The ability to exercise power, such as the power to make and enforce laws, legitimately.
a form of gov in which the power and authority of the government are in the hands of a single person
a legislature made up of two chambers, or parts. The United States has a bicameral lisgislature composed o fthe house of Reps and the Senate
an econompic system based on the private ownership of wealth-producing property, free markets, and freedom of contract. The privately owned corporation is the preeminent capitalist institution.
a set of beliefs that includes a limited role for the national government in helping individuals and in the economic affairs of the naion, support for traditional values and lifestyles, and a cautious response to change.
a system of government in which the people have ultimate political authority. the word is derived from the greek demos (people) and karatia (rule)
a form of gov in shich absolute power is exercised by a single person who has usually obtained his/her power by the use of force
a system of gov in which political decisions are made by the people themselves rather than by elected representatives. This form of government was practiced in some areas of ancient Greece.
divine right theory
a theory that the right to rule by a king or queen was derived directly from God rather than from the consent of the people.
a concept that holds, at a minimum, that all people are entitled to equal protection under the law.
the individuals and institutions that make society's rules and that also possess the power and authority to enforce those rules
an individual who holds very strong political opinions
generally, a system of political ideas that are rooted in religious or philosophical beliefs concerning human nature, society, and government.
an ongoing organiszation that performs certain functions for society
a set of political beliefs that includes the advocacy of active gov, including government intervention to improve the welfare of individuals and to protect civil rights.
the freedom of individuals to believe, act, and express themselves as they choose so long as doing so does not infringe on the rights of other individuals in the society
a form of government based on the principle that the powers of gov should be clearly limited either thorugh a written document or through wide publicunderstanding; characterized by institutional checks to ensure that government serves public rather than private interests
a person whose views fall in the middle of the political spectrum
a form of autocracy in which a king, queen, emperor, empress, tsar, or tsarina is the highest authority in the government; monarchs usually obtain their power through inheritance.
rights that are not bestowed by governments but are inherent within every man, woman, and child by virtue of the fact that he/she is a human being.
the name of the national legislative body in countries goverened by a parliamentary system, such as Britain and Canada.
the set of ideas, values and attitudes about government and the politcal proccess held by a community or nation
the process of resolving conflicts over how siciety should use its carce resources and who should receive various benefits, such as public health care and puclic higher education. According to Harold Lasswell, politics is the precess of determining "who gets what, and how" in a society.
the ability to influence the behavior of others, usually thorugh the use of force, persuasion, or rewards.
an alternative, more popular term for the set of pilitical beliefs also known as liberalism.
essential services that individuals cannot provide for themselves, such as bulding and maintaining roads, providing welfare frograms, operating public schools, and preserving national parks
persons on the extreme left side of the politcal spectrum who would like to significantly change the politcal order, usually to promode egalitarianism (human equality)
persons on the extreme right side of the political spectrum. The radical right includes reactionaries (who would like to return to the values and social systems of some previous era) and libertarians (who believe in no regulation of the economy and individual behavior, except for defense and law enforcement)
a form of democracy in which the will of the majority is expressed through smaller groups of individuals elected by the people to act as their representatives.
essentially, a term refferring to a prepresentative democracy- in which there is no king or queen and the people are sovereign. The people elect smaller groups of individuals to act as the people's representatives.
Disagreements among people in a society over what the societys priorities should be with respect to the use of scarce resources
a coulentary agreement among individuals to create a gov and to give that gov adequate power to secure the mutual protection and welfare of all individuals
a political group that opposed the adoption of the constitution because of the document's centralist tendencies and because it did not include a bill of rights
articles of confederation
the nations first national constitution, which established a national form of government following the American Revolution. the Articles provided for a conferderal form of fovernment in which the central government has few p0wers
bill of rights
the first ten amendments to the us constitutio. they list the freedoms such as the freedoms of speech, press, and religion- that a citizen enjoys and that cannot be infringed on by the government.
checks and balances
a mojor principle of American government in which each of the three branches is given the means to check (to restrain or balance) the actions of the others
the clause in Article 1 section 8 of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce (commerce invilving more than one state)
a league of independent states that are united only for the purpose of achieving common goals
the convention (meeting) of delegates from teh states that was held in Philadelphia in 1787 for teh purpose of amending the Articles of Confederation. In fact, the delegates wrote a new consitution (the us consitution) that established a federal form of government to replace the governmental system that had been created by the Articles of Confederation.
a group of persons forming a cohesive minority
a political group, led by alexander hamiliton and john adams, that supported the adoption of the consitution and the creation of a federal form of gov
a form of government that provides for a division of powers betwen a central Gov. and several regional governments. In the US, the division of powers between the national gov and the sates is established by the Constitution
First Continental Congress
a gatehring of delegates from twelve of the thirteen colonies, held in 1774 to protest the Coercive Acts
a plan for a bicameral legislature in which one chamber would rep. each state equally. the plan, also known as the connecticut Compromise, resolved the small-state/ large state controversy
trade that involves more than one state
the model of gov devised by James Madison, in which the powers of the government are separated into three branches: executive, legisative, and judicial
a document drawn up by pilgrim leader in 1620 on the ship MAYFLOWER. the document stated that laws were to be made for the general good of the people
rule of law
a basic princible of gov that requires those who govern to act in accordance with established law
second continental congress
the congress of the colonies that met in 1775 to assume the powers of a central government and to establish an army.
separation of powers
the priciple of dividing governmental powers among the executive, the legislative, and the judicial branches of government.
