75 United States History Regents Review Questions

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75 United States History Regents Review Questions
Use your review book and other sources to answers these questions. Knowing the answers will be an excellent start in preparing for the Regents examination.

1. Why was the Declaration of Independence written?

2. Why did the Articles of Confederation want a weak central government?

3.. List and briefly explain 3 compromises that were used by delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to settle important disputes.

4. Why is the U.S. Constitution referred to as a ‘living document”?

5. What is the main difference between the Articles and the Constitution?

6. Why were three branches of government created?

7. What is the purpose of the Bill of Rights?

8 How did Hamilton’s financial plan put the new nation on a sound financial footing?

9. Briefly explain the concept of judicial review as outlined in Marbury v. Madison.

10. What was the main difference between the Federalists and anti Federalists?

11. What did Washington advise for early American foreign policy?

12. What was the purpose of the Monroe Doctrine?

13. Why was Andrew Jackson criticized?

14. What did American Manifest Destiny mean for Native Americans?

15. What was the goal of the women's Seneca Falls Convention of 1848?

16. What was the Abolitionists goal in relation to slavery?

17. What was Lincoln's goal regarding the Civil War?

18. Why did the North win the Civil War?

19. What was the goal of Radical Republicans during Reconstruction ?

20. What did the 13th, 14th, and 15"Amendments accomplish?

21. What did African Americans face during the Reconstruction Era?

22. Why did the Federal Government encourage railroad expansion?

23. What resulted from industrialization (positive and negative) ?

24. What was the purpose of the Clayton and Sherman Antitrust Acts?

25. What happened to small businesses during the Age of Big Business?

26. What led to imperialism during the late 1800's?

27. Why did labor unions form?

28. What did the Wagner Act provide for workers?

29. What was the goal of Nativists?

30. What led to urbanization (growth of cities)?

31. Explain Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal and give an example of how it changed America.

32. Explain Woodrow Wilson’s “new Freedom and give an example of how it changed America.

33. What did the work of Riis and Sinclair show?

34. What was the purpose of the Dawes Act?

35. Why does the Federal Reserve regulate interest rates?

36. What was the purpose of the Open Door Policy?

37. What was the goal of the Progressive Movement?

38. Why was the progressive Populist Party considered successful?

39. What was the US policy in Latin America in the early 1900's?

40. Explain how a “progressive income tax works and also how it increased the power of the federal government.

41. Despite initial neutrality, what led to US entry into WWI?

42. Why did the US reject the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations?

43. What was the US foreign policy in the 1930's?

44. Why did the term "Roaring 20's" become coined?

45. What caused the Great Depression?

46. What do movies and novels created during the Great Depression show?

47. Why didn't Hoover create a widespread federal relief program?

48. What is the purpose of FDR's (Roosevelt's) New Deal?

49. What happens to the role of the Federal Government as a result of the New Deal?

50. What were two causes of World War II?

51. What was US foreign policy prior to entry in WWII?

52. What does the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII show?

53. Why was the United Nations created?

54. Why did the Cold War develop?

55. What was the US policy towards communism (Eisenhower/ Truman)?

56. What was the purpose of NATO?

57. What was McCarthyism?

58. What was the goal of Johnson's Great Society?

59. Why was Brown v. Bd. Of Ed. such an important decision for post WW2 America?

60. Explain (with an example) MLK’s concept of civil disobedience used during the Civil Rights movement?

61. Who was Ho Chi Minh and what role did he play in the Vietnam War?

62. How were women, young people and African-Americans affected by the social changes in the ‘60’s?

63. Why did protests begin during US involvement in Vietnam?

64. Compare MLK and Malcolm X and their views on racial equality.

65. What resulted from the Watergate scandal?

66. What was the policy of Detente?

67. What were the Camp David Accords?

68. What was the goal of Reagan's "Supply Side" economics?

69. Why did US troops enter the Persian Gulf area?

70. Why did Clinton maintain a high approval rating despite personal scandal?

71. What is the goal of NAFTA?

72. Describe the Iran-Contra scandal and how it affected the Reagan presidency.

73. What happened in the Iranian Hostage Crisis?

74. Why is Social Security threatened?

75. How has the Federal Government dealt with the disabled and handicapped population?

An Outline of American History
Colonial Experience (1600's  1700's)

Town meetings were steps in the growth of representative democracy

Colonies provided G. Britain with raw materials and markets for British goods

In the 18th Century, America and Britain both had a common law legal system

Declaration of Independence (1776)

the Declaration of Independence presented a clear statement of the social contract theory of government

the primary function of government is to protect the natural rights of citizens
Articles of Confederation (1781)

Initial plan that created a weak federal government to maintain states' rights

A criticism of the Articles of Confederation is that too much power was given to individual states as opposed to the Federal Government

The Articles implied that a strong central gov't threatens the rights of people

The Articles established a government with a unicameral legislature but no Executive or Judicial branches
The Constitution (1787)

