45 terms

American Gov't Mid-term review


Terms in this set (...)

comprehensive set of beliefs about the nature of people and about the role of an institution or government
A political theory holding that in a democracy the government ought to do what the majority of the people want.
Elite theory
A perspective holding that society is ruled by a small number of people who exercise power to further their self interest.
A theory that views politics as a conflict among interests groups. Political decision making is characterized by compromise and accommodation.
Totalitarian Regime
A form of government that controls all aspects of the political and social life of a nation.
A type of regime in which only the government itself is fully controlled by the ruler. Social and economic institutions exist that are not under the government's control.
Rule by the "best"; in reality, rule by an upper class
A system of government in which political authority is vested in the people. Derived from the Greek words demos ("the people") and kratos ("authority").
A procedure by which voters can propose a law or a constitutional amendment
An electoral device whereby legislative or constitutional measures are referred by the legislature to the voters for approval or disapproval
A procedure allowing the people to vote to dismiss an elected official from state office before his or her term has expired
Allows city, state, or national government to conduct online town-hall meetings, (and allows citizens to obtain public services from governments)
The constitutional system that shares power between the national and state governments
Dual federalism
The relationship between the national and state governments, dominant between 1789 and 1932, whereby the two levels of government functioned independently of each other to address their distinct constitutional responsibilities.
Cooperative Federalism
is a system of government in which states and the national government share powers and policy assignments. They also may jointly pay for and administer programs and if the programs do not work, jointly take the blame.
Unitary System
The central government gives power to sub-national governments (counties, provinces, etc.). This is the most common form of government. Local governments typically have only those powers granted to them by the central government, rather than any reserved powers. Especially important is the central government's role of provider of funds. Many sub-national governments rely exclusively o funds from the national government for overhead and program administration, as they may not have the power to tax
Confederal System
Power is retained by local or regional governments. The EU (European Union) is an example of a current confederal system. Each country has ultimate power within the system although there is an EU parliament and other institutions that set a common European policy.
Federal System
a government that divides the powers of government between the national government and state or provincial governments
Supremacy Clause
Article VI of the Constitution, which makes the Constitution, national laws, and treaties supreme over state laws when the national government is acting within its constitutional limits.
Necessary and Proper Clause
Clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) setting forth the implied powers of Congress. It states that Congress, in addition to its express powers, has the right to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out all powers the Constitution vests in the national government
McCulloch v. Maryland
Congress had the power to charter the bank because federal laws have supremacy over state laws - Necessary and Proper, 1819, Chief justice John Marshall limits of the US Constitution and of the authority of the federal and state govts; one side was opposed to establishment of a national bank and challenged the authority of federal govt to establish one; State wanted Federal bank to use their paper; Supreme Court ruled that power of federal govt was supreme that of the states and the states couldn't interfere
Standing Committees
committee to which proposed bills are referred; continues from one Congress to the next. Focuses on a specific subject.
Select Committees
These are created to accomplish a particular task. Unlike standing committees, select committees are not permanent. Once the task has been accomplished the select committee may be abolished. Some select committees live forever, though, like the Select Committee on Intelligence in each chamber.
Joint Committees
These are established with members of each chamber serving on the committee. The tasks assigned to these committees are very diverse
Conference Committees
These are special joint committees convened when a bill has passed both chambers but there are differences between the version approved by the House and the version approved by the Senate. The role of the conference committee is to reach a compromise between the different versions. After the compromise is reached, both houses must approve of the compromise bill before it is sent to the president.
House Rules Committee
This is a very powerful standing committee in the House of Representatives. Once the appropriate standing committee in the House has approved a bill, it is sent to the Rules Committee. This committee makes rules that will govern what happens to the bill on the floor of the House.
Speaker of the House of Representatives
The Speaker is the most important leader in the House, who presides, makes appointments, schedules legislation, decides points of order, and refers bills. The Speaker presides over meetings of the House, appoints members of joint committees and conference committees, controls scheduling legislation for floor action, decides points of order and interprets the rules with the advice of the House parliamentarian, and refers bills and resolutions to the appropriate standing committees of the House. However, the Speaker's primary focus is to seek the enactment of his or her political party's legislative ideas
Majority Leader
This person is second in line in the majority party leadership structure. He or she is responsible for assisting the Speaker in gaining the enactment of the majority party's legislation. The majority leader fosters cohesion among party members in the House.
Minority Leader
His or her primary responsibility is to seek the enactment of his party's legislative proposals, and to provide a source of "loyal opposition" to the majority party. If the minority party wins a majority of seats in the House in the next election, the minority leader would likely be selected as the Speaker of the House.
Party leaders who work with the majority leader or minority leader to count votes beforehand and lean on waverers whose votes are crucial to a bill favored by the party.
representative democracy
A system of government in which citizens elect representatives, or leaders, to make decisions about the laws for all the people.
direct democracy
A form of government in which citizens rule directly and not through representatives
unicameral legislature
a lawmaking body with only one chamber, as in Nebraska
congressional committees
study bills before they are considered by Congress
a procedure that allows each senator to speak only 1 hour on a bill under debate
universal suffrage
the right of all adults to vote for their representatives
Commander in Chief
The role of the president as supreme commander of the military forces of the United States and of the state National Guard units when they are called into federal service
instructed delegate
A legislator who is an agent of the voters who elected him or her and who votes according to the views of constituents regardless of personal beliefs.
marbury v madison
This case establishes the Supreme Court's power of Judicial Review
characterized by or constituting a form of government in which power is held by one central authority
opponents of a strong central government who campaigned against the ratification of the Constitution in favor of a confederation of independant states
separation of powers
Constitutional division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, with the legislative branch making law, the executive applying and enforcing the law, and the judiciary interpreting the law.
federal political system
authority divided between central and regional governments
a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
the institution through which the state maintains social order, provides public services, and enforces binding decisions on citizens