American Politics

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  1. Political Efficacy
    the ability to influence government and politics
  2. Citizenship
    informed and active membership in a political community
  3. Government
    institutions and procedures through which a territory and its people are ruled
  4. Autocracy
    form of government in which a single individual - king/queen/dictator - rules
  5. Oligarchy
    a form of government in which a small group - landowners/ military officers/ wealthy merchants - cntrols most of the governing decisions
  6. Democracy
    a system of rule that permits citizens to play a significant role in the governmental process, usually through the election of key public officials
  7. Constitutional Government
    a system of rule in which formal and effective limits are placed on the powers of the government
  8. Authoritarian Government
    a system of rule in which the government recognizes no formal limits but may nevertheless be restrained by the power of other social institutions
  9. Totalitarian Government
    a system of rule in which the government recognizes no formal limits on its power and seeks to absorb or eliminate other social institutions that might challenge it.
  10. Politics
    conflict over the leadership, structure, and policies of government
  11. Power
    influence over a government's leadership, organization, or policies
  12. Republic (Representative Democracy)
    a system of government in which the populace selects representatives, who play a significant role in governmental decisions
  13. Direct Democracy
    a system of rule that permits citizens to vote directly on laws and policies
  14. Pluralism
    the theory that all interests are and should be free to compete for influence in the government. The outcome of this competition is compromise and moderation.
  15. Political Culture
    broadly shared values, beliefs, and attitudes about how the government should function
  16. Liberty
    freedom from governmental control
  17. Limited Government
    a principle of constitutional government; a government whose powers are defined and limited by a constitution
  18. laissez-faire Capitalism
    an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned and operated for profit with minimal or no government interference
  19. Equality of Oportunity
    a widely shared American ideal that all people should have the freedom to use whatever talents and wealth they have to reach their fullest potential
  20. Political Equality
    the right to participate in politics equally: "one person, one vote"
  21. Popular Sovereignty
    a principle of democracy in which political authority rests ultimately in the hands of the people
  22. Majority Rule, Minority Rights
    the democratic principle that a government follows the preferences of the majority of voters but protects the interests of the minority
  23. Articles of Confederation
    America's 1st written constitution; served as the basis for America's national government until 1789
  24. Confederation
    a system of government in which states retain sovereign autority except for the powers expressly delegated to the national government
  25. Virginia Plan
    a framework for the Constitution, introduced by Edmund Randolph, which called for representation in the national legislature based on the population of each state
  26. New Jersey Plan
    a framework for the Constitution, introduced by William Paterson, which called for equal state representation in the national legislature regardless of population
  27. Great Compromise
    the agreement reached at the Constitutional Convention on 1787 that gave each state an equal number of senators regardless of its population, but linked representation in the House of Representatives to population
  28. Bicameral
    having a legislative assembly composed of 2 chambers/ houses
  29. Three-fifths Compromise
    the agreement reached at the Constitutional Convention 1787 that stipulated that for purposes of the apportionment of congressional seats, every slave would be counted as three-fifths of a person
  30. Checks and Balances
    mechanisms through which each branch of government is able to participate in and influence the activities of the other branches
  31. Electoral College
    the presidential electors from each state who meet after the population election to cast ballots for president and vice prestident
  32. Bill of Rights
    the 1st 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution; they ensure certain rights and liberties to the people
  33. Separation of Power
    the division of governmental power among several institutions that must cooperate in decision making

  34. Federalism
    a system of government in which power is divided, by a constitution, between a central government and regional governments
  35. Expressed Powers
    specific powers granted by the Constitution to Congress and to the president
  36. Elastic Clause
    AKA the Necessary and Proper Clause: enumerates the powers of Congress and provides Congress with the authority to make all laws "necessary and proper" to carry them out
  37. Judicial Review
    the power of the courts to review and, if necessary, declare actions of the legislatie and executive branches invalid or unconstitutional
  38. Supremacy Clause
    Article VI of the Constitution, which states that laws passed by the national government and all treaties are the supreme law of the land and superior to all laws adopted by any state or any subdivision
  39. Federalists
    those who favored a strong national government and supported the Constitution proposed in 1787
  40. Antifederalists
    those who favored strong state governments and a weak national government and were opposed to the Constitution of 1787
  41. Federalist Papers
    a series of essays supporting the ratification of the Constitution
  42. Tyranny
    oppressive government that employs cruel and unjust use of power and authority
  43. Amendment
    a change added to a bill, law, or constitution
  44. Unitary System
    a centralized government system in which lower levels of government have little power independent of the national government
  45. Federal System
    a system of government in which the national government shares power with lower levels of government, such as states
  46. Implied Power
    powers derived from the necessary and proper clause: such powers are not specifically expressed, but are implied through the expansive interpretation of delegated powers
  47. Reserved Powers
    powers derived from the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, that are not specifically delegated to the national government or denied to the states
  48. Police Power
    power reserved to the state government to regulate the health, safety, and morals of its citizens
  49. Concurrent Powers
    authority possessed by both state and national governments ( i.e. power to levy taxes)
  50. Full Faith and Credit Clause
    requires that the states normally honor the public acts and judicial decisions that take place in another state
  51. Privileges and Immunities Clause
    a state cannot discriminate against someone from another state or give its own residents special privileges
  52. Home Rule
    power delegated by the state to a local unit of government to manage its own affairs
  53. Dual Federalism
    1789 -1937 American Gvt: most fundamental governmental powers were shared between the federal and state governments
  54. Commerce Clause
    delegates to Congress the power "to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes." Clause was interpreted by the Supreme Court in favor of national power over the economy
  55. States' Rights
    the principle that the states should oppose the increasing auhority of the national government
  56. Devolution
    a policy to remove a program from one level of government by delegating it or passing it down to a lower level of government

