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Definition: A ruling class that consists of a few land-owning individuals.

Key Ideas:
- "Oligarchy arises out of timocracy and it emphasizes wealth rather than honor, wisdom or justice..."
- City of the rich and city of the poor. (No middle class)
- Cardinal fault is the desire for wealth; Greed is almost always inevitable
- Wealth as a social motive is to be mistrusted
- "A ruling class which is devoted to its wealth and which owes its position and power to wealth will substitute exploitation for government."


Formal Powers of the President

1.) Chief of State (ceremonial role)
2.) Chief Executive - In charge of 17 cabinet members + 60 major agencies, boards, and commissions
3.) Commander in chief - Ultimate authority of military forces
4.) Chief Diplomat - Making foreign policy and appointing ambassadors
5.) Chief Legislator - Signs bills into laws and has the power to veto
6.) Chief of his party*
7.) Crisis manager*


Plato's Justice

"Giving to every man his due…for what is due to him is that he be treated for what he is, in light of his training and capacity; while what is due from him is the honest performance of those tasks which the place accorded him requires."
- Justice is giving to every man his due
-Justice is a 2-way street



- Actual impeachment resembles a criminal indictment in which the House acts as a Grand Jury

1.) House Judiciary Committee conducts an investigation then recommends its vote to impeach to the full House
2.) Hose can vote to impeach with a simple majority (50% + 1 or 218 votes)
3.) Senate conducts a trial to determine criminal guilt
4.) Chief Justice of S.C. presides over trial
5.) 2/3 vote in Senate is required to convict and remove from office


Impeachment Example: Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton (1993-2001)
a.) Obstruction of justice: tampering with witnesses
b.) Committed perjury under oath: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman"
c.) He was impeached in the House but not convicted.
d.) Conclusion: An impeachable offense is anything congress says it is


7 Articles of the Constitution

Article 1 - Legislative Branch: bicameral (two houses), one with equal representation and the other with representation proportionate to population size

Article 2 - Executive Branch: President of the U.S. acts a check against powers of legislative branch

Article 3 - Judicial Branch: 9 justices nominated by the president and voted in by the president; serve lifetime appointments

Article 4 -The States: The federal government is responsible for providing protection to all states. All states are equal to each other.

Article 5 - Future generations can amend the Constitution. Both the federal and state governments can start the amendment process.

Article 6 - Constitution is the supreme law of the land. All states must swear an oath to abide by it. No religious test can be required.

Article 7 - Ratification: 9/13 states necessary to ratify


Articles of Confederation

- First written constitution
- Adopted in 1777 by Continental Congress
- Replaced by Constitution in 1789
- Denied Congress the power to collect taxes and regulate commerce


Shays' Rebellion

- Daniel Shays was a farmer who fought in the Revolutionary War
- He demanded debt relief b/c war bonds from federal government were worthless
- He led a rebellion of angry farmers
- He pointed out the weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation b/c Congress could not regulate commerce or stop the states from issuing taxes


Social Contract

- Thomas Hobbes said without government "life is nasty, cruel, brutish, and short" (Anarchy)
- John Locke said people give up a certain degree of liberty in exchange for the government's protection against foreign and domestic threats