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Politics of the United States
AP Government Vocabulary
Terms in this set (54)
Checks and Balances
A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power
Hamilton and Hobbes
War must be avoided, Strong central government to keep peace
Jefferson and Locke
Pursuit of happiness, reasoning for revolutiom
Madison and Montisque
Separation of powers, checks and balances
The Articles of Confederation
First attempt at the Constitution
- could not collect taxes
- could not enforce laws
- no national court system
- could not regulate commerce (trade)
- 9 out of 13 states required to make laws so nothing ever got done
The U.S. Constitution
A nation's basic law. Creates political instructions, assigns, or divides power in government and often provides certain guarantees to citizens.
People's interests, problems, and concerns create political issues for government policymakers.
Bill of Rights
-first 10 amendments to the Constitution
-states the rights and freedoms of the people
-limits the powers of government
-protects rights of individual liberties
A system in which the people control the government through elected political officials.
Direct Democracy (Pure Democracy)
People decide on policy initiatives directly.
New Jersey Plan
Plan put forth during the Constitutional Convention that called for equal representation of the states
Benefited the small states
Plan put forth during the Constitutional Convention that called for representation by population
Benefited the large states
Part of the First Amendment, stating that "congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion."
The final paragraph of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. Authorized Congress to pass all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out the enumerated powers.
Powers of the federal government that are specifically addressed in the Constitution.
Believed in strong federal government and a loose interpretation of the the constitution
Pro-Industrialization and Manufacturing
Feared too much democracy
Led by Hamilton
Group that did not want the Constitution to be ratified
Believed the Constitution gave the Federal government too much power and that they would infringe on peoples rights
Leaders: Patrick Henry and George Mason
Decleration of Independence
Document approved by representatives of the American colonies in 1776 that stated their grievances against the British monarch and declared their independence.
Judicial Review (Marbury v. Madison)
The 1803 case in which the Supreme Court asserted its right to determine the meaning of the U.S. Constitution. The decision established the Court's power of judicial review over acts of Congress.
formal ammendment process
Article V creates a 2-stage process for amending the constitution: proposal and ratification.
An amendment can be proposed by 2/3 of both houses of congress or 2/3 of state legislatures requesting congress to call a national convention to propose amendments.
Powers reserved for the state (marriage, divorce, traffic..)
A theory of AMerican democracy contending that an upper-class elite hold the power and makes policy
American democracy emphasizing that the policymaking process is very open to the participating of all groups with shared interests, with no single group usually domination. Plural believe public interest prevails.
seperation of powers
A feature of the Constitution that requires each of the branches of government to be relatively independent of the others so that one cannot control the others. Power is shared among the three institutions.
Federalist Paper 51
"The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments"
Federalist Paper 10
in favor of the Constitution is the fact that it establishes a government capable of controlling the violence and damage caused by factions.
The Great Compromise
Compromise put forth during the Constitutional Convention included parts of both the Virginia and New Jersey Plans
Occured in 1787
Informal ammendment process
The United States Constitution can change informally. Informal amendments mean that the Constitution doesn't specifically list these processes as forms of amending the Constitution, but because of charge in society or judicial review charges the rule of law de facto.
A theory of American democracy contending that groups are so strong that government, which gives in to the many different groups, is thereby weakened.
Agreement that 3/5 of a state's slave population would be counted for representation and taxation
North: wanted slaves to count for taxation, not rep
South: wanted slaves to count for rep, not taxation
Groups, such as parties or interests groups, which according to James Madison, arose from the unequal distribution of property or wealth and had the potential to cause instability of government.
Revolt that showed the Federal government was not strong enough to defend the country
Farmers were revolting because of taxes
Last straw that convinced many people the United States needed a new constitution
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
A case in which the Supreme Court interpreted the clause in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution giving Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce as encompassing virtually every form of commercial activity.
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
A Supreme Court decision that established the Supremacy of the national government over state governments
Spending, taxing, and providing grants in the federal system.
Powers of the federal government that go beyond those enumerated in the Constitution.
idea that federal law, the constitution, any rules passed by congress/ administrative agencies are the supreme law of the land
If there is a law that contradicts one of those is unconstitutional
What is a conflict - arises when it is impossible to comply with both state and federal law
Federal grants that can be used only for specific purposes. Come with strings attached
Cooperative Federalism (Marble Cake)
A system of government in which powers and policy assignments are shared between states and the national government
Dual Federalism (Layer Cake)
The states and the national government remain supreme within their own spheres.
Federal grants given to states or communities to support broad programs in areas such as community development and social services
A way of organizing a nation so that all power resides in the central government.
Full Faith and Credit Clause
A clause in Article IV of the Constitution requiring each state to recognize the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of all other states.
"The powers not delegated to the U.S. by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."
Transferring responsibility for policies from the federal government to state and local government.
President Nixon's plan to solve domestic problems that called for a new partnership between the federal government and state governments
Decentralized form of government (states have more power)
Alliance of independent states or regional governments that creates a degree of national unity
Regional governments have authority over central governments
Powers that Congress and the president need in order to get the job done right.
Reasonable powers that are logical part of the powers delegated to Congress and the president.
Shared powers between the states and fed.
The purchase of goods or shares by one person or party before the opportunity is offered to others.
Regulations that requires a state or local government to perform certain actions with no money provided for fulfilling the requirements.
Federal government pressures the states to change their policies by using regulations, mandates, and conditions
Describes an enumerated power listen in the U.S. Constitution. Congress has power "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes."
Necessary and Proper Clause
Sets the implied powers of Congress
Recommended textbook explanations
Magruder's American Government
Magruder's American Government (Florida Student Edition)
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