New contract replacing the Articles that strengthened the federal government

governments get their authority from the people

ideas of life, liberty, and happiness came from John Locke

the writers wanted to balance individual liberties with the needs of the nation

the Constitution solved a problem that existed under the Articles of Confederation by providing for Federal control of interstate commerce

14thAmendment allowed the Nat'l Gov't to place restrictions on state govt's

influenced by Locke and Montesquieu's desire for limits on power of gov't

the Preamble explains that people are the true source of political power

The Articles and Constitution both provide for a legislature to make laws

"Consent of the Governed" concept is from the European Enlightenment

The Great Compromise settled the debate over representation in Congress

Branches of Government

The Constitution created a national government with three branches

The Constitution provided for checks and balances because its writers feared a concentration of political power

Separation of Powers was needed to prevent the same man or group from having executive, legislative, and judicial control

Checks and balances prevented one branch from becoming too powerful

The Federal form of government divided power between levels of government

Democratic commitment shown by election of the House of Representatives

The Supreme Court's judgements may determine the effect of the law

Judicial Review allows the Court to determine the constitutionality of laws

Supreme Court Justice John Marshall strengthened the Federal Government

Supreme Court interpretation of the Constitution is judicial review
Flexibility of Constitution

The Bill of Rights was to prevent government abuse of power

the Bill of Rights protect individuals' civil liberties

the Bill of Rights provided reserved powers to the states in order to limit the powers of the Federal Government

amendments allow government to meet the changing needs of society

few amendments are added because the Constitution is broadly interpreted

a system of political parties is an example of the flexibility of the Constitution

political parties nominate candidates for office and conduct campaigns

a criticism of the electoral college system is that the person who wins the popular vote is not always elected president

lobbyists for special interest groups influence public officials to support or oppose specific programs

only the ratification of an amendment to the Constitution can overturn a Supreme Court ruling

powers not delegated to the federal gov't are reserved to the states or people

Louisiana Purchase (Jefferson) was an example of the elastic clause

Ratification of Constitution

Federalists (Hamilton) wanted a strong national gov't; Anti Feds (Jefferson) did not

The Federalist papers encouraged ratification of the US Constitution

Federalist and anti Federalists disagreed over the division of power between national and state governments

Federalists wanted the Constitution ratified (approved)

A Bill of Rights was added to persuade anti Feds to ratify the Constitution

The Three Fifths Compromise and Great Compromise dealt with the issue of representation in Congress
Early American Policy (late 1700's  early 1800's)

G. Washington adopted a position of neutrality for the US in foreign affairs

US remained neutral from political connections in foreign policy for 100 years

G. Washington put down the Whiskey Rebellion showing the new National Government intended to enforce Federal laws

In Marbury v. Madison the Supreme Court established the power to determine the constitutionality of laws

In the Monroe Doctrine (1823), the US expanded influence in W. Hemisphere

The Monroe Doctrine declared that the US would view European interference in the Americas as a threat to the national interests of the US

Hamilton and the Federalists wanted a strong central government

Hamilton encouraged a protective tariff to encourage growth of manufacturing

When purchasing the Louisiana Territory, Jefferson contradicted his belief in a strict interpretation of the Constitution

Age of Jackson (1830's)

Andrew Jackson was criticized for ignoring the Supreme Court and abusing authority

Jackson was accused of exceeding the constitutional limits of his authority

Native Americans were affected by expansion of the US and forced westward

Desire to assimilate Native Americans led to Dawes Act (Americanization)

Manifest Destiny

The Louisiana Purchase focused the US on westward expansion

The Louisiana Purchase accounted for the largest increase in US growth

An industrialized Northeast, plantation South, and small farms in the West all peacefully shared the same nation from 1820 1860 (sectionalism)

Manifest Destiny was similar to imperialistic expansion

Buffalo hunters ruined the economic base of Native Americans which helped drive Natives onto reservations

Natives had some rights guaranteed by treaties with the Federal Government

Natives Americans reluctantly accepted placement on reservations

Homestead Act encouraged Westward expansion

"The fittest survived and the weak died out"- was often referred to as Social Darwinism

Women's Movement

The main goal of the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 was to obtain equal rights for women

Western territories adopted laws granting political rights to women because the hardships of pioneer life encouraged shared responsibilities
Political Issues with Slavery

Slavery disappeared because it did not fit the North's economic interests

Importation of slaves was ended after 1807 because they were replaced by immigrant workers from Eastern Europe

The Missouri Compromise and Kansas Nebraska Act dealt with extending slavery into the territories

The Constitution became an issue of national discord due to vast differences of opinion over the issues of states rights
Responses to Slavery

Nat Turner's activities show slave revolts occurred in the South

Abolitionist and Progressive Movements both sought to improve the conditions of poor or oppressed peoples

Issue of slavery led to the growth of sectionalism

Scott v. Sandford strengthened the determination of abolitionists to rid slavery
Republican Party/Election of Lincoln (1860's)

