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electoral college

an indirect method of election


appointed people who vote for major candidates

executive order

rule or command that has the authority to make laws


declaration of forgiveness and freedom from punishment


order to delay a person's punishment until a higher court can hear the case


pardon toward a group of people

foreign policy

overall plan for dealing with other nations

national security

ability to keep the country safe from attack or harm


formal agreement between the governments of two or more countries

executive agreement

an agreement between the president and the leader of another country


an official representative of a country's government

trade sanction

efforts to punish another nation by imposing trade barriers


an agreement among a group of nations that prohibits them all from trading with a target nation


a group of presidential advisors that includes heads of the 15 top-level executive departments

federal bureaucracy

agencies and employees of the executive branch

independent agencies

agencies that are not part of the cabinet but are part of the president

government corporations

like private businesses

political appointees

people whom the president has chosen because they have proven executive ability or were important supporters of the president's election campaign

civil service workers

have permanent employment

civil service system

practice of hiring government workers on the basis of open competitive examinations and merit

spoils system

government jobs went to people as a reward for their political support

merit system

government officials hire new workers from lists of people who have passed the tests or otherwise met civil service standards

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