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AP Government and Politics definitions
Definitions for the Barron's AP US Government and Politics Glossary
Terms in this set (215)
court that makes decisions that forge new ground such as Roe v Wade or Brown v Board of Education and establish precedent that often result in some form of legislative action.
Advise and consent
power of the Senate regarding presidential appts.
programs of minorities supported by gov. as a means of providing equality under the law.
policy goals typically set by political parties
All politics is local
phrase coined by former speaker Tip O'Neil (1977-1987) and refers to how the behavior of congressmen on the local level was the determining factor of the way voters perceived their reps.
Americans with Disabilities Act (1991)
act that required employers, schools and public buildings to reasonably accomidate the physical needs of handicapped individs. ramps etc.
"friend of the court"; briefs that may be sent to support the position of one side or the other.
led by jefferson, one of the 1st pol parties urging the rejection of the constitution. <br />members: farmers, common people
courts that have the right to review cases from lower courts on appeal. The highest fed. court, the supreme court is the final court of appeal (appelate jurisdiction)
the determination of legislative district boundaries as a result of population changes measured every 10 yrs by census.
congressional legislation that has spending as a basic characteristic. There are 13 appropriation bills that make up the fed budget.
agreements reached by countires with the aim of reducing the proliferation of military weapons. ex: antiballistic missle treaty (1972), 1st strategis arms limitation treaty (1979), the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty (1987), 1st and 2nd strategic arms reduction treaty (1991 and 1993)
court hearing where a person accused of a crime is formally charged.
Articles of Condederation
1st adopted written constitution of independent US. Because of its weakenesses, the periodof time (1781-1789) became known as the critical period.
Baker v Carr
case that estab. principle of one man, one bote. this decision created guidelines for drawing up congressional districts and guaranteed a more equitable system of representation to the citizens of each state.
pub policy that advocates that the fed budget spend as much money as it recieves. attempt made to passa const. amend. mandaing this failed.
aka "swing states" states in pres. election closely contested. ex: florida, missouri, ohio.
2 house legislature.
Bill of attainder
the const. prohibition of the legislature determining a judicial outcome without trial.
Bill of rights
adopted in 1791 by states after ratification of the const. estab. basis of civil liberties for americans
2 political parties working together to reach a comon goal.
Bipartisan Campaign Act of 2002
aka McCain-Feingold act, banned soft money donations by individuals o pres. candidates and set affrefate limits for individuals contributing to indicidual candidates.
form of fiscal federalism where fed aid is given to the states with few strings attached.
a friend of the court opinion offered by Louis Brandeis, in the sup. court case <span style="font-style:italic;">Muller v Oregon </span>(1908), which spoke about inherent differences between men and women in the workplace.
ability to use the office of the pres. to promote a particular program and/or to influence Congress to accept legislatice proposals.
large admin agencies reflecting a hierarchical authority, job specialization, and rules an regulations that drive them.
Warren Burger was appointed by Nixon in 1969 as the 15th Chief Justice of the sup court. The court he presided over was more conservative than the Warren Court, handing over more power to the states through the court's decisions.
Bush v Gore (2000)
sup court ruled that the florida recount held after the 2000 election between republican Gov. Gerore W. Bush and Vice pres. Al Gore violated the equal protection clause of the 14th amend., which resulted in Bush winning Florida's eletoral votes and the pres. election
part of the "unwritten constitution" it was 1st estab. by Washington and includes fed deps such as state, defence, ag. etc.
Campaign finance reform
legislation aimed at placing limits on political candiates accepting money and gifts from individuals and special interest groups.
include project and formula grants and aim at assisting the states in areas such as health, income security and edu.
party regulars meeting in small groups asking questions, discussing qualifications regarding the candidate, and voting on whether to endorse a particular candidate. the iowa coucus has taken on almost as much importance as the new hampshire primary because of its timing.
official count of the pop of a district, state, or nation, which includes recording of stats such as age, sex, occupation, and property ownership.
Checks and balances
a key aspect of the const. protecting the balance of power among the 3 branches of gov. the concept was 1st promoted by james madison in the federalist papers.
used to describe the pres. powers found in article II of the const.
those rights of the people that are protected by the bill of rights (BoR)
the application of equal protection under the law to indiciduals.
