American Government Chapters 1-6
Terms in this set (102)
those institutions/officials whose purpose is to write and enact laws and enforce public policy
Appropriation of funds
The actions taken by Congress to authorize the spending of funds.
A legal institution that originated during the Middle Ages and formed part of the British constitution. Specifically a formal agreement describing the rights and duties of both the landowner and those bound that person.
activities aimed at influencing or controlling government for the purpose of formulating or guiding public policy
the capacity to make and enforce public policies that is possessed by individuals who occupy formal governmental roles
a government in which authority is based on the consent and will of the majority
a system in which people govern indirectly by electing people to make decisions on their behalf
majoritarian view of power
political power should be distributed as equally as possible in a political system to facilitate meaningful majority rule
elitist view of power
political power should be in the hands of a select few people that share in a common understanding about the fundamental issues facing society and government
pluralist view of power
The view that political power should be dispersed among many elites who share a common acceptance of the rules of the game.
The capacity and ability to influence the behavior and choices of others through the use of politically relevant resources.
strongly held assumptions and attitudes about politics and governments we grow up with or developed over time
conceptually coherent beliefs used to help us think about whether government is doing what it should be doing
Those stories, proverbial sayings, pervasive attitudes, and other narratives that we use to help us think about the world around us.
Initiative and Referendum
Methods of democratic decision making that place questions of public policy on the ballot for voters to consider directly. Initiatives are placed on the ballot by petition, whereas a referendum is generated by the legislature.
beliefs that tend to resist government interference and favor intervention to regulate the private lives
favor government intervention in both economic and personal affairs
ideological belief that governments should do no more than what its minimally necessary in areas of both economic affairs and personal freedom
an approach to interpreting the constitution that seeks to rely on the original understanding of its provisions by the framers
articles of confederation
first constitution of the united states, ratified in 1781. established a loose union of states and a congress with limited powers
1620 - The first agreement for self-government in America. It was signed by the 41 men on the Mayflower and set up a government for the Plymouth colony.
A movement in the 18th century that advocated the use of reason in the reappraisal of accepted ideas and social institutions.
A belief that ultimate power resides in the people.
Declaration of Independence
1776 statement, issued by the Second Continental Congress, explaining why the colonies wanted independence from Britain.
an arrangement in which ultimate governmental authority is vested in the states that make up the union.
A government that gives all key powers to the national or central government
Federation (federal system)
form of government where authority of government is shared by both state and federal government
a legislature made up of two houses
delegated (enumerated) powers
Powers specifically given to the federal government by the US Constitution, for example, the authority to print money. Article 1, Section 8
Powers held jointly by the national and state governments.
Powers not specifically mentioned in the constitution
McCulloch v. Maryland
Maryland was trying to tax the national bank and Supreme Court ruled that federal law was stronger than the state law
writ of habeas corpus
A court order requiring jailers to explain to a judge why they are holding a prisoner in custody.
bill of attainder
a law that punishes a person accused of a crime without a trial or a fair hearing in court
ex post facto law
a law that makes an act criminal although the act was legal when it was committed
bill of rights
The first ten amendments to the Constitution
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.
Article VI of the Constitution, which makes the Constitution, national laws, the supreme law of the land
The process of determining whether a piece of legislation or governmental action is supported by the Constitution.
A form of constitutional change that occurs as public officials fill in the institutional "blank spaces" left by the Constitution.
rule of law
principle that the law applies to everyone, even those who govern
doctrine of government in which decisions are made by elected or appointed officials who are answerable to the people
Written by Hamilton, Jay, & Madison to support ratification of the U.S. Constituiton
Which is: A system of government in which citizens elect representatives, or leaders, to make decisions about the laws for all the people.
separation of powers
division of powers to make, execute, and judge the law among the three branches of American government
checks and balances
the principle that allows each branch of government to exercise some form of control over the others
review by the US Supreme Court of the constitutional validity of a legislative act. (Marbury v. Madison)
Title IX of Education Act of 1972
Prohibited gender discrimination in federally subsidized education programs
The right of a federal law or a regulation to preclude enforcement of a state or local law or regulation.
Ability of a state to govern its territory free from control of its internal affairs by other states.
The view that the Constitution allowed the national government only limited powers and that the states could overrule national laws if they determined that those laws were in violation of the Constitution.
legal theory espoused by advocates of state-centered federalism that asserted the right of individual states to nullify or invalidate congressional laws in federal court
a theory holding that the national government is dominant over the states
powers of state governments over the regulation of behavior within their borders
grant in aid programs
Federal appropriations that are given to states and localities to fund state policies and programs. The Morrill Act (1862) was the first instance of such a program.
grants given to states on the basis of population
grants awarded to states for a specific program
programs in which the national government requires governments to provide a certain percentage of the funds
Power of a government to take private property for public use.
