Government Vocab 1

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20 terms · Vocabulary for Chapter 1 Quiz (Magruder's American Government Text 2007)

government

The institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies

public policy

All those things a government decides to do

legislative power

The power to make law and frame public policy

executive power

The power to execute, enforce, and administer law

judicial power

The power to interpret laws, to determine their meaning, and to settle disputes that arise within the society

constitution

The body of fundamental laws setting out the principles, structures, and processes of a government

dictatorship

A form of government in which a single person or a small group 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 consent of any higher authority

sovereign

Having supreme power within its own territory; neither subordinate nor responsible to any other authority

autocracy

A government in which a single person holds unlimited political power

oligarchy

A government in which the power to rule is held by a small, usually self-appointed elite

unitary

All powers held by the government belong to a single, central agency

federal

A form of government in which the powers are divided between a central government and several local governments

confederation

An alliance of independent states

presidential

A form of government in which the executive and legislative branches are separate, independent, and coequal

parliamentary

A form of government in which the executive branch is made up of a prime minister, or premier, and that official's cabinet

compromise

An adjustment of opposing principles or systems by modifying some aspect of each

mixed economy

An economy in which private enterprise exists in combination with a considerable amount of government regulation and promotion

free enterprise

An economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods; and determined in a free market

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