Social Studies Study Guide

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1 Social Studies Study Guide Answer Key Unit 5: Federal Government Lesson 1 Why Do We Need a Government? 1. What do we call people who study governments? Political scientists 2. Political scientists ask the following questions (fill in the blanks): a. Why is government needed? b. What does government do? c. How is the government organized? d. What role do citizens play? e. On what principles and values is the government based? 3. The purpose of having a government is MAINLY to: (HINT: think back to the life without government activity and think about the things that went wrong without a government and the corresponding rules/laws). a. Build new buildings b. Run the fire department c. Collect taxes d. Keep us safe 4. The purposes of government are listed in the Preamble or the introduction to our Constitution. 1

2 5. The Preamble to the Constitution includes the following important ideas (fill in the blanks) We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union.. o Establish justice (to make things fair and honest for all U.S. citizens), o Insure domestic tranquility (to make sure there is peace throughout the U.S.), o Provide for the common defense (to protect U.S. citizens from other people or countries who may try to harm us, as in war), o Promote the general welfare (to help make life good for everyone NOTE this does NOT mean the government will make sure that all U.S. citizens have cars and homes, for example!), and o Secure the blessings of liberty (to protect our rights and freedoms) Lesson 2 What kind of government do we have? 6. In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt said The government is us; we are the government, you and I. What do you think this means? President Roosevelt was essentially speaking of the concept of popular sovereignty which means the power and authority of the government comes from the people. This is an essential principle that the founding fathers built the U.S. Constitution on. 2

3 7. The Founders of the U.S. who designed our government wanted it to be based on important values and principles in which they believed. Some important principles they believed in were as follows (refer to your vocabulary): a. Popular sovereignty means that the power and authority of the government comes from the people. b. Limited government means that the national or federal government does not have absolute authority and the government can only do what the people have given it the power to do. c. Rule of Law means EVERYONE, including the people who run the government, must obey the laws. d. Representative government means a government where people choose representatives to make decisions for them. Lesson 3 What Powers does our Federal Government Have? 8. Powers granted to the federal government are called DELEGATED powers. Powers reserved for the states are called RESERVED powers. Powers that are shared by the federal government and the states are called SHARED powers. 9. Powers that are granted to the federal government only are called DELEGATED powers. Some powers granted to the federal government ONLY are as follows (fill in the blanks): a. Printing money (hint: we like to spend this!) b. Declaring war (hint: happens if we have a major disagreement with another country) 3

4 c. Providing a military (hint: we need this if we are going to declare war) d. Operating a post office (hint: we need this to mail letters!) 10. Powers that are reserved for state governments are called RESERVED powers. Some powers reserved for the state governments ONLY are as follows (fill in the blanks): a. Creating public schools (hint: you are in one right now!) b. Making motor vehicle and traffic laws (hint: you re glad we have these when you get in the car with your parents!) 11. Powers that are shared by the federal and state governments are called SHARED powers. Some powers shared by the federal and state are as follows (fill in the blanks): a. Building and maintaining roads (hint: you need these to go anywhere). b. Collecting taxes (hint: this is something you pay to the government to help the government pay for the services they provide us). 12. In addition to the federal and state governments we also have local governments. These are called the LEVELS of government. Some responsibilities of the local governments are (fill in the blanks): a. Operating fire departments (helpful if you catch your kitchen on fire!) b. Maintaining the local libraries (we get books here!) and local parks (we have picnics here!). 4

5 13. The three levels of government are: a. Federal b. State c. Local 14. One of the SHARED powers of the federal and state governments is to make laws. Some examples of how the federal and state governments use this power is as follows: a. If Michigan has a law that everyone must wear a seat belt then this law guides behaviors by making you wear a seat belt. b. If the federal government notices people are not doing something they would like them to do (like children attending school), they may create a law requiring all children to attend school. Lesson 4 How is the Federal Government Organized? 15. How is the federal government is organized is described in the U.S. Constitution. There are three branches of the federal government. What are they? Describe what they do as well. a. Legislative Branch - makes the laws b. Executive Branch - enforces the laws c. Judicial Branch interprets the laws 16. Who are the representatives of each branch? a. Executive the President b. Legislative - Senate and House of Representatives 5

