22 terms

American Government & Politics Today Chapter 3

Vocabulary and important terms or cases from the American Government & Politics Today
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Unitary System
A centralized governmental system in which local or sub-divisional governments exercise only those powers given to them by the central government
Confederal System
A system consisting of a league of independent states, each having essentially sovereign powers. The central government created by such a league has only limited powers over the states.
Enumerated Powers
Powers specifically granted to the national government by the constitution. The first seventeen clauses of Article 1, Section 8, specify most of the enumerated powers of the national government
Elastic Clause
Implied Powers. The clause in Article 1, Section 8, that grants Congress the power to do whatever is necessary to execute its specifically delegated powers. Formally known as the Necessary and Proper Clause.
Police Power
The authority to legislate for the protection of the health, morals, safety, and welfare of the people. In the United States, usually reserved for the states.
Concurrent Power
Powers held jointly be the national and state government.
Supremacy Clause
The constitutional provision that makes the constitution and federal laws superior to all conflicting state and local laws.
Interstate Compact
An agreement between two or more states. Agreements on minor matters are made without congressional consent, but any compact that tends to increase the power of the contracting states relative to other states of relative to the national government generally requires the consent of congress. Such compacts serve as a means by which states can solve regional problems
Commerce Clause
The section of the Constitution in which Congress is given the power to regulate trade among the states and with foreign countries.
Dual Federalism
A system in which the states and the national government each remain supreme within their own spheres. the doctrine looks on nation and state as co-equal sovereign powers. Neither the state government nor the national government should interfere in the other's sphere.
Cooperative Federalism
The theory that the states and the national government should cooperate in solving problems.
Categorical Grants
Federal grants to states or local governments that are for specific programs or projects.
Block Grants
Federal programs that provide funds to state and local governments for general functional areas, such as criminal justice or mental-health programs.
Federal Mandate
A requirement in federal legislation that forces states and municipalities to comply with certain rules.
Devolution
The transfer of powers from a national or central government to a state or local government.
Inherent Powers
Powers the Constitution is presumed to have delegated to the National Government because it is the government of a sovereign state within the world community
McCulloch v. Maryland
An 1819 Supreme Court decision that established the supremacy of the national government over state governments. In deciding this case, Chief Justice John Marshall and his colleagues held that Congress had certain implied powers in addition to the enumerated powers found in the Constitution.
Gibbons v. Ogden
Supreme Court decision that ruled that the Constitution gave control of interstate commerce to the U.S. Congress, not the individual states which a route passed.
Federal System
a government that divides the powers of government between the national government and state or provincial governments
Powers of the State
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States.
Full Faith and Credit Clause
Constitution's requirement that each state accept the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state
Prohibited Powers
the powers that are denied to the federal government, the state government, or both; also called restricted powers. ex. Tax on exports.