59 terms

GOPO Unit 1 Constitution Federalism Terms


Terms in this set (...)

Government by the people, both directly and indirectly, with free and frequent elections.
direct democracy
Government in which citizens vote on laws and select officials directly.
representative democracy aka republic
Government in which people elect those who govern and pass laws; also called a republic
popular consent
Idea that government must derive its powers from the consent of the people it governs.
majority rule
Governance according to the expressed preferences of the majority
The candidate or party that wins more than half the votes cast in an election
A consistent pattern of beliefs about political values and the role of government
Articles of Confederation
The first governing document of the confederated states drafted in 1777, ratified in 1781, and replaced by the present Constitution in 1789
Shays' Rebellion
Rebellion led by Daniel Shays of farmers in western Massachusetts in 1786-1787, protesting mortgage foreclosures. It highlighted the need for a strong national government just as the call for the Constitutional Convention went out
Principle of a two-house legislature
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
Proposal at the Constitutional Convention made by William Paterson of New Jersey for a central government with a single-house legislature in which each state would be represented equally.
Connecticut Compromise
Compromise for a bicameral legislature with a lower house in which representation would be based on population and an upper house in which each state would have two senators (also known as the Great Compromise)
three-fifths compromise
Compromise between northern and southern states at the Constitutional Convention that three-fifths of the slave population would be counted for determining taxation and representation in the House of Representatives
Supporters of ratification of the Constitution and of a strong central government
Opponents of ratification of the Constitution and a strong central government, generally
The Federalist Papers
Essays promoting ratification of the Constitution, published anonymously by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison in 1787 and 1778
natural law
God's or nature's law that defines right from wrong and is higher than human law
separation of powers
Constitutional division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, with the legislative branch making law, the executive branch applying and enforcing the law, and the judiciary interpreting the law
checks and balances
Constitutional grant of powers that enables each of the three branches of government to check some acts of the others and therefore ensure that no one branch can dominate
divided government
Governance divided between the parties, especially when one holds the presidency and the other controls one or both houses of Congress
judicial review
The power of the court to refuse to enforce a law or a government regulation that in the opinion of the judges conflicts with the U.S. Constitution or, in a state court, the state constitution
Formal accusation by the lower house of legislature against a public official, the first step in removal from office. (The trial of an official, not the removal of an official)
executive order
Directive issued by a president or governor that has the force of law
The effort to slow the growth of the federal government by returning many functions to the states
Constitutional arrangement in which power is distributed between a central government and subdivisional governments, called states in the United States. The national and subdivisional governments both exercise authority over individuals.
unitary system
Constitutional arrangement that concentrates power in a central government
Constitutional agreement in which sovereign nations or states, by compact, create a central government but carefully limit its power and do not give it direct authority over individuals
expressed powers
Powers the Constitution specifically grants to one of the branches of the national government
implied powers
Powers inferred from the expressed powers that allow Congress to carry out its functions.
necessary and proper clause
Clause setting forth the implied powers of Congress. It states that, Congress, in addition to its expressed powers has the right to all laws necessary and proper to carry out all powers the Constitution vests in the national government
inherent power
Powers of the national government in foreign affairs that the Supreme Court has declared not to depend on constitutional grants but rather grow out of the very existence of the national government
commerce clause
Clause in the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 1) that gives Congress the power to regulate all business activities that cross state lines or affect more than one state over other nations
federal mandate
Requirement the federal government imposes as a condition for receiving federal funds
concurrent powers
Powers that the Constitution gives to both the national and state governments, such as the power to levy taxes
full faith and credit clause
Clause in the Constitution (Article 4, Section 1) requiring each state to recognize the civil judgments rendered by the courts of the other states and to accept their public records and acts as valid
Legal process whereby an alleged criminal offender is surrendered by the officials of one state to officials of the state in which the crime is alleged to have been committed
national supremacy
Constitutional doctrine that whenever conflict occurs between the constitutionally authorized actions of the national government and those of a state or local government, the actions of the federal government
states rights
Powers expressly or implicitly reserved to the states
cooperative federalism
national, state, and local government interact cooperatively and collectively to solve common problems, rather than making policies separately but more or less equally or clashing over a policy in a system dominated by the national government
Federalist 10
Madison's response to controlling factions through the creation of a large republic
Ability of one person to get another person to act in accordance with the first person's intentions
Right to use power. "Formal" means that the right to exercise power is vested in government office
Political authority given by law or by written constitution
Competition shapes public policy. Therefore, what government does is affected to varying degrees not only by competing groups of elites inside or outside government, but by mass public media as well
Declaration of Independence
Addressed the British violations of political liberties that were said to be unalienable
John Locke
English philosopher that believed all men cherish and seek to protect their life, liberty and property
A government in which a system of representation operates through competitive elections
Bill of Rights
First 10 Amendments in the Constitution in which basic rights are guaranteed. Was added to the Constitution before ratification in order to appease the Antifederalists
writ of habeas corpus
Must bring an accused person in custody before a judge to show sufficient cause for the detention
bill of attainder
A law that declares a person, without a trial, to be guilty of a crime
ex post facto law
A law that makes criminal an act that was legal when it was committed
block grants
Money from the national government for programs in certain general areas that the states can use at their discretion within broad guidelines set by Congress
elastic clause
Congress shall have the power to "make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers."
Federalist 45
The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite
McCulloch v. Maryland
Expanded the powers of Congress and confirmed the supremacy of the federal government in the exercise of those powers. Allowed the U.S. to establish a bank and disallowed the taxing of that bank by the states
The right to declare a federal law unconstitutional by a state. No longer allowed after the Civil War
dual federalism
The national government is supreme, but the state governments are equally supreme and thus are separate, i.e. interstate commerce v. intrastate commerce
categorical grants
Federal money for specific purposes. A more specific type of grants in aid, i.e. build a specific airport. Usually requires some sort of "matching" funds