64 terms

Unit 1: Founding Principles

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Amendment
a change in, or addition to, a constitution or law
Antifederalist
name given to those who were against the ratification of the Constitution
Beard, Charles
A historian who argued that the Constitution was designed to protect the economic self-interest of its framers. Beard's view is largely rejected by contemporary scholars.
Bill of Attainder
a law that declares a person, without a trial, to be guilty of a crime
Coalition
an alliance of factions
Concurrent Powers
Powers that are shared by both the federal and state governments
Enumerated Powers
powers given to the national government alone
Ex Post Facto Law
a law that makes an act criminal although the act was legal when it was committed
Faction
a group with a distinct political interest
Federalism
a system in which power is divided between the national and state governments
Federalists
those who favor a stronger national government
Great Compromise
Plan to have a popularly elected House based on state population and a state-selected Senate, with two members for each state
Habeas Corpus
a writ ordering a prisoner to be brought before a judge
Judicial Review
the power of the courts to declare laws unconstitutional
Line-Item Veto
an executive's ability to block a particular provision in a bill passed by the legislature
Natural Rights
the idea that all humans are born with rights, which include the right to life, liberty, and property
New Jersey Plan
proposal to create a weak national government
Republic
a government in which citizens rule through elected representatives
Reserved Powers
powers given to the state government alone
Shay's Rebellion
A 1787 rebellion in which ex-Revolutionary War soldiers attempted to prevent foreclosures of farms as a result of high interest rates and taxes
Unalienable Rights
rights that cannot be taken away
Virginia Plan
proposal to create a strong national government
Block Grants
Federal grants given more or less automatically to states or communities to support broad programs in areas such as community development and social services
Categorical Grants
federal grants for specific purposes, such as building an airport
Confederation
a union of political organizations
Conditions of Aid
Terms set by the national government that states must meet if they are to receive certain federal funds.
Devolution
the delegation of authority (especially from a central to a regional government)
Dual Federalism
A system of government in which both the states and the national government remain supreme within their own spheres, each responsible for some policies.
Federal System
a government that divides the powers of government between the national government and state or provincial governments
Grants-In-Aid
money given by the national government to the states
Initiative
Process that permits voters to put legislative measures directly on the ballot.
Intergovernmental
interactions among national, state, and local governments
Mandates
terms set by the national government that states must meet whether or not they accept federal grants
Necessary and Proper Clause
Section of the Constitution allowing Congress to pass all laws "necessary and proper" to its duties, and which has permitted Congress to exercise powers not specifically given to it (enumerated) by the Constitution.
Nullification
the states'-rights doctrine that a state can refuse to recognize or to enforce a federal law passed by the United States Congress
Police Power
State power to enact laws promoting health, safety, and morals.
Recall
the act of removing an official by petition
Referendum
a legislative act is referred for final approval to a popular vote by the electorate
Revenue Sharing
distribution of part of the federal tax income to states and municipalities
Sovereignty
the supreme and absolute authority within territorial boundaries
Unitary System
system of government where the local and regional governments derive all authority from a strong national government
Authority
power, right to rule
Benefit
an advantage or profit gained from something
Bureaucratic View
view that the government is dominated by appointed officials
Class View
View that the government is dominated by capitalists
Client Politics
a policy in which one small group benefits and almost everybody pays
Cost
Something that is given up to satisfy your wants
Creedal Passion View
View that morally impassioned elites drive important political changes.
Democracy
a form of government in which the supreme authority rests with the people
Direct/Participatory Politics
emphasizes the broad participation of constituents in the direction and operation of political systems.
Elite
a select part of a group that is superior to the rest in terms of ability or qualities.
Entrepreneurial Politics
someone (usually active in the fields of either politics or business) who founds a new political project, group, or political party.
Interest Group Politics
a policy in which one small group benefits and another small group pays
Legitimacy
right and proper
Log-Rolling
a legislator supports a proposal favored by another in return for support of his or hers
Majoritarian Politics
a policy in which almost everybody benefits and almost everybody pays
Pluralist View
the belief that competition among all affected interests shapes public policy
Policy Entrepreneurs
People who invest their political "capital" in an issue.
Political Agenda
Issues that merit action, as determined by the public or those in power
Politics
the competition between individuals or groups over the allocation of valued resources
Pork-Barrel Politics
is a metaphor for the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative's district
Power
The ability to get someone or something to do something that it would not otherwise do.
Power Elite View
Government is dominated by a few top leaders, most are outside government
Representative Democracy
a form of democracy in which citizens elect officials to govern on their behalf