Under Lincoln 's tenure, the South seceded from the US mainly over slavery issue

Lincoln took strong action to maintain the Union

Lincoln explained that the secession of the South was illegal because the government was a union of people and not of states

Civil War (1861 1865)

The industrialized and populous North defeated the agricultural rural South

The North had more human resources and war materials than the South

The North had more advanced transportation systems than the South

Politics of Reconstruction (1865 1877)

Fierce debate occurred as to the terms by which the South is admitted into the Union

Lincoln wanted to treat the South as if they had never actually left the Union

State Legislatures deprived freed men of their legal rights (Black Codes)

Radical Republicans wanted the South punished and rights for freedmen

Radical Republicans wanted to use Reconstruction to force political and social reform in the South

The 13th, 14th, and 1 5th Amendments were passed to help civil rights reform

The Solid South was where the Democratic Party was dominant

Ulysses S. Grant's administration is associated with corrupt public officials
Impact of Reconstruction

The Federal Govt's power was strengthened over the states post Civil War

After the Civil War, secession was no longer regarded as an option for states
Continued Inequality

African Americans still found gaining equal rights was difficult

Jim Crow Laws limited the impact of amendments passed to assist minorities

Literacy tests and poll taxes prevented African Americans from voting

The Know Nothings and the KKK fostered resentment against minorities

Poll taxes and KKK were responses to the 14thand 15thAmendments

Disregard for fugitive slave laws show strong values are difficult to regulate

Age of Railroads (late 1800's)

The Federal Government provided free land for railroad construction

Railroad business practices led to a demand for government regulation

Railroads led to Westward expansion

Land from Federal Government led to building of transcontinental railroad

The Grange Movement forced railroads to lower freight rates

Big Business

As industry developed, large companies formed that held monopolies and rid competition

Industrialists contributed to the economy by establishing large corporations

Industrialization resulted in the rising influence of the middle class

A result of industrialization was the power of large corporations

The Interstate Commerce Commission (1887) and the Sherman Antitrust Act (1890) showed that the Federal Gov't could regulate business practices and eliminate monopolies

The Clayton and Sherman Antitrust Acts promote fair competition in business

The Clayton/Sherman Antitrust Acts combat businesses that limit competition

A major goal of trusts was to eliminate competition

Corporations formed due to the need for large amounts of investment capital

President Teddy Roosevelt distinguished between "good" and "bad" trusts

From 1865 1900 business practices were developed to eliminate competition

Rise of big business was an issue that dominated national politics (1865 1900)

Business wanted to consolidate the manufacture and distribution of products

As the US industrialized, mechanization and division of labor led smaller industries to have difficulty maintaining competitiveness

Rockefeller Foundation, Carnegie Hall show how entrepreneurs support philanthropic activities to benefit society

Industrialists used Social Darwinism (survival of fittest) to justify monopolies
Imperialism (late 1800's)

During the Age of Imperialism, strong countries took colonies to gain raw materials

The growth of capitalism encouraged imperialism because of the desire of business to obtain new markets for American products

Colonial empire was desired because industries needed raw materials/ markets

Desire for new markets and coaling stations led to imperialism

In the late 1800's, US obtains markets for surplus goods

Nationalism and industrialism led to imperialism

Unions were formed to protect worker's rights during thisAge of Industry

The Amer. Fed. of Labor focused on gains in wages and working conditions

The railroad strikes (1887), Haymarket Affair (1886), and Pullman strike (1894) show unions were willing to use force to achieve their goals

Collective bargaining is discussion between labor leaders and management

The Wagner Act gave workers the right to organize and bargain collectively

Unsafe working conditions in factories was common

Many strikes were unsuccessful because of government support of business

The National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) gave unions the right to bargain collectively

New immigrants lived in urban areas and held low paying jobs

US placed few restrictions on immigration so there would be cheap labor

Nativists supported quotas to limit immigration

Nativists (US nationalists) feared immigrants would work for cheaper wages

Chinese Exclusion Act; Gentlemen's Agreement were expressions of nativism

Immigrant children are educated in public schools to assist with assimilation

Local politicians assisted the social, economic, and political assimilation of immigrants into the community


Many people moved to the cities to find jobs in factories

Rise in domestic and foreign commerce create rapid economic growth in cities

Industrialization led to urbanization and fewer farmers

Growth of industry led to urbanization
Problems in Society (late 1800's)

People wanted to reform society, as poverty grew during the period of rapid growth

In the late 1800's, farmers believed their problems would be solved if the Federal Gov't put more money into circulation

The work of Upton Sinclair, Frank Norris, and Lincoln Steffens show the problems in government and industry needed to be corrected

Sinclair's The Jungle passed legislation requiring federal inspection of meat

Jacob Riis's photographs and the settlement house movement led by Jane Addams drew attention to the needs of the urban poor in the late 19thC.

