AP GOVERNMENT - Mr. Pugh
In order to fine tune your essay writing skills you will be
assigned a series of brief essays relating to the topics covered
in the course. On the actual AP test you will have 100 minutes
to write four essays.
2) Evaluate the following statement: "Who gets
what, when, how and why is usually determined by politics
(ex. party rivalry, party discipline, conflicting interest groups,
log rolling, "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours",
etc.) rather than focusing on what is in the best the interests
of the public".
3) Assess the validity of the statement "all politics
is local", specifically with regard to elections. Cite at
least three examples.
4) Assess the validity of the statement "We are
witnessing the beginning of the end of political parties as a
mainstay in American politics."
5) Based on the section on Presidential Power in the (pink)
handout, plus your notes, assess the validity of the following
"Presidential greatness is, to a large extent, determined
as a result of a president being in the right place at the right
Be sure to use historical examples in the essay as well as
define the criteria you believe is necessary to characterize a
president as great.
6. To what extent do special interest groups have an
impact on the development and implementation of public policy
7. In the 20th century the U.S. Supreme Court
has often acted as an "instrument of social change".
Identify key supreme court decisions and assess
the impact of these decisions speficically with regard to:
a) due process (the rights of the accused)
b) civil rights (equal protection under the law with
regard to minority groups, gender, religion,
sexual orientation, reproductive choice, freedom of
The Supreme Court ruled in Barron v. Baltimore (1833)
that the Bill of Rights did not apply to the states. Explain
how the Court has interpreted the Fourteeenth Amendment to apply
the Bill of Rights to the states. In your answer, briefly discuss
the Court's decision in one of the following cases to support
In the 1970's, in order to limit the power of the President
and to reassert congressional authority in the policy-making process,
Congress passed the following.
War Powers Act
Budget and Impoundment Control Act
Briefly describe the provisions of each of these two
legislative acts and evaluate the extent to which each
act has affected the balance of power between the presidency and
Congress in the 1990's.
Describe the main difference between an issue network
and an iron triangle. Use the example of telecommunications
to explain why issue networks have become the main policymaking
Clinton campaign strategist James Carville is credited with
identifying the key theme of the 1992 election when he advised
candidate Clinton that "It's the economy stupid."
Compare and contrast the policies of Presidents Reagan
and Clinton with regard to economic philosophy and implementation.
Specifically refer to Reagan's successful efforts to pass tax
reform legislation with Clinton's deficit reduction program.