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Politics of the United States
US GOVERNMENT UNIT 1
Terms in this set (81)
movement that opposed the creation of a stronger U.S. federal government and which later opposed the ratification of the 1787 Constitution.
Articles of Confederation
the original constitution of the US, ratified in 1781, which was replaced by the US Constitution in 1789.
a government that concentrates political power in an authority not responsible to the people.
Bill of Rights
first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.
Checks and balances
counterbalancing influences by which an organization or system is regulated, typically those ensuring that political power is not concentrated in the hands of individuals or groups.
Consent of the governed
the authority of a government should depend on the consent of the people, as expressed by votes in elections.
a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
people decide (e.g. vote on, form consensus on) policy initiatives directly.
An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution
1913 book by American historian Charles A. Beard. It argues that the structure of the Constitution of the United States was motivated primarily by the personal financial interests of the Founding Fathers.
Government is run by a small aristocratic elite.
a body of people representing the states of the US, who formally cast votes for the election of the president and vice president.
era from the 1650s to the 1780s in which cultural and intellectual forces in Western Europe emphasized reason, analysis and individualism rather than traditional lines of authority.
Distribution of power between states and the National Government.
movement that supported the creation of a stronger U.S. federal government and which later supported the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
a collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution.
No. 10 addresses the question of how to guard against "factions", or groups of citizens, with interests contrary to the rights of others or the interests of the whole community. "If men were angels..."
addresses means by which appropriate checks and balances can be created in government and also advocates a separation of powers within the national government. "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition...."
Formal Amendment process
Article V of the Constitution establishes two ways in which an amendment can be both proposed and ratified. First Method: Proposed by CONGRESS by a 2/3 Vote in both houses. Ratified by state LEGISLATURE in 3/4 of states. Second Method: Proposed by CONGRESS by a 2/3 vote in both houses. Ratified by CONVENTIONS held in 3/4 of the states. Third Method: Proposed at NATIONAL CONVENTION called by congress when requested by 2/3 of State Legislatures. Ratified by the State LEGISLATURE in 3/4 of the states. Fourth Method: Proposed at NATIONAL CONVENTION called by congress when requested by 2/3 of State Legislatures. Ratified by CONVENTIONS held in 3/4 of states.
The great compromise
created two houses of Congress. One based on the population, and the other gave equal representation to each state.
A system of government that gives citizens the right to vote for representatives who work on their behalf. aka a Republic
informal amendment process
Changing the meaning of the Constitution without changing the actual words (which requires a formal amendment through Article V process). Examples = Supreme Court opinions, laws, traditions.
Authority given the courts to review constitutionality of acts by the executive/state/legislature; est. in Marbury v. Madison.
English philosopher who advocated the idea of a "social contract" in which government powers are derived from the consent of the governed and in which the government serves the people; also said people have natural rights to life, liberty and property.
political system where the legalized force is restricted through delegated and enumerated powers.
A political theory holding that in a democracy, the government ought to do what the majority of the people want.
Life, Liberty, and Property. established by John Locke.
New Jersey Plan
Called for a one-house Congress in which each state had equal representation.
government can only rule with the consent of the governed - the people rule.
A theory of government that holds that open, multiple, and competing groups can check the asserted power by any one group.
A system of government in which citizens elect representatives, or leaders, to make decisions about the laws for all the people.
A form of government in which citizens choose their leaders by voting.
Second Treatise of Government
(1690) Written by Locke, Government created to protect life, liberty, and property.
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.
1786 revolt by Massachusetts farmers seeking relief from debt and foreclosure that was a factor in the calling of the Constitutional Convention.
an implicit agreement among the members of a society to cooperate for social benefits, for example by sacrificing some individual freedom for state protection.
"state of nature"
The basis of natural rights philosophy; a state of nature is the condition of people living in a situation without man-made government, rules, or laws.
Agreement that each slave counted as three-fifths of a person in determining representation in the House for representation and taxation purposes (negated by the 13th amendment).
"Large state" proposal for the new constitution, calling for proportional representation in both houses of a bicameral Congress. The plan favored larger states and thus prompted smaller states to come back with their own plan for apportioning representation.