Jacob Riis and Sinclair exposed poverty and corruption stemming from industry and urbanization

"Muckrakers" expose social conditions in need of reform

The Dawes Act (1887) granted farmland to Native Americans to assimilate them into society

Civil Service exams were enacted to eliminate corruption in gov't hiring


Graduated (progressive) income tax rates rise as individual incomes rise

The Federal Reserve lowers interest rates to avoid recessions

The Federal Reserve regulates interest rates and money supply

John Hay's Open Door Policy increased US access to trade in Asia

Open Door Policy expanded US trade with China

The mechanization of agriculture led to opposition because jobs were lost
Progressivism (1890 1920)

Social and political movement to reform the ills of society

A study of the Populist and Progressive movements prove that radical ideas become accepted in later times

The Populist Party was a successful third party because laws were passed that attained some of their goals; proposed ideas became law

Ideas of 3rd parties have been adopted by the two major parties

3rd party platforms are often important in helping to bring about change

Reform legislation provided for increased direct participation in government

Referendums and recall elections were ideas to increase citizen participation

Abolitionist and Progressive Movements both sought to improve the conditions of poor or oppressed peoples

US Gov't increased role to reduce the abuses of big business

T. Roosevelt's New Nationalism increased US power in foreign affairs

T. Roosevelt is accused of ignoring democracy in his foreign policy

Spanish American War

The Mexican War, the War of 1812, and Spanish American War were fought for the expansion of US self interest

US newspapers used "yellow journalism" to arouse public anger against Spain U.S. in Latin America (early 1900's)

The US wanted to be the main influence on events occurring in the Western Hemisphere

T. Roosevelt supported a Panamanian rebellion against Colombia in 1903 to gain the right to complete a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

Roosevelt and Monroe felt US influence in L.A. must be accepted

US intervened in Latin America to ensure safety of growing investments in the area
Causes of WWI (1914)

WWI was caused by nationalism, competitive imperialism, militarism, and the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand

US Entry in WWI (1917)

US public opinion favored neutrality initially

German U Boat attacks (on the Lusitania and American ships) and the Zimmerman Note caused US entry into WWI
Impact of WWI

The Treaty of Versailles was considered harsh on Germany and ultimately led to WWII; The US wanted a policy of isolationism to keep out offuture foreign wars

Wilson's 14 Points provided for a just and lasting peace

After WWI, US wanted to avoid involvement in foreign conflicts

Immigration laws were meant to restrict immigration through use of quotas

Women's suffrage was strengthened by economic opportunities from WWI

US immigration policies limited southern and eastern European immigration

Isolationist Senator Henry Cabot Lodge objected to ratification of the Treaty of Versailles to prevent the US from being drawn into conflicts by the League of Nations

Senators opposed to Versailles opposed membership in the League of Nations

Opposition to Versailles was based on the fear that it would violate the US policy of noninvolvement

US contributed to world peace by supporting the disarmament movement

US remained neutral in 1930's due to disillusionment resulting from WWI

Normalcy (Coolidge&Harding) (1920's)

Harding's "return to normalcy" meant reduced international involvement and less government regulation of business

Farmers overproduced basic staples as a result of WWI demands

Disregard for Prohibition show strong values are difficult to regulate

Racial segregation led blacks to move to the North for factory jobs

Mass Culture (1920's)

The "Roaring 20's" was a period of increased consumerism

American consumers increased the number of credit purchases (installment plan)

The 1920's and 1960's saw significant changes in manners and morals

In the 1920's there was the widespread use of the automobile and an increase in buying

During the Harlem Renaissance, blacks created works of art and literature

The KKK and Red (Communist) Scare represented threats to civil liberties
Causes of the Depression (1929)

The US had an uneven distribution of wealth

Factories and farms produced more than consumers could purchase
Impact of the Depression

Worldwide spread of the Depression shows global financial interdependence

Dust Bowl (drought) in Ok shows the effect of geography on people's lives

Farmers were provided low cost loans to combat the Dust Bowl

Hoover feared federal relief programs would destroy individual initiative

Movies and novels during the Great Depression show that popular culture is shaped by economic and social conditions

Literature often reflects the times in which it is created
New Deal (1930's)

FDR's efforts to rehabilitate the country after the Great Depression

FDR's programs show that a political program changes due to current needs

New Deal supported gov't involvement in people's social/ economic life

The SEC and FDIC restored the public's faith in financial institutions

The TVA (Tenn. Valley Auth.) used federal intervention for regional needs

FDR expanded the role of government and defended New Deal programs

Gov't saved farms by giving farmers $ to take land out of production

Conservatives opposed New Deal because it endangered to free enterprise

Gov't regulation of business activities continued Progressive Era policies

The Federal Reserve System regulates the money supply

Deficit spending by the Federal Government to revive the economy presumed that purchasing power will be increased and economic growth stimulated

The FDIC developed rules to safeguard savings

FDR's proposed expansion of the Supreme Court was viewed as a threat to separation of powers

Social Security was enacted to provide economic assistance to retired workers

The impact of the New Deal in ending the Depression is difficult to measure because WWII accelerated economic growth

