27 Amendments to the Constitution. They are necessary additions to The Constitution. The first 10 are called the Bill of Rights.
Separation of Powers
basic principle of American system of government, that the executive, legislative, and judicial powers are divided among three independent and coequal branches of government
Checks and Balances
A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power
A system of government in which a written constitution divides power between a central, or national, government and several regional governments
Legislative Branch of Government
branch of government that includes the two houses of Congress: The House of Representatives and the Senate. Its powers were to pass laws, declare war, enact taxes, etc. House of Reps was in charge of passing bills to raise money. Senate was in charge of approving treaties and setting up appointments.
Executive Branch of Government
Executive Branch: Headed by the president. The president carries out federal laws and recommends new ones, directs national defense and foreign policy, and performs ceremonial duties. Powers include directing government, commanding the Armed Forces, dealing with international powers, acting as chief law enforcement officer, and vetoing laws.
Judicial Branch of Government
Branch of government that is composed of federal court system that include supreme court and a system of lower courts-district courts, appeals courts, bankruptcy courts, and special federal courts.
Federal judges are nominated by the president of the united states and confirmed by the senate.
All federal judges are appointed for life.
The supreme court is composed of 9 judges, and their ruling is considered final.
Major responsibilities of this body are to interpret the constitution, resolve conflicts among states, and interpret laws and treaties.
Voter-Behavior (voter apathy)
The idea that Americans mistrust the government and refuse to take part in the election process. Some don't see an urgency to take part in voting. While voting participation is declining, political participation such as working for political groups is on the rise.
any organization that seeks to achieve political power by electing members to public office so that their political philosophies can be reflected in public policies.
Political Interest Groups
Interest groups exist to make demands on government. The dominant interest groups in the United States are economic or occupational, but a variety of other groups--ideological, public interest, foreign policy, government itself, and ethnic, religious, and racial--have memberships that cut across the big economic groupings; thus, their influence is both reduced and stabilized. Political Party are essential to democracy--simplifying voting choices, organizing the competition, unifying the electorate, bridging the separation of powers and fostering cooperation among branches of government, translating public preferences into policy, and providing loyal opposition.
A body of attitudes, beliefs, and views pertaining to specific issues held by a significant proportion of a society.
forms of communication, such as newspapers and radio, that reach millions of people.
Elements and Functions of State Governments
1. Conduct and monitor elections.
2. Establish voter qualifications.
3. Provide for local government.
4. Ratify proposed amendments.
5. Regulate contracts and wills.
6. Regulate intrastate commerce.
7. Provide education.
8. Levy direct taxes.
Elements and Functions of Local Governments
1. Levy taxes.
2. To borrow.
3. To pass, amend, and repeal local ordinances.
4. To grant franchises for public service corporations.