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    (Original post by Samzali1)
    My teacher has said NOT to mention the UK at all as it is unnecessary.. But i mean surely a sentence in reference to it will get you the marks?
    Reference to the British system isn't necessary, but the mark schemes state that "candidates may draw comparisons with the UK" to help with "synoptic judgements". Don't focus your revision on the British system; it's just a nice way to counter-argue a point and make clear comparisons.

    Your essay should never focus on the British system over the US system (i.e. never have a whole essay simply comparing the UK and US systems). The old specification required that - this is much more focused on the US, with UK knowledge only being used where absolutely relevant.

    (Original post by ineedtorevise127)
    What!? You are aware that without synoptic links to the UK you cannot get above a D in the essay my teacher said?

    Always use it 2 or 3 should be enough I reckon but don't make it too simplistic
    e.g. UK has a uncodified constitution
    you should say unlike the USA, the UK has a uncodified constitution this makes it easier to pass legislation due to flexibility whilst in the USA the formal amendment process is argued to be more rigid e.g. the fact that only 17 amendments have been changed since 1791
    Simply not true, it's perfectly possible to achieve full marks without referencing the UK system of government.
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    Hey! i was just wondering whether anyone had a model essay on federalism they wouldnt mind me looking over, im understanding it all i just dont know how to structure it! dont worry if you send me one i wont plagiarize or anything good luck on monday!
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    (Original post by Scatach)
    Reference to the British system isn't necessary, but the mark schemes state that "candidates may draw comparisons with the UK" to help with "synoptic judgements". Don't focus your revision on the British system; it's just a nice way to counter-argue a point and make clear comparisons.

    Your essay should never focus on the British system over the US system (i.e. never have a whole essay simply comparing the UK and US systems). The old specification required that - this is much more focused on the US, with UK knowledge only being used where absolutely relevant.



    Simply not true, it's perfectly possible to achieve full marks without referencing the UK system of government.
    Well what does the synopticity mean in the mark scheme then for higher marks?
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    (Original post by ineedtorevise127)
    Well what does the synopticity mean in the mark scheme then for higher marks?
    A synoptic view is simply drawing together the whole view of the topic: you could make comparisons with the UK, certainly, but for a question on the constitution you could equally include parts from other topics to form a synoptic judgement.

    Nowhere in the mark scheme will you find a reference to the UK system being mandatory. I'm not saying it's not a good idea, but saying that it is necessary for full-marks is incorrect.
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    (Original post by robingrace)
    Hey! i was just wondering whether anyone had a model essay on federalism they wouldnt mind me looking over, im understanding it all i just dont know how to structure it! dont worry if you send me one i wont plagiarize or anything good luck on monday!
    There aren't any past paper questions on federalism, but you might find it useful to plan an answer. The sort of question which might come up on Monday could be something along the lines of

    "Federalism is dead in the contemporary United States." Discuss. [30]
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    For the Constitution section, you lot seen to think a question on Federalism is highly likely; If not, is a 'does it work' question similar to that on the specimen paper also a possibility? In the same vein I was thinking that for the Executive the question might be along the lines of the specimen paper question too, focusing on the limitations and constraints on executive power from the Constitution, Congress and the Supreme Court. What do you guys think?
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    (Original post by Atkin94)
    For the Constitution section, you lot seen to think a question on Federalism is highly likely; If not, is a 'does it work' question similar to that on the specimen paper also a possibility? In the same vein I was thinking that for the Executive the question might be along the lines of the specimen paper question too, focusing on the limitations and constraints on executive power from the Constitution, Congress and the Supreme Court. What do you guys think?
    The federalism assumption is purely just a look at what hasn't come up in the past but is a significant portion of the chapter in the textbook.

