Unit 1 Foundations of Government
Terms in this set (41)
Articles of Confederation
First constitution of the United States (1781). The Articles of Confederation created a weak national government and was replaced in 1789 by the Constitution of the United States.
A government that requires absolute obedience to the government and denies personal freedom.
Checks & Balances
Constitutional design that authorizes each branch of government to share powers with the other branches and thereby "check" their activities. For example, the president may veto legislation passed by congress; the Senate must confirm major executive appointments; and the courts may declare acts of Congress unconstitutional.
A political and economic system characterized by state ownership of property and industry with the intent to provide for the needs of all citizens equally. Under communism, a single authoritarian party holds all power.
A power held by two or more levels of government. Example, the power to make laws.
A union of states with most of the power resting with the state governments.
A plan that provides the rules for government.
Declaration of Independence
A document written by American revolutionaries which explained their ideas on the rights of men and the reason why the American colonies were separating from England.
Powers granted by the Constitution to only one level or branch of government.
A form of government in which political control is exercised by all the people, either directly or through their elected representatives.
A country led by an authoritarian government.
To disagree or offer a different opinion.
Elastic Clause (Necessary & Proper)
Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution that gives Congress the power to make all laws that are "necessary and proper" to carry out the powers in the other clauses of Article I.
Powers granted by the Constitution to only one level or branch of government. Also known as reserved powers.
The national level of government for the United States.
Holding the greatest power or authority.
A system of government where power is divided between the national government and state governments.
The institutions through which a State maintains social order, provides public services and enforces rules for its citizens.
Powers that the government requires in order to carry out the expressed powers of the Constitution. These powers are not directly written in the Constitution.
A doctrine that permits the Federal courts to declare unconstitutional acts of the Congress, President and state governments. The precedent for Judicial Review was established in the 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison.
A system in which the power of government is limited, not absolute.
A system where most or all decisions are made based on the will of more than half of the population.
A political system led by a king, queen or emperor. A monarchy is usually authoritarian.
A system of government in which a small group holds most or all of the power.
The right of the people to govern themselves, either directly or through representatives.
A statement at the beginning of the Constitution that explains the purposes and goals of government.
A form of democracy in which people elect representatives and give them the responsibility and power to make laws and conduct government.
Rule of Law
The principle in which the law applies to government officials as much as to ordinary citizens.
Separation of Powers
The division of power among the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government designed to prevent any single branch from becoming too powerful.
A form of Authoritarian government where the government controls all aspects of citizens lives and there are few personal rights.
The absence of significant civil discontent and unrest.
A system of government that gives all key powers to the national or central government.
Bill of Rights
A formal summary of rights and liberties guaranteed to all citizens.
Freedom of Religion
Citizens have the right to practice any religion they choose or no religion at all. The government cannot make laws favoring one religion over another.
Freedom of Speech
The right to speak or express a point of view without fear of reprisal from the government as long as the speech or expression does not violate the rights of others or threaten public safety or national security.
Freedom of Press
The right of the press to report factual information without fear of reprisal from the government. Freedom of the press may be limited if a story poses an imminent threat to national security.
Freedom of Assembly
A group of people who meet for the purpose of making laws and governing over a particular area.
A public display intended to either support or oppose a particular issue or policy.
Freedom of Petition
A written appeal intended to bring about a change.
Rights that are legally guaranteed to all citizens.
Ex Post Facto Law
A law that makes a crime of an act that was legal when it was committed. Ex Post Facto Laws are unconstitutional.
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