a rebellion of angry farmers in western Mass. in 1786, led by former revolutionary War captain Daniel Shays. This rebellion and other similar uprising in the new england states emphasized the need for a true national government
a compromise reached during the Constitutional Convention by which three fifths of all slaves were to be counted for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives.
the arbituary or unrestrained exercise of power by an oppressive individual or gov
a legislature with only one chamber
a constitutional pwer that enables the chief executive (president or governor) to reject legislation and return it to the legislature with reasons for teh rejection. This prevents or at least delays the bill from becoming law
a federal grant given to a state for a broad area, such as criminal justice or mental-health programs
a federal grant targeted for a specific purpose as defined by federal law
a model of federalism devised by Thomas R. Dye in which state and local governments compete for businessess and citizens, who in effect "vote with their feet" by moving to jurisdictions that offer a competitive advantage.
a league of independent sovereign states, joined together by a central government that has only limited powers over them
powers hel by both the federal and the state governments in a federal system
the theory that the states and the federal government should cooperate in solving problems
the surrender or transfer of powers to local authorities by a central government
division of powers
a basic priciple of federalism established by the US constitution, bu which powers are divided between the federal and state governments
a system of government in which the federal and the state governments maintain diverse but sovereign powers
constitutional or stautory powers that are expressly provided for by the Constitution.
a requirement in federal legislation that forces states and municipalities to comply with certain rules. if the federal gov does not provide funds to the states to cover the costs of compliance, the mandate is refferred to as an unfunded mandate
a system of shared soveregnty between two levels of government- one national and one subnational- occupying the same geographic region
the allocation of taces collected by one level of government (typically the national government) to another level (typically state or local governments)
the powers of the federal government that are implied by the expressed powers in the constitution, particularly in Article l, section 8
the powers of the national government that, although not always expressly granted by the constitution, are necessary to ensure the nations integrity and survival as a political unit. Inherent powers include the power to make treaties and th power to wage war or make peace
Necessary and proper clause
Article l, Section 8, Clause 18, or the Constitution, wich gives Congress the power to make all laws "necesssary and proper" for teh federal government to carry out its responsibilities;also called the elastic cause
a program ushered in by the Roosevelt administration in 1933 to bring the US out of the Great Depression. The NEw Deal included many government-spending and public-assistance programs, in addition to thousands of regulations governing economic activity
a plan to limit the federal governments role in regulating state governments and to give the states increased power to decide how they should spend governments revenues
a model of federalism in which specific policies and programs are administered by all levels of gvernment-national,state,and local.
the powers of a government body that enable it to create laws for the protection of the health, morals, safety, and welfare of teh people. In the US, most police powers are reserved to the states.
a doctrine rooted in the Supremacy Clause of teh Constitution that provides that national laws or regulations governing a certain area take precedence over conflicting state laws or regulations governing that same area
the act of formally withdrawing from membership in alliance; the withdrawl of a state from the federal Union.
Article VI, Clause 2, of teh Constitution, which makes the constitution and federal laws superior to all conflicting state and local laws
a centralized governmental system in which local or subdivisional governments exercise only those powers given to them by the central government,
Bills of attainder
a legislative act that inflicts punishment on particular persons or groups without granting them the right to a trial
Individual rights protected by the Constitution against the powers of the gov
Advertising statements that describe products. Commercial speech receives less protection under the First Amendment than ordinary speech
the prosecution of a person twice for teh same criminal offense; prohimited by the Fifth Amendment in all but a few circumstances.
Due process clause
The constitutional guarantee, set out in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, that the government will not illegally or arbitrarily deprive a person of life, liberty, or property.
due process of law
The requirement that the government use fair, reasonable, and standard procedures whenever it takes any legal action against an iduvidual; required by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments
the section of the First Amendment that prohibits Congress from passing laws "respecting an establishment of religion." Issues concerning the Establishment Clause often center on prayer in public schools, the teaching of fundamentalish theories of creaton, and government aid to parochial schools.
a criminal procedural rule requring that any illegally obtained evidence not be admissible in court
ex pos facto law
a criminal law that punishes individuals for committing an act that was legal when the act was committed
Free Exercise Clause
the provision of the first amentment stating that the governmetn cannot pass laws "prohbiting the free exercise" or religion. Free exercise issues often concern relighous practices that conflict with established laws
a three-part test enunciated by the Supreme Court in the 1971 case of Lemon v. Kurtzman to determine wheather government aid to parochial schools is constitutional. To be consitutional, the aid mus 1) be for a clearly secular purpose; 2) in its primary effect, neither advance nor inhibit religion; and 3) avoid an "excessive government entanglement with religion." The Lemon test has also been used in other types of cases involving the Establsihment Clause.
a published report of a falsehood that tends to injure a poerson's reputation or character.
A series of statements informing criminal suspects, on their arrest, of their constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent and the right to counsel; required by the Supreme Court's 1966 decision in Miranda V. Arisona
indecency or offensiveness in speech, expression, behavior, or appearance. Whether specific expressions or acts constitute obsecenity normall is determined by community standards
cause for believing that there is a substantial likelihood that a person has committed or is about to commit a crime
an educational certificate, provided by the government, that allows a student to use public funds to pay for a private or a public shool chosen by the student or his or her parents
speech that urges resistance to lawful authority or that advocates the overthrowing of a government
providing damaging information or testimony against onself in court
the public utterance of a statement that holds a person up for contemnt, ridicule, or hatred
the expression of beliefs, opinions, or ideas through fomrs other than speech or print; speech involving actions and other nonverbal expressions
writ of habeas corpus
An order that requires an official to bring a specified prisoner into court and explain to the judge why the person is being held in prison