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suffrage

voting rights

selective service

system that requires males to register by age 18; The purpose is to have information available about potential soldiers in the event of war

constitution

A written set of basic principles that determines the duties and powers of a government.

cabinet

A group made up of the heads of the 15 executive departments that advises the POTUS.

bicameral legislature

two house lawmaking body

Bill of Rights

The 1st ten amendments to the Constitution. Ratified in 1791.

mercantilism

Practice of creating and maintaining wealth by carefully controlling trade. Britain maintained this policy toward the colonies by passing the Navigation Acts. It maximized the mother country's profit off the colonies.

census

An official counting of the population. The next US count is in 2010.

deport

send an immigrant back to his country of origin

eminent domain

Government's power to take personal property to further the public good. Jerry Jones and Arlington, TX did this to build the new Cowboys Stadium.

political action committees

Organizations that collect money to distribute to candidates who support the same issues as the contributors

Northwest Territory

An area created by the Northwest Ordinance in 1787 that included OH, IL, IN, WI, MI and part of MN.

POTUS succession

In the event of the death or resignation of the POTUS the process of filling the position.

naturalization

Process by which aliens become citizens.

popular sovereignty

The idea that political power belongs to the people. Clearly embodied in the 1st three words of the Constitution "We the People"

separation of powers

A way to prevent any one branch of government from becoming too powerful. Suggested by Montesquieu.

impeach

Vote to bring charges against. Does NOT necessarily remove the person from office.

delegated powers

Powers that are specifically given to the federal government in Article I Section VIII of the Constitution.

powers prohibited to Congress

Powers that are referenced in Article I Section IX.

checks and balances

A system established by the Constitution that prevents any one branch from becoming too powerful.

majority party

The political party with the most members in either congressional house.

minority party

The political party that does not have the most members in either house of Congress.

electoral college

A group selected from each of the states to cast votes in POTUS elections. The Framers designed the system to assure that a qualified person would be elected POTUS. The system does NOT allow average people to vote directly for the POTUS.

ratification

the process of formally approving something

slander

spoken lies

libel

written and/or published lies

salutary neglect

Policy of Britain during the colonial period when the British allowed American colonists to rule themsleves as long as the rule also benefited Britain.

counterfeiting

crime committed when you make fake currency

democracy

government by the people

republic

System of government where people elect representatives to govern them. Also called representative government.

Federalists

People who believed in a strong national government and wanted the new Constitution approved. America's 1st political party.

Anti-Federalists

People who wanted to defeat the new Constitution mainly because it cut down on "states' rights"

Unalienable Rights

Written about by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. They include "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

E Pluribus Unum

Latin term that means "out of many, one". Appears on US money.

We the People

First three words of the Constitution that embody popular sovereignty.

We the States

First three words of the Articles of Confederation that focus on states' rights

Supremacy Clause

Section of Article VI that says when state and federal laws conflict, the federal law takes precedence.

Framers

Term that refers in general to the Founding Fathers of the United States.

Tory

A derogatory Patriot nickname for people who were Loyal to Britain. Essentially a synonym for Loyalist.

Civic Virtue

A commitment to help others in your community.

Volunteerism

A spirit that enables you to donate your time to assist individuals/organizations without being paid.

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