Civics Final Vocabulary

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For Sis Maryam's class. :3

absolute advantage

Situation that exists when a country can produce a good better than its trading partners can.

agribusinesses

Large farms that are owned by corporations and that rely heavily on mechanized equipment.

aliens

People who live in a nation but are not citizens of that nation.

ambassadors

The highest-ranking officials representing a government in a foreign country.

amendment

A written change to the Constitution.

appeal

The right of a convicted person to ask a higher court to review his or her case.

apportioned

To be distributed, as in the seats in the House of Representatives.

arbitration

A method of settling differences between labor unions and employers in which a third party's decision must be accepted by both sides.

arraignment

Process during which an accused person appears before a court to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.

bail

Money or property an accused person gives a court to hold as a guarantee that he or she will appear for trail.

balance of power

A situation in which countries or groups of countries have equal levels of strength.

beneficiary

The person named in an insurance policy to receive the amount of the policy when the policyholder dies.

bicameral

Consisting of two houses, as in a lawmaking body.

Bill of Rights

The first 10 amendments to the US Constitution, which set forth basic rights guaranteed to all Americans.

block grants

Federal funds given to state and local governments for broad purposes.

bond

A certificate of debt issue by governments and corporations to persons from whom they have borrowed money.

bureaucracy

The many departments and agencies at all levels of government.

business cycle

Economic patterns in which a free-market economy goes through periods of prosperity and depression.

cabinet

The leaders of the executive departments, who also act as advisers to the president.

capitalism

An economic system based on private ownership of the means of production.

caucuses

Meetings of party leaders to determine party policy or to choose the party's candidates for public office.

census

An official count of the number of people in a country.

certificates of deposit

Investments in which an amount of money invested for a specified period of time earns a guaranteed rate of interest.

charter

A basic plan of government granted by state legislatures to local governments.

child abuse

The mental, physical, or sexual mistreatment of a child.

circular-flow model

An economic model that displays how households, businesses, and the government interact in the US economy.

civil law

The body of law that governs relationships among individuals and that defines people's legal rights.

coalition

An agreement between two or more political parties to work together to run a government.

collective bargaining

A process in which representatives of a labor union and an employer work to reach an agreement about wages and working conditions.

common law

Customary law that develops from judges' decisions and is followed in situations not covered by statutory law.

communism

An economic system based on the theories of Karl Marx and in which the means of production are owned by the government and the government decides what will be produced.

commutation

The act of making a convicted person's sentence less severe.

comparative advantage

Method of determining which products or services offer a nation the greatest absolute advantage.

competition

The economic rivalry among businesses selling products.

concurrent power

Powers shared by the federal government and the states.

concurring opinion

A statement written by a Supreme Court justice who agrees with the majority's decision but for different reasons.

containment

The US foreign policy of preventing the spread of communism.

corollary

A statement that follows as a natural or logical result.

corporation

A business organization chartered by a state government and given power to conduct business, sell stock, and receive protection of state laws.

courts of appeal

Federal courts that review decisions appealed from distinct courts.

crime

Any act that breaks the law and for which a punishment has been established.

criminal justice system

The system of police, courts, and corrections used to bring criminals to justice.

criminal law

The body of law that regulates the conduct of individuals as members of the state.

delegated powers

Powers given to the federal government by the Constitution.

democracy

A form of government in which the people of a country either rule directly or through elected representatives.

demographics

The study of the characteristics of human populations.

depression

A sharp decline in a country's business activity, during which many workers lose their jobs and many businesses close down.

detente

A lessening of tensions.

diplomacy

The art of dealing with foreign governments.

dissenting opinion

A statement written by a Supreme Court justice who disagrees with the majority's decision.

district courts

Lower federal courts that have original jurisdiction in most cases involving federal laws.

dollar diplomacy

The practice of sending US troops to other countries to protect US investments.

draft

A policy requiring men to serve in the military.

due process of law

The fair application of the law to one's case.

elastic clause

Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution; known also as the "necessary and proper" clause that allows Congress to extend its delegated powers.

eminent domain

The power of the government to take private property for public use.

executive agreement

A mutual understanding between the president of the United States and the leader of a foreign government.

federalism

A system of government in which the powers of government are divided between the national government, which governs the whole country, and the state governments, which govern the people of each state.

