Things like jury duty, taxes, selective service, education, obeying laws and being an informed citizen
1. Freedom of Speech 2. Freedom of religion 3. Freedom of the press 4. Freedom to assemble 5. Freedom to Petition
A government ruled by a king or queen
a ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained power by force.
a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
A form of government in which citizens rule directly and not through representatives
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
a body of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is acknowledged to be governed.
the basic rights to which all people are entitled as human beings
an organization that consists of a number of parties or groups united in an alliance or league.
Ability of a state to govern its territory free from control of its internal affairs by other states.
A body of representatives that makes laws for a nation
Declaration of Independence
Signed in 1776 by US revolutionaries; it declared the United States as a free state.
Articles of Confederation
1st Constitution of the U.S. 1781-1788 (weaknesses-no executive, no judicial, no power to tax, no power to regulate trade)
U.S. government based upon a sharing of power between the three levels-federal, state and local governments
A meeting in Philadelphia in 1787 that produced a new constitution
Compromise made by Constitutional Convention in which states would have equal representation in one house of the legislature and representation based on population in the other house
Supporters of the U.S. Constitution at the time the states were contemplating its adoption.
Opponents of ratification of the Constitution and of a strong central government, generally.
Bill or Rights
The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
A legal contract in which they agreed to have fair laws to protect the general good
A document which spells out the principles by which a government runs and the fundamental laws that govern a society
A government in which the people rule by their own consent.
Introduction to the Constitution
The idea that certain restrictions should be placed on government to protect the natural rights of citizens.
Governance according to the expressed preferences of the majority.
Powers specifically given to the federal government by the US Constitution, for example, the authority to print money.
Powers not specifically granted to the federal government or denied to the states belong to the states and the people
Powers held jointly by the national and state governments.
seperation of powers
dividing the powers of government among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches
the branch of government that makes the laws
the branch of government that carries out laws
Branch of government that decides if laws are carried out fairly.
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 constitutional right to reject a decision or proposal made by a law-making body.
review by the US Supreme Court of the constitutional validity of a legislative act.
A change in, or addition to, a constitution or law
to cancel an act or law
group of officials who head government departments and advise the President
A constitutional amendment giving full rights of citizenship to all people born or naturalized in the United States, except for American Indians.
1870 constitutional amendment that guaranteed voting rights regardless of race or previous condition of servitude
the law of the national government
the law of the states and their localities
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments to the Constitution
1913 constitutional amendment allowing American voters to directly elect US senators
Guarenteed women the right to vote in 1920
Changed the legal voting age from 21 to 18.
Clear and present danger doctrine
judicial interpretation of Amendment 1 that government may not ban speech unless such speech poses an imminent threat to society.
separation of church and state
the division between religion and government
testifying against oneself
due process of law
denies the government the right, without due process, to deprive people of life, liberty, and property
Power of a government to take private property for public use.
A sum of money used as a security deposit to ensure that an accused person returns for his or her trial
the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality.
the right to vote in political elections
A requirement that citizens pay a tax in order to register to vote
A law requiring people of a certain age to serve in the military
Limited by law to a certain amount per household
the responsibility of every citizen to serve on a jury when called
Voting Rights Act
law that banned literacy tests and empowered the federal government to oversee voter registration
Qualifications for members of Congress
1. Must be 30 years of age 2. Citizen of the United Sates for at least nine years 3. Be a resident of the state from which they are elected
a lawmaking body made up of two chambers or parts
divided among districts
Process of redrawing legislative boundaries for the purpose of benefiting the party in power.
immunity from prosecution
a promise that someone facing possible criminal charges will not be tried for the crime. In exchange for immunity, the individual usually agrees to cooperate fully with the authorities who are investigating the crime.
the process of driving or forcing out
to criticize sharply
Sessions of Congress
period of time during which, each year, Congress assembles and conducts business
meetings of party leaders to determine party policy or to choose the party's candidates for public office
President Pro Tempore
Officer of the Senate selected by the majority party to act as chair in the absence of the vice president
a senator or representative who helps the party leader stay informed about what party members are thinking
Speaker of the House
An office mandated by the Constitution. The Speaker is chosen in practice by the majority party, has both formal and informal powers, and is second in line to succeed to the presidency should that office become vacant.
1/3 every year - for stability in the Senate
Powers inferred from the express powers that allow Congress to carry out its functions.
the part of the Constitution that permits Congress to make any laws "necessary and proper" to carrying out its powers
To accuse government officials of misconduct in office
the crime of betraying one's country
a proposed law
A permanent committee established in a legislature, usually focusing on a policy area
Committee appointed by the presiding officers of each chamber to adjust differences on a particular bill passed by each in different form.
money that Congress has allocated to be spent
How a bill becomes a law
1. written 2. discussed in committee + voted 3. discussed in House of Reps. and Senate + voted on in both 4. President signs it or vetoes it (which brings back to Congress, needs 2/3 vote to override veto)
Chief executive's power to reject a bill passed by a legislature
president's power to kill a bill, if Congress is not in session, by not signing it for 10 days
Act of Congress
An Act of Congress is a statute enacted by the United States Congress.