    There's a strong possibility that specimen questions will come up: the judiciary 'nine politicians in robes' question came up from the specimen paper.
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    So from what I can gather from this Thread and from past papers. Topics that seem most likely to come up are:

    Constitution:

    Federalism - types, current condition, advantages and disadvantages
    Protection of rights and effectiveness of Constitution (?) - Bill of Rights, amendment, interpretation, "is it too rigid" came up in 2010

    Congress:

    Committees - Unit guide has the following question "Critically evaluate the role and activities of congressional committees". Seems very likely this will come up in some form.
    Influence on Congress voting - Maybe not parties but other factors such as the executive, pressure groups, folks back home, personal judgement etc

    Executive:

    Cabinet - Significance, composition etc.
    Note; Every 30 marker in this topic so far has been related to a President's power, so it wouldn't surprise me to see this come up again.
    Maybe something on bureacracy hindering effective govt. (?)

    Judiciary:

    Loose/strict constructionism - never come up, might be a 10 marker.
    Restraint/Activism and Roberts Court - This hasn't come up since 2010 and there are only a few questions they can ask about SCOTUS.
    Constraints on SCOTUS power is also mentioned in the unit guide and has never come up. Maybe appointments process (?)

    I'll edit this if people give me other suggestions. Obviously the paper could still be on any topic.
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    (Original post by Scatach)
    "Federalism is dead in the contemporary United States." Discuss. [30]
    I'd have difficulty with this question as Federalism is not dead, Constitutional Sovereignty ensures Federalism is very much alive by enumerating powers to federal government (Articles 1-3) and to state government (Amendment 10). Would the question rather be 'Federalism as we know it is dead. Discuss.'? With this being the question would it therefore focus on phases of Federalism culminating in a focus of Federalism under Bush?
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    (Original post by Scatach)
    There aren't any past paper questions on federalism, but you might find it useful to plan an answer. The sort of question which might come up on Monday could be something along the lines of

    "Federalism is dead in the contemporary United States." Discuss. [30]
    If a question like this came up, do you think it would require us to talk about federalism pre-new deal to show how t has changed?


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    (Original post by ChrissM)
    If a question like this came up, do you think it would require us to talk about federalism pre-new deal to show how t has changed?


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    There are four aspects of a change in federalism defined in the textbook: the 'dual federalism' up until the Depression (so you could talk about how there was shared power up until FDR's top-down economic policies), 'cooperative federalism' from the 1930s-60s (talk about how there was an idea of fixing the nation post-war and national unity in the light of the cold war, led predominantly by Democratic presidents such as Kennedy and Truman), 'new federalism' from the 1970s (Reagan proposed to abolish the department of education, for example) and finally Bush's stance on federalism, which has been seen as a reversion to FDR-style economics and a typically liberal approach to medicare.

    Then for top marks you'd want to talk about Obama and federalism: Obamacare was referred to by Republicans as "the end of federalism" (which is where my question came from) and his economic stimulus package was extremely similar to Bush's economic policies.


    (Original post by Atkin94)
    I'd have difficulty with this question as Federalism is not dead, Constitutional Sovereignty ensures Federalism is very much alive by enumerating powers to federal government (Articles 1-3) and to state government (Amendment 10). Would the question rather be 'Federalism as we know it is dead. Discuss.'? With this being the question would it therefore focus on phases of Federalism culminating in a focus of Federalism under Bush?
    The question as I phrased it may be unlikely to come up, but the exam boards like to set quite controversial questions like that to make sure that you get a proper debate in your answer. As I said above I'd go through the phases of federalism, and decide at the end whether the approach taken by Bush (and followed by Obama) could arguably have led to a death of federalism in the US: is the US governed now at federal-level, rather than state-level? The income tax amendment (16th?) could arguably be seen as federal power outstripping that of state-level government.

    (I'd conclude with no, federalism is not dead, but rather just declining and playing a less important role in the light of the US' development as a superpower - there is a need for national unity when the US is in an almost perpetual state of combat)
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    (Original post by Bord3r)
    So from what I can gather from this Thread and from past papers. Topics that seem most likely to come up are:

    Constitution:

    Federalism - types, current condition, advantages and disadvantages
    Protection of rights and effectiveness of Constitution (?) - Bill of Rights, amendment, interpretation, "is it too rigid" came up in 2010

    Congress:

    Committees - Unit guide has the following question "Critically evaluate the role and activities of congressional committees". Seems very likely this will come up in some form.
    Influence on Congress voting - Maybe not parties but other factors such as the executive, pressure groups, folks back home, personal judgement etc

    Executive:

    Cabinet - Significance, composition etc.
    Note; Every 30 marker in this topic so far has been related to a President's power, so it wouldn't surprise me to see this come up again.
    Maybe something on bureacracy hindering effective govt. (?)

