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The study of the rights and duties of citizens


rights and duties of members of a state dating back to 2,500 years to Greece and Rome


community member who owes loyalty to the government and is entitled to protection from it

service economy

Where the majority of people earn their living by providing a service rather than manufacturing a product.


general principles or beliefs people use to make their judgements/decisions

popular sovereignty

the notion that power lies with the people


sets of ideas that people have about relationships, obligations, roles, and functions of society


a legal process to obtain citizenship


a noncitizen


a person who moves permanently to a new country


To send an alien or immigrant back to his or her own country


the ruling authority for a community

public policy

the course of action the government takes in response to an issue or problem.


a plan for making and spending money


a government in which citizens hold the power to rule

direct democracy

a form of democracy in which the people vote firsthand

representative democracy

a government in which citizens choose a smaller group to govern on their behalf


a representative democracy where citizens choose their lawmakers


broad ideas about what is good or desirable shared by people in a society


a government with a hereditary, single leader

majority rule

political principle providing that a majority of the members of a community has the power to make laws binding upon all the people


a government in which one leader or group of people holds absolute power


a system in which government control extends to almost all aspects of peoples lives


movement that spread the idea that reason and science could improve society


King or queen


a group of people chosen to make laws


A ruling that is used as the basis for a judicial decision in a later, similar case

common law

a system of law based on precedent and customs

natural rights

freedoms people possess relating to life, liberty, and property

social contract

an agreement among people in a society with a government


a group of people in one place who are ruled by a parent country elsewhere

joint-stock company

investors provide partial ownership in a company organized for profit


a written document granting land and the authority to set up colonial governments


an agreement or contract among a group of people

proprietary colony

area with owner-controlled land and government

royal colony

a colonial area of land controlled directly by a king or other monarch

religious dissenter

those who followed a religious faith other than the official religion of England


religious dissenters who came to the colonies to purify, or reform, the Anglican church


colonial puritans who considered themselves people on a religious journey


acceptance of other groups, such as religious groups

indentured servants

workers who contracted with American colonists for food and shelter in return for their labor


a large estate

triangular trade

pattern of trade that developed in colonial times among the Americas, Africa, and Europe


to change or alter in order to fit or conform


to aid; to help


the theory that a country should sell more goods to other countries than it buys.


the refusal to purchase certain goods


to cancel an act or law


a representative to a meeting


self-reliance and freedom from outside control


Areas of low, flat plains near the seacoast of Virginia and North Carolina


the philosophy or spirit of equality


a detailed, written plan for government


a legislature consisting of two parts, or houses


a group of individuals or state governments


to vote approval of

Constitutional Convention

meeting of state delegates in 1787 leading to adoption of new Constitution

Great Compromise

agreement providing a dual system of congressional representation

Three-Fifths Compromise

agreement providing that enslaved persons would count as three-fifths of other persons in determining representation in congress

Electoral College

a group of people named by each state legislature to select the president and vice president


Supporters of the Constitution.


a form of government in which power is divided between the federal, or national, government and the states


those who opposed ratification of the Constitution


The opening section of the Constitution

legislative branch

the lawmaking branch of government

executive branch

the branch of government that carries out laws

judicial branch

The branch of government that interprets laws


A change to the Constitution

rule of law

principle that the law applies to everyone, even those who govern

separation of powers

The split of authority among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

checks and balances

a system in which each branch of government is able to check, or restrain, the power of the others

expressed powers

Powers that Congress has that are specifically listed in the Constitution.

