Ap government & Politics Federalism Please choose the best

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AP Government & Politics


Please choose the BEST answer provided.

1. Which of the following best illustrates a use of the elastic clause?

  1. The Supreme Court allows a lower court ruling to stand by refusing to hear an appeal

  2. A Congressional committee prevents the full chamber from voting on legislation by delaying a report

  3. Congress passes legislation establishing a national speed limit

  4. A member of the House of Representatives introduces a bill to increase federal income tax

  5. A governor issues an executive order requiring all state employees to submit to drug testing

2. The fact that Republican Majority leaders in Congress prefer block grants to categorical grants indicates that

A) they want to increase federal aid to state governments.

B) they want federal money to be spent at the neighborhood level rather than the state level.

C) they want to decrease federal aid to state governments.

D) they want the federal government to exercise less authority over the states.

E) they intend to raise more money from state governments to reduce the federal budget deficit.
3. The Supreme Court case of Printz v. United States

A) enhanced the powers of Congress by expanding its interpretation of commerce.

B) denied Congress the power of regulating guns in school zones.

C) voided the congressional mandate in the Brady Bill requiring sheriffs to conduct background checks on prospective gun purchasers.

D) affirmed the provisions of the Brady Bill.

E) denied women the chance to sue state agencies in federal court.

4. Which of the following best describes the theory of federalism known as cooperative (marble cake)

  1. The federal government and the states each have separate and mutually exclusive roles and responsibilities; neither controls the other.

  2. the states have some powers reserved to them, which they may exercise if the Supreme Court permits.

  3. the federal government and the state have separate but overlapping powers; where these powers conflict the federal government prevails.

  4. The states may only exercise those powers delegated to them by Congress

  5. The federal government may exercise only those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

5. In the 1980’s, the federal government compelled the states to raise their drinking age by

  1. invoking the supremacy clause

  2. creating a national drinking age through congressional legislation

  3. invoking the federal government’s police power

  4. creating grants that threatened to withhold highway funds

  5. ratifying the twenty-first amendment

6. The basic premise of federalism is that

  1. two or more governments share power and authority over the same land and people

  2. supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses

  3. supreme political authority remains with the states

  4. a national government has ultimate sovereignty over a country’s land and people

  5. states are sovereign unto themselves

7. Someone who believes that the elastic clause of the Constitution should be narrowly interpreted is most likely to endorse the concept of _______ federalism.

  1. Dual D. Implied

  2. Cooperative E. coercive

  3. Creative

8. Fiscal federalism is

A) the pattern of spending, taxing, and providing grants in the federal system.

B) the distinct separation of national government spending versus state and local government spending.

C) the federal government’s regulation of the money supply and interest rates.

D) the federal income tax.

E) a sharing of local and national resources practiced in other countries but not in the United States.

9. The Supreme Court case of Gibbons v. Ogden

A) defined the meaning of the elastic clause.

B) settled the contested presidential election of 1824.

C) defined commerce as virtually every form of commercial activity.

D) established the principle of implied powers.

E) established the supremacy of the national government.

10. The enumerated powers of Congress and the national government are those

A) specifically spelled out in the Constitution. D) involving taxes, spending, and fiscal policy.

B) set out in the first ten amendments. E) requiring ratification by the states.

C) not specifically spelled out in the Constitution, but nonetheless acknowledged.

11. Since the 1930s, the national government has controlled its grants to the states through detailed rules, regulations, and restrictions because

  1. national payments to the states are actually unnecessary

  2. the national government does not trust the states to use the money for the purpose for which it is given

  3. state governments are not interested in influencing the content of national legislation

  4. state bureaucracies have been shrinking in size

  5. the national government does not have the funding for these programs

Questions 12-13 refer to the following excerpts from a United States Supreme Court decision.

“We are unanimously of opinion, that the law passed by the legislature of Maryland, imposing a tax on the Bank of the United States, is unconstitutional and void...This is a tax on the government of the Union to carry its powers into execution. Such a tax must be unconstitutional...”

12. This decision of the Supreme Court upheld the principle that

  1. The federal government and the state governments are equal

  2. Congress has only those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution

  3. Congress has the power to make laws to carry out its constitutional duties

  4. Taxation without representation is unconstitutional

  5. The federal government alone may levy taxes

13. Which of the following resulted from the Supreme Court decision Wikard vs. Filburn?

  1. The power of Congress was strengthened under the commerce clause

  2. The power of the Supreme Court was weakened.

  3. The power of state governments to tax individual citizens was clearly limited

  4. The power of Congress was increased under the supremacy clause

  5. Congress alone was given the power to charter banks

14. “Dual Federalism” refers to:

  1. the fact that there are separate private and public spheres in American society

  2. the Constitution’s formal recognition of two layers of government- the state and federal governments as two and distinct spheres of influence

  3. the fact that states that border foreign countries can establish trade treaties separately from the national government

  4. the fact that states all have equal power to regulate commerce between themselves.

