Psi 201 Study Guide

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American National Government
POLI 201
First Exam

Exam Date and Time: The second exam will be given on Wednesday, September 18th. I will begin handing the exams out no later than the start of the hour; you will have the whole of the class period to complete it. While the exam is not designed to require to entire 50 minutes to complete, I would suggest that you do not arrive late, or it is possible you will not have sufficient time to complete the entire exam.

Exam Structure: The exam is will consist of eight (8) multiple choice questions (for 16 pts), four (4) ‘fill-in-the-blank’ questions (for 20 pts), and three (3) out of eight (8) short essay questions (for 30pts). It is designed to be finished in 40-45 minutes, giving you time to look over the exam and take a stab at the extra credit (~8pts).

Extra Credit: There will be at least 5 extra credit questions, worth a minimum of 8 points. These questions will come primarily from the Fun Facts session at the end of the lecture.

Study Guide: I have broken the guide into two major parts. The first part consists of the topics on which the multiple choice and short answer questions will be based. As you study these terms and concepts, make sure to not only understand what the specific term means, but also the ways in which it connects to others on the list.
The second part is made of questions that may result in multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank (I reserve, at least, this right), but WILL result in the essay questions—the 8 essay choices that will be given on the exam will be drawn from this list. Therefore, as you prepare for the exam, focus on the facts and terms for these questions, but also be prepared to answer the answer the questions as a whole—so do not overlook the more thematic and conceptual parts of the question.

Multiple Choice/Fill-in-the-Blank Topics

Chapter 1


Collective Action
Collective Goods
Private Goods
Public Goods
Tragedy of the Commons
Free-Rider Problem

Agenda Control

Simple Majority

Conformity Costs
Transaction Costs

Direct Democracy
Parliamentary Government
Representative Government
Separation of Powers

Chapter 2

Home Rule
Articles of Confederation
Shay’s Rebellion

Checks and Balances
Popular Sovereignty
States’ Rights

New Jersey Plan
Virginia Plan

Bill of Rights
Commerce Clause
Electoral College
Judicial Review
Necessary and Proper Clause
Supremacy Clause
Take Care Clause

Chapter 3

Dual Federalism
Shared Federalism
Unitary Government

States’ Rights
Tenth Amendment
Elastic Clause
Enumerated Powers

Pre-emption Legislation
Race to the Bottom

Matching Grant
Block Grant

Chapter 4

Civil Liberties
Civil Rights

Fugitive Slave Law
Black Codes
Grandfather Clauses
Jim Crow Laws
Literacy Tests
Poll Tax
Separate But Equal Doctrine

De facto Segregation
De jure Segregation
Affirmative Action

Chapter 5

Privileges and Immunities Clause
Due Process Clause
Equal Protection Clause

Selective Incorporation

Clear and Present Danger Test
Clear and Probable Danger Test
Community Standards

Establishment (of Religion) Clause
Free Exercise Clause
Lemon Test
Neutrality Test

Exclusionary Rule
Miranda rule


Essay Questions
What are principals and agents (with regard to government), and how does the principal-agent problem impact how representative governments are structured?
What are the Tragedy of the Commons and the Free Rider Problem, and what do they tell us about the purpose of governments?
What are the differences between a parliamentary system (Britain) and a separation of powers system (U.S.), particularly with regard to transaction costs?
Briefly discuss the differences between