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U.S. Government CH 1
Terms in this set (35)
the institution through which a society makes and enforces it public policy
all of the goals a government sets and the various courses of action it pursues as it attempts to realize these goals
the power to make law and frame public policy
the power to execute, enforce, and administer law
the power to interpret laws, to determine their meaning, and to settle disputes that arise within the society
the body of fundamental laws setting out the principles, structures, and processes of government
a form of government in which the leader has absolute power and authority
a form of government in which supreme authority rests with the people
a body of people living in a defined territory who have a government without the power to make and enforce law without the consent of any higher authority
having supreme power within its own territory; neither subordinate no responsible nor to any other authority
a government in which a single person holds unlimited power
a government in which the power is held by a small, usually self-appointed elite
a centralized government in which all powers belong to a singe, central agency
one in which the powers of government are divided between a central government and several local governments
Division of Powers
a basic constitutional provision by which governmental powers are divided on a geographic basis
an alliance of independent states for a common purpose, with a weak central government
the executive and legislative branches of the government are separate, independent of one another, and coequal
the executive is made up of the prime minister or premier, and that official's cabinet
an adjustment of opposing principles or systems by modifying some aspect of each
Free Enterprise System
an economic system characterized by the private ownership of capital goods, investments made by private decision, not by government directive, and success or failure determined by competition
Law of Supply and Demand
states that when supplies of goods and services become plentiful, prices tend to drop. When the supplies become scarcer, prices tend to rise
an economy in which private enterprise exists in combination with a considerable amount of government regulation and promotion
claims that states form when one person or group forces others under their control
Describe briefly the purposes of government set out in the Preamble of the Constitution.
to form a perfect union(The Constitution was built in belief that in union there is strength), establish justice (the law must be reasonable, fair and impartial), insure domestic tranquility (Order is essential to the well-being of any society, and keeping peace at home), and provide for the common defense ( defending the nation against foreign enemies one of the govt's major responsibilities and he defense guarantees tje security of the U.S)
Describe briefly the purposes of government set out in the Preamble of the Constitution. (CONT).
promote general welfare (Some governmental functions that are common in other countries are not carried out by government in this country), secure the blessing of liberty (Both the Federal Constitution ad the State constitutions set out many guarantees of rights and liberties for the individual in this country)
List the three questions that can be used to classify governments.
1)who can participate in the governing process 2) the geographic distribution of governmental power within the state 3) the relationship between the legislative and executive branches of govt.
In a democracy, to whom is the government responsible?
with the people
In a dictatorship, to whom is the government responsible?
a single person or group holds absolute and unchangeable authority
What is the difference between autocracy and oligarchy?
autocracy is when a single person holds unlimited political power and oligarchy is a government in which the power to rule is held by a small, usually self-appointed elite
Name and briefly describe the three forms of government that can result depending on how governmental power is distributed geographically.
unitary govt (centralized govt, all powers held by the govt belong to a single, central agency); federal govt (powers of govt are divided between a central govt and several local govts); confederate govt (an alliance of independent states)
Briefly describe the five basic concepts of democracy.
1) a recognition of the fundamental worth and dignity of every person 2) A respect for the equality of all persons 3) A faith in majority rule and an insistence upon minority rights 4) An acceptance of the necessity of compromise 5) An insistence upon the widest possible degree of individual freedom
What is the difference between equality of opportunity and equality of condition?
the democratic concept of equality holds that no person should be held back for any such arbitrary reasons as those based on race, color, religion, or gender; it holds that each person must be free to develop himself/herself as fully as he/she can/cares to and that each person should be treated as the equal of all other persons by law
claims that the state developed naturally out of the early family (i.e. early clans, tribes etc.)
Divine Right Theory
commonly accepted by the Western World, held that God created the State and that God had given those of royal birth a "divine right" to rule
Social Contract Theory
claims that people within a given area agreed to give up to the state as much power as was needed to promote the safety and well being of all
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