Federal Reserve System

The US banking system that handles the banking needs of the federal government and regulates the money supply.

felonies

Serious crimes, such as homicide and kidnapping.

filibuster

A method of delaying action on a bill in the Senate by making long speeches.

fiscal policy

A government's policy of and spending.

full faith and credit clause

The provision in the US Constitution ensuring that each state will accept the decisions of civil courts in other states.

General Assembly

The body within the United Nations that discusses, debates, and recommends solutions to problems.

gerrymandering

The process of drawing congressional district lines to favor a political party.

grants-in-aids

Federal funds given to state and local governments for specific projects.

gross domestic product

The value of all goods and services produced in a country each year.

human rights

The basic rights to which all people are entitled as human beings.

immigrants

People who come to a country to settle as permanent residents.

implied powers

Powers not specifically granted to Congress by the US Constitution that are suggested to be necessary to carry out the powers delegated to Congress under the Constitution.

income tax

A tax on the income that individuals and companies earn.

inflation

A rise in the costs of goods and services.

interest groups

Organizations of people with common interests ho try to influence government policies and decisions.

Joints Chiefs of Staff

The group made up of the highest-ranking officers from the army, navy, and the air force that advises that president on military affairs.

judicial review

The power of the US Supreme Court to determine if a law passed by Congress or a presidential action is in accord with the Constitution.

labor unions

Organizations of workers forme to bargain for higher wages and improved working conditions and to protect workers' rights.

lagging indicators

Economic signs that help economists determine how long the current economic situation will last.

law of demand

An economic rule that states that buyers will demand more products when they can buy them at lower prices and fewer products when they must buy them at higher prices.

leading indicator

Economic signs that help economists make predictions about future economic growth.

limited government

A system in which government powers are carefully spelled out to prevent government from becoming to powerful.

lobbyist

A person paid to represent an interest group's viewpoint.

market economy

An economic system in which individuals are free to compete, to earn a living, to earn a profit, and to own property.

mass media

Forms of communication that transmit information to large numbers of people.

mediation

A method of settling disputes between labor unions and employers through the use of a third party who offers a nonbinding solution.

Medicaid

A federal program that helps the states pay the medical costs of low-income people.

Medicare

A federal program of health insurance for people age 65 and older.

misdemeanors

Less serious crimes, such as traffic violations or disorderly conduct.

monopoly

A company that controls all production of a good or service.

mutual funds

Investments that reduce risk to shareholders by investing in many different stocks.

naturalization

A legal process by which aliens become citizens/

Northern Alliance

A rebel group in Afghanistan that opposed the Taliban regime.

open-market operations

The buying and selling of government securities.

opportunity cost

The value of an alternative good or service that a company or country has chosen not to produce in order to specialize in something else.

ordinances

Regulations that govern a local governmental unit.

pardon

An official act by the president or by a governor forgiving a person convicted of a crime and freeing that person from serving out his or her sentence.

plea bargain

An agreement between the prosecutor and the defense in which an accused person pleads guilty to a reduced charge.

pocket veto

A means by which the president can reject a bill, when Congress is not in session, by not signing it.

precedent

An earlier court decision that guides judges' decisions in later cases.

probable cause

The reason for an arrest, based on the knowledge of crime and the available evidence.

propaganda

Ideas used to influence people's thinking or behavior.

public-interest groups

Groups seeking to promote the interests of the general public rather than just one part of it.

remand

To return an appealed case to a lower court for a new trail.

reserved powers

Powers set aside by the US Constitution for the states of for the people.

Security Council

The United Nations body mainly responsible for peacekeeping.

Social Security

A system of government insurance that provides benefits for retired people, people with disabilities, unemployed people, and people with job-related injuries or illnesses.

stock

A share of ownership in a corporation.

trade deficit

Situation in which a nation buys more goods than it sells.

treason

An act that betrays and endangers one's country.

unicameral

Consisting of one house, as in a lawmaking body.

veto

A refusal by the president or a governor to sign a bill.

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