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A system of government in which a written constitution divides power between a central, or national, government and several regional governments

division of powers

the set up of the government that assigns certain powers to the National Government, and certain powers to the State Governments

delegated powers

Those powers, expressed, implied, or inherent, granted to the National Government by the Constitution

expressed powers

Those delegated powers of the National Government that are spelled out, expressly in the constitution; also called the enumerated powers

implied powers

Those delegated powers of the National Government that are suggested by the expressed powers set out in the constitution; those "necessary and proper" to carry out the expressed powers

inherent powers

Powers the Constitution is presumed to have delegated to the National Government because it is the government of a sovereign state within the world community

reserved powers

Those powers that the Constitution does not grant to the National Government and does not, at the same time, deny to any of the states

exclusive powers

Those powers that can be exercised by the National Government alone

concurrent powers

Those powers that both the National Government and the States possess and exercise

enabling act

A congressional Act directing the people of a United States territory to frame a proposed state constitution as a step towards admission to the union

act of admission

A congressional act of admitting a new state to the union

grants-in-aid program

Grants of federal money or other resources to States, Cities, counties, or other local units

revenue sharing

Form of federal monetary aid under which Congress gave a share of Federal tax revenue, with virtually no restrictions, to the states, cities, counties, and townships

categorical grant

One type of federal grant-in-aid; made for some specific, closely defined, purpose

block grant

one type of federal grants-in-aid for some particular but broadly defined area of public policy

project grant

one type of federal grants-in-aid; made for specific projects to States, localities, and private agencies who apply for them

interstate compact

formal agreement entered into with the consent of Congress, between or among states, or between a state and a foreign state

Full Faith and Credit Clause

Constitution's requirement that each state accept the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state


the legal process by which a fugitive from justice in one state is returned to that state

Privileges and Immunities Clause

Constitution's stipulation that all citizens are entitled to certain "privileges and immunities," regardless of their State of residence; no state can draw unreasonable distinctions between its own residents and those persons who happen to live in other states

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