Civil rights Act of 1964
act that prohibited the use of any registration requirement that resulted ind discrimination and paved the way for the involvement of the fed gov. to enforce the law.
Clean Air Act (1970)
law that estab national standards of states, strict auto emissions guidelines, and regs, which set air pollution standards for pricate industry.
Clean Water Act
passed in 1987, law estab. safe drinking standards and creates penalties for water polluters.
Clear and Present Danger Doctrine
estab. in <span style="font-style:italic;">Schenck v US </span>(1919), it gices the goc. the right to censor free speech if, during nat emergencies such as war, it can be proven that the result of the speech will significantly hurt nat security.
bans amends. to a bill once the bill reaches the house floor.
the process in which it takes 60 senators to cut off a filibuster and that is aimed at protecting minority interests.
the alliance of special interest groups with, the purpose of achieving the same goal using both direct lobbying and grassroots lobbying.
and era of US foreign policy lasting from the end of WWII (1945) to the collapse of the USSR (1991) where US policy was defined as containment of communism.
agreement to form through treaties mutual defence arrangements, such as NATO, which guarantee that if one nat. is attacked, other nats will come to its defense.
delegated power of the pres.
Art I Section 8 Clause 3 of the const. giving congress the authority to regulate interstate commerce and commerce with foreign countries.
based on the legal concept of state decisis, or judicial precedent.
befun under Nixon and known as the new federalism, this approach stressed the downsizing of the fed gov and more reliance on revenue sharing and grants.
power shared by the state and fed gov. such as the power to tax.
additional opinion in a court decision written by a member of the majority.
approach to gov that decentralizes power, giving more power to the indicidual states than to the central gov.
committee consisting fo senators and reps that meets to resolce diffences in legislation.
Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
set up by the congress, this office evaluates the cost of legislative proposals
power used by gongress to gather info useful for the fomation of legislation, review the operations and budgets of executive departments and independent reg agencies, conduct investigations through committee hearings, and bring to the pub's attention the need for pub policy.
offered at the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia, it was adopted by the delegates and created a bicameral legislatre, where one house is represented by population, and the other house is represented by the states.
Consent of the governed
a derivative of the doctrine of natural rights; a philosophy, later adopted by jefferson when he drafted the Declaration of Independence, that puts the authority of the government in the people's hands.
A person who believes in less governemt, lower taxes, a strong national defense, and more responisbility.
person living in the districtof an elected official
a member of Congress providing services to voters such as providing help with federal agencies, federal grants, and students who want to attend the US military academies, who lve in the distric the represetatice or senator serves.
provdides the basic framework of government. It is the supreme law of the land.
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
a primary measure of inflation determind by the incease in the cost of products compare to a base year.
emergency spending legislation that prevents the shutdown of any departmen simply because its budget has not been enacted.
Contract with America
a blueprint for legislative action and congressional reform that House Republicans led by Newt Gingrich successfully campaigned for in the 1994 midtem elections resulting in what was called "the republican revolution"
an increse reflected in presidential preference polls immediately following a pary's nominating convention.
developed during the New Deal, it is characterized by the federal government's becoming more intrusive in what were traditionally state powers
Council of Economic Advisors
White House staff agency created to give the pres advice regarding economic and fiscal policy.
developed during Pres Lyndon Johnson's administration, it was characterized by the Great Socitey programs, which placed a major responsibilyt on fed funded programs.
an election that results in a party realignment caused by the movement of voters from one party to another. The election of 1980 was a critical election because traditional Democrats voted for Ronald Reagan. They became known as Reagan Democrats.
Cruel and unusual punishment
doctrine found in the Eight Amend to The Const that prohibits the fed gov from imposing excessice penalties for crimes committed.
Culture of poverty
the establishment of an income level by gov that references the point that which an individual is considered to be living in poverty.
candidate running for office who is not well known, considered the underdog in the race.
De facto segregation
sefregation of schools and other pub facilities through circumstance with no law supporting it
De jure segregation
segregation by law, made illegal by Brown v Board of Ed.
