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
separation of powers
the division of power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government
Powers specifically given to the federal government by the US Constitution, for example, the authority to print money.
powers that belong strictly to the states
powers that are shared by both the federal and state governments
process by which an alien becomes a citizen
a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
the system of government in which a king or queen rules
First Permanent English settlement in America
Cash crop that made a profit and saved Jamestown
House of Burgesses
1619 - This was formed, the first legislative body in colonial America.
Laborer who agreed to work without pay for a certain period of time in exchange for passage to America
a trade route that exchanged goods between the West Indies, the American colonies, and West Africa
An economic system in which colonies are used as a source of natural resources and trade ONLY with the mother country
supplies or physical resources necessary to produce a tangible good, such as cotton or timber
British policy of ignoring its North American colonies
A document written by the Pilgrims establishing themselves as a political society and setting guidelines for self-government.
John Peter Zenger
His indictment, trial and acquittal on sedition and libel charges against the Governor William Cosby of the New York Colony in 1735 were important contributing factors to the development of freedom of the press in America.
Patriot and writer whose pamphlet Common Sense, published in 1776, convinced many Americans that it was time to declare independence from Britain.
British writer of the Enlightenment whose ideas of natural rights/social contract theory were used in the Declaration of Independence.
line that was setup by the British that forbids any movement/settlement west of the Appalachian Mtns; angered colonists, who felt that the current space was too crowded, and that they had every right to move if they desired
A means of raising revenue in the colonies, and was passed by Parliament. It stated that all legal documents, contracts, licenses, pamphlets, and newspapers must carry a stamp that is taxed. It angered the colonists greatly, and led to the creation of the Stamp Act Congress.
No taxation without representation
reflected the colonists' belief that they should not be taxed because they had no direct representatives in Parliament
A battle that took place in New York where the Continental Army defeated the British. It proved to be the turning point of the war. This battle ultimately had France to openly support the colonies with military forces in addition to the supplies and money already being sent.
Declaration of Independence
the document recording the proclamation of the Second Continental Congress (4 July 1776) asserting the independence of the colonies from Great Britain
Articles of Confederation
The first constitution of the 13 American states, adopted in 1781 and replaced in 1789 by the Constitution of the United States.
this conflict in Massachusetts caused many to criticize the Articles of Confederation and admit the weak central government was not working; uprising led by Daniel Shays in an effort to prevent courts from foreclosing on the farms of those who could not pay the taxes
A Quaker that founded Pennsylvania to establish a place where his people and others could live in peace and be free from persecution.
the journey of slaves from Africa to the Americas, so called because it was the middle portion of the triangular trade route
rights which are such a basic part of human nature that they cannot be taken away. According to the DoI these rights include "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
supporters of the stronger central govt. who advocated the ratification of the new constitution
were worried that the Constitution did not have a Bill of Rights or gave too much power to the national government
Plan to have a popularly elected House based on state population and a state-selected Senate, with two members for each state.
The concept that political power rests with the people who can create, alter, and abolish government. People express themselves through voting and free participation in government
a system in which power is divided between the national and state governments
The power of a court to determine the constitutionality of a governmental action
The constitutional provision that makes the Constitution and federal laws superior to all conflicting state and local laws.
clause in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution that gives Congress the right to make all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out the powers expressed in the other clauses of Article I
the expressed powers of Congress that are itemized and numbered 1-18 in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution
those delegated powers of the national gov't that are not specifically stated in the Constitution, but are implied by the interpretation of the Elastic Clause
full faith and credit clause
states have to respect and enforce the judicial rulings of other states.
Clause in the First Amendment that says the government may not establish an official religion.
free exercise clause
the First Amendment guarantee that citizens may freely engage in the religious activities of their choice
a court order required by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to be obtained from governmental officials prior to private property being searched or seized.
principle in the Fifth Amendment stating that the government must follow proper constitutional procedures in trials and in other actions it takes against individuals
The legal right to vote, extended to African Americans by the Fifteenth Amendment, to women by the Nineteenth Amendment, and to people over the age of 18 by the Twenty-sixth Amendment.
The 18th Amendment which banned the sale & purchase of alcohol
to cancel, such as the Stamp Act by Parliament and the 18th Amendment by the 21st
A legislative leader of each party who is responsible for rounding up party members for important votes.
A session at which a committee listens to testimony from people interested in the bill
Speaker of the House
the leader of the majority party who serves as the presiding officer of the House of Representatives
president pro tempore
the Senate member, elected by the Senate, who stands in as president of the Senate in the absence of the vice president
a count of the American population conducted every ten years
The process of reassigning representation based on population after every census
a proposed law
to reject, as when the President rejects a law passed by Congress
a tactic for delaying or obstructing legislation by making long speeches
procedure for terminating debate (stops a filibuster)
to overrule, as when Congress overrules a presidential veto
a written change to the Constitution
the right not to be held in prison without first being charged with a specific crime; constitutional protection against unlawful imprisonment
ex post facto law
a law that makes an act criminal although the act was legal when it was committed
to accuse an official of the executive or judicial branches of some wrongdoing or misuse of power
people within a district or state-government official represents them.