The Federal Gov't assumed greater responsibility for the nation's well being
Causes of WWII (1930s)

The appeasement policy believed war could be avoided by satisfying Hitler's demand for territorial expansion

The attack on Pearl Harbor led to US entry into WWII
US Policy towards WWII

US public opinion favored neutrality

Isolationism is difficult because technology made nations interdependent

FDR's Good Neighbor Policy was to improve relations with Latin America

Neutrality Laws made to avoid war restricted US trade with warring nations

The US modified its neutrality policy by providing aid to the Allies

A challenge was fighting the war on several fronts
US Homefront (1941 1945

The GI bill provided educational and financial assistance to veterans

Internment of Japanese Americans (WWII) was based on racial prejudice

Korematsu/Schenck v. US show civil liberties are limited in certain situations

The Supreme Court sometimes failed to protect the rightsof minorities

FDR's third term election challenged long term political tradition

Effects of WWII (1945)

The need for international peacekeeping post WW II resulted in the creation of the United Nations

The UN resembles the US under the Articles of Confederation

The US had a strong commitment to collective security and world leadership

US adjusted its' economy easily because it suffered no wartime destruction

Women and minorities had new opportunities in the workplace

Truman and Eisenhower Doctrines concerned the containment of communism

The US and European nations engaged in international cooperation through political and economic agreements after 1945

Origins of Cold War (1945 1989)

The Cold war developed as a result of tension between the superpowers

US and USSR supported opposing sides but had no direct confrontation

The US and Soviet Union believed each was a threat to national security

American economic aid (Marshall Plan) assisted European recovery

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)was formed by democratic nations to provide collective security against Communist aggression

NATO and Truman Doctrine carried out policy of containment
Impact of Cold War at Home

US politicians were concerned about the containment of communism

Truman ordered "loyalty investigations" for fear of Communist Party influence in government

McCarthyism was based on public fear concerning the spread of communism

McCarthyism encouraged nativist ideas and exposed suspected communists

Fear of Communism led to the restriction of civil liberties

Sputnik (USSR satellite) signals US fears of Soviet technological superiority (October 1957)

Presidential actions during times of crisis have increased executive power

Great Society (1964)

Pres. Johnson's Great Society program fought poverty and urban deterioration

Johnson's Great Society was an attempt to solve the problems of poverty

FDR and LBJ were similar in that they expanded the role of the federal government in citizens' lives

Civil Rights Movement (1950's 1960's)

Efforts to improve the conditions for minority groups within American society

Brown v. Board of Education shows some Supreme Court decisions are ineffective unless the President enforces them

The use of Federal marshals to protect African American students in Little Rock showed the Fed Gov't would enforce court integration decisions

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 removed the literacy test because different standards of literacy had been applied to different groups of voters

ML King's protests within the framework of the law is civil disobedience

A criticism of affirmative action (favor minorities) programs is that they lead to discrimination against more qualified people

W.E_B. Du Bois insisted on African American equality

Eisenhower sent troops to Little Rock, Arkansas during the 1957 school integration crisis to exercise his power as commander in chief

Little Rock shows the Federal Gov't enforces court decisions on integration

The Supreme Court under Chief Justice Warren followed a policy of judicial activism, leading to broad social changes

Segregation in public schools was declared unconstitutional because it was "inherently unequal"

Martin Luther King Jr. advocates civil disobedience as a form of dealing with unjust laws

Social Change in the 1950's and 60's

The 1920's and 1960's saw significant changes in manners and morals

Interstate highways contributed to the expansion of suburbs

Post WWII baby boom increased the need for educational resources

US and Vietnam War (1962 1971)

US sends troops to Vietnam to contain the spread of communism from N to S Vietnam

Conflicting opinion existed regarding US involvement in the Vietnam War

Extremist attitudes impeded solving the difficult foreign policy problem

Protests (1960's 70's) began because many Americans felt the war was unjust

During the Vietnam War, questions were raised in the US concerning the extent of the President's powers as commander in chief

A major long term effect of the Vietnam War has been a reluctance to commit US troops for extended military action abroad

The US experience in Vietnam shows that the outcome of a war can be strongly affected by public opinion

Nixon/ Watergate (1972 1973)

Nixon became the only President ever to resign from office as a result of political scandal

The Watergate scandal reinforced that the law applies equally to all citizens

Watergate resulted in a loss of faith in elected government leaders

The Presidential action that best represents the policy of Detente (relaxation of tensions) is Nixon's Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) with the USSR
Ford & Carter (1974 1980)

The Camp David accords promoted by Carter represented the first peace agreement between Israel and an Arab nation

Reagan & Bush (1980's)

A return to conservativism during the 1980's

Reagan reduced government regulation of business

"Supply Side" economics makes economic growth dependent on increased amount of capital ($) available to business

US troops entered the Persian Gulf area because US interests in the Middle East were threatened