Declaration of Independence
blueprint for the American Recolution containing 3 parts.<br />1-into including ideas such as natural rights, consent of the governed, limited gov.<br />2-list of grievances against King of E <br />3-declaration of independence
life, liberty, property
Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions (1848)
Drafted at the Seneca Falls Convention and taken from <span style="font-style:italic;">The History of Woman Suffrage,</span> Vol. 1 by E.C. Stanton, S.B. Anthony, and M.J. Gage, the document outlines the case for the right to cote for women, as well as other rights denied to women at the time.
refers to a budget where expenditures exceed revenues resulting in an increase of interest on the debt.
defined in the Const as those powers that are listed in the Constas belonging to the fed gov.
pol party that evolved from the original Democratic-Republican Party. It is one of the 2 major pol parties
led by Thomas Jefferson, they were characterized as the party of the &"common man."; They believed in a more limited role of the central gov.
characteristics of a population, including age, sex, and race. Demographics are often used to determine changes in the make-up of a population.
a foreign policy started by Richard Nixon and supported by Ronald Reagan that resulted in a improvement of relations with the USSR during the Cold War
political theory of returning power to the states
type of gov characterized by citizens attending a town meeting and voting on issue raised, with the majority prevailing.
attempt by lobbyists to directly influence legislation through communication with a member of a legislative body or gov official who has a connection with the formulation of legislation
voters, including cross-over voters from other pol parties, can express a preference for candidates
money paid directly to the gov in the form of income taxes
interest levels established by the fed reserve that affect the ability of the consumer to borrow money. Raising and lowering rates is used as a tool to combat inflation.
Those appropriation items in the budget that are not mandatory. In the fed bud, discretionary spending consists of measures in the 13 appropriation bills that must be passed by congress by the 1st of Oct. in such categories as trans, ag. and edu.
judicial written opinion that is contrary to the ruling of the full court.
results in the gov giving benefits directly to people, groups, farmers, and businesses. Typical policies include subsidies, research, and development funds for corporations, and direct gov aid for highway construction and edu.
characterized by pol gridlock as the result of different pol parties having control of different branches of the gov.
Division of labor
skilled workers each have a specialized function, resulting in increased productivity.
legal concept wherein once a verdict is handed down, you cannot be tried again for the same crime
the earliest type of relationship estab. between the fed gov and the states where the fed gov's powers were defined as delegated and the state gov's powers were reserved
where pres candidates are selected and a separate slate of delegates is also voted on.
pet projects added to appropriation bills by congressmen, called &"wasteful spending"; and &"pork barrel legislation"; by critics.
found in Art 1 Sect 8 of the const, it gives Congress the power to make &"all laws necessary and proper"; to carry out the other defined powers of Congress
consists of pres electors. # each state has is based on pop. A voter's vote is sent to one of the electors designated by the candidate in that state.<br />senators+representatives=electors
Elite and class theory
a group theory that revolves around an economic stratum of society controlling the policy agenda.
those benefits guaranteed by law paid to individuals by the fed gov, such as social security
delegated powers of Congress, including the power to collect taxes, pay debts, provide for the common defense and general welfare, egulate commerce among the states, coin money, and declare war
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
regulates air and water pollution, pesticides, radiation, solid waste, and toxic substances. It is the main environmental regulatory agency.
Equal Protection Under the Law
phrase fuound in the 14th amend of the const that furthers the legal concept of civil rights. Originally intended to protect freed former slaves, the clause was later expanded by court interpretation to protect other minorities
component of the 1st amend to the const that defineds the right of the citizens to practice their religions without gov interference. It also places a restriction on gov creating a "wall of separation" between church and state.
Ex post facto laws
laws that take effect after the act takes place. Congress is prohibited from enacting this type of legislation.
rule tha tresulted from the <span style="font-style:italic;">Mapp v Ohio </span>decision determining that police may obtain only that evidence that can be had trhough a legitimate search warrant. Other evidence found at the scene of the crime is not admissible, or is excluded, in the trial.
agreement made between the pres and a leader of a foreign country that does not have to be ratified by the Senate.
