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49 Cards in this Set

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Government
institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies
Public Policy
all the goals that a government pursues in all of the many areas of human affairs in which it is involved (i.e.: taxation, defense, education, crime, health care, etc…)
Constitution
the body of fundamental laws setting out the principles, structures, and processes of a government
Dictatorship
form of government in which the leader has absolute power and authority
Democracy
a form of government in which the supreme authority rests with the people
State
a body of people living in a defined territory who have a government with the power to make and enforce law without the consent of any higher authority
Legislative power
power to make a law and to frame public policies
Executive power
power to execute, enforce, and administer law
Judicial power
the power to interpret laws, to determine their meaning, and to settle disputes within the society.
Sovereign
having supreme power within its own territory: neither subordinate nor responsible to any other authority.
Autocracy
form of government in which a single person holds unlimited political power
Oligarchy
form of government in which the power to rule is held by a small, usually self-appointed elite
Unitary Government
a centralized government in which all government powers belong to a single, central agency
Federal Government
a form of government in which powers are divided between a central government and several regional governments
Division of powers
basic principle of federalism; the constitutional provisions by which governmental powers are divided on a geographic basis
Confederation
joining of several groups for a common purpose
Presidential Government
a form of government in which the executive and legislative branches of the government are separate, independent, and coequal (invented by U.S.)
Parliamentary Government
a form of government in which the executive branch is made up of the prime minister, or premier, and that official’s cabinet
Compromise
an adjustment of opposing principles or systems by modifying some aspect of each
Free enterprise system
an economics system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods; investments that are determined by private decision rather than by state control, and determined in a free market (aka: capitalism, market system, private enterprise)
Law of supply and demand
a law which states that when supplies of goods and services become plentiful, prices tend to drop; when supplies become scarcer, prices tend to rise
Mixed economy
an economy in which private enterprise exists in combination with a considerable amount of government regulation and promotion
Limited Government
basic principle of American government which states that government is restricted in what it may do, and each individual has rights that government cannot take away
Representative Government
system of government in which public policies are made by officials selected by the voters and held accountable in periodic elections
Magna Carta
The nobility forced King John to sign the “Great Charter” at Runnymede in 1215.
Petition of Right
document prepared by Parliament and signed by King Charles I of England in 1628; challenged the idea of the divine right of kings and declared that even the monarch was subject to the laws of the land
English Bill of Rights
document written by Parliament and agreed on by William and Mary of England in 1689, designed to prevent abuse of power by English monarchs; forms the basis for much in American government and politics today.
Charter
a written grant of authority from the king
Bicameral
(def.: an adjective describing a legislative body composed of two chambers) legislature elected by property owners eligible to vote
Proprietary
(def.: organized by a proprietor - person to whom the king has made a grant of land) colonies – Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
Unicameral
an adjective describing a legislative body composed of one chamber) in Pennsylvania
Confederation
joining of several groups for a common purpose
Albany Plan of Union
1754 British Board of Trade called meeting of seven northern colonies at Albany, NY to discuss trade and danger of French attacks
Delegates
representatives, but rejected by colonial legislatures and Crown
Boycott
refusal to buy or sell certain products or services
Repealed
withdrawn, cancelled
Popular sovereignty
principle of the American system of government which asserts that the people are the source of any and all governmental power, and government can exist only with the consent of the governed
Ratification
(formal approval, final consent to the effectiveness of a constitution, constitutional amendment, or treaty) by all thirteen States was required
Articles of Confederation
15 November 1777, established “a firm league of friendship” among the States.
Presiding officer
(def.: chair) chosen from among members of Congress; not referred to as president of the United States; civil officers appointed by Congress
Framers
group of delegates who drafted the US Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787
Virginia Plan
called for a 3 branch government with a bicameral legislature in which each State’s membership would be determined by its population or it financial support for the central government
New Jersey Plan
alternative to the Virginia Plan; called for unicameral legislature in which each State would be equally represented
Connecticut Compromise
agreement during the Constitutional Convention that Congress should be composed of a Senate, in which States would be represented equally, and a House, in which representation would be based on a State’s population
Three-Fifths Compromise
agreement at the Constitutional Convention to count a slave as three-fifths of a person when determining the population of a State
Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise
agreement during the Constitutional Convention protecting slave holders; denied Congress the power to tax the export of goods from any State, and for 20 years, the power to act on the slave trade
Federalists
who favored ratification, led by many who attended the Convention – especially James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Anti-Federalists
who opposed ratification, led by Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams
Quorum
least number of members who must be present for a legislative body to conduct business; majority