|75 United States History Regents Review Questions
Use your review book and other sources to answers these questions. Knowing the answers will be an excellent start in preparing for the Regents examination.
1. Why was the Declaration of Independence written?
2. Why did the Articles of Confederation want a weak central government?
3.. List and briefly explain 3 compromises that were used by delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to settle important disputes.
4. Why is the U.S. Constitution referred to as a ‘living document”?
5. What is the main difference between the Articles and the Constitution?
6. Why were three branches of government created?
7. What is the purpose of the Bill of Rights?
8 How did Hamilton’s financial plan put the new nation on a sound financial footing?
9. Briefly explain the concept of judicial review as outlined in Marbury v. Madison.
10. What was the main difference between the Federalists and anti Federalists?
11. What did Washington advise for early American foreign policy?
12. What was the purpose of the Monroe Doctrine?
13. Why was Andrew Jackson criticized?
14. What did American Manifest Destiny mean for Native Americans?
15. What was the goal of the women's Seneca Falls Convention of 1848?
16. What was the Abolitionists goal in relation to slavery?
17. What was Lincoln's goal regarding the Civil War?
18. Why did the North win the Civil War?
19. What was the goal of Radical Republicans during Reconstruction ?
20. What did the 13th, 14th, and 15"Amendments accomplish?
21. What did African Americans face during the Reconstruction Era?
22. Why did the Federal Government encourage railroad expansion?
23. What resulted from industrialization (positive and negative) ?
24. What was the purpose of the Clayton and Sherman Antitrust Acts?
25. What happened to small businesses during the Age of Big Business?
26. What led to imperialism during the late 1800's?
27. Why did labor unions form?
28. What did the Wagner Act provide for workers?
29. What was the goal of Nativists?
30. What led to urbanization (growth of cities)?
31. Explain Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal and give an example of how it changed America.
32. Explain Woodrow Wilson’s “new Freedom and give an example of how it changed America.
33. What did the work of Riis and Sinclair show?
34. What was the purpose of the Dawes Act?
35. Why does the Federal Reserve regulate interest rates?
36. What was the purpose of the Open Door Policy?
37. What was the goal of the Progressive Movement?
38. Why was the progressive Populist Party considered successful?
39. What was the US policy in Latin America in the early 1900's?
40. Explain how a “progressive income tax works and also how it increased the power of the federal government.
41. Despite initial neutrality, what led to US entry into WWI?
42. Why did the US reject the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations?
43. What was the US foreign policy in the 1930's?
44. Why did the term "Roaring 20's" become coined?
45. What caused the Great Depression?
46. What do movies and novels created during the Great Depression show?
47. Why didn't Hoover create a widespread federal relief program?
48. What is the purpose of FDR's (Roosevelt's) New Deal?
49. What happens to the role of the Federal Government as a result of the New Deal?
50. What were two causes of World War II?
51. What was US foreign policy prior to entry in WWII?
52. What does the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII show?
53. Why was the United Nations created?
54. Why did the Cold War develop?
55. What was the US policy towards communism (Eisenhower/ Truman)?
56. What was the purpose of NATO?
57. What was McCarthyism?
58. What was the goal of Johnson's Great Society?
59. Why was Brown v. Bd. Of Ed. such an important decision for post WW2 America?
60. Explain (with an example) MLK’s concept of civil disobedience used during the Civil Rights movement?
61. Who was Ho Chi Minh and what role did he play in the Vietnam War?
62. How were women, young people and African-Americans affected by the social changes in the ‘60’s?
63. Why did protests begin during US involvement in Vietnam?
64. Compare MLK and Malcolm X and their views on racial equality.
65. What resulted from the Watergate scandal?
66. What was the policy of Detente?
67. What were the Camp David Accords?
68. What was the goal of Reagan's "Supply Side" economics?
69. Why did US troops enter the Persian Gulf area?
70. Why did Clinton maintain a high approval rating despite personal scandal?
71. What is the goal of NAFTA?
72. Describe the Iran-Contra scandal and how it affected the Reagan presidency.
73. What happened in the Iranian Hostage Crisis?
74. Why is Social Security threatened?
75. How has the Federal Government dealt with the disabled and handicapped population?
An Outline of American History
Colonial Experience (1600's 1700's)
Town meetings were steps in the growth of representative democracy
Colonies provided G. Britain with raw materials and markets for British goods
In the 18th Century, America and Britain both had a common law legal system
Declaration of Independence (1776)
the Declaration of Independence presented a clear statement of the social contract theory of government
the primary function of government is to protect the natural rights of citizens
Articles of Confederation (1781)
Initial plan that created a weak federal government to maintain states' rights
A criticism of the Articles of Confederation is that too much power was given to individual states as opposed to the Federal Government
The Articles implied that a strong central gov't threatens the rights of people
The Articles established a government with a unicameral legislature but no Executive or Judicial branches
The Constitution (1787)
New contract replacing the Articles that strengthened the federal government
governments get their authority from the people
ideas of life, liberty, and happiness came from John Locke