Executive office of the president
created by Frankling Roosevelt in 1939; it has four major policymaking bodies today-the National Security Council, the Council of Economic Advisors, the Office of Management, and Budget, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
order signed by the pres that has the effect of law, even though it is not passed by Congress. An example of an executive order includes Pres Clinton's order legalizing the abortion pill, RU486
the ability of the pres to protect personal material
a survey of randomly selected voters that is taken outside the voting area after the voter leaves it with the purpose of finding out who the voters cast their ballots for, demographic information, and where the voter stands on different issues.
specific power of the pres as listed in Art I of the Const
term used by Madison in the Federalist #10 to describe groups that are formed which threaten minority rights
scrapped in 1987, it provided that the media air opposing poinions of the same issue
Family Medical Leave Act (1993)
act that gave unpaid emergency mediacl leave for employees with a guarantee that their job would not be taken away in the interim
Favorable balance of trade
refers to a country exporting more than it imports. The US has had an unfavorable balance of trade since WWII
the pres candidate backed by the home state at the party's nominating convention
Federal Election Campaign Acts (FECA)
in 1971 it set up restritions on the amount of advertising used by a candidate, created disclosure of contributions over $100 and limited the amount of personal contributions a candidate could make on his or her own behalf. In 1974 it set up a Fed Election Commission and estab. a system of fed matching funds for pres candidates.
Federal Reserve System
fed body that regulates the money supply by controlling open-market operations; buying and selling of gov securities; and establishing reserve requirements, the legal limitations on money reserves that banks must keep against the amount of money they have depositied in Fed Reserve Banks and through discount rates, and the rate at which banks can borrow money from the Fed Reserve System
the overall dicision of power between the fed gov and state govs; as defined in 10th amend of the Const. It specifically tells the states that they have reserved powers. Powers not delegated to the gov by the Const are given to the respective states.
written using the pen name Publius; John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison wrote a series of articles urging the adoption of the Const. They argued for a Const that would estab a gov that could deal with "the tryanny of the majority" by creating 3 branches of gov having distinctive and separate powers.
headed by Alexander Hamilton, this party, made up of the country's upper class, supported a strong national gov set a policy agenda that would solce the nation's economic problems.
Fighting words doctrine
estab in <span style="font-style:italic;">chaplinsky v New Hampshire </span>(1942), the decision incorporated into state law the concept that the gov can liit free speech if it can be prved that the result of speech will cause physical violence.
tactic used in the Senate whereby a vote on legislation can be delayed through debate. The longest continuous filibuster was made by Srom Thurmond and lasted 24 hours.
a concept of fed where funding is appropriated by the fed gov to the states with specific conditions attached. The legislation can be in the form of mandates
policy that determines how the economy is managed as a result of gov spending and borrowing and the amount of money collected from taxes
Fletcher v Peck (1810)
decision that estav the precedent that the Supreme Court could rule a state law unconst.
technique used by pollsters to determine how a cross section of voters feels about a particular topic
Food stamp porgram
fed funded program that gives food coupons to low-income people based on income and family size.
privilee enjoyed by members of Congress entitling them to free postage for any mailings made as part of their official duties.
Free Exercise Clause
phrase found in the 1st amend to the const that fuarantees an individual that right to pray and beliece in the religion of his or her choice by making it illegal for Congress to pass laws that restrict this right.
Freedom of Information Act (1974)
act that incorporates sunshine laws; opened up the gov's meetings of record to the public and media.
refers to the scheduling of the early pres primaries and its impact on the selection of the majority of pres delegates.
designation given to the candidate who leads in the polls.
Full faith and credit
phrase used to describe the mutual respect and legality of laws, public records, and judicial decisions made by states.
those regulations passed by congress or issued by regularoty agencies to the states with fed funds to support them.
a significant deciation between the way men and women vote.
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
afreement wherein new trade barriers whould be avoided by member nations, existing tariffs would be eliminated, and protective tariffs would be used only for emergency situations.
state legislatures, based on pol affiliation, create congressional districts, many of which are oddly shaped and facor the pol party in power in the state making the changes.