Constitutional freedoms guaranteed to all citizens
the rights of full citizenship and equality under the law
clear and present danger test
law should not punish speech unless there was a clear and present danger of producing harmful actions (Schenck v. United States)
bad tendency test
allows the government to punish speech that might cause people to behave illegally
use of print or pictures to harm somones reputation
Programs that provide state funds to parents who want to send their child to a private school rather than the assigned public school.
A court order allowing law enforcement officers to search a suspect's home or business and take specific items as evidence
Roe v Wade
(1973) legalized abortion on the basis of a woman's right to privacy
Jim Crow Laws
Laws designed to enforce segregation of blacks from whites
a set of procedures that attempts to correct the effects of past discrimination against minority groups
set of ideological beliefs that usually favor government intervention but oppose intervention in private lives of individuals
The collection of legal doctrines that grew out of the many cases heard, beginning in medieval times, by judges appointed by the British Crown, also called judge-made law. It is part of the British Constitution.
The power of the U.S. Senate to approve or disapprove of a presidential nominee for an executive or Judical post.
The power of Congress to provide the president with the right to carry out legislated policies.
A constitionally sanctioned legal right to protection of creative works afforded under law.
The Constitutional body designed to select the president. Described in Article II of the U.S. Constitution.
in medieval political and economic system in which landless families secured protection and the use of farmland in exchange for providing services and resources to the land's owner.
The proposal offered by the Connecticut delegation to the Constitutional Convention in 1778. A compromise between the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan. The Great Compromise called for the establishment of a bicameral Congress, consisting of a House in which states were represented according to their population size and a Senate, in which each state had an equal voice.
A formal charge of misconduct brought against a federal public official by the House of Representatives. If found guilty of the charge by the Senate, the official is removed from office.
The belief of citizens in a government's right to pass and enforce laws.
A document signed by King John in 1215, reaffirming the long standing rights and duties of the English nobility and the limits placed on the king. It stands for the principle that government is limited and that everyone including the king must obey the law.
Article 6 of the Constitution: The principle stated in this article "the Supremacy Clause", is that the Constitution and those laws and treaties passed under it the "Supreme Law of the Land".
Necessary and Proper Clause
Clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) establishing the "Implied powers of Congress". It states that Congress, that go beyond those powers listed elsewhere in the Constitution.
Privileges and Immunities Clause
Part of Article IV of the Constitution guaranteeing that the citizens of each state are not treated unreasonably by officials of another state.
Reserved Powers (10th Amendment)
The powers that the Constitution provides for the state, although it does not list them specifically, sometimes called "Residual Powers." As stated in the 10th Amendment, these include all powers not expressly given to the national government or denied to the states.
Rule of Law
The principle that a standard of impartiality, fairness and equality against against which all government action can be evaluated exists. More narrowly, the concept that no individual stands above the law, and that rulers like those they rule are answerable to the law.
Comments and clarifications that the presidents attach to the congressional acts when they sign them into law. In recent years controversy has surrounded the presidential use of these directives to agencies about how the law is to interpreted and implemented.
An approach to interpreting the Constitution that relies on a literal, "plain words" reading of the document.
The power of the U.S. Senate to approve or disapprove formal treaties negotiated by the president on behalf of the nation.
Chief executive's power to reject a bill passed by a legislature.
A reading of the establishment clause that bars only the establishment by Congress of an official public church. Accommodationists agree with state support of religion as long as all religions are treated equally.
Wall of Separation
An interpretation of the establishment clause that requires a complete separation of government and religion.
(separation of church and state)
The Supreme Court's practice of making applicable to the states only those portions of the Bill of Rights that a majority of justices felt to be fundamental to a democratic society.
Clear and Present Danger Test
The proposition, proclaimed by the Supreme Court in Schenck v. United States (1919) that the government has the right to punish speech of it can be shown to present a grave and immediate danger to the country's interests.
Preferred Freedoms Test
The principle that some freedoms- such as free speech- are so fundamental to a democracy that they merit special protection. The test was instituted by the Warren Court of the 1960s
The Government blocking of a publication before it can be made available to the public. The Supreme Court has repeatedly struck down laws that impose prior restraint on publications.
A written grant of permission to conduct a search issued by a neutral magistrate to police authorities. Police must describe what they expect to find and must show "probable cause."
The situation occurring when the police have reason to believe that a person should be arrested. In making the arrest, police are allowed legally to search for and seize incriminating evidence.
The principle that evidence, no matter how incriminating, cannot be used to convict someone if it is gathered illegally. Established by the Supreme Court in Mapp v. Ohio(1961)
Freedoms, most of which are spelled out in the Bill of Rights, from excessive or arbitrary government interference.
Guarantees of government protection of individuals against discrimination or unreasonable treatment by other individuals or groups.