|Final Study Guide—Semester 1 (Units 1-3)
AP U.S. Government and Politics
Concepts: Describe the IMPORTANCE for each concept.
Government Checks and balances
Public goods Republic
Political participation Federalists
Single-issue groups Anti-Federalists
Linkage institutions Federalist Paper #10
Policy agenda Federalist Paper #51
Democracy Bill of Rights (First 10 Amendments)
Majority rule Marbury v. Madison
Minority rights Judicial review
Pluralist theory Unitary governments
Elite and class theory Supremacy clause
Hyperpluralism McCulloch v. Maryland
Policy gridlock Enumerated powers
Political culture Implied powers
Constitution Elastic clause
Declaration of Independence Dual federalism (layer cake federalism)
Natural rights Cooperative federalism (marble cake federalism)
Limited government Public opinion
Articles of confederation Demography
New Jersey Plan Melting pot
Virginia Plan Minority majority
Connecticut Compromise Political culture
Separation of powers Reapportionment
Political socialization Sample
Random sampling Sampling error
Exit poll Political ideology
Protest Civil disobedience
High-tech politics Mass media
Media event Press conferences
Investigative journalism Print media
Broadcast media Narrowcasting
Chains Trial balloons
Sound bites Policy entrepreneurs
Political party Rational-choice theory
Party identification Party machines
Patronage National party convention
Coalition Winner-take-all system
Proportional representation Nomination
Campaign strategy Caucus
Presidential primaries Federal Election Commission (FEC)
FCC Citizens United v. FEC
Political Action Committees Interest Groups
Iron Triangle Free-rider problem
Union shop Amicus curiae briefs
Public interest lobbies Olson’s law of large groups
Short Responses: Answer the following questions in complete sentences. These questions reflect the topics you should know for the final exam.
What is the definition of democracy? What are the basic principles of traditional democratic theory?
Compare, contrast, and critically evaluate the three theories of American democracy: pluralist theory, elite & class theory, and hyperpluralism.
Define government and identify the functions that governments perform. What is the role of politics in government?
In what specific ways did the philosophy of John Locke influence the origins of the American national government & the Declaration of Independence?
What is the Madisonian model of government? How is it reflected in the structure of American government? What issues or problems does it raise? (Hint: Think about the Federalist Papers)
Define federalism. How is federalism different from unitary governments and confederations? Why is federalism important to understanding American government?
What does the Constitution have to say about national versus state power? How was the supremacy of the national government established in the American federal system?
Explain the main differences between liberals and conservatives.
What factors determine why people choose to vote? What groups are most likely to vote and what groups are least likely to vote? What are the implications of these differences in electoral participation?
What is the electoral college and how does it work? What biases in the electoral process does it introduce? Should the electoral college system be preserved or abolished?
How is a candidate nominated for the presidency? What functions do national party conventions perform?
What is the role of money in campaigns? What campaign finance reforms have been adopted? What effects have they had?
What are the positive and negative features of Political Action Committees? How might they affect politicians and policymaking?
What is the meaning of a political party? What functions do parties in America perform?
What are interest groups? How do groups differ from political parties?
How do interest groups affect democracy and the scope of government in the United States?
Describe how SuperPACs influence elections.
Describe the effects of Citizens United v. FEC.
Describe the relationship between mass media and policymakers.
Overall, explain the evolution of political parties. Describe the party realignments throughout U.S. history and its impact on the people.