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27 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
apportionment: the
establishment of how many
legislative representatives an area will have
the cabinet:
the cabinet: department chiefs
who offer advice on policy to the president
concurrent powers:
concurrent powers: the powers
that the federal and state
governments share
delegated powers:
delegated powers: powers given
to the federal government
deport: to return an immigrant
back to his or her country of origin
double jeopardy:
double jeopardy: act of trying a person in court twice for the same crime
draft: the mandatory order that a person join a country’s military
due process:
due process: application of the law fairly to all people
elastic clause:
elastic clause: section of U.S. constitution giving Congress the authority to expand its powers beyond what is mentioned in the document
eminent domain:
eminent domain: government’ s
authority to take property for the public’s interest
executive orders:
executive orders: non-legislative powers of the U.S. president
impeach: to indict the president of a crime or of neglect of responsibilities
naturalization: legal practice by which a foreign-born person becomes a U.S. citizen
pardon: presidential power to
forgive persons and prevent their punishment
representative democracy:
representative democracy: a
system of government in which
people elect their own
The Constitution created three branches of government:
legislative, executive, and judicial
The three branches of federal government create a system of checks and balances.
The federal system divides power between states
and the federal government
1. Delegated powers are given to the federal government.
2. The elastic clause permits federal power over things not foreseen at the time of the document’s creation.
3. Reserved powers are held by state governments.
4. Concurrent powers are jointly executed by state
and federal governments
The legislative branch writes and votes on the nation’s
1. Congress is made up of two houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate.
2. Each House member represents the same number of voters in a district, while Senators are accountable to an entire state.
3. Both houses of Congress use a committee system to examine and debate legislation.
The executive branch carries out the laws passed by
1. The president is the chief executive of the country.
2. The president can veto laws passed by Congress
and can issue executive orders, which are then
enforced as law.
3. The president may be impeached by the House
of Representatives, and then tried by the Senate.
4. The heads of the executive departments make up the president’s cabinet, which advise the president on policy.
The judicial branch deals with the federal court
1. The judicial branch is headed by the Supreme
2. The president appoints all federal court judges for
3. The Supreme Court can decide which cases to
examine. If the Supreme Court finds a law passed by Congress unconstitutional, it can overturn that law.
The Bill of Rights codified the basic rights of all U.S.
The Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the
Constitution, was ratified in 1791.
The First Amendment grants five basic freedoms to all
U.S. citizens
1. freedom of religion, which allows everyone to practice religion as they see fit.
2. freedom of speech and press, which allows everyone to express ideas and opinions without government intrusion.
3. freedom of petition and assembly, which allows
citizens to organize and request government action
Old arguments with the British government were
addressed in the Second, Third, and Fourth
1. The Second Amendment gave protection to militias, though the current meaning of its additional language on the right to “bear arms” is
still debated.
2. The Third Amendment prevents military personnel from making others provide housing to them.
3. The Fourth Amendment bans uncalled for government searches of private property and possessions.
Amendments 5 through 8 deal with rights of accused
1. No one can be justly convicted without having the
law applied fairly.
2. No one can be tried for the same crime twice.
3. Generally, the government cannot take private property without properly paying the owner.
4. Defendants have a right to a jury trial and to an
5. Bail cannot be excessively high.
6. Punishments cannot be “cruel and unusual.”
The Ninth Amendment states that citizens’ rights are
not limited to those listed in the Constitution
The Tenth Amendment gives any powers not
specifically granted to Congress, or prohibited to the
states, to the states and the people
Legal immigrants can become citizens through the
process of naturalization
1. Immigrants who break the law can be deported to
their home countries.
2. Immigrants must pass a series of tests before
they can become citizens.
Citizens have several responsibilities necessary for
the nation’s success.
1. Citizens must know the laws and follow them, and
speak out when they disagree with the laws.
2. Citizens must pay taxes so government services can run smoothly.
3. Male citizens are required to register for military
service in case a draft is needed.
4. Citizens must serve on juries so all defendants
can be judged by their peers.
5. Voting is the primary civic responsibility of every
U.S. citizen.
6. Citizens can also contribute to society by
campaigning for an elected official, joining an
interest group, or volunteering for community