6 c. Judicial Supreme Court Justices 17. Having three branches of government helps to: a. Limit power b. Give everyone a right to vote c. Give the Supreme Court justices more power d. Create new jobs Lesson 5 Why Do We Have a System of Checks and Balances? 18. Checks and balances are the way in which the different branches of government keep each other from having too much power. 19. Having a system of checks and balances makes sure ALL of the following happen (fill in the blanks): a. One branch doesn t have too much power. b. The branches must cooperate. c. Branches can challenge each other s power. 6

7 20. An example of how checks and balances work can be seen in the process of how a bill becomes a law. Fill in the following blanks: Someone has an idea. A member of Congress drafts a proposal for a law or a bill. Congress passes a bill. Check by the Executive branch The President (or Governor) vetoes the bill. Congress overrides the veto by a 2/3 vote. Check by the Legislative branch The bill becomes a law. Check by the Judicial branch The Supreme Court declares the law unconstitutional. 7

8 Lesson 6 Limiting the Power of Government Bill of Rights 21. The Bill of Rights, or the first 10 amendments, or additions, to the Constitution give people important rights such as (just to name a few). a. Freedom of speech b. Freedom of religion c. Freedom of the press d. Right to a fair trial 22. Along with these rights come responsibilities. One responsibility that goes along with the right to vote is: a. To treat others fairly b. To learn about the candidates and their positions or issues c. To respect people s religious beliefs d. To be able to freely speak 8

9 Constructed Response Background: Imagine a group of 200 people made up of about 60 families have decided to move to an island in the Atlantic Ocean. They moved to escape the rules and laws of their old country. They called this island Weaklandia. The people of Weaklandia decided to live without ANY government or rules! After living there for about one year they started to notice problems were occurring. The following story was reported in the Weaklandia newspaper: Weaklandia in Turmoil! Problems with money are being reported all around the island. One family, known as the Walus family, decided to solve their money problems by printing their own money on their computers. They soon became the richest family on the island. Because they were so rich, they became very powerful. They have begun to tell other families what type of clothes they have to wear and what kind of cars they must drive. The only people that don t have to follow these rules are their close family and friends. They have even created a Walus holiday, a day when everyone on the island must shower them with gifts! The Walus family has started to run out of money as they are spending it faster than they can make it. So they have decided to start collecting taxes from everyone on the island except their family and best friends. Everyone was outraged by this! (except their family and best friends, of course). They then spent the money they collected to build a great big mansion on the hill instead of using it to build a hospital as they had told everyone. All of these problems began to cause lots of arguments on the island. Nobody feels safe as crimes are beginning to occur. Weaklandia has been ruined! 9

10 Directions: Your task is to help Weaklandia solve their problems. Please explain THREE problems that you notice on the island of Weaklandia. Then use your knowledge from this unit to explain how they can solve their problems. Use your understanding of representative government, taxation, and rule of law to help you construct your responses. An example response is provided: Constitution: Problem: Weaklandia doesn t have a constitution that creates and organizes their government. Solution: Create a document that establishes and organizes a government and describes the laws of Weaklandia. Representative Government: Problem: There is no government in Weaklandia. Accordingly, the citizens did not get the opportunity to elect the representatives in the government. Solution: Weaklandia can create a system of government, whereby citizens of the island get a chance to elect their government officials. Problem: The people in power got there because they printed money and got very wealthy. Solution: Create a money system and make it illegal to print money unless you are the government. Taxation: Problem: Citizens are taxed unfairly. Just because they are family or friends of the Walus family does not mean they shouldn t have to pay their share of taxes! 10

11 Solution: Create a tax system that is fair to everyone. Taxes may be based on the property they own or how much money they make. Problem: The people in charge spent the taxes collected on a mansion instead of a hospital like they promised. Solution: Make it a requirement that the government spend the taxes collected as proposed. Rule of Law: Problem: The leaders and the family and friends of the Walus family do not have to obey the rules/laws. This creates makes people angry! Solution: Create a constitution that ensures that EVERYONE must obey the laws! Problem: There is no justice system to determine what happens when someone breaks the rules/laws. Solution: Create a justice system that will determine justice for individuals who break the rules/laws. Makes sure that everyone is entitled to the same justice system. NOTE: In order to exceed the standards, students must accurately give problems and solutions for each of the three sections. Furthermore, students must give 2 problems and 2 solutions for at least one of the areas. 11

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