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Federal System

system where the national and state governments share power and derive all authority from the people


national government gets power from states

Unitary System

local and regional government get power from strong national government

Enumerated Powers

exclusive powers of national government; like: coin money, conduct foreign relations, provide for army, etc.

Implied Powers

powers given by enumerated powers and necessary and proper clause

10th Amendment

states that all powers not set up for the national government, or restricted by the state, are left as powers of the states

Reserved Powers

what the states' powers are called; include ability to legislate for public health, safety and morals of citizens

Bill of Attainder

a law declaring an act illegal without a judicial trial

Full Faith and Credit Clause

ensures that judicial degrees and contracts made in one state will be binding and enforceable in another

Privileges and Immunities Clause

guaranteeing citizens of each state have same rights as citizens of all other states


city governments created in response to the emergence of a relatively dense populated area


small communities, often run by a mayor and town council

Special District

local government restricted to a particular function; exists for services like libraries, sewage, water, and parks; ex: school districts

Extradition Clause

requires states to extradite, or return, criminals to states where they have been convicted or due to stand trial

Interstate Compacts

contracts between states that carry the force of law

Dillon's Rule

all local government do not have any inherent sovereignty and instead must be authorized by state gov


specifies basic policies, procedures, and institution that are acceptable to the state leg.


basic administrative unit of local gov; used for welfare and environmental programs, courts, and registration of land, births, deaths


right of a state to declare a federal law void

16th Amendment

gave Congress power to levy and collect taxes on incomes without apportioning them among the states; income tax; greatly increased national power

17th Amendment

terminated state legislatures' election of senators and placed election in hands of the people

New Deal

collective innovative programs and brought new era of American politics; cooperative federalism

Categorical Grant

Grants where Congress gives funds for specific purposes; subject to detailed conditions by the national gov

New Federalism

Reagan term; federal - state relationship with return of power to states = DEVOLUTION

Block Grant

large amounts of money given to states with only general spending guidelines; mostly requests to revamp welfare system

Unfunded Mandate

A federal mandate given to the states that is not funded by the national government

Programmatic Requests

federal funds designated for special projects within state or congressional district that direct specific exemptions from taxes or mandated fees

Rehnquist Court

supreme court that was greatly for states rights; Sandra Day O'Connor


allows national government to override state or local actions in certain areas

Progressive Federalism

The type of federalism we have today; incorporates both coercive and cooperative

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