the writers wanted to balance individual liberties with the needs of the nation
the Constitution solved a problem that existed under the Articles of Confederation by providing for Federal control of interstate commerce
14thAmendment allowed the Nat'l Gov't to place restrictions on state govt's
influenced by Locke and Montesquieu's desire for limits on power of gov't
the Preamble explains that people are the true source of political power
The Articles and Constitution both provide for a legislature to make laws
"Consent of the Governed" concept is from the European Enlightenment
The Great Compromise settled the debate over representation in Congress
Branches of Government
The Constitution created a national government with three branches
The Constitution provided for checks and balances because its writers feared a concentration of political power
Separation of Powers was needed to prevent the same man or group from having executive, legislative, and judicial control
Checks and balances prevented one branch from becoming too powerful
The Federal form of government divided power between levels of government
Democratic commitment shown by election of the House of Representatives
The Supreme Court's judgements may determine the effect of the law
Judicial Review allows the Court to determine the constitutionality of laws
Supreme Court Justice John Marshall strengthened the Federal Government
Supreme Court interpretation of the Constitution is judicial review
Flexibility of Constitution
The Bill of Rights was to prevent government abuse of power
the Bill of Rights protect individuals' civil liberties
the Bill of Rights provided reserved powers to the states in order to limit the powers of the Federal Government
amendments allow government to meet the changing needs of society
few amendments are added because the Constitution is broadly interpreted
a system of political parties is an example of the flexibility of the Constitution
political parties nominate candidates for office and conduct campaigns
a criticism of the electoral college system is that the person who wins the popular vote is not always elected president
lobbyists for special interest groups influence public officials to support or oppose specific programs
only the ratification of an amendment to the Constitution can overturn a Supreme Court ruling
powers not delegated to the federal gov't are reserved to the states or people
Louisiana Purchase (Jefferson) was an example of the elastic clause
Ratification of Constitution
Federalists (Hamilton) wanted a strong national gov't; Anti Feds (Jefferson) did not
The Federalist papers encouraged ratification of the US Constitution
Federalist and anti Federalists disagreed over the division of power between national and state governments
Federalists wanted the Constitution ratified (approved)
A Bill of Rights was added to persuade anti Feds to ratify the Constitution
The Three Fifths Compromise and Great Compromise dealt with the issue of representation in Congress
Early American Policy (late 1700's early 1800's)
G. Washington adopted a position of neutrality for the US in foreign affairs
US remained neutral from political connections in foreign policy for 100 years
G. Washington put down the Whiskey Rebellion showing the new National Government intended to enforce Federal laws
In Marbury v. Madison the Supreme Court established the power to determine the constitutionality of laws
In the Monroe Doctrine (1823), the US expanded influence in W. Hemisphere
The Monroe Doctrine declared that the US would view European interference in the Americas as a threat to the national interests of the US
Hamilton and the Federalists wanted a strong central government
Hamilton encouraged a protective tariff to encourage growth of manufacturing
When purchasing the Louisiana Territory, Jefferson contradicted his belief in a strict interpretation of the Constitution
Age of Jackson (1830's)
Andrew Jackson was criticized for ignoring the Supreme Court and abusing authority
Jackson was accused of exceeding the constitutional limits of his authority
Native Americans were affected by expansion of the US and forced westward
Desire to assimilate Native Americans led to Dawes Act (Americanization)
The Louisiana Purchase focused the US on westward expansion
The Louisiana Purchase accounted for the largest increase in US growth
An industrialized Northeast, plantation South, and small farms in the West all peacefully shared the same nation from 1820 1860 (sectionalism)
Manifest Destiny was similar to imperialistic expansion
Buffalo hunters ruined the economic base of Native Americans which helped drive Natives onto reservations
Natives had some rights guaranteed by treaties with the Federal Government
Natives Americans reluctantly accepted placement on reservations
Homestead Act encouraged Westward expansion
"The fittest survived and the weak died out"- was often referred to as Social Darwinism
The main goal of the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 was to obtain equal rights for women
Western territories adopted laws granting political rights to women because the hardships of pioneer life encouraged shared responsibilities
Political Issues with Slavery
Slavery disappeared because it did not fit the North's economic interests
Importation of slaves was ended after 1807 because they were replaced by immigrant workers from Eastern Europe
The Missouri Compromise and Kansas Nebraska Act dealt with extending slavery into the territories
The Constitution became an issue of national discord due to vast differences of opinion over the issues of states rights
Responses to Slavery
Nat Turner's activities show slave revolts occurred in the South
Abolitionist and Progressive Movements both sought to improve the conditions of poor or oppressed peoples
Issue of slavery led to the growth of sectionalism
Scott v. Sandford strengthened the determination of abolitionists to rid slavery
