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AP Government Final Exam Terms
Terms in this set (70)
The Connecticut (Great) Compromise
The final decision of the Constitutional Compromise to a bicameral legislature. Made the national law supreme to the states.
The theory that political power is distributed among a wide array of diverse and competing interest groups.
the Power Elite
A small group of people who tend to dominate American policymaking.
bill of attainder
A law declaring an act illegal without a judicial trial.
ex post facto
A law that makes an act punishable as a crime even if the action was legal at the time it was committed.
A writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into a court.
system of checks and balances
Constitutionally mandated structure that gives each branch oversight and control over the actions of others.
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
The Supreme Court upheld broad congressional power to regulate interstate commerce. Paved the way for later rulings upholding expansive federal powers.
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
The Supreme Court upheld the power of the national government and denied the right of a state to tax the federal bank using the Constitution's supremacy clause. Paved way for later rulings upholding expansive federal powers.
Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)
The Supreme Court decided Congress lacked the constitutional authority to bar slavery in the territories. Narrowed the scope of national power, but enhanced that of the states.
Korematsu v. United States (1944)
The Supreme Court ruled that the internment of Japanese and other ethnic Americans during World War II was constitutional.
Grant that allocated federal funds to states for a specific purpose.
A large grant given to a state by the federal government with only general spending guidelines.
A command, indicated by an electorate's votes, for the elected officials to carry out a party platform or policy agenda.
Terms set by the national government that states must meet if they are to receive certain federal funds.
weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
The federal government, under the Articles, was too weak to enforce their laws and therefore had no power; the Continental Congress had borrowed money to fight the Revolutionary War and could not repay their debts; no executive branch.
The citizens' faith and trust in government and their belief that they can understand and influence political affairs.
political socialization and party affiliation
The process through which individuals acquire their political beliefs and values; association with a set of ideas/morals/principles of a political group.
The internal organization of a political party, which decides its policies and directs its activities.
Democratic Party coalition (groups)
FDR forged a coalition that included Democratic state party organizations, city machines, labor unions, blue collar workers, minorities, farmers, white Southerners, people on relief, and intellectuals.
The drawing of congressional districts to produce a particular electoral outcome without regard to the shape of the district.
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA)
A United States federal law that amended the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, which regulates the financing of political campaigns.
Campaign contributions that are regulated and limited by the Federal Election Commission.
Campaign contributions that are not regulated or limited by the Federal Election Commission.
Tax-exempt organization created to raise money for political activities; not subject to Federal Election Commission disclosure rules.
PACs (Political Action Committees)
Officially registered fundraising organization that represents interest groups in the political process.
front-loading of primaries
The tendency of states to choose an early date on the nomination calendar.
types of primaries (open, closed, blanket)
Election in which party members, independents, and members from other parties can vote; election in which only registered party members are eligible to vote; election where voters elect one candidate per office regardless of affiliation.
An electoral system in which the party that receives at least one more vote than any other party wins the election.
free rider problem of interest groups
Refers to the difficulty of obtaining members when the benefits are already reaped without membership; non-members are free riders.
initiative and referendum
Election that allows citizens to propose legislation and state constitutional amendments via submission to electorate for vote; election where the state proposes legislation and state constitutional amendments to the voters for approval.
media coverage of elections
Campaigns have become more focused on the individual rather than on the party; seek media attention to gain attention from voters.
Representatives of each state who cast the final ballots that actually elect a president.
Voting for candidates of different parties for various offices in the same election.
demographics and voting behaviors
Relating to the structure of populations; pertains to the actions and inactions of citizens in elections.
Governmental units that resemble Cabinet departments but have narrower areas of responsibilities and perform services; example would be the CIA.
A person involved in a lawsuit.
amicus curiae brief
"Friend of the court"; may file briefs or even appear to argue their interests orally before the court.
writ of certiorari
A request for the Supreme Court to order up the records from a lower court to review the case.
pork barrel politics
The use of government funds for projects designed to please voters or legislators and win votes.
enumerated powers of Congress
30 established powers to the Congress specifically stated in Article I Section 8 of the Constitution.
enumerated powers of the President
Explicitly granted by Article II of the Constitution.
informal powers of the President
The ability to enact a legislative agenda, executive orders, sending out troops without a declaration of war, and conducting foreign policy initiatives, etc.
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Case in which the Supreme Court first asserted the power of judicial review by finding that the congressional statute extending the Court's original jurisdiction was unconstitutional.
qualifications of House and Senate
1. 25 years old
2. Resident for 7 years
3. Live in state they represent
1. 30 years old
2. Resident for 9 years
3. Live in state they represent
The privilege of sending mail without payment of postage.
types of committees (standing, select, conference)
Committee to which proposed bills are referred; temporary committee appointed for a specific purpose; special committee created to reconcile differences in House and Senate bills passed.
seniority system in Congress
Time of continuous service on a committee.
War Powers Resolution
A law passed in 1973 staring that the president is limited in the deployment of troops overseas to a 60 day period in peacetime, unless Congress explicitly gives its approval for a longer period.
The relatively stable relationships and patterns of interaction that occur among agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees or subcommittees.
positions confirmed by Senate
Ambassadors, public ministers and consuls, judges of Supreme Court, all officers of the United States, etc.
trustee vs. delegate roles of Congress
Elected representative who listens to constituents' opinions and uses best judgement to make their final decisions; elected representative who votes the way their constituents would want.
discretionary authority of the bureaucracy
The ability of the bureaucracy to choose courses of action and make policies not spelled out in advance by law.
reason for a weak Cabinet
The secretaries defend, explain, and enlarge their own agencies.
If Congress adjourns during the 10 days the president has to consider a bill passed by both houses of Congress, the bill is considered vetoed without the president's signature.
The authority of a chief executive to delete a part of a passed bill involving taxing or spending; ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.
role of the Department of Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board
Handles the nation's revenue, assets and debts; provides nation with a safer, more flexible, more stable financial system.
The tax level increases with the wealth or ability of an individual or business to pay.
The tax level increases as the wealth or ability of an individual or business to pay decreases.
A tax system with a constant marginal rate, usually applied to individual or corporate income.
A form of government regulation in which the nation's money supply and interest rates are controlled.
The deliberate use of the national government's taxing and spending policies to maintain economic stability.
Block Grant of Welfare (1996)
Changed the nation's welfare system into one that requires work in exchange for time-limited assistance.
Fourteenth Amendment (and clauses)
One of the three Civil War amendments; guarantees equal protection and due process of the law to all US citizens.
selective incorporation of the Bill of Rights
A judicial doctrine whereby most but not all of the protections found in the Bill of Rights are made applicable to the states via the 14th Amendment.
Jim Crow laws
Laws enacted by southern states that required segregation in public schools, theaters, hotels, and other public accommodations.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Wide-ranging legislation passed by Congress to outlaw segregation in public facilities and discrimination in employment, education, and voting; created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that school segregation is inherently unconstitutional because it violates the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection.
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
The Court granted indigents the right to counsel in felony cases.
clear and present danger
Test articulated by the Supreme Court in Schenck v. U.S. (1919) to draw the line between protected and unprotected speech; the Court looks to see "whether the words used" could "create a clear and present danger that they will bring about substantive evils" that Congress seeks "to prevent."
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