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64 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
implied powers
powers given to Congress in the necessary and proper clasue of Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution that enable the federal government to carry out its delegated powers by any constitutional means
a formal addition to the constitution that either changes one of its sections or adds matters that were not included in the original document
interstate rendition clause
Article IV, section 2, of the Constitution, which provides that an individual who is charged with a crime in one state and is found in another state may be returned to the state with jurisdiction over the crime
a sum of money that is given by a higher level of government to a lower level to help finance programs
unitary government
a system in which the legal power of the government is possessed by the national or central government
John Locke
British philosopher, believed people are capable of governint themselves

(natural law, natural rights; civil society created by social contract)
opponents of the Constitution of 1787 who wanted to preserve the authority of state governments
necessary and proper clause
Article I, section 8, of the Constitution, which provieds that Congress can "... make all lawas which shall by necessary and proper for carrying into execution..." its delegated powers and the powers of any other branch of US governments
Articles of Confederation
The document that created the United States' first central government. It was notified in 1781 and remained in effect until 1788. Congress, the only branch of government created by the Articles, did not have the power to tax or to regulate commerce and was unable to address the economic problems of the nation
Bill of Rights
the first ten amendments to the constitution, ratified in 1791. These amendments guarantee the basic rights of citizens
bicameral legislature
a legislature composed of two seperate chambers
priviledges and immunities clause
Article IV, section 2, of the Constitution, which prohibits a state from discriminating against citizens of another state
indictment of the president, the vide president, federal judges, or other civil officers of the United States by the House of Representatives or charges of treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors, conviction and removal from office requires a 2/3 majority of the senators present to vote
minority rights
those rights of the minority recognized in a democracy. These include the rights to vote, to run for political office, and to express dissenting political opinions. In the american system of government, these rights are found in the constitution and especially in the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment
original jurisdiction
the authority of a trial court to hear a case "in the first instance"
judicial review
the power of a court, and especially the Supreme Court, to review the acts of legislative bodies and executive officials to determine whether those acts are consistent with the Constitution
national supremecy
the doctrine, set forth in Article VI of the Constitution, that the Constitution and all national lawas and treaties and the supreme law of the land
Magna Carta
An English document of 1215 starting that the king was to be bound by the law and was to respect the rights of his subjects
civil liberties
the rights of the individual that are guaranteed by the US Constitution
New Jersey Plan
An alternative to the Virginia Plan presented to the Constitutional Convention by William Patterson of New Jersey. It called for a unicameral legislature that would have the authority to tax and to regulate interstate commerence, a national executive office presided over by two people, and a national judiciary
legalization of a constitution or an amendment to a constitution by formal consent; to become legal by formal procedures defined in the document
popular sovereignty
the theory that the people are the source of all legal authority
Second Continental Congress
The second meeting of colonial delegates in May 1775. Although it had no specific authority, the Second Continental Congress printed money, raised troops, coordinated colonial efforts in the war against England, and adopted the Declaration of Independence
seperation of powers
a system of organizing the legislative, executive, and judicial functions of government, characterized by the creation of independent institutions to perform those functions
checks and balances
a system of organizing the powers of government in which the executive, legislature, and judicial branches possess some power over each other's activities, thus preventing arbitrary action by any one branch
Shay's Rebellion
a protest in 1786 against mortgage foreclosures and high taxes in Massachusetts led by Captain Daniel Shays
majority rule
a basic principle of democracy under which public policy is set by freely given consent of the majority, either directly by the people or through elected officials, but limited by the recognition of certain basic rights of the minority
a system of government in which the policy decisions of the government rest on the freely given consent of the people and that guarantees certain basic rights such as freedom of speech and the right to vote
Connecticut Compromise
A compromise between the New Jersey & Virginia plans worked out at the Constitutional Convention. It was agreed that the national legislature would be bicameral, and representation in the House of Representatives would be based on population, but in the Senate each state would have equal rights
Virginia Plan