Republican Party/Election of Lincoln (1860's)
Under Lincoln 's tenure, the South seceded from the US mainly over slavery issue
Lincoln took strong action to maintain the Union
Lincoln explained that the secession of the South was illegal because the government was a union of people and not of states
Civil War (1861 1865)
The industrialized and populous North defeated the agricultural rural South
The North had more human resources and war materials than the South
The North had more advanced transportation systems than the South
Politics of Reconstruction (1865 1877)
Fierce debate occurred as to the terms by which the South is admitted into the Union
Lincoln wanted to treat the South as if they had never actually left the Union
State Legislatures deprived freed men of their legal rights (Black Codes)
Radical Republicans wanted the South punished and rights for freedmen
Radical Republicans wanted to use Reconstruction to force political and social reform in the South
The 13th, 14th, and 1 5th Amendments were passed to help civil rights reform
The Solid South was where the Democratic Party was dominant
Ulysses S. Grant's administration is associated with corrupt public officials
Impact of Reconstruction
The Federal Govt's power was strengthened over the states post Civil War
After the Civil War, secession was no longer regarded as an option for states
African Americans still found gaining equal rights was difficult
Jim Crow Laws limited the impact of amendments passed to assist minorities
Literacy tests and poll taxes prevented African Americans from voting
The Know Nothings and the KKK fostered resentment against minorities
Poll taxes and KKK were responses to the 14thand 15thAmendments
Disregard for fugitive slave laws show strong values are difficult to regulate
Age of Railroads (late 1800's)
The Federal Government provided free land for railroad construction
Railroad business practices led to a demand for government regulation
Railroads led to Westward expansion
Land from Federal Government led to building of transcontinental railroad
The Grange Movement forced railroads to lower freight rates
As industry developed, large companies formed that held monopolies and rid competition
Industrialists contributed to the economy by establishing large corporations
Industrialization resulted in the rising influence of the middle class
A result of industrialization was the power of large corporations
The Interstate Commerce Commission (1887) and the Sherman Antitrust Act (1890) showed that the Federal Gov't could regulate business practices and eliminate monopolies
The Clayton and Sherman Antitrust Acts promote fair competition in business
The Clayton/Sherman Antitrust Acts combat businesses that limit competition
A major goal of trusts was to eliminate competition
Corporations formed due to the need for large amounts of investment capital
President Teddy Roosevelt distinguished between "good" and "bad" trusts
From 1865 1900 business practices were developed to eliminate competition
Rise of big business was an issue that dominated national politics (1865 1900)
Business wanted to consolidate the manufacture and distribution of products
As the US industrialized, mechanization and division of labor led smaller industries to have difficulty maintaining competitiveness
Rockefeller Foundation, Carnegie Hall show how entrepreneurs support philanthropic activities to benefit society
Industrialists used Social Darwinism (survival of fittest) to justify monopolies
Imperialism (late 1800's)
During the Age of Imperialism, strong countries took colonies to gain raw materials
The growth of capitalism encouraged imperialism because of the desire of business to obtain new markets for American products
Colonial empire was desired because industries needed raw materials/ markets
Desire for new markets and coaling stations led to imperialism
In the late 1800's, US obtains markets for surplus goods
Nationalism and industrialism led to imperialism
Unions were formed to protect worker's rights during thisAge of Industry
The Amer. Fed. of Labor focused on gains in wages and working conditions
The railroad strikes (1887), Haymarket Affair (1886), and Pullman strike (1894) show unions were willing to use force to achieve their goals
Collective bargaining is discussion between labor leaders and management
The Wagner Act gave workers the right to organize and bargain collectively
Unsafe working conditions in factories was common
Many strikes were unsuccessful because of government support of business
The National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) gave unions the right to bargain collectively
New immigrants lived in urban areas and held low paying jobs
US placed few restrictions on immigration so there would be cheap labor
Nativists supported quotas to limit immigration
Nativists (US nationalists) feared immigrants would work for cheaper wages
Chinese Exclusion Act; Gentlemen's Agreement were expressions of nativism
Immigrant children are educated in public schools to assist with assimilation
Local politicians assisted the social, economic, and political assimilation of immigrants into the community
Many people moved to the cities to find jobs in factories
Rise in domestic and foreign commerce create rapid economic growth in cities
Industrialization led to urbanization and fewer farmers
Growth of industry led to urbanization
Problems in Society (late 1800's)
People wanted to reform society, as poverty grew during the period of rapid growth
In the late 1800's, farmers believed their problems would be solved if the Federal Gov't put more money into circulation
The work of Upton Sinclair, Frank Norris, and Lincoln Steffens show the problems in government and industry needed to be corrected
Sinclair's The Jungle passed legislation requiring federal inspection of meat
Jacob Riis's photographs and the settlement house movement led by Jane Addams drew attention to the needs of the urban poor in the late 19thC.