During the Persian Gulf War, the US was interested in protecting oil supplies

The breakup of the Soviet Union led to the end of the Cold War

Increase of debt is caused by high levels of government spending

Clinton Administration (1990's)

Presidents can benefit from a strong national economy

Clinton is characterized as the "Teflon" President because character issues could not damage his presidency

Positive economic conditions helped maintain Clinton's high approval rating

Global Economy

Opposition to trade with China is based on their disregard for human rights

NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) between the US, Canada, and Mexico is meant to increase commerce and eliminate tariffs

The US economy differs from 1900 because the growth of service industries is greater today

Fewer farms are currently needed because technology has raised agricultural productivity

Business consolidation is accepted practice

Current Issues

Women continue to struggle for equal pay for equal work

A recent trend is campaign finance reform (to limit spending on campaigns)

With public financed election campaigns, large donors would lose influence

An argument vs. a presidential line item veto is lack of checks and balances

US troops in Bosnia help bring political stability to the area

The Medicare Act and Disabilities Act show that New Deal principles continue to have a significant influence on later legislation

The amount of materials recycled has increased over the years

Nuclear Proliferation (spread of weapons) threatens humankind

The aging of the "baby boom" generation will most likely result in an increase in Social Security spending

In order to deal with the aging population, the Federal Government will increase and expand the Medicare program

Original Articles of the Constitution

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Article 1 The Legislature

Article 2 The Executive Department

Article 3 The Judicial Department

Article 4 Relations among States

Article 5 Amending the Constitution

Article 6 Role of National Government

Article 7 Ratification
Amendments to the Constitution
Amendment 1 Religious and Political Freedom

Amendment 2 Right to Bear Arms

Amendment 3 Quartering Troops

Amendment 4 Search and Seizure

Amendment 5 Rights of Accused Persons

Amendment 6 Right to Speedy, Public Trial

Amendment 7 Trial by Jury in Civil Cases

Amendment 8 Limits of Fines and Punishments

Amendment 9 Rights of the People

Amendment 10 Powers of the States and People

Amendment 11 Lawsuits against States

Amendment 12 Elections of Executives

Amendment 13 Slavery Abolished

Amendment 14 Civil Rights

Amendment 15 Right to Vote

Amendment 16 Income Tax

Amendment 17 Direct Election of Senators

Amendment 18 Prohibition

Amendment 19 Women's Suffrage

Amendment 20 "Lame Duck" Sessions

Amendment 21 Repeal of Prohibition

Amendment 22 Limit on Presidential Terms

Amendment 23 Voting in District of Columbia

Amendment 24 Abolition of Poll Taxes

Amendment 25 Presidential Succession

Amendment 26 Eighteen year olds can vote

Amendment 27 Congressional Pay Raises

1. Marbury v. Madison (1803)

Established the right of judicial review. It was the first time a law or portion of a law was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice was John Marshall.

2. McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

Established the right of the federal government to tax a bank incorporated within a state. It also established the fact that a state may not tax a branch of the United States bank that is located in that state. "The power to tax is the power to destroy." This statement was made in the majority decision in an effort to point out that if a state could tax a part of the federal government, it could severely weaken it.

3. Gibbons v. Ogden (l 857)

Established the supremacy of the federal government to regulate interstate commerce.

4. Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)

declared that slaves would remain slaves, whether or not they traveled to free states from slave states. The Supreme Court stated that slaves did not have rights of citizens, but were property of their owners.

5. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

Supreme Court declared that separate public facilities for blacks were legal as long as they were equal. This in effect upheld legal segregation in society. Segregation that is allowed by the law is known as De Juris Segregation. (An example of de juris segregation was Apartheid in South Africa.)

6. Schenck v. United States (1919)

Schenck's right to freedom of press was restricted. He had sent pamphlets through the mail urging young men to resist the draft during World War I. The court ruled that unlimited freedom of the press or speech under these circumstances presented a "clear and present danger" to the nation. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes stated, "You can't yell fire in a crowded theater."

7. West Virginia v. Barnette (1943)

As Jehovah's Witnesses, Barnette claimed that it was a violation of the right to freedom of religion to be forced to salute the flag, which required in the public schools of West Virginia. The Supreme Court decided in their favor.

8. Korematsu v. United States (1944)

Supreme Court ruled that the removal of the Japanese Americans in California to internment camps away from the West Coast during World War II was unconstitutional.

NOTE: From 1953 1969, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was Earl Warren. The Court under his leadership was known for judicial activism. It ruled in many areas of controversy, including the rights of the accused and civil rights. Many of its decisions changed the social fabric of the nation. (Cases 9 15)
9. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954)

ended once and for all de juris segregation in the United States. The majority opinion stated that "separate but equal was inherently unequal." This decision reversed the decision in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896).

