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a system of government in which a written constitution divides the powers of government on a territorial basis between central and several smaller governments

Division of Powers

power split between national government and the states

Delegated Powers

powers expressed, implied, or inherent granted to the national government by the constitution

Expressed Powers

delegated powers of the national government that are spelled out in the constitution

Implied Powers

delegated powers not expressly stated in the constitution but reasonably suggested

Inherent Powers

powers the constitution is presumed to have delegated to the national government because it's the government of a sovereign state within the world community

Reserved Powers

powers that the constitution does not, at the same time, deny to the states

Exclusive Powers

powers can be exercised by the national government alone

Exclusive Powers

powers can be exercised by the national government alone

Concurrent Powers

powers that both the national government and the states posess and exercise

Enabling Act

an act directing the people of the territory to frame a proposed state constitution

Acts of Admission

an act creating the new state

Grants-In-Aid Program

grants of federal money or other resources to the states and/or their cities, countries, and other local units

Revenue Sharing

form of federal monetary aid under which congress gave a share of federal tax revenue, with virtually no restrictions, to the states, cities, counties, and townships

Categorical Grant

one type of federal grants-in-aid; made for some specific closely defined, purpose

Block Grant

one type of federal grants-in-aid for some particular but broadly defined area of public policy

Project Grant

one type of federal grants-in-aid; made for specific projects to states, localities, and private agences who apply for them

Interstate Compacts

agreements among themselves and with foreign states

Full Faith and Credit Clause

constitution's requirement that each State accept the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state


the legal process by which a fugitive from justice in one state is returned to that state

Privileges and Immunities Clause

no state can draw unreasonable distinctions between its own residents and those persons who happen to live in other states

Political Party

a group of persons who seek to control government through the winning of elections and the holding of public office

Major Parties

republican and democratic parties


the strong support of their party and its policy stands

Party in Power

the party that controls the executive branch of government

Minor Party

one of the many political parties without wide voter support

Two-Party System

a political system dominated by two major parties

Single-Member District

electoral district from which one person is chosen by the voters for each elected office


the largest number of votes cast for the office


supported by the two parties

Pluralistic Society

one consisting of several distinct cultures and groups


a general agreement among various groups


a system in which several major and many lesser parties exist, seriously compete for, and actually win, public offices


a temporary alliance of several groups who come together to form a working majority and so to control a government

One-Party System

a political system in which only one party exists


current officeholder


conflicting groups


the people eligible to vote


a narrow-minded concern for, or devotion to, the interests of one section of a country

Ideological Parties

parties based on a particular set of beliefs, a comprehensive view of social, economic, and political matters

Single Issue Parties

parties that concentrate on only one public policy matter

Economic Protest Parties

parties rooted in poor economic times, lacking a clear ideological base, dissatisfied with current conditions and demanding better times

Splinter Parties

parties that have split away from one of the major parties


a unit into which cities are often divided for the election of city council members


the smallest unit of election administration

Split-Ticket Voting

voting for candidates of different parties for different offices at the same elections


Franklin Roosevelt (D)


Harry S. Truman (D)


Dwight Eisenhower (R)


John F. Kennedy (D)


Lyndon B. Johnson (D)


Richard Nixon (R)


Gerald Ford (R)


Jimmy Carter (D)


Ronald Reagan (R)


George Bush Sr. (R)


Bill Clinton (D)


George W. Bush (R)


Barack Obama (D)

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