Jacob Riis and Sinclair exposed poverty and corruption stemming from industry and urbanization
"Muckrakers" expose social conditions in need of reform
The Dawes Act (1887) granted farmland to Native Americans to assimilate them into society
Civil Service exams were enacted to eliminate corruption in gov't hiring
Graduated (progressive) income tax rates rise as individual incomes rise
The Federal Reserve lowers interest rates to avoid recessions
The Federal Reserve regulates interest rates and money supply
John Hay's Open Door Policy increased US access to trade in Asia
Open Door Policy expanded US trade with China
The mechanization of agriculture led to opposition because jobs were lost
Progressivism (1890 1920)
Social and political movement to reform the ills of society
A study of the Populist and Progressive movements prove that radical ideas become accepted in later times
The Populist Party was a successful third party because laws were passed that attained some of their goals; proposed ideas became law
Ideas of 3rd parties have been adopted by the two major parties
3rd party platforms are often important in helping to bring about change
Reform legislation provided for increased direct participation in government
Referendums and recall elections were ideas to increase citizen participation
Abolitionist and Progressive Movements both sought to improve the conditions of poor or oppressed peoples
US Gov't increased role to reduce the abuses of big business
T. Roosevelt's New Nationalism increased US power in foreign affairs
T. Roosevelt is accused of ignoring democracy in his foreign policy
Spanish American War
The Mexican War, the War of 1812, and Spanish American War were fought for the expansion of US self interest
US newspapers used "yellow journalism" to arouse public anger against Spain U.S. in Latin America (early 1900's)
The US wanted to be the main influence on events occurring in the Western Hemisphere
T. Roosevelt supported a Panamanian rebellion against Colombia in 1903 to gain the right to complete a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
Roosevelt and Monroe felt US influence in L.A. must be accepted
US intervened in Latin America to ensure safety of growing investments in the area
Causes of WWI (1914)
WWI was caused by nationalism, competitive imperialism, militarism, and the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand
US Entry in WWI (1917)
US public opinion favored neutrality initially
German U Boat attacks (on the Lusitania and American ships) and the Zimmerman Note caused US entry into WWI
Impact of WWI
The Treaty of Versailles was considered harsh on Germany and ultimately led to WWII; The US wanted a policy of isolationism to keep out offuture foreign wars
Wilson's 14 Points provided for a just and lasting peace
After WWI, US wanted to avoid involvement in foreign conflicts
Immigration laws were meant to restrict immigration through use of quotas
Women's suffrage was strengthened by economic opportunities from WWI
US immigration policies limited southern and eastern European immigration
Isolationist Senator Henry Cabot Lodge objected to ratification of the Treaty of Versailles to prevent the US from being drawn into conflicts by the League of Nations
Senators opposed to Versailles opposed membership in the League of Nations
Opposition to Versailles was based on the fear that it would violate the US policy of noninvolvement
US contributed to world peace by supporting the disarmament movement
US remained neutral in 1930's due to disillusionment resulting from WWI
Normalcy (Coolidge&Harding) (1920's)
Harding's "return to normalcy" meant reduced international involvement and less government regulation of business
Farmers overproduced basic staples as a result of WWI demands
Disregard for Prohibition show strong values are difficult to regulate
Racial segregation led blacks to move to the North for factory jobs
Mass Culture (1920's)
The "Roaring 20's" was a period of increased consumerism
American consumers increased the number of credit purchases (installment plan)
The 1920's and 1960's saw significant changes in manners and morals
In the 1920's there was the widespread use of the automobile and an increase in buying
During the Harlem Renaissance, blacks created works of art and literature
The KKK and Red (Communist) Scare represented threats to civil liberties
Causes of the Depression (1929)
The US had an uneven distribution of wealth
Factories and farms produced more than consumers could purchase
Impact of the Depression
Worldwide spread of the Depression shows global financial interdependence
Dust Bowl (drought) in Ok shows the effect of geography on people's lives
Farmers were provided low cost loans to combat the Dust Bowl
Hoover feared federal relief programs would destroy individual initiative
Movies and novels during the Great Depression show that popular culture is shaped by economic and social conditions
Literature often reflects the times in which it is created
New Deal (1930's)
FDR's efforts to rehabilitate the country after the Great Depression
FDR's programs show that a political program changes due to current needs
New Deal supported gov't involvement in people's social/ economic life
The SEC and FDIC restored the public's faith in financial institutions
The TVA (Tenn. Valley Auth.) used federal intervention for regional needs
FDR expanded the role of government and defended New Deal programs
Gov't saved farms by giving farmers $ to take land out of production
Conservatives opposed New Deal because it endangered to free enterprise
Gov't regulation of business activities continued Progressive Era policies
The Federal Reserve System regulates the money supply
Deficit spending by the Federal Government to revive the economy presumed that purchasing power will be increased and economic growth stimulated
The FDIC developed rules to safeguard savings