10. Mapp v. Ohio (1961)

Supreme Court ruled that if police are to search a person's home, they must have a search warrant. The evidence presented in a court from an illegal search and seizure would be inadmissible. This was based upon the 4'h Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

11. Engel v. Vitale (l962)

First in a series of several Supreme Court decisions declaring the use of prayers in public schools as unconstitutional. The Court decided that school prayers were a violation of the separation of church and state established by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

12. Baker v. Carr (1962)

Supreme Court decided that districts within the Unites States that were established for determining representation in legislative bodies must be established so that they area approximately equal. This became known as the "one man, one vote" principle.

13. Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)

Supreme Court ruled that all people accused of crimes have the right to an attorney at the time of trial. If a person accused of a crime could not afford one (as in this case) it is the obligation of the court to provide one, free of charge. The 6thAmendment, which outlines the elements of a fair trial, was applied in this case. In addition, the 14th Amendment as it applied to states was used.

14. Escobedo v. Illinois (1964)

Supreme Court ruled that a person accused of a crime must have the right to an attorney at the time of questioning by the police. This is to protect an accused person's right against self incrimination as outlined by the 5th Amendment.

15. Miranda v. Arizona (1966)

Supreme Court ruled that a person, when arrested for a crime, must be informed of their rights at the time of the arrest. The warnings by the police must include: (1) the right to remain silent; (2) the right to an attorney; (3) the right to know that anything you say will be used against them in court; (4) the right to have an attorney even if they cannot afford one, etc. These warnings became known as the Miranda Warnings.

16. Wade v. Roe (1973)

The ruling in this case established that a woman had the right to an abortion on demand within the first two trimesters of the pregnancy.

17. United States v. Nixon (1973)

As a result of the Watergate investigation, President Richard Nixon claimed executive privilege in the matter of turning over White House tape recordings to Congress. As a result the Supreme Court resolved the dispute between two branches of government.

18. University of California v. Bakke (1978)

The Supreme Court ruled that while the use of affirmative action programs are legal, they must apply them in such a way that the rights of others are not violated.

19. New Jersey v. TLO (1985)

Notable Presidents of the United States

George Washington

(1732 1799)

Years in office: 1789 1797

No political party

Elected from: Virginia

Vice Pres: John Adams

Commanded the Continental army during the American Revolution

President of the Constitutional Convention

Set precedents that were followed by other

Presidents, such as forming a cabinet

Strengthened new government through support of Hamilton's financial policies and use of force against the Whiskey Rebellion

Kept peace through Proclamation of Neutrality and Jay Treaty

Set basis of U.S. foreign policy in his Farewell Address

John Adams

(1735 1826)

Years in office: 1797 1801


Electedfrom: Massachusetts

Vice Pres: Thomas Jefferson

American Revolution leader who protested Stamp Act

Helped draft Declaration of Independence

President during times of war in Europe

Alien and Sedition Acts contributed to his unpopularity and the fall of his party

Thomas Jefferson

(1743 1826)

Years in office: 1801 1809

Democratic Republican

Elected from: Virginia

Vice Pres: Aaron Burr,

George Clinton

Major author of the Declaration of Independence

Opposed Federalists

Favored limited, decentralized government

Opposed Hamilton's financial plan and Alien and Sedition Acts

Approved the Louisiana Purchase from France, which doubled the size of the nation

James Madison

(1751 1836)

Years in office: 1809 1817

Democratic Republican

Elected from: Virginia

Vice Pres: George Clinton,

Elbridge Gerry

Called the Father of the Constitution

One author of the Virginia Plan; his journals provide a record of events at the Constitutional Convention

Wrote 29 of the Federalist Papers

Proposed the Bill of Rights to Congress

Lost popularity over lack of leadership in War of 1812

James Monroe

(1758 1831)

Years in office: 1817 1825

National Republican

Elected from: Virginia

Vice Pres: Daniel Tompkins

Established U.S. foreign policy in the Western

Hemisphere with the Monroe Doctrine

Settled boundaries with Canada (1818)

Acquired Florida (1819)

Andrew Jackson

(1767 1845)

Years in office: 1829 1837


Elected from: Tennessee

Vice Pres: John Calhoun,

Martin Van Buren

Hero of Battle of New Orleans (War of 1812)

Opposed Calhoun and nullification

Vetoed rechartering of Second National Bank

Supported Native American removal policy

Associated with mass politics and nominating conventions

Used spoils system

Abraham Lincoln

(1809 1865)

Years in office: 1861 1865


Elected from: Illinois

Vice Pres: Hannibal Hamlin,

Andrew Johnson

Became nationally known as result of Lincoln-Douglas debate in 1858

First Republican to be elected President

Used war powers of the presidency during Civil War to achieve his goal of preserving the nation

Gave Gettysburg Address; issued Emancipation Proclamation

Assassinated before he could act on his plans of reconstruction

Theodore Roosevelt

(1858 1919)

Years in office: 1901 1909


Elected from: New York

Vice Pres: Charles Fairbanks

Progressive governor of New York (1899 1900)

Presidential programs called the Square Deal

Known as a trustbuster, conservationist, reformer, and nationalist

Used the power of presidency to regulate economic affairs of the nation and to expand its role in Asia and Caribbean