Committee composed of senior representatives and senators called to resolve the differences between the passing House and Senate versions of a bill.
(amendment) all persons born or naturalized in the US were entitled equal rights and that their rights were protected at both the state and national levels.
the right of the government to take private property for public use, with reasonable compensation awarded for the property
an adjective describing a legislative body composed of two chambers
a group of people who sought freedom from a religious persecution in England by founding a colony at Massachusetts Bay in the early 1600s
the state of being accepted as a member of country and having the rights, duties and privledges of the country.
This is how old you must be to become president
natural born citizen
In order to be president one must be 35, have lived in the US for 14 years, and this.
number of years a person must live in the US to be presdent
the role of the president as head of the executive branch of the government
The role of the president in recognizing foreign governments, making treaties, and effecting executive agreements.
commander in chief
The role of the president where he is in charge of the US armed forces
chief of state
The president as a symbol of the country at formal parties and events
a rule issued by the president that has the force of law (e.g., putting Japanese in a camp)
an agreement between the president and the leader of another country (doesn't require approval)
A formal agreement between the US and other nations -must be approved by Senate
only the House can do this - a formal accusation that the President has comitted a crime
can only be done in a Senate trail after impeachment
the power to free a person from punishment
the act of granting forgiveness to a large group of people
group that must confirm a president's nominees to the Supreme Court
refers to issues between America and other countries
War Powers Act
a law enacted in 1973 that limits a president's right to send troops into battle without consulting Congress
According to the Constitution this person is the official head of the Senate
Cabinet department that deals peacefully with other countries
the art and practice of conducting negotiation between nations without arousing hostility
a person sent to a foreign country to represent his or her government
State of the Union
Constitutionally required address by the President typically given in a joint session of Congress.
group of officials who head government departments and advise the President
Cabinet department that collects revenue and administers federal finances
Cabinet department that supervises the agencies and functions of the military
Cabinet department that represents the US in court, investigates federal crime, and ensures federal laws are followed
head of the Justice department
name for the head of all cabinet departments (except Justice)
Cabinet department that oversees all programs related to health (e.g., the CDC)
Cabinet department that administers programs dealing with better housing and urban renewal
Cabinet department that protects US borders and fights terrorism
Speaker of the House
After the VP, this person is next in the line of presidential succession
President pro tem
Unofficial head of the Senate; next in line of succession after the Speaker of the House
First Cabinet department in the order of succession
These are divisions of the Cabinet departments, like the FBI, CIA and FDA
One of the nine members of the Supreme Court
the only court officially established by the Constitution
these are courts (like District Courts and Courts of Appeals) created by Congress
The highest ranking Supreme Court justice
Opinion written by a justice who votes in the minority
Opinion written by a justice who votes in the majority
Opinion written by a justice who votes in the majority but for different reasons than the majority opinion
an explanation written by a SC justice as to explain the reasoning for a decision
a ruling that is used as the basis for a judicial decision in a later, similar case
the authority of a court to hear a case
the authority of a trial court to be first to hear a case
The jurisdiction of courts that hear cases brought to them on appeal from lower courts. These courts do not review the factual record, only the legal issues involved.
Lowest level of federal courts, where trials are held (for federal crimes like tax evasion or fraud)
Courts of Appeal
appellate courts which review decisions of district courts
amount of time a justice or federal judge is appointed for
SC case that established the principle of judicial review
established by Marbury v. Madison this means the right of the SC to determine if a law violates the constitution
SC case (along with Scheck v. US) says that in war the rights of the government are sometimes greater than an individual
SC case that includes black arm bands; students "don't shed their rights at the schoolhouse gates"
SC case that limits student rights; principal can censor newspaper to protect the school community
SC case that establishes that burning the US flag (as a form of free speech) is constitutional
SC case that says "separate but equal" facilities are constitutional
SC case the rejects Plessy v. Ferguson, finds that segregated schools are not constitutional
SC case that allowed Charlotte to bus students to integrate schools
SC case that says colleges can use an applicant's race as a factor but can't set racial quotas
SC case that protects a woman's right to have an abortion
To send a case from a court of appellate jurisdiction back to the court of original jurisdiction
SC cases like Tinker v. Des Moines and Texas v. Johnson are about this amendment to the Constitution
separate but equal
three word phrase important to both the Plessy and Brown cases
two parties start with what they can agree on and build from there
an independent person who helps in negotiation or arbitration
law based on the Constitution and on Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Constitution
court case in which the state is prosecuting a defendant; involves breaking a law
case in which an individual sues another; involves $
vast majority of cases (murder, divorce, traffic) are tried here
a group of citizens who are charged with judging a person charged with a crime
group that hears charges against a suspect and decides whether there is sufficient evidence to bring the person to trial
the attorney representing the defendant in a lawsuit or criminal prosecution
a lawyer who works for the government and brings accused persons to trial (same as prosecution)
an individual or group being sued or charged with a crime
the lawyer acting for the state to put the case against the defendant (same as district attorney)
The opening statements are provided by both attorneys to give an overview of what they plan to present during the trial
a person who files suit in a civil case.
