Unit 1 American Government

Mr. Udell
American Government
Review Sheet—Test 1
Common goods
Tragedy of the commons
Free Rider
John Locke
Scientific Revolution
Natural rights
State of Nature
Social Contract
Right to revolution
Unitary system
Confederal system
Federal system
Bill of rights
Separation of powers
Checks and balances
Federalism (division of power)
Executive branch
Legislative branch
Judicial branch
National supremacy
Delegated powers
Reserved powers
“Living document”
Elastic clause
Concepts and Essay Questions
1. What is the purpose of government (two reasons)? What are government and politics?
2. Explain John Locke’s natural rights philosophy. In what ways were Hobbes and
Rousseau similar too Locke and how did they differ?
3. Why did the colonists make such a weak government as the Articles of Confederation?
What were some of its problems?
4. What were the arguments for and against the Constitution?
5. What precautions did the Founders take to prevent abuse of power? Give specific
examples of the separation of powers, checks and balances and federalism (powers of the
branches, checks, delegated and reserved powers).
6. Madison once said, "Wherever the real power in a government lies, there is the danger of
oppression. In our Government the real power lies in the majority of the community." How
does the Constitution reflect his concern?
7. What is the difference between a law and the Constitution? How can we change the
constitution? Why is the process pass an amendment made so much more difficult than the
process of passing a law? What does it mean to have informal change to the Constitution?