Gibbon v Ogden
case established the principle that Congress has sole authority over the interstate commerce.
Gitlow v New York (1925)
landmark decision in that the Supreme Court incorporated the 1st Amend to a state case for the 1st time.
the degree of linkage among the community of nations
Good neighbor policy
a foreign policy established by Franklin Roosevelt that aimed at improving relations with Latin America
those institutions that create pub policy
such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, created during the New Deal, having specific responsibilities that facilitate a specific operation of the gov
Grand Old Party
known as the GOP, another way of identiying the Republican Party
money provided by the fed gov to the states including categorical grants, aid that meets the criteria of a specific category, project frants that are competitive, formula grants that have specific rules and a formula for who is eligible, and block grants that are given for specific purposes.
political participation at the local level.
created a bicameral legislature at the Const Convention helf in Philadelphia in 1787. the compromise came about after delegates could not agree on the New Jersey plan that advocated one legislatice house based on = representation and the Connecticut plan that facored one house based on pop.
describes people's perception that Congress and the pres are in a state of disagreement that results in little legislation passing.
Gross domestic product (GDP)
currently the key economic measure that analyzes an upward or downward ecomomic trend of the monetary value of all the goods and services produced within the nation on a quarterly basis.
Gross national product (GNP)
the total of all goods and services produced in a year.
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
passed by Congress in 1964 giving Pres Johnson authority to take whatever action necessary to defend American troops fighting in Vietnam. The resolution became the trigger for our escalation in Vietnam without a formal declaration of war by Congress.
<span style="font-style:italic;">"you should have the body" Latin </span>right that safeguards a person from illegal imprisonment. Refers to the writ requireing tha a preson be brought before a court to determine whether he is being detained legally.
federally regulated campaign contributions made to pol candidates and pol parties. Under current law, hard money contributions cannot exceed $1000 per individual, per election cycle.
a major characteristic of the modern pres campaign. The use of paid pol adverts, paid infomercials incorporating charts and graphs, and sophisticated polling techniques have all been esed in recent campaigns.
the claim that the media is more interested in covering a campaign like a horserace focusing more on who is ahead rather than in-depth coverage of issues.
Immigration Act of 1991
act that shifted the quota of immigrants to Europe and aimed to attract immigrants who were trained workers.
listing of accusations against a fed official of "high crimes and misdemeanors" for the purpose of removing that official from office for such misconduct. Pres Clinton was the only elected pres to be impeached but not removed from office.
describes a Congress that succeeds in establishing itself as dominant in legislative and foreign policy.
term developed by historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr.; refers to presidets who dominate the pol and legislative agenda
those powers in the Const that are not listed or delegated. An example of an implied power is the Elastic Clause, giving Congress the right to make laws that are "necessary and proper"
Incorporation of the Fourteenth Amendment
doctrine that made the Bill of rights apply tho the states as a result of Supreme Cort decisions. Even though the 14th amend was ratified in 1868, incorporation started to take place in the 1920s. It reached a peak during the Warren Court in the late 1950s and 1960s.
those elected officials who are running for new terms of office.
Independent executice agency
such as the General Services Admin, which handles gov purchasing and has a specific responsibility that facilitates the day-to-day operation of the gov.
non-federally regulated campaign contribs made by special interest froups, labor unions, and corporations to pol action committees and pol parties; also called soft money.
Independent regulatory agencies
agencies that are quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial in nature and operation. Examples include the Food and Drug Admin and EPA
a formal list of charges made by a grand jury and guaranteed in the 5th amendment.
money paid to the gov as a result of purchased goods.
economic situation characerized by steadily rising prices and falling purchasing power. It is, in part, caused by wage rates increasing faster than productivity.
paid pol adverts usually lasting longer than the average 30-60 second paid pol advert.
a linked conglomerate of computer-generated information also known as the Internet.
assumend powers of the pres not specifically listed in the Const. Inherent powers are derived from the president's role as chief executive.
ballot proposal put forth by the pub and voted on as a result of the petition process.
a pub or private organization, affiliation, or committee that has as its goal the dissemination of its membership's viewpoint.