  57. Grants-in-Aid
    programs through which Congress provides money to state and local governments on the condition that the funds be employed for purposes defined by the federal government
  58. Categoricl Grants
    congressional grants given to states and localities on the condition that expenditures be limited to a problem or group specified by law
  59. Project Grant
    grant programs in which state and local governments submit proposals to federal agencies and for which funding is provided on a competitive basis
  60. Cooperative Federlism
    a type of federalism in which grants-in-aid have been used strategically to encourage sates and localities (w/o commanding them) to pursue nationally defined goals
  61. Regulated Federalism
    form of federalism in which Congress imposes legislation on states and localities, requiring them to meet national standards
  62. Preemption
    the principle that allows the national government to override state or local actions in certain policy areas
  63. Unfunded Mandates
    regulations/conditions for receiving grants that impose costs on state and local governents for which they are not reimbursed by the national government
  64. Block Grants
    federal grants-in-aid that allow states considerable discretion in how the funds are spent
  65. New Federalism
    attempts by Nixon and Reagan to return power to the states through block grants
  66. General Revenue Sharing
    the process by which one unit of government yields a portion of its tax income to another unit of government, according to an established formula
  67. Constituency
    the residents in the area from which an official is elected
  68. Sociological Representation
    representation in which representatives have the same racial, gender, ethnic, religious, or educational backgrounds as their constituents
  69. Agency Representation
    representation in which a representative is held accountable to a constituency if they fail to represent that constituency properly
  70. Incumbency
    holding a political office for which one is running
  71. Term Limits
    legally prescribed limits on the number of terms an elected official can serve
  72. Apportionment
    the process occuring after every decennial census, that allocates congressional seats among the fifty sates
  73. Redistricting
    the process of redrawing election districts and redistributing legislative repesentatives
  74. Gerrymandering
    apportionment of voters in districts in such a way as to give unfair advantage to one racial or ethnic group or political party
  75. Patronage
    the resources available to higher officials
  76. Pork Barrel
    appropriations made by legislative bodies for (often unecessary) local projects created so that local representatives can win re-election in their home districts
  77. Earmark
    the practice through which members of Congress insert into bills language that provides special benefits for their own constituents
  78. Private Bill
    a proposal in Congress to provide a specific person with some kind of relief
  79. Conference
    a gathering of House Republicans every 2 years to elect their House leaders
  80. Caucus (Political)
    normally closed meeting of a political or legislative group to select candidates, plan strategy, or make decisions regarding legislative matters
  81. Speaker of the House
    chief presiding officer of the House of Representatives

    can influence the legislative agenda, fate of individual pieces of legislature, and members' positions w/in the House and committee assignments
  82. Majority Leader
    the elected leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives or in the Senate. In the House, they are subordinate in the party hierarchy to the Speaker of the House
  83. Minority Leader
    the elected leader of the minority party in the House of Senate
  84. Whip
    a party member in the House or Senate responsible for coordinating the pary's legislative strategy, building support for key issues, and counting votes
  85. Standing Committee
    a permanent committee with the power to propose and write legislation that covers a particular subject
  86. Select Committee
    (usually) temporary legislative committee set up to highlight or investigate a particular issue or address an issue not w/in the jurisdiction of existing committees
  87. Joint Committee
    a legislative committee formed of members of both the House and Senate
  88. Conference Committee
    a joint committee created to work out a compromise on House and Senate versions of a piece of legislation
  89. Seniority
    ranking given to an individual based on length of continuous service on a committee in Congress
  90. Staff Agency
    a legislative support agency responsible for policy analysis
  91. Caucus (Congressional)
    an association of members of Congress based on party, interest, or social group, such as gneder or race
  92. Bill
    a proposed law that has been sponsored by a member of Congress and submitted to the clerk of the House or Senate
  93. Committee Markup
    session in which a congressional committee rewrites legislation to incorperate hearings on the bill
  94. Closed Rule
    a provision by the House Rules Committee limiting/prohibiting the introduction of amendments during debate
  95. Open Rule
    a provision by the House Rules Committee that permits floor debate and the ddition of new amendments to a bill
  96. Filibuster
    a tactic used by members of the Senate to prevent action on legislation they oppose by continuously holding the floor and speaking until the majority backs down.
  97. Cloture
    a rule allowing a majority of 2/3 or 3/5 of the members of a legislative body to set a time limit on debate over a given bill
  98. Veto
    the president's constitutional power to turn down acts of Congress
  99. Pocket Veto
    a presidential veto that is automatically triggered if the president does not act on a given piece of legislation passed during the final ten days of a legislative session
  100. Party Unity Vote
    a roll-call vote in the House or Senate in which at least 50% of the members of one party take a paricular position and ae opposed by at least 50% of the members of the other party
  101. Role-Call Vote
    a vote in which each legislator's yes or no vote is recorded as the clerk calls the names of the members alphabetically
  102. Logrolling
    a legislative practice whereby agreements are made between legislators in voting for or against a bill; vote trading
  103. Oversight
    the effort by Congress, through hearings, investigations, and other techniques, to exercise control over the activities of executive agencies
  104. Appropriations
    the amount of money approved by Congress in statutes (bills) that each unit/agency of government can spend
  105. Executive Agreement
    an agreement between the president and another country, that has the force of a treaty but does not require the Senate's "advice and consent"
  106. Impeachment
    the formal charge by the House of Representatives that a government official has committed "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors"
  107. Delegate
    a representative who votes according to the preferences of their constituency
  108. Trustee
    a representative who votes based on what they think is best for their constituency
Card Set
American Politics
Exam 1 (Ch. 1-3 & 12, NV Ch. 1,2,6)
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