Introduction to American Politics
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PSC 101: Introduction to American Politics
Name: Austin Martines STUDENT ID NUMBER: 8000442585
DIRECTIONS: PLEASE ANSWER EACH QUESTION AS THOROUGHLY AS POSSIBLE, IN EACH OF ITS PARTS. TYPE YOUR ANSWERS TO EACH QUESTION, SINGLE SPACED. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO WRITE AT LEAST ONE PAGE ON EACH QUESTION. CITATIONS ARE NOT NECESSARY AS EACH ANSWER SHOULD REFLECT YOUR OWN THINKING AND REFLECTION ON THE QUESTION. YOUR EXAMINATION IS DUE BACK ON MONDAY SEPEMBER 27, 2016 (SECTION 2001) / SEPTEMBER 29, 2016 (SECTION 2006) BY MIDNIGHT. MAINTAIN THE EXISTING LAYOUT, WITH A QUESTION PAGE, A BLANK PAGE, AND THE TEST QUESTION PAGE, BLANK PAGE, ETC. RELABEL YOUR FILE WHEN SUBMITTING IT FOLLOWING THE FILE NAMING CONVENTIONS IN THE SYLLABUS. THESE ARE: YOUR LAST NAME YOUR FIRST NAME SECTION NUMBER SUBMIT THE FILE AS AN ENCLOSURE IN AN EMAIL. BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR SECTION NUMBER IN ALL CORRESPONDENCE. ALSO, PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR EXAMINATION TO THE COURSE EMAIL I HAVE ESTABLISHED AT [email protected]
Identify the five characteristics of political conflict. Explain how increased visibility would alter the nature of the conflict. Identify and explain the prime political strategy for winning a political conflict. Give an example of how this strategy has been used to address one of the following issue areas:
The abortion rights struggle.
The five characteristics of political conflict are scope, bias, visibility, intensity, and direction. Increased visibility alters the nature of the conflict because when more people are aware of the issue(s), then more people become involved in resolving the conflict or more people become involved in supporting the issue.
The prime political strategy for winning a political conflict is “bias”. “Bias” is defined as who is currently winning the conflict. For example, with the issue of legalizing gay marriage, the media coverage provided fuel towards its legalization. A research conducted on the media coverage over the legalization of gay marriage showed that there was more supporting statements made than statements made opposing the issue.
It seemed to me that, while the issue of gay marriage was a hot political topic, I noticed more movies about gay relationships that resembled traditional marriages. It seemed to me that those movies were supporting and complementing same-sex relationships such as “The Kids Are Alright” and “Freeheld”.
Due to media bias, gay marriage gained momentum and resulted in the legalization in almost all 50 states.
The Power of the Federal Government relative to the states has increased since the ratification of the United States Constitution. Describe two of the following provisions of the Constitution and explain how each has been used over time to expand Federal power.
The power to tax and spend.
The necessary and proper or “elastic” clause.
The commerce clause.
Explain how one of the following has increased the power of the Federal government relative to the power of the state governments.
Americans with Disabilities Act.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Clean Air Act.
Since the ratification of the United States Constitution the power of the Federal Government has since increased. Two provisions of the Constitution that have been used over time to expand the Federal power are the Necessary and Proper Clause and the Commerce Clause. The Necessary and Proper or “Elastic” Clause allows the government to make all laws that are necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution. This has been used for many types of federal actions including declaring war, creating taxes, and balancing states rights with the power of the federal government. It is also called the “elastic clause” because it grants Congress the implied powers of the constitution but these powers are not clearly stated. This clause is an enlargement, not a constriction, of the powers granted to Congress. The Necessary and Proper Clause has been paired with the Commerce Clause to provide the constitutional basis for federal laws, including criminal laws.
The Commerce Clause states that Congress has the exclusive authority to manage trade activities between the states and with foreign nations and Indian tribes. The use of the Commerce Clause by Congress to justify its legislative power has been the subject of intense political controversy. There are at least four interpretations of the Commerce Clause but these interpretations have helped define the balance of power between the federal government and the states.
The Clean Air Act (CAA) has also increased the power of the Federal government relative to the power of the state governments. The CAA enforces a comprehensive program for reducing air pollution. In 1963 the CAA was a moderate bill that offered federal research aid, urged the development of state control agencies, and involved the federal government in inter-state pollution issues. In 1965, an amendment was added to the bill requiring the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Services to create and enforce auto emission standards. This was the first time the federal government played an active role in clean air policy and put real power in the hands of the federal government instead of the states.
The framers of the Constitution created a legislative branch that is bicameral. However, it is not just bicameral. The framers also created two Houses of distinctly different character.
Discuss two reasons why the framers created a bicameral legislative branch in Congress.
Identify one power unique to the United States House of Representatives and explain why the framers gave the House that power.