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
a clearing house for member nations to discuss monetary issues and develop international plans and policies to deal with monetary issues. Regulating monetary exchange rates is its primary task.
the 1st phase of the pres nomination process, where candidaes attempt to gain front-runner status and raise the most money.
the 1st-in-the-nation pres preference vote usually held in Jan or early Feb. The results reflect the organizational ability and strength of prs candidates. The majority of candidates who win the Iowa caucus go on to win the party's nomination.
Iron triangle network
interrelationship among bureaucraces, the gov, interest groups, and the pub, which also establishes a pattern of relationships among an agency in the executive branch, Congress, and one or more outside clients of that agency.
Jim Crow laws
legislation that legalized segregation even after the adoption of the 14th amend.
congressional committee made up of members of both pol parties from the Senate and House of Reps.
a philosophy of judicial review that results in decisions that overturn precedent.
following oral arguments, Supreme Court justices convene and review the case they heard before taking a cote that determines the decision.
court that maintains the status quo or mirrors what the other branches of gov have established as current policy.
derived from the <span style="font-style:italic;">Marbury v Madison </span>decision, it gives the Supreme Court the power to interpret the Const and specifically acts of Congress, the president, and the states.
key Senate committee that is responsible for recommending pres judicial appointments to the full Senate for approval.
key speech at the national nominating convention that outlines the themes of the campaign.
<span style="font-style:italic;">"hands off" French </span>Used to describe an economic philosophy of nongovernment intervention in economic matters such as regulation of business or establishing tariffs.
officeholder who is either defeated or is retiring from office, but is still in office until his successor is sworn in; perceived to have little power or influence.
election where the winning candidate wins by more than 60 percent of the votes cast.
Layer cake federalism
federalism characterized by a national government exercising its power independently from state govs.
provision granting Congress the rigt to veto regulations made by fed agencies; ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
written publications that intentionally print false info that defames the character of an individual.
person who believes in greater gov intervention, higher taxes, and a smaller military.
dericed from the doctrine of natural rights, it was adopted by Jefferson and restricts the power of gov especially in the area of protecting the rights of the people.
Line item veto
allows the pres to veto selectively what he considers unnecessary spending items contained in legislation. It was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
the means by which individuals can express preferences regarding the development of pub policy. Ex: pol parties, special interest groups (SIG), and the media.
declared unconstitutional-passed by southern states after Civil War aimed at making reading a requirement for voting so that freed slaves could not vote.
primary instruments of fostering a SIG's goals to the policymakers. Term comes from people who literally wait in the lobbies of legislative bodies for senators and reps to go to and from the legislature.
tactic used in Congress. <span style="font-style:italic;">"I'll vote for your legislation, if you vote for mine"</span>
liberal interpretation of the Constitution.
persons selected by the pol party holding a majority of the seats in the House and Senate.
court ruling paricipated in by the majority of justices hearing a case.
those appropriation items in a budget that mus be allocated. In the fed bud, the majority of spending items are mandatory and include SS, Medicare, Medicaid, payment on the nat debt, and certain components of defense.
Marble cake federalism
AKA cooperative federalism, developed during the New Deal and is characterized by the fed gov's becoming more intrusive in what was traditionally states' powers.
John Marshall's tenure as Chief Justice, whose leadership resulted in the landmark decisions of <span style="font-style:italic;">Marbury v Madison, McCulloch v Maryland, </span>and<span style="font-style:italic;"> Gibbons v Ogden. </span>These cases shifted power to the judiciary and fed gov.
developed by Pres Truman's Secretary of State, George C. Marshall, implemented after WWII beginning in 1947, gave massive aid to help rebuild Europe.
consisting of television, radio, newspapers, and magazines, they reach a large segment of the pop. One of the linkage institutions.
limited fed funds given to pres candidtates that match private donations raised during the campaign.
McClloch v Maryland (1819)
case that established the principle that the fed gov was supreme over the state.
commission that brought significant representation changes to the Dem party. Made future conventions more democratic by including more minority representation.
one of the linkage institutions that connects citizens to a group that influences pub policy. The old media represents print and broadcast journalism. The new media represents social sites and Internet driven sites.
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