FDR's proposed expansion of the Supreme Court was viewed as a threat to separation of powers
Social Security was enacted to provide economic assistance to retired workers
The impact of the New Deal in ending the Depression is difficult to measure because WWII accelerated economic growth
The Federal Gov't assumed greater responsibility for the nation's well being
Causes of WWII (1930s)
The appeasement policy believed war could be avoided by satisfying Hitler's demand for territorial expansion
The attack on Pearl Harbor led to US entry into WWII
US Policy towards WWII
US public opinion favored neutrality
Isolationism is difficult because technology made nations interdependent
FDR's Good Neighbor Policy was to improve relations with Latin America
Neutrality Laws made to avoid war restricted US trade with warring nations
The US modified its neutrality policy by providing aid to the Allies
A challenge was fighting the war on several fronts
US Homefront (1941 1945
The GI bill provided educational and financial assistance to veterans
Internment of Japanese Americans (WWII) was based on racial prejudice
Korematsu/Schenck v. US show civil liberties are limited in certain situations
The Supreme Court sometimes failed to protect the rightsof minorities
FDR's third term election challenged long term political tradition
Effects of WWII (1945)
The need for international peacekeeping post WW II resulted in the creation of the United Nations
The UN resembles the US under the Articles of Confederation
The US had a strong commitment to collective security and world leadership
US adjusted its' economy easily because it suffered no wartime destruction
Women and minorities had new opportunities in the workplace
Truman and Eisenhower Doctrines concerned the containment of communism
The US and European nations engaged in international cooperation through political and economic agreements after 1945
Origins of Cold War (1945 1989)
The Cold war developed as a result of tension between the superpowers
US and USSR supported opposing sides but had no direct confrontation
The US and Soviet Union believed each was a threat to national security
American economic aid (Marshall Plan) assisted European recovery
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)was formed by democratic nations to provide collective security against Communist aggression
NATO and Truman Doctrine carried out policy of containment
Impact of Cold War at Home
US politicians were concerned about the containment of communism
Truman ordered "loyalty investigations" for fear of Communist Party influence in government
McCarthyism was based on public fear concerning the spread of communism
McCarthyism encouraged nativist ideas and exposed suspected communists
Fear of Communism led to the restriction of civil liberties
Sputnik (USSR satellite) signals US fears of Soviet technological superiority (October 1957)
Presidential actions during times of crisis have increased executive power
Great Society (1964)
Pres. Johnson's Great Society program fought poverty and urban deterioration
Johnson's Great Society was an attempt to solve the problems of poverty
FDR and LBJ were similar in that they expanded the role of the federal government in citizens' lives
Civil Rights Movement (1950's 1960's)
Efforts to improve the conditions for minority groups within American society
Brown v. Board of Education shows some Supreme Court decisions are ineffective unless the President enforces them
The use of Federal marshals to protect African American students in Little Rock showed the Fed Gov't would enforce court integration decisions
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 removed the literacy test because different standards of literacy had been applied to different groups of voters
ML King's protests within the framework of the law is civil disobedience
A criticism of affirmative action (favor minorities) programs is that they lead to discrimination against more qualified people
W.E_B. Du Bois insisted on African American equality
Eisenhower sent troops to Little Rock, Arkansas during the 1957 school integration crisis to exercise his power as commander in chief
Little Rock shows the Federal Gov't enforces court decisions on integration
The Supreme Court under Chief Justice Warren followed a policy of judicial activism, leading to broad social changes
Segregation in public schools was declared unconstitutional because it was "inherently unequal"
Martin Luther King Jr. advocates civil disobedience as a form of dealing with unjust laws
Social Change in the 1950's and 60's
The 1920's and 1960's saw significant changes in manners and morals
Interstate highways contributed to the expansion of suburbs
Post WWII baby boom increased the need for educational resources
US and Vietnam War (1962 1971)
US sends troops to Vietnam to contain the spread of communism from N to S Vietnam
Conflicting opinion existed regarding US involvement in the Vietnam War
Extremist attitudes impeded solving the difficult foreign policy problem
Protests (1960's 70's) began because many Americans felt the war was unjust
During the Vietnam War, questions were raised in the US concerning the extent of the President's powers as commander in chief
A major long term effect of the Vietnam War has been a reluctance to commit US troops for extended military action abroad
The US experience in Vietnam shows that the outcome of a war can be strongly affected by public opinion
Nixon/ Watergate (1972 1973)
Nixon became the only President ever to resign from office as a result of political scandal
The Watergate scandal reinforced that the law applies equally to all citizens
Watergate resulted in a loss of faith in elected government leaders
The Presidential action that best represents the policy of Detente (relaxation of tensions) is Nixon's Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) with the USSR
