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CHS Government Midterm
Terms in this set (75)
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
a system in which power is divided between the national and state governments
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.
social contract theory
The belief that the people agree to set up rulers for certain purposes and thus have the right to resist or remove rulers who act against those purposes, included in the Declaration of Independence
separation of powers
the division of power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government
arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
clear and present danger
a standard for judging when freedom of speech can be abridged; "no one has a right to shout `fire' in a crowded theater when there is no fire because such an action would pose a clear and present danger to public safety"
term for federal judges
serve a life term to protect them from the influence of elected officials
the branch of government that makes the laws.
Representation in Congress
Disagreement between large and small states that was settled by giving each state 2 Senators (satisfied sparsely populated states) and basing representation in the House on population of each state (satisfied densely populated states).
Powers of the House of Representatives
Can introduce revenue (money) bills
- power to impeach (remove elected official from office)
Reserved powers of the States
Powers not specifically stated in the Constitution but not denied to the states, referred to in the 10th Amendment, includes public education, control of local governments, conduct elections, laws on marriage and divorce
Role of the president as commander of the nation's armed forces
Vice President vacancy
President nominates person and both houses must approve
the constitutional amendment designed to protect the rights of persons accused of crimes, including protection against double jeopardy, self-incrimination, and punishment without the due process of law.
one of three Civil War amendments; guaranteed equal protection and due process
A veto taking place when Congress adjourns within 10 days of submitting a bill to the president, who simply lets it die by neither signing nor vetoing it.
Marbury v. Madison
This case establishes the Supreme Court's power of Judicial Review
Group of persons equal to each state's representation in Congress chosen every four years to make a formal selection of the president and vice president. To win the election candidates need 270 votes. If there is no majority, then the House of Representatives choose the President.
A system of government in which citizens elect representatives, or leaders, to make decisions about the laws for all the people.
clause in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution that gives Congress the right to make all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out the powers expressed in the other clauses of Article I; gives the Congress implied powers
Opposed the adoption of the U.S. Constitution because it gave too much power to the national govt at the expense of the state govts and it lacked a bill of rights
Supporters of the Constitution that were led by Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. They firmly believed the national government should be strong. They didn't want the Bill of Rights because they felt citizens' rights were already well protected by the Constitution.
Articles of Confederation
Adopted in 1777 during the Revolutionary War, the Articles established the United States of America. The Articles granted limited powers to the central government, reserving most powers for the states. The result was a poorly defined national state that couldn't govern the country's finances or maintain stability. The Constitution replaced them in 1789
set up a federal system, in which political authority was divided between the national government and the state governments. Provided a seperation of power between the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government
basic principle of American government which states that government is restricted in what it may do, and each individual has rights that government cannot take away
Powers that the Constitution gives to both the national and state governments, such as the power to levy taxes.
Food and Drug Administration
a federal agency in the Department of Health and Human Services established to regulate the release of new foods and health-related products
temporary joint committee created to reconcile any differences between the two houses' versions of a bill
a state's chief executive whose responsibilities roughly parallel those of the president
a permanent committee in Congress that oversees bills that deal with certain kinds of issues led by the majority party in Congress
US v. Nixon
Supreme Court case that ruled that the Supreme Court does have the final voice in determining constitutional questions; no person, not even the President of the United States, is completely above law; and the president cannot use executive privilege as an excuse to withhold evidence that is demonstrably relevant in a criminal trial
Rule of Law
principle that the law applies to everyone, even those who govern
Secretary of State
The head of the Department of State and traditionally a key adviser to the president on foreign policy, 4th in line of succession if presidency becomes vacant
War Powers Act of 1973
In 1973, Congress passed this law which requires that soldiers sent into military action overseas by the President be brought back within sixty days unless Congress approves the action.
Purposes of Government
Maintain social order, provide public services, provide national security, and make economic decisions
Features of a State
population, territory, sovereignty, government
Presidential System of government
A democratic system where the chief executive and the legislators are elected by the people.
Parliamentary System of government
A democratic system where the citizens only vote for legislature (parliament). The parliament then elects the executive from the Parliament.
Divine Right Theory of government
The theory that the monarch is chosen by God to rule with absolute power over a country.
Force Theory of government
The theory that rulers came to power by coercion and might
Consent of the governed
A derivative of the doctrine of natural rights; a philosophy, later adopted by Jefferson when he drafted the Declaration of Independence, that puts the authority of the government in the people's hands.
