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U.S. Government Unit 1 Concepts to Know
Terms in this set (33)
Preamble, Articles, Amendments
What are the three parts of the Constitution?
Preamble of the US Constitution
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Major Principles of the Constitution
1. popular sovereignty
3. separation of powers
4. checks and balances
5. individual rights
6. limited government
Articles of the Constitution
I: Legislative Branch
II: Executive Branch
III: Judicial Branch
IV: State Rights and Responsibilities
V: Amending/Changing the Constitution
VI: Law of the Land
Systems of Government
- Unitary System
- Confederate System
- Federal System
A centralized government in which all government powers belong to a single, central agency.
A system of government with a very weak central government and strong states.
Federal System (Federalism)
A form of government in which power is divided and shared between a central government and state and local governments.
a form of government that is run for and by the people, giving people the supreme power.
A belief that ultimate power resides in the people.
A form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.)
A government ruled by a king or queen
A government ruled by a few powerful/wealthy people
A form of government in which the leader has absolute power and authority.
A form of government in which citizens choose their leaders by voting
A government controlled by religious leaders
Purpose of Government
1. Providing leadership
2. Maintaining Order
3. Providing Public Service
4. Providing National Security
5. Providing Economic Security and Economic Assistance
Principles of Democracy
-regular free and fair elections
-accepting the results of elections
-the rule of law
-majority rule with minority rights
-limited government and a bill of rights
-control of the abuse of power
-individual or human rights
-competing political parties
Evolutionary Theory of Government
Supporters of this theory believe government came about because extended families needed more organization. Some modern Native American groups continue to be governed according to family and clan traditions.
Force Theory of Government
According to this theory, states emerged when people needed to cooperate to survive but could only become organized when one or more people took control. The strongest leaders used violence and the threat of violence to control their own people to get the work done.
Divine Right Theory of Government
The idea that certain people are chosen by a god or gods to rule is very old. For example, the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Maya, and Aztec believed that their rulers were descendants of gods or chosen by them.
Social Contract Theory
This theory states that by voluntary agreement, people surrender to the state the power needed to maintain order and the state, in turn, agrees to protect its citizens. Without order and protection, no decent life of any kind would be possible.
Events leading to the Articles of Confederation
King George abuses is power over the colonies, Stamp Act, The Continental Congress, Declaration of Independence, Revolutionary War, and Independence.
State of Nature
what philosophers believe life would be like without laws and government. Thomas Hobbes claimed that "people would live in a "__________ ____ ___________" where life would be "nasty, brutish, and short."
Factors of the Economy
Producers, Distributors, Consumers, Labor, Resources, Capital, Entrepreneurs
Powers of Congress
Collect taxes, borrow money, regulate commerce with other nations, coin money, declare war, control armed forces, make necessary laws.
Powers of the President
1. commander in chief
2. Veto Laws
3. Power of foreign policy
4. Power of appointment of Supreme Court Judges, to send and receive ambassadors, and vacant Senate seats during non election years.
5. Grant pardons
6. Give a state of union message
Powers of the Judicial Branch
-Judicial Review: decided if the laws and actions of the other two branches are constitutional
-Settle disputes between states
Agreement that each slave counted as three-fifths of a person in determining representation in the House for representation and taxation purposes.
The idea that certain restrictions should be placed on government to protect the natural rights of citizens.
Separation of Powers
Constitutional division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, with the legislative branch making law, the executive applying and enforcing the law, and the judiciary interpreting the law
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
These are not unlimited, however, they are balanced with the government's need to provide for the public good. For example, to maintain order the government can place some restrictions on when and how people exercise their free speech rights.
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