Ford & Carter (1974 1980)
The Camp David accords promoted by Carter represented the first peace agreement between Israel and an Arab nation
Reagan & Bush (1980's)
A return to conservativism during the 1980's
Reagan reduced government regulation of business
"Supply Side" economics makes economic growth dependent on increased amount of capital ($) available to business
US troops entered the Persian Gulf area because US interests in the Middle East were threatened
During the Persian Gulf War, the US was interested in protecting oil supplies
The breakup of the Soviet Union led to the end of the Cold War
Increase of debt is caused by high levels of government spending
Clinton Administration (1990's)
Presidents can benefit from a strong national economy
Clinton is characterized as the "Teflon" President because character issues could not damage his presidency
Positive economic conditions helped maintain Clinton's high approval rating
Opposition to trade with China is based on their disregard for human rights
NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) between the US, Canada, and Mexico is meant to increase commerce and eliminate tariffs
The US economy differs from 1900 because the growth of service industries is greater today
Fewer farms are currently needed because technology has raised agricultural productivity
Business consolidation is accepted practice
Women continue to struggle for equal pay for equal work
A recent trend is campaign finance reform (to limit spending on campaigns)
With public financed election campaigns, large donors would lose influence
An argument vs. a presidential line item veto is lack of checks and balances
US troops in Bosnia help bring political stability to the area
The Medicare Act and Disabilities Act show that New Deal principles continue to have a significant influence on later legislation
The amount of materials recycled has increased over the years
Nuclear Proliferation (spread of weapons) threatens humankind
The aging of the "baby boom" generation will most likely result in an increase in Social Security spending
In order to deal with the aging population, the Federal Government will increase and expand the Medicare program
CONTENTS OF THE CONSTITUTION
Original Articles of the Constitution
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Article 1 The Legislature
Article 2 The Executive Department
Article 3 The Judicial Department
Article 4 Relations among States
Article 5 Amending the Constitution
Article 6 Role of National Government
Article 7 Ratification
Amendments to the Constitution
Amendment 1 Religious and Political Freedom
Amendment 2 Right to Bear Arms
Amendment 3 Quartering Troops
Amendment 4 Search and Seizure
Amendment 5 Rights of Accused Persons
Amendment 6 Right to Speedy, Public Trial
Amendment 7 Trial by Jury in Civil Cases
Amendment 8 Limits of Fines and Punishments
Amendment 9 Rights of the People
Amendment 10 Powers of the States and People
Amendment 11 Lawsuits against States
Amendment 12 Elections of Executives
Amendment 13 Slavery Abolished
Amendment 14 Civil Rights
Amendment 15 Right to Vote
Amendment 16 Income Tax
Amendment 17 Direct Election of Senators
Amendment 18 Prohibition
Amendment 19 Women's Suffrage
Amendment 20 "Lame Duck" Sessions
Amendment 21 Repeal of Prohibition
Amendment 22 Limit on Presidential Terms
Amendment 23 Voting in District of Columbia
Amendment 24 Abolition of Poll Taxes
Amendment 25 Presidential Succession
Amendment 26 Eighteen year olds can vote
Amendment 27 Congressional Pay Raises
IMPORTANT SUPREME COURT CASES
1. Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Established the right of judicial review. It was the first time a law or portion of a law was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice was John Marshall.
2. McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
Established the right of the federal government to tax a bank incorporated within a state. It also established the fact that a state may not tax a branch of the United States bank that is located in that state. "The power to tax is the power to destroy." This statement was made in the majority decision in an effort to point out that if a state could tax a part of the federal government, it could severely weaken it.
3. Gibbons v. Ogden (l 857)
Established the supremacy of the federal government to regulate interstate commerce.
4. Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)
declared that slaves would remain slaves, whether or not they traveled to free states from slave states. The Supreme Court stated that slaves did not have rights of citizens, but were property of their owners.
5. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Supreme Court declared that separate public facilities for blacks were legal as long as they were equal. This in effect upheld legal segregation in society. Segregation that is allowed by the law is known as De Juris Segregation. (An example of de juris segregation was Apartheid in South Africa.)
6. Schenck v. United States (1919)
Schenck's right to freedom of press was restricted. He had sent pamphlets through the mail urging young men to resist the draft during World War I. The court ruled that unlimited freedom of the press or speech under these circumstances presented a "clear and present danger" to the nation. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes stated, "You can't yell fire in a crowded theater."
7. West Virginia v. Barnette (1943)
As Jehovah's Witnesses, Barnette claimed that it was a violation of the right to freedom of religion to be forced to salute the flag, which required in the public schools of West Virginia. The Supreme Court decided in their favor.
8. Korematsu v. United States (1944)
Supreme Court ruled that the removal of the Japanese Americans in California to internment camps away from the West Coast during World War II was unconstitutional.
