AP Gov/Pol Exam Must Know
· Several times in our nation's history we have seen a major shift from one party to another. This is called Realignment. These dates below will certainly appear on your AP exam. Take a moment to think about the cause of the realignment and if Americans achieved what they hoped with their "call for change".
Major Realignment Periods
Jeffersonians defeated Federalists
John Q. Adams
Jacksonian Democrats came to power
Civil War: Whigs collapsed; Republicans won
Economics: Republicans defeated Bryan
Depression: FDR Democrats came to power
· Incumbency Advantages: 93% incumbency rate in Congress
· Electors may not be legally bound to vote for the candidate selected by their state. (AP likes to try to trick you on that one.)
- The 12th Amendment: Election of the President.
- Amended Article II, Section 1, Clause 3 of the Constitution where the Electoral College would cast two votes for president and whoever got the most votes would win and the second most would be the Vice President. This resulted in a President (John Adams) from the Federalist Party as president in 1796 with a Vice President (Thomas Jefferson) from the opposing party.
- The 17th Amendment: Direct Election of Senators
- Prior to the 17th amendment, Senators were selected by state legislatures. This amendment was ratified in 1913 and allows for direct election of Senators by the people.
- The 22nd Amendment: Number of Presidential Terms
- This amendment ratified in 1951 set a term limit on presidents of two terms or 10 years.
- The 23rd Amendment: Presidential Electors for the District of Columbia
- The 23rd Amendment was ratified in 1961 and gave the residents of the District of Columbia three electoral votes.
- The 25th Amendment: Presidential Disability, Vice-Presidential Vacancies
- Ratified in 1967, this amendment established a set procedure for filling a vacancy in the Vice Presidency along with making clear provisions of what should happen if a president would be unable to perform his or her duties while in office.