GO 101

Final Exam Study Sheet
Fall 2011

You may bring 1 page of notes


Section 1. Short Answer Questions  Answer 5 out of 6 (7 points each)

1.         Your mom has decided to run against our new incumbent Representative Scott Murphy (D-NY).  What should she do to get elected?
2.         Scott Murphy (D-NY) was elected to the House of Representatives in a special election in 2009.  What is the best strategy for him to get reelected?

3.         Why does Congress function poorly according to Mayer and Canon?
4.         What are the major congressional characteristics of committees and how do they affect the legislative process?
5.         According to Sinclair, how and why has Congress changed?

6.         What makes a president successful according to Greenstein?  Why is George Bush successful?
7.         How did Barack Obama win the 2008 election?
9.         According to Skowronek, what political structure is Barack Obama in and what are the political challenges for those presidents?

10.       Why are presidents increasingly “going public”?  Give an example.
11.       Why does Hamilton believe that the judiciary will always be “the least dangerous branch”?
12.       How are federal Supreme Court justices appointed and how has the process changed?
13.       What are the advantages and disadvantages of Scalia’s “textualism” approach to constitutional interpretation by Supreme Court justices?
14.       According to Rosenberg, does Roe v. Wade suggest the judicial branch is “all powerful” and “imperial” or not?

Section II Essay – Answer both questions below (17.5 points each).

1.  Does our system of selecting and electing presidents make sense?  What are the most important characteristics of our presidential primary and Electoral College systems?  How do they affect how candidates run and how they govern once in office? 

2.   According to Jacobsen, why did the Republicans do well in the 2010 Congressional elections?  Please provide specific data to support your analysis.


Section III.  Comprehensive Long Essay Question  (30%)
Fiorina and Peterson argue that "while many of the original features of the Constitution remain intact, American politics has evolved to the point where we have a "New American Democracy".  They suggest that elections play an increasingly important role in our democracy, and that our system has become more democratic. 

Has our political system truly changed so dramatically from the system of government created by the Constitution and envisioned by the framers?  In your answer, make sure you address the following questions.
1)         What are the characteristics of the "New American Democracy" according to Fiorina and Peterson? (think permanent campaign, elections, public opinion polls)

2)         What were the views of the framers of the Constitution about the relationship between the people and democracy and how were these principles enshrined in our government?  How and why did the framers attempt to prevent the tyranny of the majority?  Make sure to make specific references to the Federalist Papers 10 and 51.   (Did they prefer representative democracy or direct democracy? “most common and durable source of factions”)

3)         How has the selection of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Presidency changed since the founding?  Is it more or less democratic?  How does the electoral connection affect the relative power and actions of each branch of government?

4)         How has public opinion, the media, interest groups, and political parties facilitated or impeded the transformation of our political system to the "New American Democracy"?

5)         As our system has become more democratic and open to the masses, have the worst fears of the framers about tyranny of the majority come true?  Why or why not?