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Politics of the United States
Terms in this set (121)
One form of direct democracy practiced in the U.S is the referendum. What does the referendum allow?
It allows the people to vote on proposed laws.
What is liberalism?
A set of beliefs that includes the advocacy of: positive government action to improve the welfare of individuals, support for civil rights, tolerance for political and social change
John Locke's idea, that authority came from the consent of the governed and that at any time the people can withdraw their consent and dissolve their government, is best shown in which founding document?
The Declaration of Independence
According to John Locke, people have natural rights, which include:
Life, liberty, and property
Are "liberty vs. order" conflicting American values?
Are "order vs. peace" conflicting American values?
Are "property rights vs. capitalism" conflicting American values?
Are "big government vs. small government" conflicting American values?
Define an aristocracy.
Rule by the best, or an upper class.
The struggle over power or influence within organizations or informal groups that can grant or withhold benefits or privileges.
Popular acceptance of the right and power of a government or other entity to exercise authority.
Define authoritarian government.
A type of government in which the government itself is fully controlled by the ruler.
The right and power of a government or other entity to enforce its decisions and compel obedience.
Define elite theory.
A perspective holding that society is ruled by a small number of people who exercise power to further their self-interest.
A system of government in which political authority is vested in the people.
A theory that views politics as a conflict among interest groups.
A form of government that controls all aspects of the political and social life of a nation.
The institution in which decisions are made that resolve conflicts or allocate benefits or privileges.
What is conservatism?
A set of beliefs that include a limited role for the national government in helping individuals, support for traditional values and lifestyles, and a cautious response to change.
What is libertarianism?
A political ideology based on skepticism or opposition towards all government activities.
How is the government in the United States limited?
The Constitution forbids the government to abridge the people's rights.
What are the most important forces in an individual's political socialization?
Family and education
What is socialism?
A political ideology based on strong support for social and economic equality.
Define a unitary system.
A centralized governmental system in which local or subdivisional governments exercise only those powers given to it by the central government.
What is the central idea of the Tenth Amendment?
Powers not granted to the national government, nor denied to the states, are reserved for the states.
Is a republican style government enshrined in the Constitution?
Is popular sovereignty enshrined in the Constitution?
Is a national government that ensures a healthy economy enshrined in the Constitution?
Is a limited government with written laws enshrined in the Constitution?
What was the Great Compromise?
An agreement of bicameral legislature with one house based on population and one house with equal representation (to balance power between states).
What is the process for ratifying an amendment to the constitution?
Positive vote in 3/4 of the state legislatures or 3/4 of states in a state convention.
Why was the pamphlet Common Sense important?
It was the stimulus for the Declaration of Independence.
What is devolution?
Devolution is the transfer of powers from a national or central government to a state or local government.
What is one benefit of a federal system of government?
It keeps the central government from getting too powerful.
What is the process for proposing an amendment to the constitution?
2/3 of both houses in Congress or a national convention called by 2/3 of the states
What is a confederal system?
A governmental system consisting of a league of independent states, each having essentially sovereign powers.
Is it a violation of the free exercise clause for a public school to mandate that children learn from a biology text that includes chapters on evolution, even if the child's parents protest based on religious beliefs?
Libel is a written defamation of a person's character, reputation, business, or property rights.
According to a famous decision by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, when may the government restrict free speech?
When the speech presents a clear and immediate danger to the public order.
What kind of protest did Martin Luther King, Jr. employ during the Civil Rights campaign?
What did the Civil Rights Act of 1964 do?
It outlawed discrimination in public places.
When may the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble be restricted?
By cities requiring permits for demonstrations.
Who is the civil rights leader most closely related to Black Power?
Bussing was a program that transported school children across district lines to desegregate schools. What type of segregation was bussing attempting to overcome?
What was the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy?
Homosexuals could serve in the army as long as they kept their sexual orientation hidden.
Is the right to die considered a constitutionally protected privacy right?
Is the right to an abortion considered a constitutionally protected privacy right?
Is the freedom from unwanted searches and seizures considered a constitutionally protected privacy right?
Is the right to use poisonous snakes in religious ceremonies considered a constitutionally protected privacy right?
How does the First Amendment separate church and state?
Through the Free Exercise clause and the Establishment Clause.
What was the 1974 Bakke case?
Reverse discrimination in admissions to medical school
The rights of a person being put under arrest, in accordance with the Miranda ruling, that must be read aloud, include:
The right to remain silent and to have the representation of an attorney.
May the government give aid to private church related schools for things like textbooks?
Which case turned over the "separate but equal" doctrine?
Brown v. Board of Education
Do children in the United States have fewer rights and protection than adults?
The wearing of black armbands to school in protest, as in the Tinker case of 1979, is constitutionally protected free speech. Why?
It is symbolic speech.
What is the Defense of Marriage Act?
Allows states to deny recognition of gay marriages performed in other states
May a school schedule time for prayer or reflection into their daily schedule?
What is direct lobbying?
An interest group activity that involves interaction with government officials to further the group's goals
Give an example of prepackaged news.