  5. There is an overlapping sphere of influence between states and the national government

15. The Constitution’s provision that Congress has the right to ʺmake all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution its powers is often referred to as the

A) enumerated powers D) elastic clause.

B) heart of fiscal federalism E) privileges and immunities.

C) Unwritten Amendment.
16. Federal regulation of state governments is usually accomplished through

A. United States Supreme Court decisions E. direct, executive orders.

B. presidential decrees. D. federalization of a states national guard.

C. attaching conditions to grants it gives them.

17. In Gibbons v. Ogden (1824), the Supreme Court ruled

  1. judicial review was a power of the court

  2. state contracts took precedence over federal law

  3. Congress had the exclusive right to regulate interstate commerce

  4. The states cannot tax the national government

  5. That New York state had a legitimate monopoly on the lower Hudson River

18. The intended goal of the Republican Revolution on federalism was:

  1. The strengthening of the power of the national government

  2. The return to the strict separation between national and state responsibilities

  3. The acceleration of the ongoing shift of power back to the states

  4. The return of large-scale national government programs that were to be implemented by the states

  5. A Supreme Court that had a broad view of the elastic clause and commerce clause

19. Which aspect of fiscal federalism do states normally challenge when enacted upon them by Congress?

  1. block grants D. revenue sharing

  2. unfunded mandates E. categorical grants

  3. funded mandates

20. Federal policies to regulate food and drugs, build interstate highways, protect consumers, try to clean up dirty air and water, and do many other things are all justified as __________ of Congress.

  1. categorical grants D. enumerated powers

  2. constitutionally specified powers E. reserved powers

  3. implied powers

21. The National Drinking Age Act, No Child Left Behind, and the Interstate Highway System are all examples of

A. dual federalism. D. layer cake federalism.

B. cooperative federalism E. unitary federalism

C. devolution.
22. A marriage license issued in one state is valid and honored in all states under the constitutional provision of

  1. separation of powers D. national supremacy

  2. full faith and credit E. checks and balances

  3. privileges and immunities

23. Which of the following reflect the devolution of federal power?

    1. an increase in the number of categorical grants to the states

    2. an increase in the number of unfunded mandate to the states

    3. executive orders increasing the size of the bureaucracy

    4. the Supreme Court broadly interpreting the elastic clause of the Constitution

    5. the increase of block grants given to the states

24. Which of the following is viewed as an advantage of the many governments that characterize American federalism?

    1. Having many governments ensures that all regions and localities are treated equally by the federal government

    2. Government fragmentation makes government as a whole more easily understood by the average citizen

    3. Historically state governments have been more responsive to minorities and the disadvantaged

    4. Having many governments enables the country to experiment with new policies on a small scale

    5. Having many different areas of government encourages gridlock in policymaking

Free Response – Answer completely: DO ALL PARTS OF THE QUESTION!

(10 points)

The framers of the United States Constitution created a federal system.

(a) Define federalism.


(b) Select two of the following and explain how each has been used to increase the power of the federal government relative to the states.


• Categorical grants

Federal mandates
• Commerce Clause
(c) Select two of the following and explain how each has been used to increase the power of the states relative to the federal government.


• US v. Lopez

• Block grants

• Tenth Amendment

Free Response – Answer completely: DO ALL PARTS OF THE QUESTION!
(8 points)

Federalism Free Response Questions (2003)


State and Local Government Employment

Paid Federal Government Civilian Employment
Using the data in the graph above and your knowledge of United States politics, perform the following tasks.


(A) Identify two (2) trends shown in the graph.

(B) Explain how EACH of the following contributes to the difference between the federal and the state and local lines in the graph.


  • Block Grants

Free Response – Answer completely: DO ALL PARTS OF THE QUESTION!
(6 points)

The concept of Federalism has undergone many changes throughout the history of American politics, often times creating tension between the states and national government.
Using your knowledge of American politics, please complete the following tasks:


B. Describe why James Madison believed that federalism would allow BOTH liberty and good governance for our political system.

Some have argued that the tensions between decentralized and centralized powers continue to exist. Support this argument by explaining how one (1) of the topics below illustrate the continuing tension.

C. Using the same policy, explain how whether the state or national government has maintained power in the conflict and why.


  • Legalizing Marijuana

  • Gun Control

  • Same Sex Marriage

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