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34 terms

AP American Govt Unit 1 Vocab

Chapter One: The Study of the American Government Chapter Two: The Constitution.
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Unalienable
a human right based on nature or god - can't be taken away
Articles of Confederation
each state retained its sovereignty and independance, had one vote in congress, and the central/national government was really weak
Constitutional Convention
meeting of delegates in 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation, which produced the new U.S. Constitution
Shay's Rebellion
this conflict in Massachusetts caused many to criticize the Articles of Confederation and admit the weak central government was not working; uprising led by Daniel Shays in an effort to prevent courts from foreclosing on the farms of those who could not pay the taxes
Virginia Plan
Initial proposal at the Constitutional Convention made by the Virginia delegation for a strong central government with a bicameral legislature dominated by the big states.
New Jersey Plan
New Jersey delegate William Paterson's plan of government, in which states got an equal number of representatives in Congress
Great Compromise
Compromise made by Constitutional Convention in which states would have equal representation in one house of the legislature (Senate) and representation based on population in the other house (House of Representatives)
Republic
a government in which elected representatives make the decisions
Judicial Review
the power of the courts to declare laws unconstitutional
Federalism
government authority shared by national and local governments
Enumerated Powers
powers given to the national government alone
Checks and Balances
authority shared by the 3 branches of government to make sure none of them would gain more power than another
Concurrent Powers
powers shared by the national and state governments
Reserved Powers
powers given to the state governments alone
Faction
a group with a distinct political interest
Federalists
those who favored a stronger national government
Anti-Federalists
those who favored a weaker national government
Coalition
an alliance of factions
Bill of Rights
the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, ratified in 1791
Habeas Corpus
an order to produce an arrested person before a judge
Bill of Attainer
a law that declares a person, without a trial, to be guilty of a crime
Ex Post Facto Law
makes an act criminal although the act was legal when it was committed
authority
The right to use power
bureaucratic view
View that the government is dominated by appointed officials
democracy
The rule of the many
direct (participatory) democracy
A government in which all or most citizens participate directly
elite
Persons who posses a disproportionate share of some valued resource, like money or power
legitimacy
Political authority conferred by law or by a state or a national constitution
Marxist view
View that the government is dominated by capitalists
power elite view
View that the government is dominated by a few top leaders, most of whom are outside the government
pluralist view
The belief that competition among all affected interests shapes public policy
power
The ability of one person to cause another person to act in accordance to the first persons intentions
power elite
A political theory espoused by C. Wright Mills which holds that an elite of corporate leaders, top military officers, and key political leaders make most political decisions
representative democracy
A government in which leaders make decisions by winning a competitive struggle for the popular vote