Chapter 1 America in 21st Century
|authority|| The ability to exercise power, such|
as the power to make and enforce laws,
|autocracy||a political theory favoring unlimited authority by a single individual|
|bicameral legislature||a lawmaking body made up of two chambers or parts|
|capitalism||an economic system based on private ownership of capital|
|conservatism|| A set of beliefs that includes a|
limited role for the national government in
helping individuals and in the economic aff airs
of the nation, support for traditional values
and lifestyles, and a cautious response to
|democracy|| A system of government in which the|
people have ultimate political authority. The
word is derived from the Greek demos (people)
and kratia (rule).
|dictatorship|| A form of government in which|
absolute power is exercised by a single person
who has usually obtained his or her power by
the use of force.
|direct democracy|| A system of government in|
which political decisions are made by the
people themselves rather than by elected
representatives. This form of government was
practiced in some areas of ancient Greece.
|divine right theory|| A theory that the right to|
rule by a king or queen was derived directly
from God rather than from the consent of the
|equality|| A concept that holds, at a minimum, that|
all people are entitled to equal protection under
|government|| The individuals and institutions that|
make society's rules and that also possess the
power and authority to enforce those rules.
|ideologue|| An individual who holds very strong|
|ideology|| Generally, a system of political ideas|
that are rooted in religious or philosophical
beliefs concerning human nature, society, and
|institution|| An ongoing organization that performs|
certain functions for society.
|ideology|| A set of political beliefs that includes|
the advocacy of active government, including
government intervention to improve the
welfare of individuals and to protect civil
|liberty|| The freedom of individuals to believe, act,|
and express themselves as they choose so long
as doing so does not infringe on the rights of
other individuals in the society.
|limited government|| A form of government based|
on the principle that the powers of government
should be clearly limited either through a
written document or through wide public
understanding; characterized by institutional
checks to ensure that government serves public
rather than private interests.
|moderate|| A person whose views fall in the middle|
of the political spectrum.
|monarchy|| A form of autocracy in which a king,|
queen, emperor, empress, tsar, or tsarina is
the highest authority in the government;
monarchs usually obtain their power through
|natural rights|| Rights that are not bestowed by|
governments but are inherent within every
man, woman, and child by virtue of the fact that
he or she is a human being.
|parliament|| The name of the national legislative|
body in countries governed by a parliamentary
system, such as Britain and Canada.
|political culture|| The set of ideas, values, and|
attitudes about government and the political
process held by a community or a nation.
|politics||The process of resolving conflicts over|
how society should use its scarce resources and
who should receive various benefi ts, such as
public health care and public higher education.
According to Harold Lasswell, politics is the
process of determining "who gets what, when,
and how" in a society.
|power|| The ability to infl uence the behavior|
of others, usually through the use of force,
persuasion, or rewards.
|progressivism|| An alternative, more popular term|
for the set of political beliefs also known as
|public services|| Essential services that individuals|
cannot provide for themselves, such as building
and maintaining roads, providing welfare
programs, operating public schools, and
preserving national parks.
|radical left|| Persons on the extreme left side of|
the political spectrum who would like major
changes to the political order, usually to
promote egalitarianism (human equality).
|radical right|| Persons on the extreme right side of|
the political spectrum. The radical right includes
reactionaries (who would like to return to the
values and social systems of some previous era)
and libertarians (who believe in no regulation of
the economy and individual behavior, except for
defense and law enforcement).
|representative democracy|| A form of democracy in which the will of the majority is expressed through smaller groups of individuals elected|
by the people to act as their representatives.
|republic|| Essentially, a term referring to a|
representative democracy in which there is no
king or queen and the people are sovereign. The
people elect smaller groups of individuals to act
as the people's representatives
|social conflict|| Disagreements among people in a|
society over what the society's priorities should
be with respect to the use of scarce resources
|social contract|| A voluntary agreement among|
individuals to create a government and to
give that government adequate power to
secure the mutual protection and welfare of all