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Politics of the United States
AP Gov and Politics Midterm Vocab (not finished) 1-3
Terms in this set (65)
The institutions through which public policies are made for society
Goods and services, such as clean air and clean water, that by their nature cannot be denied to anyone
The process of determining the leaders we select and the policies they pursue. Politics produces authoritative decisions about public issues.
All the activities by which citizens attempt to influence the selection of political leaders and the policies they pursue. Voting is the most common means of political participation in a democracy. Other means include contacting public officials, protest, and civil disobedience.
Groups that have a narrow interest on which their members tend to take an uncompromising stance.
The process by which policy comes into being and evolves. People's interests, problems, and concerns create political issues for governmental policymakers. These issues shape policy, which in turn impacts people, generating more interests, problems, and concerns.
The political channels through which people's concerns become political issues on the policy agenda. In the United States, linkage institutions include elections, political parties, interest groups, and the media.
The issues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people involved in politics at a point in time.
An issue that arises when people disagree about a problem and how to fix it.
The branches of government charged with taking action on political issues. The U.S. Constitution established three policymaking institutions- Congress, the presidency, and the courts. Today, the power of the bureaucracy is so great that most political scientists consider it a fourth policymaking institution.
A choice that government makes in response to a political issue. A policy is a course of action taken with regard to some problem.
The effects a policy has on people and problems. Impacts are analyzed to see how well a policy has met its goal and at what cost.
A system of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the public's preferences.
A fundamental principle of traditional democratic theory. In a democracy, choosing among alternatives requires that the majority's desire be respected.
A principle of traditional democratic theory that guarantees rights to those who do not belong to majorities.
A basic principle of traditional democratic theory that describes the relationship between the few leaders and the many followers.
A theory of American democracy emphasizing that the policymaking process is very open to the participation of all groups with shared interests, with no single group usually dominating. Pluralists tend to believe that as a result, public interest generally prevails.
A theory of American democracy contending that an upper-class elite holds the power and makes policy, regardless of the formal government organization.
A theory of American democracy contending that groups are so strong that government, which gives in to the many different groups, is thereby weakened.
A condition that occurs when interests conflict and no coalition is strong enough to form a majority and establish policy, so nothing gets done.
An overall set of values widely shared within a society.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
The sum total of the value of the goods and services produced in a year in a nation.
A nation's basic law. It creates political institutions, assigns, or divides powers in government, and often provides certain guarantees to citizens. Constitutions can either be written or unwritten.
Declaration of Independence
The document approved by representatives of the American colonies in 1776 that stated their grievances against the British monarch and declared their independence.
Rights inherent in human beings, not dependent on governments, which include life, liberty, and property. The concept of natural rights was central to English philosopher John Locke's theories about government and was widely accepted among America's founders.
Consent of the governed
The idea that government derives its authority from the people.
The idea that certain restrictions should be placed on governments to protect the natural rights of citizens.
Articles of Confederation
The first constitution of the United States, adopted by Congress in 1777 and ratified in 1781. The Articles established the Continental Congress as the national legislature, but left most authority with the state legislatures.
A series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by Revolutionary War captain Daniel Shays to block foreclosure proceedings.
The document written in 1787 and ratified in 1788 that sets forth the institutional structure of the U.S. government, the tasks these institutions perform, and the relationships among them. It replaced the Articles of Confederation.
Groups such as interest groups that, according to James Madison, arise from the unequal distribution of property or wealth and have the potential to cause instability in government.
New Jersey Plan
The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for equal representation of each state in Congress regardless of the size of the state's population.
The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for representation of each state in Congress to be proportional to its population.
The compromise reached at the Constitutional Convention that established two houses of Congress; the House of Representatives, in which representation is based on a state's population; and the Senate, in which each state has two representatives.
Writ of habeas corpus
A court order requiring authorities to explain to a judge what lawful reason they have for holding a prisoner in custody.
Separation of powers
A feature of the Constitution that requires the three branches of government- executive, legislative, and judicial- to be relatively independent of each other so that one cannot control the others. Power is shared among these three institutions.
Checks and balances
Features of the Constitution that require each branch of the federal government to obtain the consent of the others for its actions; they limit the power of each branch.
A form of government in which people select representatives to govern them and make laws.
Supporters of the U.S. Constitution at the time the states were contemplating its adoption.
Opponents of the U.S. Constitution at the time when the states were contemplating its adoption.
The Federalist Papers are a set of 85 essays that advocate ratification of the Constitution and provide insightful commentary on the nature of the new system of government.
Bill of Rights
The first 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, drafted in response to some of the Anti-Federalists' concerns. These Amendments define such basic liberties as freedom of religion, speech, and press, and they guarantee defendants' rights.
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
A constitutional Amendment passed by Congress in 1972 stating that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." The Amendment failed to acquire the necessary support from three-fourths of the state legislatures.
Marbury v. Madison
The 1803 case in which the Supreme Court asserted its power to determine the meaning of the U.S. Constitution. The decision established the Court's power of judicial review over acts of Congress.
The power of the courts to determine whether acts of Congress and those of the executive branch are in accord with the U.S. Constitution. Judicial review was established by Marbury v. Madison.
A way of organizing a nation so that two or more levels of government share formal authority over the same area and people.
A central government that holds supreme power in a nation. Most national governments today are unitary governments.
The entire set of interactions among national, state, and local governments- including regulations, transfers of funds, and the sharing of information- that constitute the workings of the federal system.
The constitutional Amendment stating "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."
McCulloch v. Maryland
A 1819 Supreme Court decision that established the supremacy of the national government over state governments. The Court, led by Chief Justice John Marshall, held that Congress had certain implied powers in addition to the powers enumerated in the Constitution.
Powers of the federal government that are listed explicitly in the Constitution. For example, Article I, Section 8, specifically gives Congress the power to coin money and regulate its value and impose taxes.
Powers of the federal government that go beyond those enumerated in the Constitution, in accordance with the statement in the Constitution that Congress has the power to "make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution" the powers enumerated in Article I.
The final paragraph of Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, which authorizes Congress to pass all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out the enumerated powers.
Gibbons v. Ogden
A landmark case decided in 1824 in which the Supreme Court interpreted very broadly the clause in Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution and defined the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce as encompassing virtually every form of commercial activity.
Full faith and credit
A clause in Article IV of the Constitution requiring each state to recognize the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of all other states.
A legal process whereby a state surrenders a person charged with a crime to the state in which the crime is alleged to have been committed.
Privileges and immunities
The provision of the Constitution according citizens of each state the privileges of citizens of any state in which they happen to be.
A system of government in which the states and the national government each remain supreme within their own spheres, each with different powers and policy responsibilities.
A system of government in which states and the national government share powers and policy assignments.
Transferring responsibility for policies from the federal government to state and local 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.
Federal grants that can be used only for specific purposes, or categories, of state and local spending. They come with strings attached, such as nondiscrimination provisions.
Federal categorical grants given for specific purposes and awarded on the basis of the merits of applications.
Federal categorical grants distributed according to a formula specified in legislation or in administrative regulations.
Federal grants given more or less automatically to states or communities to support broad programs in areas such as community development and social services.
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