AP US Government : Citizen Role in Politics

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Fundamental Political Beliefs

Which of the following options are considered basic tenets of American political culture?

I) Civic responsibility

II) Economic equality

III) Individual rights

Possible Answers:

I

III

I, II, and III

I and III

I and II

Correct answer:

I and III

Explanation:

Civic responsibility, also called "civic duty," refers to the idea that all eligible American citizens have a duty to vote and engage actively with the democratic political process. Individual rights refers to the idea that all individuals have certain inalienable rights that cannot be violated or impressed upon by the government. America has supposedly equal ability to compete economically, but true economic equality cannot realistically be a feature of a capitalist society.

Example Question #2 : Citizen Role In Politics

Why Thomas Jefferson support voting restrictions based on income and land ownership?

Possible Answers:

He considered it rude to allow poorer classes in the same voting places as richer people.

He felt that a man who was fully dependent on another, an employee, could then be economically coerced into voting contrary to his own conscience.

He thought that those who did not own land were morally inferior to those who did and thus did not deserve a vote.

He thought then that those who owned land had more knowledge of how to successfully manage structures and institutions.

He wanted to solidify power in the hands of himself and his friends.

Correct answer:

He felt that a man who was fully dependent on another, an employee, could then be economically coerced into voting contrary to his own conscience.

Explanation:

Thomas Jefferson in particular argued that employees could not freely exercise democratic privileges because their bosses would inevitably force them to vote as the bosses wished. Jefferson believed that democracy must occur in public, every man aware of his neighbors' positions. While many of the other answers sound plausible, it's important to consider the philosophy of a figure as influential and ideological as Thomas Jefferson.

Example Question #2 : Fundamental Political Beliefs

The “honeymoon period” refers to __________.

Possible Answers:

the inflated popularity of a political party shortly after its creation

the ability of a president to pursue his political agenda with greater success in his second term in office

the inflated popularity of a president shortly after being elected

the increased success of presidential incumbents who try to get reelected as opposed to presidential candidates who try to get elected to the office for the first time

the decline in popularity that a president suffers during times of economic recession

Correct answer:

the inflated popularity of a president shortly after being elected

Explanation:

The term “honeymoon period” is used to refer to the inflation of popularity that a president generally receives shortly after being elected. For the vast majority of presidents, their popularity reaches its peak shortly after coming into office and then declines until they are either voted out of office or their term limits expire.

Example Question #3 : Fundamental Political Beliefs

In Federalist #10 James Madison argued in favor of which of the following forms of government?

Possible Answers:

Monarchy

Oligarchy

Representative democracy

Direct democracy

Aristocracy

Correct answer:

Representative democracy

Explanation:

You can immediately eliminate the forms of government that were not advocated by the Founding Fathers: monarchy, aristocracy, and oligarchy. James Madison wrote in Federalist #10 about the dangers of many factions. He believed that these factions would arise as a result of a direct democracy. For him, the representative democracy would be the best form of government because it allowed for the expression of ideas, but for these ideas to be put through the filter of representatives in the government.

Example Question #1 : Citizen Role In Politics

The power to legislate for the health, safety, welfare, and morals of the people is known as _______________.

Possible Answers:

Constitutionalism

Legislative powers

Police powers

Social welfare

Civil obligation

Correct answer:

Police powers

Explanation:

Police powers are the powers, given to the legislative branch of government, to legislate for the health, safety, welfare, and morals of the people. Police powers were commonly used by the states to take care of internal affairs. When constructing the Constitution, it was recognized that the states had lots of power through police powers; therefore, the national government needed more.

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