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Packet # 2-Key Terms

PSC 2302 American Constitutional Development

QuestionAnswer
What are the three structural forms of gov't? unitary, confederal, and federal
Define a unitary structural form. A centralized governmental organization in which all power stems from central authorities. Although local governments usually, exist, they do so at the please of national authorites.
What are some examples of unitary systems of government? The United Kingdom is a good example of a unitary structure. Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and England are all countries within this system. They have their own parliaments, but the degree and scope of their power is determined by the centalized gov't.
Define a federal structural form of gov't. A gov't where power is divided between different levels of gov't, usually national and state gov'ts. The powers delegated to each can't be challenged by the other.
What are some examples of a federal system of government? The United States, Australia, Germany.
Define a confederal form of gov't. A loosely organized grouping of independent states or other units in which sovereignty is retained by the states. As a result, there is a week central government.
What are some examples of a confederal form of government? Canada (although some argue this), Serbia and Montenegro, and the European Union.
What is mean by the "Supremacy Clause"? The Constitution and all federal laws made under its authority "shall be the supreme law of the land." Even judges in state courts are bound by federal law, regardless of what their state laws or constitutions say.
What is the State Compact Theory? That the nation was formed through a compact agreed upon by all the states. Therefore the federal government is a creation of the states, so the states should have the last word as to whether the federal gov't has overstepped its bounds.
How is the state compact theory related to the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions? In reaction to the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, Jefferson claimed the federal government overstepped its authority and that it violated the First Amendment, and advocated nullification of the laws by the states.
What is meant by "nullification" and "interposition" under the state compact theory? Under this theory, Jefferson felt that if a national law was unconstitutional that a state should place itself between the gov't and the people(interpose) and "void" (nullify) the law.
How is secession related to the state compact theory? Under this theory, Jefferson argued that a state should/could not be criminally prosecuted for withdrawing from the Union. In fact, it could be one way for a State to protect (interpose for) it people.
How was John C. Calhoun connected the state compact theory? In 1832, Senator Calhoun (South Carolina)used the compact theory to argue that the southern states had a right to nullify federal law and secede from the Union.
What was the Nullification Crisis of 1832? When a tariff on exports from Britain hurt the South, South Carolina threatened secession and mobilized troops. When President Jackson was authorized to send in federal troops and a new, more satisfactory tariff was negotiated, the crisis was over.
Under the ruling in Wickard is the there any discernable limit to the commerce power? No. This case ended all limits to the commerce power
What would John Marshell think of the " substantial effects" test announced in Wickard ? Him would susport the ruling because because, just like the national bank,surport other goals that are listed in the constitution