reserved powers

powers that the Constitution does not give to the national government that are kept by the states

concurrent powers

powers shared by the state and federal governments

civil liberties

the freedoms we have to think and act without government interference or fear of unfair treatment


the banning of printed materials or films due to alarming or offensive ideas


a formal request for government action


spoken untruths that are harmful to someone's reputation


written untruths that are harmful to someone's reputation

search warrant

A court order allowing law enforcement officers to search a suspect's home or business and take specific items as evidence


a formal charge by a grand jury

grand jury

a group of citizens that decides whether there is sufficient evidence to accuse someone of a crime

double jeopardy

putting someone on trial for a crime of which he or she was previously acquitted

due process

following established legal procedures

eminent domain

the right of government to take private property for public use


a sum of money used as a security deposit to ensure that an accused person returns for his or her trial


right to vote

poll tax

a sum of money required of voters before they are permitted to cast a ballot


unfair treatment based on prejudice against a certain group


the social separation of the races

civil rights

the rights of full citizenship and equality under the law

affirmative action

programs intended to make up for past discrimination by helping minority groups and women gain access to jobs and opportunities

racial profiling

singling out an individual as a suspect due to appearance of ethnicity


an obligation that we fulfill voluntarily


things we are required to do


to call up; to create and outline


respecting and accepting others, regardless of their beliefs, practices, or differences


complex systems with many departments, many rules, and many people in the chain of command


the health, prosperity, and happiness of the members of a community


the practice of offering your time and services to others without payment.


a population count taken by the census bureau


a person from a legislator's district


an oddly shaped district designed to increase the voting strength of a particular group

majority party

in both The House Of Representatives and the Senate, the political party to which more than half the members belong

minority party

in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the political party to which fewer than half the members belong

standing committee

permanent committee that continues its work from session to session in Congress


years of service, which is used as a consideration for assigning committee members

expressed powers

powers that congress has that are specifically listed in the constitution

implied powers

powers that congress has that are not stated explicitly in the constitution

elastic clause

clause in Article I, section 8 of the Constitution that gives Congress the right to make all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out its expressed powers


to accuse government officials of misconduct in office

writ of habeas corpus

a court order that requires police to bring a prisoner to court to explain why they are holding the person

bill of attainder

a law that punishes a person accused of a crime without a trial or a fair hearing in court

ex post facto law

a law that would allow a person to be punished for an action that was not against the law when it was committed

franking privilege

The right of senators and representatives to send job-related mail without paying postage


representative of an interest group who contacts lawmakers or other government officials directly to influence their policy making


the work that a lawmaker does to help constituents with a problem

pork-barrel project

Government projects and grants that primarily benefit the home district or state

joint resolution

a resolution that is passed by both houses of congress

special-interest group

An organization of people with some common interests who try to influence government decisions


a tactic for defeating a bill in the Senate by talking until the bill's sponsor withdraws it


a procedure used in the senate to limit debate on a bill

voice vote

a voting method in which those in favor say "Yea" and those against say "No"

standing vote

in congress, when members stand to be counted for a vote on a bill

roll-call vote

a voting method in the Senate in which members voice their votes in turn


refusal to sign a bill or resolution

pocket veto

President's power to kill a bill, if Congress is not in session, by not signing it for 10 days


person appointed to vote in presidential elections for the major candidates

executive order

a rule or command that has the force of law


a declaration of forgiveness and freedom from punishment


an order to delay a person's punishment until a higher court can hear the case


A pardon to a group of people

foreign policy

a nations overall plan for dealing with other nations

national security

ability to keep the country safe from attack or harm


a formal agreement between the governments of two or more countries

executive agreement

An agreement between the President and the leader of another country.


an official representative of a country's government

trade sanction

An effort to punish another nation by imposing trade barriers.


an agreement among a group of nations that prohibits them all from trading with a target nation


a group of advisers to the president that includes the heads of 15 top-level executive departments

federal bureaucracy

the collective agencies and employees of the Executive Branch

independent agency

federal board or commission that is not part of any cabinet department

government corporation

a business owned and operated by the federal government

political appointee

person appointed to a federal position by the president

civil service worker

a person hired into a government position

spoils system

rewarding people with government jobs on the basis of their political support

merit system

hiring people into government jobs on the basis of their qualifications


the area of jurisdiction of a federal court of appeals


a court's authority to hear and decide cases

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