to take a person suspected of a crime into custody
the initial step in a criminal prosecution whereby the defendant is brought before the court to hear the charges and to enter a plea
if grand jury believes there is sufficient evidence to bring the person to trial, it issues this
a sum of money used as a security deposit to ensure that an accused person returns for his or her trial
Rights possessed by persons who are arrested by the police. (Remain silent, Attorney, etc.)
A serious crime (such as murder or arson)
a minor crime
The legal process by which a fugitive from justice in one state is returned to that state
a jury that is unable to reach a verdict
what a jury decision must be in a criminal case
if a judge declares this a case must begin with a new jury or the defendant is free
when the criminally accused admits guilt to a lesser charge to avoid a harsher punishment; speeds up the busy legal system
a person charged with a 3rd felony automatically gets a harsher punishment
Individuals under 18 years of age who are given special status under the criminal law
process of changing or reforming a criminal through socialization
to grant a prisoner an early release with certain restrictions
alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed
act of compensating for loss or damage
illegally obtained evidence can not be used against a defendant
dealth penalty in cases of murder is not protected by 8th amendment
public school officials can conduct searches with probable cause
accused persons must be told by police that they need not testify against themselves
A person who cannot afford an attorney may have one appointed by the government
seen often among youth who feel their votes will not make a difference
The meeting of party delegates every four years to choose a presidential ticket and write the party's platform.
a political party organized in opposition to the major parties in a two-party system
Election in which voters choose the candidates from each party who will run in the general election
a series of statements expressing the party's principles, beliefs, and positions on election issues
organized group of people who want to control or influence govt. by winning elections, holding public office, and having laws and policies reflect their political beliefs.
a private meeting of party leaders to choose candidates for office
a survey taken to measure public opinion
identifying the candidate as "just one of the common people"
propaganda technique that tries to persuade the person to do, think, or buy something because it is popular or everyong is doing it
The function of the party "out of power" to keep an eye on the other party and govt.
going through neighborhoods asking for votes or taking public opinion
The system used in electing the president and vice president, in which voters vote for electors pledged to cast their ballots for a particular party's candidates.
Political Action Committees; an organization formed to collect money and provide financial support for political candidates
representative of an interest group or corporation who contacts lawmakers or other government officials directly to influence their policy making
Allows a person to vote without going to the polls on election day.
All persons having the right to vote.
winner take all
System in which the candidate with the majority of the popular vote in a state gets all the electoral votes
a person running for office
campaign finance reform
Legislation aimed at placing limits on political candidates accepting money and gifts from individuals and special interest groups
House of Representatives
Group that decides who will be president if no candidate has a majority of the electoral votes
a set of basic principles that determines the powers and duties of a government.
Declaration of Rights
list of more than 30 rights in the NC Constitution which gives rights to citizens
The lawmaking body for the state of North Carolina
chief of the executive branch within a state
to change a punishment to one less severe (power of governor)
government spending plan (in NC, must be proposed by the governor)
an official forgiveness of a crime (in NC, by the governor)
the official who becomes governor if the governor dies, resigns or is removed; also the president of the state senate
in NC, heads of executive branch departments that are appointed by the governor
Council of State
in NC, heads of executive branch departments that are elected by voters
position in the federal government that is equivalent to the NC governor
NC court case that established the NC Constitution as the law of the state
NC court case that ruled that NC must provide a basic education to all students
legally adding land area to a city in the United States
elected group that governs a county in NC
Elected governing body who manages a school district
elected group that governs a city in NC
person hired by a board to run a city or county on a day-to-day basis
the drawing of electoral district lines to the advantage of a party or group
Dividing an area into zones or sections reserved for different purposes such as residence and business and manufacturing
a session at which a committee listens to testimony from people interested in the bill.
The primary law enforcement officer in a county, usually elected to the post by a popular vote.
law enforcement of a city
this is the largest source of revenue in NC for county governments
the money a government collects from taxes or other sources