Affordable Care Act
An expansion of medicaid, most of employers must provide health insurance, have insurance or face surtax, prevents rejection based on pre-existing condition. Also referred to as "Obamacare", signed into law in 2010.
Grants ($) given to the states by the federal government for a general purpose (like education or road-building). Unlike categorical grants, states have discretion to decide how to spend the money.
Federal grants for specific purposes, such as building an airport.
the "commerce clause"
Article I, Section 8, Clause 3. Gives congress the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among states.
Powers held jointly by the national and state governments. ex. Taxing
an alliance of independent states. States have more power than the central government.
Process of block grants becoming more categorical due to Congress adding strings.
Federal grant must be extended to all activities supported by federal funds.
When the federal government uses federal grant dollars in one program to influence state and local policy in another (example: highway funds and drinking age). Link to: cross-cutting requirements
Defense of Marriage Act
(1996) Defines marriage as man-woman. No state is forced to recognize same-sex marriage (unconstitutional due to full faith & credit clause)
Constitutional powers granted solely to the federal government.
The effort to slow the growth of the federal government by returning many functions to the states.
A system of government in which both the states and the national government remain supreme within their own spheres, each responsible for some policies.
Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, which allows Congress to make all laws that are "necessary and proper" to carry out the powers of the Constitution.
Allows the govt to take property for public use but also requires the govt to provide just compensation for that property.
A legal process whereby an alleged criminal offender is surrendered by the officials of one state to officials of the state in which the crime is alleged to have been committed.
Government systems that divide the powers between the national government and state or provincial governments.
The pattern of spending, taxing, and providing grants in the federal system; it is the cornerstone of the national government's relations with state and local governments.
"full faith and credit clause"
Constitution's requirement that each state accept the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.
Gibbons v. Ogden
Commerce clause case (1824). Decision greatly enlarged Congress' interstate commerce clause power by broadly defining the meaning of "commerce" to include virtually all types of economic activity.
money coming from federal government for a specific project.
Kelo v. New London, Ct
Gov't tried to take private property and sell so investors could turn it into a strip mall to help community, court rules that it was constitutional for state to take the property- emphasizes eminent domain.
Belief that the government can to anything the constitution does not prohibit. Flexible view of the constitution.
an official order or command to do something.
McCulloch v. Maryland
Maryland was trying to tax the national bank and Supreme Court ruled that federal law was stronger than the state law. Supremacy Clause.
Constitutional doctrine that whenever conflict occurs between the constitutionally authorized actions of the national government and those of a state or local government, the actions of the federal government will prevail. Article 6
necessary and proper clause
Gives Congress the powers to pass all laws necessary to carry out their constitutional duties; "elastic" clause (Art. I, Sec 8, clause 18).
A state's refusal to recognize an act of Congress that it considers unconstitutional.
Obergefell V. Hodges
ruled that the 14th amendment requires a state to license a marriage between 2 people of the same sex.
privileges and immunities
citizens of each state must receive privileges and immunities of any other state in which they are in. prohibits states from discriminating against citizens of other states (some exceptions).
Powers denied to the national and/or state governments by the Constitution (Article 1, Sections 9-10).
a form of federalism in which congress imposes legislation on states and localities, requiring them to meet national standards.
Powers given to the state governments.
States working together to solve problems between state line. ex. Great Lakes Compact
way of interpreting the Constitution that allows the federal government to take only those actions the Constitution specifically says it can take.
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.
Amendment stating that the powers not delegated to the federal gov. are reserved to the states. Establishes state's rights.
actions imposed by the federal or state government on lower levels of government which are not accompanied by the money needed to fund the action required.
A way of organizing a nation so that all power resides in the central government. Most national governments today are unitary governments.
United States v. Lopez
a court case where the court ruled that the Gun Free Zone Act had nothing to do with interstate commerce and the authority to pass such legislation rested with the states.
United States V. Morrison
2000- A rape victim's rapist was not convicted and received no punishment from university, appealed to SC under Commerce Clause. 5-4, no, does not relate to Commerce Clause. Should be addressed by state.
United States v. Windsor
The Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional for the federal government to deny federal benefits of marriage to married same-sex couples, if it is recognized or performed in a state that allows same-sex marriage.
Sets with similar terms
AP Government Constitutional Underpinnings
Chapter 3: Federalism
Chapter 3: Federalism