presidential Transition and the Constitution
        1. Problems of Succession
        2. Impeachment
    2. 14 The Bureaucracy: A Government at Work
      1. The Federal Government Bureaucracy
      2. Staff and Line Classifications
      3. The Executive Office of the President
        1. The White House Office
        2. The National Security Council
        3. The Office of Management and Budget
        4. The Office of National Drug Control Policy
        5. The Council of Economic Advisers
        6. The Council on Environmental Quality
        7. The Office of the United States Trade Representative
        8. The Office of Science and Technology Policy
        9. The Office of Administration
        10. Domestic Policy Council
        11. Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
        12. Office of Global Communications
        13. Office of National AIDS Policy
        14. President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
        15. USA Freedom Corps Volunteer Network
        16. White House Military Office
      4. The Executive Departments
      5. The Independent Agencies
      6. The Civil Service
      7. Congressional Oversight of the Bureaucracy
      8. Judicial Oversight of the Bureaucracy
      9. Other Restraints on the Bureaucracy
  9. Part 5: The Judicial Branch
    1. 15 The Federal Court System
      1. Judicial Review
      2. The Development of the Federal Courts
        1. 1787 to 1865: The First Historical Period
        2. 1865 to 1932: The Second Historical Period
        3. 1932 to 1976: The Third Historical Period
        4. 1980s to 2005
        5. The Roberts Court Since 2005
      3. The Jurisdiction of the Federal Courts
        1. U.S. District Courts
        2. U.S. Courts of Appeals
        3. The U.S. Supreme Court
      4. Selecting Federal Judges
      5. Terms and Pay of Judges
      6. The Court’s Docket
        1. Writ of Certiorari
        2. Decisions and Opinions
      7. The Powers of the Court
      8. Checks on Judicial Power
        1. Executive Checks
        2. Legislative Checks
        3. Public Opinion
        4. Judicial Traditions and Doctrines
    2. 16 Civil Liberties
      1. The Inalienable Rights
      2. Federalism and Individual Rights
      3. The Establishment Clause: Religion and Education
      4. Prayers and the Bible in Schools
      5. Teaching Evolution and Creationism in Schools
      6. Public Aid to Parochial Schools
      7. Separation of Church and State
      8. The Free Exercise Clause
      9. Freedom of Expression: Speech and Press
        1. Seditious Speech
        2. Obscenity
        3. Prior Restraint
        4. The Media
      10. Symbolic Speech
      11. Freedom of Assembly and Petition
      12. Due Process
      13. The Police Power
      14. The Right to Privacy
      15. Freedom and Security of the Person
      16. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms
      17. The Exclusionary Rule
      18. Security of Home and Person
      19. Wiretapping
      20. Rights of the Accused
      21. Self-Incrimination: Miranda Rights
      22. The Eighth Amendment
    3. 17 Civil Rights
      1. What Are Civil Rights?
      2. Slavery and Civil Rights
      3. Early Civil Rights Laws
      4. How Effective Were Early Civil Rights Laws?
        1. Plessy v. Ferguson
        2. Barriers to Voting
      5. Overturning the “Separate but Equal” Doctrine
      6. The Modern Civil Rights Movement
      7. Twentieth-Century Civil Rights Legislation
      8. Affirmative Action
      9. Immigration and Civil Rights
        1. Hispanics
        2. Asian Americans
        3. Bilingual Education
      10. Women and the Struggle for Equal Rights
        1. Suffrage and the Fifteenth Amendment
        2. Passage of the Nineteenth Amendment
      11. The Modern Women’s Movement
        1. The Equal Rights Amendment
        2. Gender Discrimination
      12. Homosexuals and Civil Rights
        1. Lawrence v. Texas
        2. Homosexuals and the Military
        3. Same-Sex Marriage
      13. Protecting Americans with Disabilities
  10. Part 6: The Politics of Public Policy
    1. 18 Interest Groups
      1. The Birth of Interest Groups
      2. Types of Interest Groups
      3. Why People Join Interest Groups
      4. The Activities and Strategies of Interest Groups
        1. Public Opinion
        2. Parties and Elections
      5. Money, PACs, and Lobbying
        1. Super PACs
        2. Lobbyists at Work
        3. The Revolving Door
      6. Regulating Interest Groups
    2. 19 The Media
      1. Journalism in American Political History
        1. The Party Press
        2. The Popular Press
        3. Opinion Magazines
        4. Electronic Journalism
        5. The Internet
      2. The Structure of the National Media
        1. The Gatekeeper Role
        2. The Scorekeeper Role
        3. The Watchdog Role
      3. Rules and Governance of the Media
      4. The Effect of the Media on Politics
        1. The Public Agenda
        2. Electoral Politics
        3. Choice of Candidates
        4. Campaign and Political Events
      5. The News and the Government
        1. Coverage of the President
        2. Coverage of Congress
        3. Coverage of the Judiciary
      6. How to Interpret Political News
    3. 20 The Policy-Making Process
      1. Who Sets the Agenda?
      2. How Are Decisions Made?
        1. Cost and Benefit Analysis
        2. Majoritarian Politics
        3. Interest Group Politics
        4. Client Politics
        5. Entrepreneurial Politics
      3. How Does Policy Get Made?
      4. Poverty and Welfare
      5. Environmental Policy
      6. Taxes and Subsidies
      7. Fiscal and Monetary Policy
      8. Budget Deficits and the Public Debt
    4. 21 Economic Policy, Foreign Policy, and National Defense
      1. Economic Theories
      2. Implementing Economic Policy
      3. Fiscal Policy
      4. The Federal Reserve
      5. Monetary Policy
      6. Foreign Policy
      7. The Foreign Policy Establishment
      8. Foreign Aid
      9. Alliances
      10. The United Nations
    5. 22 Social and Environmental Policies
      1. The National Social Safety Network
        1. Social Security
        2. Medicare
        3. Medicare Reform
        4. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
      2. Medicaid
      3. Unemployment
      4. Abortion and Reproductive Rights
      5. Gun Control
      6. Gay Marriage
      7. Education
        1. No Child Left Behind
        2. Vouchers
      8. Environmental Policies
        1. Global Warming
        2. Pollution from Automobiles
        3. Acid Rain
        4. Agricultural Pesticides
      9. Management of Natural Resources
      10. Energy Innovations
  11. Glossary