NOTE: From 1953 1969, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was Earl Warren. The Court under his leadership was known for judicial activism. It ruled in many areas of controversy, including the rights of the accused and civil rights. Many of its decisions changed the social fabric of the nation. (Cases 9 15)
9. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954)
ended once and for all de juris segregation in the United States. The majority opinion stated that "separate but equal was inherently unequal." This decision reversed the decision in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896).
10. Mapp v. Ohio (1961)
Supreme Court ruled that if police are to search a person's home, they must have a search warrant. The evidence presented in a court from an illegal search and seizure would be inadmissible. This was based upon the 4'h Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.
11. Engel v. Vitale (l962)
First in a series of several Supreme Court decisions declaring the use of prayers in public schools as unconstitutional. The Court decided that school prayers were a violation of the separation of church and state established by the First Amendment of the Constitution.
12. Baker v. Carr (1962)
Supreme Court decided that districts within the Unites States that were established for determining representation in legislative bodies must be established so that they area approximately equal. This became known as the "one man, one vote" principle.
13. Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
Supreme Court ruled that all people accused of crimes have the right to an attorney at the time of trial. If a person accused of a crime could not afford one (as in this case) it is the obligation of the court to provide one, free of charge. The 6thAmendment, which outlines the elements of a fair trial, was applied in this case. In addition, the 14th Amendment as it applied to states was used.
14. Escobedo v. Illinois (1964)
Supreme Court ruled that a person accused of a crime must have the right to an attorney at the time of questioning by the police. This is to protect an accused person's right against self incrimination as outlined by the 5th Amendment.
15. Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
Supreme Court ruled that a person, when arrested for a crime, must be informed of their rights at the time of the arrest. The warnings by the police must include: (1) the right to remain silent; (2) the right to an attorney; (3) the right to know that anything you say will be used against them in court; (4) the right to have an attorney even if they cannot afford one, etc. These warnings became known as the Miranda Warnings.
16. Wade v. Roe (1973)
The ruling in this case established that a woman had the right to an abortion on demand within the first two trimesters of the pregnancy.
17. United States v. Nixon (1973)
As a result of the Watergate investigation, President Richard Nixon claimed executive privilege in the matter of turning over White House tape recordings to Congress. As a result the Supreme Court resolved the dispute between two branches of government.
18. University of California v. Bakke (1978)
The Supreme Court ruled that while the use of affirmative action programs are legal, they must apply them in such a way that the rights of others are not violated.
19. New Jersey v. TLO (1985)
Notable Presidents of the United States
Years in office: 1789 1797
No political party
Elected from: Virginia
Vice Pres: John Adams
Commanded the Continental army during the American Revolution
President of the Constitutional Convention
Set precedents that were followed by other
Presidents, such as forming a cabinet
Strengthened new government through support of Hamilton's financial policies and use of force against the Whiskey Rebellion
Kept peace through Proclamation of Neutrality and Jay Treaty
Set basis of U.S. foreign policy in his Farewell Address
Years in office: 1797 1801
Vice Pres: Thomas Jefferson
American Revolution leader who protested Stamp Act
Helped draft Declaration of Independence
President during times of war in Europe
Alien and Sedition Acts contributed to his unpopularity and the fall of his party
Years in office: 1801 1809
Elected from: Virginia
Vice Pres: Aaron Burr,
Major author of the Declaration of Independence
Favored limited, decentralized government
Opposed Hamilton's financial plan and Alien and Sedition Acts
Approved the Louisiana Purchase from France, which doubled the size of the nation
Years in office: 1809 1817
Elected from: Virginia
Vice Pres: George Clinton,
Called the Father of the Constitution
One author of the Virginia Plan; his journals provide a record of events at the Constitutional Convention
Wrote 29 of the Federalist Papers
Proposed the Bill of Rights to Congress
Lost popularity over lack of leadership in War of 1812
Years in office: 1817 1825
Elected from: Virginia
Vice Pres: Daniel Tompkins
Established U.S. foreign policy in the Western
Hemisphere with the Monroe Doctrine
Settled boundaries with Canada (1818)
Acquired Florida (1819)
Years in office: 1829 1837
Elected from: Tennessee
Vice Pres: John Calhoun,
Martin Van Buren
Hero of Battle of New Orleans (War of 1812)
Opposed Calhoun and nullification
Vetoed rechartering of Second National Bank
Supported Native American removal policy
Associated with mass politics and nominating conventions
Used spoils system
Years in office: 1861 1865
Elected from: Illinois
Vice Pres: Hannibal Hamlin,
Became nationally known as result of Lincoln-Douglas debate in 1858
First Republican to be elected President
Used war powers of the presidency during Civil War to achieve his goal of preserving the nation
