US Government - First Quiz Vocabulary Terms

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For you, Leah.

Nation

group of people united by bonds of race, language, custom, tradition, and sometimes, religion

State

a political community that occupies a definite territory and has an organized government with the power to make and enforce laws without approval from any higher authority

Nation-State

a country in which the territory of both the nation and the state coincide

Sovereignty

the supreme and absolute authority within territorial boundaries

Unitary System

a government that gives all key powers to the national or central government

Federal System

a government that divides the powers of government between the national government and state or provincial governments

Autocracy

a system of government in which the power to rule is in the hands of a single individual

Oligarchy

a system of government in which a small group holds power

Democracy

government in which the people rule

Totalitarian Dictatorship

a form of autocratic government where the ideas of leaders are glorified and the government seeks to control all aspects of social and economic life

Civil Society

a complex network of voluntary associations, economic groups, religious organizations, and many other kinds of groups that exist independent of government

Social Consensus

when most people in a society accept democratic values and agree about the purpose and limits of government

Capitalism

an economic system providing free choice and individual incentive for workers, investors, consumers, and business enterprises

Socialism

an economic system in which the government owns the basic means of production, distributes the products and wages, and provides social services such as health care and welfare

Mixed-Market Economy

a system in which the government regulates enterprise

Communism

an economic system in which the central government directs all major economic decisions

Popular Sovereignty

rule by the people

Federalism

a system in which power is divided between the national and state government

Separation of Powers

the division of power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government

Checks and Balances

the system where each branch of government exercises some control over the others

Judicial Review

the power of the Supreme Court to declare laws and actions of local, state, or national governments unconstitutional

Expressed Powers (of Congress)

powers directly stated in the Constitution

Enumerated Powers (of Congress)

the expressed powers of Congress that are itemized and numbered 1-18 in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution

"Necessary and Proper" (or Elastic Clause)

Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, which gives Congress the power to make all laws that are necessary and proper for carrying out its duties

Judicial Restraint

the philosophy that the Supreme Court should avoid taking that initiative on social and political questions

Judicial Activism

the philosophy that the Supreme Court should play an active role in shaping national policies by addressing social and political issues

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