29 terms

Chapter 5


Terms in this set (...)

Bill of Rights
a formal statement of the fundamental rights of the people of a nation
heads of the major administrative departments of government
checks and balances
the decisions of one branch must be ratified by different branches of government. This system is designed so that no one branch of government can become too powerful
concurrent powers
belong to both the national and state governments, such as the power to tax, borrow, and spend.
elastic clause
gives Congress the power "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof"
Electoral College
a body of electors chosen by the voters in each state to elect the president and the vice president
enumerated powers
expressly delegated by the Constitution and include the grant of legislative powers to Congress, executive powers to the president, and judicial powers to the Supreme Court and other federal courts.
exclusive powers
belong only to the national government or only to the states
executive branch
the branch of government charged with the execution of laws and the administration of public affairs, is headed by the president, who is in charge of enforcing or executing the laws
power is divided between the national government and the separate states
a number of separate states, each of which retains control of its own internal affairs
fourth estate
the journalistic profession or its members, including the print and broadcast media t
the right to vote
implied powers
can only be inferred from the Constitution and have no explicit provision
judicial branch
the branch of government that interprets the laws as they apply to particular cases that may arise
judicial review
the Supreme Court passes judgment on the constitutionality of a legislative or executive act.
legislative branch
branch of the government vested with the power to enact and legislate the law
limited government
power is divided between the people and the government. This fourth principle includes the democratic doctrines of popular sovereignty, the inviolability of personal rights, and constitutionalism.
military-industrial complex
the nexus between the armed forces, the Pentagon, and defense industries
(political action committees) ???
parliamentary form of government
the executive branch is a committee, or cabinet, that represents the majority party in the legislative body and holds office only as long as it can command a majority in that body
presidential form of government
the chief executive (usually called the president) is elected for a definite period of years independent of the legislative or lawmaking body and has certain powers derived directly from the Constitution
pressure groups
groups that have organized to influence the political process
pure democracy
a political system under which all citizens vote directly on every piece of legislation
representative democracy
a form of government in which the people make most governmental decision not directly but through elected representatives
a form of government in which the head of the state, the president, does not inherit the office but is elected by those citizens who are qualified to vote
separation of powers
legislative, judicial, and executive powers are divided among three separate branches of the national government, each with its own duties and limitations of power
soft money
money contributed to political parties rather than to individuals
unitary government
a government in which all the power is centralized in the national government, and the central government is absolutely supreme over all other government within such a nation