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identifies a political community in a precise territory


the government makes and enforces its own laws without approval from any other authority


often used for state, but it really means a sizable group of people who believe themselves united by common bonds of race, language, custom, or religion


a country in which the territory of both the nation and the state coincide


agreement about basic beliefs and values, usually have stable governments


the institution through which a state maintains social order, provides public services, and enforces decisions that are binding on all its residents

Evolutionary Theory

the state evolved from the family

Force Theory

the state would not exist except for the need to resist an enemy

Divine Right Theory

certain people are chosen by a god or gods to rule

Social Contract Theory

people surrendered their freedom to the state, but in return they received order and security

Unitary System

gives all key powers to the central government

Federal System

divides the powers of the government between the national and state or provincial government


a loose union of independent states


a plan that provides the rules for government; sets out ideals that the people bound by the constitution believe in and share; establishes the basic structure of government and defines the powers and duties; provides the supreme law for the country

Constitutional Government

a government in which a constitution has authority to place clearly recognized limits on the powers of those who govern


statement that sets forth the goals and purposes that the government will serve

Constitutional Law

the field of law that studies questions on how to interpret the Constitution


the effort to control or influence the conduct and policies of government

Industrialized Nations

generally large industries and advanced technology that provide a more comfortable way of life than developing nations have

Developing Nations

only beginning to develop industrially


the system of government in which one person has all the authority and power to rule


another form of government in which one person has great power and inherits the power


special type of single-ruler government where the ruler attempts to control the total society


any system of government in which a small group holds power


a system of government in which rule is by the people


the people




the head of state is not a king or queen and voters elect representatives to run the nation's government

Political Party

a group of individuals with broad common interests who organize to nominate candidates for office, win elections, conduct government, and determine public policy

Free Enterprise

the freedom of private business to operate with minimal government regulation


the study of how limited resources are used to satisfy people's seemingly unlimited wants


an economic system in which the freedom of choice and individual incentive are emphasized

Free Market

the government placed no limits on the freedom of buyers and sellers to make economic decisions


the government should leave the economy alone as much as possible


an economic system in which the government owns the basic means of production, determines the use of resources, distributes the products and wages, and provides social services such as education, health care, and welfare


industrial working class; workers who produce the goods


capitalists who own the means of production


there would be only one class, the working class; all property would be held in common and there would be no need or a government

Command Economy

an economic system in which the government controls the factors of production

Limited Government

the concept that the monarch's power, or government, was limited, not absolute

Representative Government

government in which the people elect delegates to make laws and conduct government

Separation of Powers

the division of power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government


the money a government collects from taxes or other sources


an agreement prohibiting trade




single chamber legislature




laws that set out how the lands would be organized

Interstate Commerce

trade among the states


not sanctioned by law


political disorder


divisions of the constitution


authority of the Supreme Court and other Federal Courts to rule on cases

Supremacy Clause

establishing that the Constitution, laws passed by Congress, and treaties of the US shall be the supreme Law of the Land



Popular Sovereignty

rule by the people


power is divided between national and state governments

Checks and Balances

each branch of government exercises some control over the others


the President's check on Congress, "rejecting"

Judicial Review

the power of the courts to say that laws and actions of local, state, or national governments are invalid because they are unconstitutional

Expressed Powers

powers directly stated in the Constitution

Enumerated Powers

powers specified by number

Elastic Clause

final enumerated power; lets Congress stretch its powers to meet situations the Founders couldn't anticipate

Federal Bureaucracy

departments and agencies of the federal government, mostly in the executive branch





Balanced Budget

federal spending cannot exceed its income


accuse federal officials


an agreement between nations, requires Senate approval

Executive Agreements

made between heads of states and doesn't require any approval

Judicial Restraint

belief that the court should avoid taking the initiative on social and political issues

Judicial Activism

the Court should actively help settle the difficult social and political questions of the day

Incorporation Doctrine

a process that extended the protections of the Bill of Rights against the actions of state and local governments

Prior Restraint

government cannot censor information before it is published or broadcast

Probable Cause

reasonable basis to believe a person or premises are linked to a crime

Search Warrant

orders signed by a judge describing the place to be searched for specific items

Arrest Warrant

orders signed by a judge naming the person to be arrested for a specific crime

Due Process

no one can be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law

Eminent Domain

the power of the government to take private property for public use

Lame Ducks

outgoing officials who had little influence and accomplished little

Poll Taxes

taxes that are paid in order to vote

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