Issued the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine

Woodrow Wilson

(1856 1924)

Years in Office: 1913 1921


Elected from: New Jersey

Vice Pres: Thomas Marshall

Progressive Era President whose programs were known as the New Freedoms

Reform regulation included Clayton Antitrust Act, Federal Reserve System, Federal Trade Commission Act, and Underwood Tariff Act (which lowered rates)

Led the nation during World War I

Herbert Hoover

(1874 1964)

Years in office: 1929 1933


Elected from: New York

Vice Pres: Charles Curtis

Used government resources against the Great Depression without success

Supported loans through Reconstruction Finance Corporation

Opposed direct government relief

Used federal troops against the World War I Bonus Marchers

Franklin D. Roosevelt

(1882 1945)

Years in office: 1933 1945


Elected from: New York

Vice Pres: John Garner, Henry

Wallace, Harry S. Truman

New Deal policies and leadership in World War II increased the power of the federal government

Tried to expand number of Supreme Court justices when the Court opposed New Deal programs

Pased social welfare legislation, such as the Social Security Act

New Deal programs criticized as both inadequate

Urged cooperation in Western Hemisphere under the Good Neighbor Policy

Supported Japanese American internment during World War II

Only President to serve more than two terms

Harry S. Truman

(1884 1972

Years in office: 1945 1953


Elected from: Missouri

Vice Pres: Alben Barkley

Made decision to drop two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945 to end World War II

Began the policy of containment of communism with the Truman Doctrine

Supported economic recovery in Europe through the Marshall Plan

Continued the New Deal philosophy with his Fair Deal

Entered into the Korean War during his presidency

Dwight D. Eisenhower

(1890 1969)

Years in office: 1953 1961


Elected from: New York

Vice Pres: Richard M. Nixon

Allied commander of forces in Europe during World War II

Issued Eisenhower Doctrine

Approved Saint Lawrence Seaway and 1956 Federal Highway Act

Sent troops to Little Rock to enforce school desegregation

In office when Alaska and Hawaii became 49thand 50thstates

John F. Kennedy

(1917 1963)

Years in office: 1961 1963


Elected from: Massachusetts

Promoted the New Frontier program (which centered on containment), the Peace Corps, and the Alliance for Progress

Successfully resolved the Cuban missile crisis

Began the Apollo program which landed Americans on the moon by 1969

Assassinated in 1963

Lyndon B. Johnson

(1908 1973)

Years in office: 1963 1969


Elected from: Texas

Vice Pres: Hubert Humphrey

Promoted anti-poverty programs and civil rights through his Great Society program

Used the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution to expand the Vietnam War

Division over his war policy led to his decision not to seek reelection

President during a period of active civil rights movements for African-Americans and women

Richard M. Nixon

(1913 1994)

Years in office: 1969 1974


Elected from: New York

Vice Pres: Spiro Agnew,

Gerald R. Ford

Vietnamization" policy and increased bombing followed by a 1973 cease fire in Vietnam

Relaxed relations with USSR and the People's Republic of China

Resigned as President because of Watergate affair

Ronald Reagan

(1911 2004)

Years in office: 1981 1989


Elected from: California

Vice Pres: George H.W. Bush

Conservative President whose New Federation took a conservative viewpoint on social issues, such as abortion and prayer in school

Based his supply side economic policy (or "Reaganomics") on the belief that government can destroy individual initiative

Presidency marked by huge trade and federal budget deficits

Arms control agreement signed with the USSR after summit meetings in 1985, 1986, and 1987. Credited with helping to bring an end to the Cold War.

Foreign policy aimed at keeping communism out of Latin America

Popularity damaged and foreign policy weakened by Iran Contra scandal

George H. W. Bush

(1924  )

Years in office: 1989 1993


Elected from: Texas

Vice Pres: J. Danforth Quayle

Inherited the budget deficits, savings and loan scandals, and legacy of Iran Contra Affair from the Regan administration

In office when cold war ended, and Communist governments in Eastern Europe and Soviet Union fell

Ordered troops into Panama against Noriega

Led the United States and an international force against Iraq in the 1991 Persian Gulf War

William (Bill) Clinton

(1946   )

Years in office: 1993 2000


Elected from: Arkansas

Vice Pres: Albert Gore, Jr.

First Democrat elected to two presidential terms since Franklin Roosevelt

Domestic policies centered on health care and social security reform, as well as economic issues, such as reduction of the national deficit

Secured approval of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)

Participated in air war against Iraq and Serbia; twice ordered U.S. troops to the former Yugoslavia to enforce peace agreements

Administration troubled by a series of investigations into potential scandals, culminating in his impeachment in December 1998 on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. He was acquitted by the Senate.

George W. Bush

(1945  )

Years in office: 2001- 2009


Elected from: Texas

Vice Pres: Dick Cheney

Barack Obama

(1961- )

Years in office: 2009 –


Elected from: Illinois

Vice Pres: Joseph Biden, Jr.

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