The Bush administration paying conservative commentators to write in support of administration-backed programs.
What is a divided government?
When the executive branch and legislative branch are controlled by different political parties.
A person who is low income and lives in the South is more likely to vote for Republican or Democrat?
What is the total number of electors in the electoral college?
What is the FCC responsible for regulating?
Media, such as television or radio
What are jobs of a political consultant?
Devising a campaign strategy, choosing a campaign theme, and overseeing advertising.
Is preparing debate questions the job of a political consultant?
Why do people join interest groups?
Benefits such as discounts or magazines, a desire to associate with others with the same goals or interests, and a feeling of political involvement.
Do people join interest groups for resumé building?
What are functions of the media in government?
Reporting the news, identifying public problems, and socializing new generations.
Is choosing electoral candidates a function of the media?
What is a plurality election?
When the winner takes more votes than anyone else, but not necessarily a majority of the votes
What is a safe seat?
A district that returns the legislator with 55% of the vote or more.
What is a political action committee (PAC)?
A committee set up by a corporation, labor union, or special interest group in order to give campaign donations.
Were early American newspapers politically sponsored?
What is a writ of certiorari?
An order issued by a higher court to a lower court to send the record of a case up for review.
What is senatorial courtesy?
In federal judgeship nominations, a tradition allowing a senator to veto a judicial appointment in his/her state.
What is case law?
Judicial interpretations of common law tradition, constitutional law, statutory law, and administrative law.
What is amicus curiae brief?
A friend of the court brief, filed by outside parties interested in the outcome of a law suit.
What is judicial activism?
Doctrine holding that the Supreme Court should take an active role by using its powers to check the activities of governmental bodies when those bodies exceed their authority.
What is the rule of four?
A U.S. Supreme Court procedure by which four justices must vote to grant a petition for review if a case is to come before the full court.
What is a class action lawsuit?
A lawsuit that provides remedy for all who are similarly situated.
What is judicial restraint?
Doctrine holding that the Supreme Court should defer to decisions made by elected representatives of the executive and legislative branches.
What is a federal question?
A question that has to do with the U.S. Constitution, acts of Congress, or treaties.
What is jurisdiction?
The authority of the court to decide certain cases.
What is a filibuster?
The Senate's tradition of unlimited debate to block a bill.
What is a trustee?
A legislator that acts according to his/her conscience or the best interest of society.
What is an instructed delegate?
A legislator that acts as the agent of the voters and votes according to the views of his/her constituents.
What is a conference committee?
A special joint committee that is appointed to reconcile the differences when bills pass in the two chambers of Congress in different forms.
What is a bicameral congress?
A congress that consists of two houses.
What is gerrymandering?
The drawing of congressional lines to give one party an advantage over another.
What is reapportionment?
The allocation of seats in the House of Representatives to each state following the census.
What is redistricting?
The redrawing of congressional district lines within each state.
What is logrolling?
An agreement where two or more members of Congress agree in advance to support each other's bills.
What is State of the Union?
An annual address in which the President proposes a legislative program.
What is executive order?
A rule or regulation issued by the President that has the force of law.
What is executive privilege?
The right of executive officials to withhold information from or refuse to appear before a legislative committee.
What is an executive agreement?
An international agreement made between the President and a foreign head of state that does not require senatorial approval.
What is a reprieve?
Formal postponement of the execution of a sentence imposed by a court of law.
What is a pocket veto?
A special veto by the chief executive after the legislative body has adjourned.
What is civil service?
A collective term for the body of employees that work for the federal government.
What is inherent power?
"The executive power shall be vested in a President..." and he shall "take care that laws be faithfully executed"
What is impeachment?
An action taken by the House of representatives to accuse civil officers of the U.S. of committing high crimes or misdimeanors.
What is a pardon?
A release from punishment or legal consequences of a crime.
What is the total number of members in the House of Representatives?
Who were the two U.S. Presidents to be impeached?
Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.
What are some of the roles of the president?
Chief diplomat, commander in chief, chief legislator
Is chief jurist a role of the president?
What are requirements to be President?
35 years or older, natural born U.S. citizen, U.S. resident for 14 years or more.
From where is the law in the United States derived?
The Constitution, statutes and administrative regulations, and precedents.
Is law in the U.S. derived from ex post facto?
What is a justiciable controversy?
A judicial problem
The NAACP was very concerned about segregation laws in the South that prevented black children from attending white schools in the 1950s. Why couldn't the NAACP sue to challenge these laws?
As a third party, the NAACP did not have the standing to sue.
What is the highest court in the United States?
The U.S. Supreme Court
What are some functions of Congress?
Law making, service to constituents, and oversight.
Is legislative veto a function of Congress?
What is the most powerful position in the House of Representatives?
Speaker of the House.
What is the most powerful position in the Senate?
President of the Senate (VP), then President Pro Tempore
Where is the great majority of legislative work done?
What is agency capture?
A bureaucratic agency is run by people from the industry it was meant to regulate.
What is an example of a government corporation?
The U.S. Postal Service
What does the Iron Triangle consist of?
Congress, interest groups, and bureaucratic agencies
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