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Chapter 1

Terms to Know
STUDY
PLAY
government
the system or form by which a community or other political unit is governed
public policies
things government decides to do, example: taxation, crime control, national defense, education, etc.
legislative power
the power to make a law and to frame public policies
executive power
the power to execute, enforce, and administer law
judicial power
the power to interpret laws, to determine their meaning, and to settle disputes that arise within the society
constitution
the body of fundamental laws setting out the principles, structures, and processes of a government
dictatorship
a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.)
democracy
a form of government in which the supreme authority rests with the people
state
a politically organized body of people under a single government
sovereign
having supreme power within its own territory; neither subordinate nor responsible to any other authority
autocracy
a political theory favoring unlimited authority by a single individual
oligarchy
A system of government in which a small group holds power
unitary government
a centralized government in which all government powers belong to a single central agency
federal government
The powers of government are divided between a central government and several local governments.
division of powers
how the power is distributed within a government
confederation
a union of political organizations
presidential government
a form of government in which the executive and legislative branches of the government are separate, independent, and coequal
parliamentary government
A form of government in which the executive branch is made up of the prime minister, or premier, and that official's cabinet
majority rule
the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group
compromise
an accommodation in which both sides make concessions
citizen
A person with certain rights and responsibilities in his or her country or community
free enterprise system
An economic system in which individuals depend on supply and demand and the profit margin to determine what to produce, how to produce, how much to produce, and for whom to produce. The quest for improvement financially and materially motivates consumers and producers.