Familiarize yourself with the
learning objectives for each unit as we cover it. This is your
"blueprint" and "study guide" for the course! Exam
questions are taken directly from these objectives! I have put emphasis on
key words to look/listen for when reading through the text and during lectures.
Note: FREQUENT CHANGES MAY BE MADE IN THESE OBJECTIVES TO MORE
CLOSELY FIT ITEMS COVERED IN CLASS TO EXAM MATERIAL. MAKE SURE YOU GET
THESE CHANGES IN CLASS!!.
Remember, these learning objectives
are designed to help guide you to the necessary information needed to do
well on the exam. By simply looking up the definitions, Amendments, Court
Cases, etc. will not be sufficient; you will have to apply some thought and
analysis in choosing the correct answers. For example, the Thirteenth Amendment
not only abolished slavery, but it was also one of the three Civil War
Amendments, plus it also shaped the creation of the Black Codes. Thus,
the Thirteenth Amendment has multiple significances.
- Know the contributions and theories of the major
philosophers (Socrates, Montesquieu, Marx, Cicero, and Saint Augustine).
Ch. 1 – Politics and Political Landscape
- What are some of the similarities and differences
between Thomas Hobbes and John Locke.
- What is meant by political ideology, and also be
able to differentiate between the two major ideologies (i.e. conservative
- Be able to discuss the purposes of government (hint
– we discussed four)
- Be able to discuss some of the major events (reformation
and enlightenment period, Martin Luther, King Henry VIII, etc.) that
influenced the Framers who drafted the Constitution.
- Be able to define democracy, and know the different
- Elitist v. Pluralist Perspective
Ch. 3 – Constitution
- Know the systems of checks and balances and separation
- Be able to define mercantilism
- Be able to discuss the events that led to the
colonists declaring their independence from Great Britain
- Be able to discuss the major weaknesses of the
Articles of Confederation
- What was the unwritten agreement between the
colonists and Parliament?
- What were the Anti-Federalists arguments opposing
the adoption of the Constitution?
- What was the purpose for the meetings, conventions, etc.
that the Framers attended?
- Know the difference between an Anti-Federalist and
- Know the key provisions for the Virginia and New
- What was the most serious disagreement between the
Ch. 4 - Federalism
- Franklin D. Roosevelt’s contribution to American Politics
- Where are state’s powers defined?
- Know the court cases that defined the nature of the
federal and state relationship
- Be able to define federalism, and know the
different types (Dual, Cooperative, etc.)
- Know who settles disputes between states
- Be familiar with the powers and clauses discussed in the
lectures and text (i.e. necessary and proper, implied, concurrent,
- Article I denies certain powers to the national/state
governments. In keeping with the Framers’ desire to forge a national
economy, states are prohibited from doing what?
Ch. 14 –
Politics and Personal Liberty
What did Barron v. Baltimore (1833) expose?
Know the importance of the amendments discussed in this chapter
The importance of the 14th Amendment
Be able to associate the court cases with the amendment (i.e.
Gideon v. Wainwright was a case that dealt with “assistance of counsel,” which
is inherently stated in the Sixth Amendment
Know the types of tests that were articulated in the
freedom of speech cases
Significance of Roe v. Wade and the trimester breakdown
Which amendments provide procedural guarantees for those
accused of a crime
*** FIRST EXAMINATION
Ch. 15 – Civil Rights
- Significances of the Civil War Amendments
- Know the difference between black codes and Jim
- Significance of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787
- How are Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of
Education related to one another, and also know the significances of
each (i.e. separate but equal, 14th Amendment, equal protection, etc.)
- Significance of Dred Scott v. Sandford
- Understand what Affirmative Action is and how it
relates to the Bakke case
- Why were women angered with the passing of the 15th
- Women’s role in the drive for equality
- Significances of the Missouri Compromise of 1820
(i.e. lightening rod, admission as slave/free states, etc.)
- Lincoln’s role before, during, and after the Civil War
- Significance of the CRA of 1964 (i.e. evolution,
Title VII, JFK, etc.)
Ch. 10 – Congress
- Qualifications and characteristics for House of
Representatives and Senators
- Congress’s most important and ultimate oversight
- Understand the process of impeachment and conducting
trials for impeachment (i.e. definition, Congress’s role in the
- What is the purpose of redistricting and apportionment?
- Why are a high percentage of incumbents reelected?
- Know the roles of the Members of Congress (i.e.
trustees, delegates, and politicos)
Ch. 11 - President
- How many presidents have been impeached, and who
- Know the Amendments that effect term limits and succession
- Understand Executive Privilege and the court cases
associated with it
- Know the qualifications for the president
- What are some of the president’s Constitutional Powers as
associated with his/her roles as discussed in your text and in class (hint – there are five)?
- Understand the different presidential theories as
discussed in class (i.e. Steward, Prerogative, and Restricted) and the
presidents that are associated with those theories
Ch. 13 – Judicial Branch
- Understand jurisdiction and the different types
- What process is used to consider if a case will be heard
before the Court?
- The Judiciary Act of 1789 as it relates to Marbury v.
Madison (especially Section 13)
- Define judicial review
- What are the instances in which the U.S. Supreme Court has
- Be able to explain the three-tiered structure of
the court system
- What are the types of opinions given by the Supreme Court?
*** SECOND EXAMINATION
Ch. 5 – Public Opinion and Socialization
- Be able to define public opinion polls, and also
know the importance of in regards to democracy
- Know how different public figures associate to
- Understand the realm of political socialization
(i.e. definition, influences, agents, etc.)
- Be able to define public opinion
- How did African Americans view the government in
the 1960s? Why?
- How does college effect a student’s way of thinking
in regards to public opinion
- Understand and be able to explain the characteristics
of the social groups discussed in class
- The influence of the family can be traced to what two
- When are parental influences the greatest?
Ch. 7 – Political Parties
- Know the main reasons for the decline in political
parties and also how the spoils, patronage, and civil service laws
effected party decline as well
- The three entities of political parties
- Political organizations function as intermediaries
in order to organize individuals to give them power in doing what?
- The significance of machines during the Golden
Age of politics
- The disadvantages that third parties endure
- What are the primary concerns of political parties
and interest groups?
Ch. 8 – Campaigns and Elections
- What are the purposes of national conventions?
- The importance of the 26th Amendment, and why it
- The relationship between raising political awareness
and our nation’s schools
- Define turnout
- Know the significance of primary elections and the
different types (open, closed, runoff, etc.)
- Know the factors known to influence voter turnout
and their characteristics (i.e. education – the more educated you are, the
more likely you are to vote)
- Know the difference between retrospective and prospective
- How are campaign funds raised?
- Know the three other types of elections discussed in class
(hint – Arnold Schwarzenegger)
- People who are highly interested in politics
constitute what portion of the population?
- What is one of the main reasons why registered nonvoters
do not vote?
- Know what the national party platform is and why it is so
- What is the most important hurdle for candidates running
for public office, and why?
*** THIRD EXAMINATION