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From the Thinkwell Lectures

habeas corpus

(Latin for 'you should have the body') The right of protection against unlimited imprisonment unless formally charged by a court.


Economic system of the European nations from the 16th to 18th centuries based on the theory that national wealth and power were best served by exporting finished goods to colonies and extracting raw materials from them.


A government ruled by religious leaders who establish laws based on their interpretations of religious doctrine.

poll tax

A fee voters pay to register to vote. Poll taxes are implemented to prevent low-income groups from voting.

representative democracy

A republic; specifically, a government whose authority is obtained and held, directly or indirectly, through free elections in which all competent adult citizens are allowed to participate.


The return of power and authority to state or local governments by the national government.


A government in which power is divided between the national government and state or local governments.


Money sent from the national government to state or local governments in support of a public project.


Techniques for obtaining money from the government or some other funding organization.

unfunded mandate

A law Congress imposes on state or local governments without providing the money needed for implementation.

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