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17 terms

American Government Ch. 1

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government
the institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies
public policy
all of the many goals that a gov't pursues in all of the many areas of human affairs in which it is involved
legislative power
the power to make law and to frame public policies
executive power
the power to execute, enforce, and administer law
judicial power
the power to interpret laws, to determine their meaning, and to settle disputes that arise within the society
constitution
the body of fundamental laws setting out the principles, structures, and processes of a gov't
dictatorship
a form of gov't in which the leader has absolute power and authority
democracy
a form of gov't in which the supreme authority rests with the people
state
a body of people living in a defined territory who have a gov't with the power to make and enforce law without the consent of any higher authority
sovereign
having supreme power within its own territory; neither subordinate nor responsible to any other authority
autocracy
a form of gov't in which a single person holds unlimited political power
oligarchy
a form of gov't in which the power to rule is held by a small, usually self-appointed elite
unitary government
a centralized gov't in which all gov't powers belong to a single, central agency
federal government
a form of gov't in which powers are divided between a central gov't and several local gov'ts
division of powers
basic principles of federalism; the constitutional provisions by which governmental powers are divided on a geographic basis
confederation
a joining of several groups for a common purpose
compromise
an adjustment of opposing principles or systems of modifying some aspect of each