    Judiciary:

    Loose/strict constructionism - never come up, might be a 10 marker.
    Restraint/Activism and Roberts Court - This hasn't come up since 2010 and there are only a few questions they can ask about SCOTUS
    Constraints on SCOTUS power is also mentioned in the unit guide and has never come up. Maybe appointments process (?)

    I'll edit this if people give me other suggestions. Obviously the paper could still be on any topic.


    Can the appointment process come up as a 30 marker?
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    (Original post by ineedtorevise127)
    Can the appointment process come up as a 30 marker?
    Yes, however I think it may be more likely as a 10 marker such as 'Describe the Judical Appointment process within the US'


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    (Original post by ghowell13)
    Yes, however I think it may be more likely as a 10 marker such as 'Describe the Judical Appointment process within the US'


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    I also just spelt Judicial wrong...sorry


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    was the Warren and Burger court clearly active while Rehnquist and Warren Courts are restraint?

    Or is there any evidence to show that this is not always the case?

    Thanks
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    Could you give any information on the importance/unimportant of congressional committees? the student unit guide doesn't give very much information and i'm in need of a few good examples.

    I also think this will come up and want to be prepared!
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    (Original post by lydlev)
    Could you give any information on the importance/unimportant of congressional committees? the student unit guide doesn't give very much information and i'm in need of a few good examples.

    I also think this will come up and want to be prepared!
    Right here goes.

    A good place to start would be the Woodrow Wilson quote - "Congress in its committee rooms is Congress at work". Also mention how Committees can be Standing (such as Ways and Means or Senate Judiciary or Special (such as Intelligence). Involved in the legislative and oversight functions of Congress.

    Committees (in particular Standing Committees) are significant for a number of reasons.

    The committee chairs have great power over which bills are picked up for discussion and report. Therefore many bills are pigeon holed and so committees and their chair have huge influence in the passage of legislation. This is where the saying "died in committee" comes from.

    They have ability to subpoena and call govt to account and so hold considerable investigative power (Iraq, Iran-Contra, Watergate).

    They contain experienced individuals in their field and so Congress as a whole considers, and often adheres to, what they report back. So the true political work goes on in committees not in the main chambers.

    Certain Senate Committees are involved in the Advice and Consent powers. For example the Senate Judiciary Committee holds confirmation hearings for Federal Judges (see Robert Bork's nomination as an example of bad committee hearing).

    Committees, because of their legislative importance form part of the Iron Triangles of US Govt. This special relationship with Govt depts and pressure groups makes them very influential. Can also lead to a failure of checks and balances as relationship becomes too close.

    These are the key points I would mention. Perhaps also say how the executive is constantly being checked by Committees and so shows evidence of limited government/checks+balances which the FF wanted. UK committees are decidedly weaker and provide more of a retroactive rather than proactive function.


    Other points which could used in similar questions would be:
    - Just because it passes committee doesn't mean it will become law, still has to go through a floor vote and the other chamber
    - Committee positions are highly sought after because it gives reps. a chance to pork barrel and show voters that they are making a difference in Washington.
    - Often one of the best indicators of party politics with whoever controls the chamber as a whole being able to control the chairs and therefore the legislation.

    Hope this helps.
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    (Original post by ineedtorevise127)
    Can the appointment process come up as a 30 marker?
    It could but it would almost certainly be a 10 marker. I would imagine a 30 marker could be along the lines of "is nomination process too political" but it's unlikely.
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    Don't suppose people can start posting old essays for questions that could come up, that's what people were doing on the History forum and it really helped
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    (Original post by Bord3r)
    It could but it would almost certainly be a 10 marker. I would imagine a 30 marker could be along the lines of "is nomination process too political" but it's unlikely.
    Do you think it's possible they could ask us a 10 or even 30 marker on the composition of the Court, as in gender/ethnicity/social background/ age etc?


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