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Flashcards in USA1 Deck (21)
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What is the 1st comparative theory with the key word 'selfish'?
meaning a outcome has come from?


Self-interest, best for them


What is the 2nd comparative theory with the key phrase 'group and shared ideology'

UK governed culturally by conventions USA by sovereign entrenched constitution


What is the 3rd comparative theory with the key phrase 'institutions and processes'
e.g. ?

party loyalty structure strong in the UK weak in USA


Constitution was written? ratified?
Has vague language because?
5 features?

1887, 1789
avoid outdated can be interpreted/adapted


What are the 3 branches

What does the constitution give each set of branches?

-executive -president
-legislative- congress
-judicial- supreme court
enumerated powers


executive branch 5 enumerated powers?

-negotiates treaties
-reprieves and pardons
-veto legislation
-nominates federal justices


legislative branch 5 enumerated powers?

judicial branch?

-collects taxes
-borrows money
-declares war
-regulates trade
-ratifies treaties/appointments

-judicial review


What is highlighted by the constitutional framework? (2)

-separation of powers
-checks and balances


where is the amendment process formally laid out?
what is the typical time limit to ratify? to avoid?

article V, entrenchment
7 years, 27th amendment 202 years


What is the amendment process?
1) proposal national level
2) ratification at state level

-2/3 both houses then 3/4 state legislature then 3/4 state constitutional conventions


Amendment process advantages? (4)

-works (27 amendments)
-endured time, protected principles
-bipartisanship, protect tyranny
-protects federalism


Amendment process disadvantages? (5)

-need super-majorities too difficult
-unelected supreme court gain to much
-allow tyranny of minority
-can't incorporate new ideas (out of date)
-bad amendments e.g. 18th repealed 14yr later


What are the 5 key principles of the constitution?

-separation of powers
-checks and balances
-limited government
-federalism (shared sovereignty)


what amendment protects the states?
states can control?(3)

what are the 4 factors affecting federal-state relationship?

10th amendment
-election practices
-local law
-regulate lives e.g. age of consent

-'necessary proper' federal growth 15 dep
-globalisation, terrorism/natural disasters federal has money
-state/federal law conflict federal wins
-'commerce' clause allows federal to regulate interstate commerce e.g.Obamacare


Strengths of the constitution? (6)

-vague, flexible for 21st centaury
-supreme court allows non-partisan interpretation
-amendment process significant change
-states largely independent
-federal gov protected against unquestioned power
-rights mainly protected


Weaknesses of the constitution? (5)

-interpretive amendments trample on state rights
-supreme court power unaccountable and unelected
-amendment prohibited necessary change
-federal gov wide unchecked power e.g. Obama Iran deal
-rights of citizens often conflict


Which features of the constitution shows... representative democracy ? (1)

liberal? (2)

pluralist ? (3)

-federalism (gov close)

-checks and balances (limited gov)
-bill of rights (protect minority)

-checks and balances ( bipartisanship)
-federalism (local beliefs into law)
-bill of rights (protect minority)


The US is federal ? (5)

-state decide/enforce laws
-supreme court rules in favour of states
-electoral practices vary and are developing
-appealing to supreme court not a right so state courts remain important
-political parties remain 'broad churches'


The US not federal? (4)

-growth of federal gov encroach on states
-electoral college big importance few states
-federal gov resources globalisation
-supreme court rules for federal gov


similarities (3)

differences (3)

-separation of powers (reforms 2005)
-divided gov (house of lords growth)
- checks and balances, supreme court

-c/b limited in UK due to fused exec and leg strong in US
-bipartisanship enforced in US, unnecessary in UK due to majority
-US gov limited separation of powers, UK 'elected dictatorship'


Federalism and devolution
similarities (3)

-reliant on grants from central gov
-national gov supremacy
- states/devolved notable diff in legislation

-law in US diff, UK centralised similar
-USA states sovereignty protected, UK rely on parliament
-UK limited supreme court resource, US challenge regularly.