American Government

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Chapter 8: Interest Groups
1. How many interest groups are involved in the major legislative and executive proposals that come before Congress? There is a diverse array of interest groups that are involved in major legislative and executive proposals in the United States. 2. Business groups may be involved more in what type of issues? Business groups tend to be involved in policy struggles such as tax and regulatory issues. 3. Ideological and advocacy groups may be more involved in what type of issues? These groups are more involved in social issues such as abortion and affirmative action. 4. What are interest groups?

Interest groups are private organizations and voluntary associations that try to influence what the government does. 5. Why do you think they sometimes called pressure groups? I think they are sometimes called pressure groups is because they appear to try to influence everyone to do what they want resulting in the government being pressured to do what they want. 6. James Madison wanted to write the Constitution in such a way as to protect the nation from the evils of what? He wanted to protect this nation from the evils of factions which are groups and parties that try to advance their own interests at the expense of the public good. 7. How did Madison define the term you used for your answer in number 7 above? He defined as “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens or the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” 8. In Madison’s terms, today’s interest groups would be majority or minority factions? Today’s interest groups would be called majority factions in Madison terms. 9. What were the two ways Madison believed that the Constitution controlled minority factions? The two ways Madison believed that the Constitution controlled minority factions is by using elections to fill leadership posts making it difficult for them to prevail. And second by creating a large republic in which the number of interests and factions would naturally multiply, making it difficult for anyone or group to control over the government. 10. There are two schools of thought among democratic theorists about the role of interest groups. What are those two schools? The two schools are one believing that interest groups are a threat to democracy; while the other believes them to be an essential feature of modern democracy. 11. The bedrock principle of democracy is what?

The bedrock principle of democracy is political equality, which is the notion that every citizen’s voice ought to count equally when making decisions about public policies. 12. The problem with interest groups is that they vary considerably in what? They variably considerably in the level of resources they have available and can bring to bear in the political arena, making some groups more politically influential then others. 13. This fact (mentioned in number 12 above) makes some interest groups what? It makes them more politically influential then other groups. 14. If the answers to numbers 12 and 13 above are true, what effect does this have on the bedrock principal of democracy? It makes the bedrock principle of democracy nonexistent because not everyone is equal in making decisions about public policies. 15. Summarize the argument that says interest groups are an important part of democracy. They say interest groups are an important part of democracy because they are easy to create, people are free to join, it is widely dispersed, and finally interest groups are an important part of democracy because everyone has their views taken into account making this system very democratic. 16. What are private interests?

Private interests are organizations and associations that try to gain protections or material...
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