Gave Gettysburg Address; issued Emancipation Proclamation
Assassinated before he could act on his plans of reconstruction
Years in office: 1901 1909
Elected from: New York
Vice Pres: Charles Fairbanks
Progressive governor of New York (1899 1900)
Presidential programs called the Square Deal
Known as a trustbuster, conservationist, reformer, and nationalist
Used the power of presidency to regulate economic affairs of the nation and to expand its role in Asia and Caribbean
Issued the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine
Years in Office: 1913 1921
Elected from: New Jersey
Vice Pres: Thomas Marshall
Progressive Era President whose programs were known as the New Freedoms
Reform regulation included Clayton Antitrust Act, Federal Reserve System, Federal Trade Commission Act, and Underwood Tariff Act (which lowered rates)
Led the nation during World War I
Years in office: 1929 1933
Elected from: New York
Vice Pres: Charles Curtis
Used government resources against the Great Depression without success
Supported loans through Reconstruction Finance Corporation
Opposed direct government relief
Used federal troops against the World War I Bonus Marchers
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Years in office: 1933 1945
Elected from: New York
Vice Pres: John Garner, Henry
Wallace, Harry S. Truman
New Deal policies and leadership in World War II increased the power of the federal government
Tried to expand number of Supreme Court justices when the Court opposed New Deal programs
Pased social welfare legislation, such as the Social Security Act
New Deal programs criticized as both inadequate
Urged cooperation in Western Hemisphere under the Good Neighbor Policy
Supported Japanese American internment during World War II
Only President to serve more than two terms
Harry S. Truman
Years in office: 1945 1953
Elected from: Missouri
Vice Pres: Alben Barkley
Made decision to drop two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945 to end World War II
Began the policy of containment of communism with the Truman Doctrine
Supported economic recovery in Europe through the Marshall Plan
Continued the New Deal philosophy with his Fair Deal
Entered into the Korean War during his presidency
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Years in office: 1953 1961
Elected from: New York
Vice Pres: Richard M. Nixon
Allied commander of forces in Europe during World War II
Issued Eisenhower Doctrine
Approved Saint Lawrence Seaway and 1956 Federal Highway Act
Sent troops to Little Rock to enforce school desegregation
In office when Alaska and Hawaii became 49thand 50thstates
John F. Kennedy
Years in office: 1961 1963
Elected from: Massachusetts
Promoted the New Frontier program (which centered on containment), the Peace Corps, and the Alliance for Progress
Successfully resolved the Cuban missile crisis
Began the Apollo program which landed Americans on the moon by 1969
Assassinated in 1963
Lyndon B. Johnson
Years in office: 1963 1969
Elected from: Texas
Vice Pres: Hubert Humphrey
Promoted anti-poverty programs and civil rights through his Great Society program
Used the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution to expand the Vietnam War
Division over his war policy led to his decision not to seek reelection
President during a period of active civil rights movements for African-Americans and women
Richard M. Nixon
Years in office: 1969 1974
Elected from: New York
Vice Pres: Spiro Agnew,
Gerald R. Ford
Vietnamization" policy and increased bombing followed by a 1973 cease fire in Vietnam
Relaxed relations with USSR and the People's Republic of China
Resigned as President because of Watergate affair
Years in office: 1981 1989
Elected from: California
Vice Pres: George H.W. Bush
Conservative President whose New Federation took a conservative viewpoint on social issues, such as abortion and prayer in school
Based his supply side economic policy (or "Reaganomics") on the belief that government can destroy individual initiative
Presidency marked by huge trade and federal budget deficits
Arms control agreement signed with the USSR after summit meetings in 1985, 1986, and 1987. Credited with helping to bring an end to the Cold War.
Foreign policy aimed at keeping communism out of Latin America
Popularity damaged and foreign policy weakened by Iran Contra scandal
George H. W. Bush
Years in office: 1989 1993
Elected from: Texas
Vice Pres: J. Danforth Quayle
Inherited the budget deficits, savings and loan scandals, and legacy of Iran Contra Affair from the Regan administration
In office when cold war ended, and Communist governments in Eastern Europe and Soviet Union fell
Ordered troops into Panama against Noriega
Led the United States and an international force against Iraq in the 1991 Persian Gulf War
William (Bill) Clinton
Years in office: 1993 2000
Elected from: Arkansas
Vice Pres: Albert Gore, Jr.
First Democrat elected to two presidential terms since Franklin Roosevelt
Domestic policies centered on health care and social security reform, as well as economic issues, such as reduction of the national deficit
Secured approval of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)
Participated in air war against Iraq and Serbia; twice ordered U.S. troops to the former Yugoslavia to enforce peace agreements
Administration troubled by a series of investigations into potential scandals, culminating in his impeachment in December 1998 on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. He was acquitted by the Senate.
George W. Bush
Years in office: 2001- 2009
Elected from: Texas
Vice Pres: Dick Cheney
Years in office: 2009 –
Elected from: Illinois
Vice Pres: Joseph Biden, Jr.