The fifteen resolutions presented by Governor Edmund Randolph of Virginia to the Constitutional Convention. It influenced the decision to abandon the Articles of Confederation and write a new constitution. The plan called for a national government consisting of executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The legislature was to be bicameral, with representation based on population and taxes paid
block grant
a sum of money that is given by the national government to a state to be used for a broad, general purpose
bill of attainder
an act of a legislature that singles out specific persons or groups and orders them to be punished without judicial trial. Such acts are prohibited by the Constitution
delegated powers
powers specifically granted by the Constitution to the federal government, especially those given to Congress by Article I, section 8
centralized federalism
a view of federalism, followed by President Lyndon Johnson during the 1960s, that believed that the national government should define public problems and provide national solution that state and local government must follow
concurrent powers
powers that are shared by the state and national governments
a system in which the legal power of government is held by state governments; the central government has only the powers that have been given to it by those governments
English Bill of Rights
a list of the rights of Englishment adopted by Parliament in 1689 included in the list are the right to trial by jury and the right to petition the government for the redress of grievances
due process clause
section I of the Fourteenth Amendment, which declares that no state "... shall... deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of the law..." Also found in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution
cooperative federalism
a form of federalism that emphasizes cooperation between the national government and the states to achieve policy goals set by the national government
constitutional democracy
a form of democratic government that places limits on the power of a majority to act and define those limits in a written constitution
French philosopher, argued 3 functions of government be seperated; if 2 of these functions were held by the same person or group political liberties would be destroyed
equal protection clause
section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which declares that the no state shall "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws
ex post facto law
a law that imposes a penalty for performing an act that was not considered criminal when it was committed, or that increases the punishment for a crime after it has been committed. Such lawas are prohibited by the Constitution
a process by which values are authoritatively allocated for a society; a method of deciding who gets what
full faith and credit clause
a provision of Article IV, section 1, of the Constitution that requires states to honor the final civil rulings of other states
Constitutional Convention
A meeting in 1787 of fifty-five delegates selected by the states to revise the Articles of Confederation. The result of the Convention was, however, an entirely new constitution, which was ratified in 1788
general revenue sharing
a system under which states and cities were given a certain portion of federal tax revenues to be used in financing their programs, with no strings attached
guarantee clause
Article IV, section 4, of the Constitution, which provides that the United States "... shall guarantee to every state in this Union a republican form of government..."
writ of habeas corpus
an order issued by a court requiring that the government bring an arrested or detained person before the court to determine whether that individual is being legally held. Habeas corpus is guaranteed by the Constitution.
interstate compact
an agreement between two or more states, adopted by state legislatures and often approved by Congress, in which arrangements are made to deal with interstate problems
direct democracy
a form of government in which the people themselves meet to discuss and decide issue of public policy
reserved powers
Powers that are neither delegated to the national government nor denied to the states by the Constitution; they are "reserved" to the states or the people by the Tenth Amendment
political power
the influence of an individual or a group on the political behavior of others
political party
an organization that attempts to influence the political system by gaining the support of voters and especially by getting its members elected or appointed to office
electoral college
the name given to the group of electors chosen in each state in the November voting and who actually elect the president and vice president
French nobleman, believed absolute power was a danger in any form of government; "tyranny of the majority"; people might choose equality over liberty
the belief that certain principles or rules are right and proper; according to Max Weber it is based on tradition, charisma, and legality
the institutions and processes by which decisions or rules are made and enforced for all members of a society
a system in which the legal power of government is divided between a central or national government and smaller units of sate government, usually under the authority of a written constitution
Thomas Hobbes & David Hume
skeptical of human reason; stressed role of passion and self interest in human behavior
representative democracy
a form of democracy in which public officials who represent the people are elected by popular vote in free elections
social contract
an agreement by the people creating the political community and the government
Max Weber
German sociologist, believed legitimacy derived from three sources: tradition, charisma, and legality
self government
the political idea that people are sufficiently rational to government themselves, and do not need to be ruled by kings and tyrants