Power is held by a person or group who is not accountable to the people in the country.
Government's 5th Amendment power to take private property for public use in exchange for just compensation
A political system in which a weak central government has limited authority, and the states have ultimate power.
Federal Trade Commission
A government agency established in 1914 to prevent unfair business practices and help maintain a competitive economy.
the power to make laws
Power to execute, enforce, and administer law
the power to interpret laws, to determine their meaning, and to settle disputes that arise within the society
A valuable tool for understanding demographic changes. The Constitution requires that the government conduct an "actual enumeration" of the population every 10 years in order to apportion representatives in the House.
Amendment that protects against unreasonable search and seizure.
Guarantees retirement payments for enrolled workers beginning at age 65; set up federal-state system of unemployment insurance and care for dependent mothers and children, the handicapped, and public health
A concept which holds that individuals should not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without some form of judicial or legal procedure; guaranteed by the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments
Federal Communications Commission
An agency of the federal government with authority to develop regulations for the broadcast media.
House of Representatives
435 members elected by the people for a 2 year term; candidates must be at least 25 years old; representation based on population; led by the Speaker of the House; responsible for all revenue and appropriations bills; brings charges of impeachment
100 members elected by the people for a 6 year term; must be 30 years old; all states have 2 representatives; led officially by the Vice President, but in reality by the President Pro Tempore; holds trial of impeachment
Agreement during the Constitutional Convention that Congress should be composed of a Senate, in which states would be represented equally, and a House, in which representation would be based on a State's population
The power to keep executive communications confidential, especially if they relate to national security.
A belief that ultimate power resides in the people.
An autocracy governed by a monarch who usually inherits the authority.
The Federalist Papers
This collection of essays by John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, explained the importance of a strong central government. It was published to convince New York to ratify the Constitution.
Bill to Law
1) Introduced by member of Congress (appropriation bills must begin in the House) 2) bill is referred to the proper committee 3) Committees and subcommittees study the bill (most never come out or are tabled) 4) If comes out, committee will recommend passage, alter, or defeat 5) debate on floor (time limit in house, senate may filibuster) 6) vote 7) If houses pass different versions, conference committee irons out differences 8) Vote 9) President can veto or sign bill in to law
As Chief Executive, the president refuses to allow an agency to spend funds that Congress authorized and appropriated
An amendment designed to protect individuals accused of crimes; includes the right to a lawyer, the right to confront witnesses, the right to be told the nature and cause of accusation, and the right to a speedy and public trial.
In this role, the president influences the making of laws; the president has veto power, signs bills into laws, and encourages the passage of new bills, especially in his State of the Union address.
Powers given only to the national government under Federalism that can be inherent, implied or expressed. Examples are declare war, print money, raise an army, regulate foreign and interstate trade.
A legislature consisting of two chambers, the US Congress is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate
The vote cast by individual voters in the presidential election. Electors in the Electoral College are informed by this vote when casting its states' electors.
States must recognize every other state's public acts, records and judicial proceedings; extend to every other state's citizens the privileges and immunities of its own citizens; agree to return persons fleeing from justice; states may settle disputes through interstate compacts.
A resident represented by an elected official. A US Senator represents all citizens in their state; A US Representative represents citizens in their Congressional District; The President represents all citizens in the US
Serves a 4 year term; must be 35 years old, 14 years a resident of the US and a natural born citizen; limited by the 22nd Amendment to 2 terms in office; serves as Chief Executive, Chief Legislator, Commander-in-Chief, Chief Diplomat, Head of State, Economic Planner and Party Leader
Declaration of Independence
The document written in 1776 that declared the independence of the United States of America. Stated the fundamental principles of the US government such as natural rights, the consent of the governed, and the right of the people to alter or abolish their government.
Amending the Constitution
STEP 1-Requires a 2/3 vote of the House and Senate or 2/3 of the state legislatures to propose the amendment. STEP 2-Requires 3/4 of the state legislatures or 3/4 of state conventions to RATIFY!
A presidential directive to an executive agency establishing new policies or indicating how an existing policy is to be carried out.
Recommended textbook explanations
Magruder's American Government
Magruder's American Government (Texas)
Daniel M. Shea
Magruder's American Government (Florida Student Edition)
Daniel M. Shea
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