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90 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Government
the institutions and processes through which public policies are made for society
Public Goods
Goods, such as clean air and clean water, that everyone must share
politics
the process by which we select governmental leaders and what policies these leaders pursue. Politics produces authoritative decisions about public issue.
political participation
all activities used by citizens to influence the selection of political leaders or the policies they pursue. Voting is the most common but not the only means of political participation in a democracy. Other means include protest and civil disobedience.
ingle-issue groups
Groups that have a narrow interest, tend to dislike compromise, and often draw membership from people new to politics. THese features distinguish them from traditional interest groups.
policymaking system
The process by which policy comes into being and evolves over time. People's interests, problems, and concerns create political issues for government policymakers. These issues shape policy, which in turn impacts people, generating more interests, problems, and concerns.
linkage organizations
The political channels through which people's concerns become political issues on the policy agenda. In the US, linkage institutions include elections, political parties, interest groups, and the media.
policy agenda
the ussues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people actually invovled in politics at any given point in time.
political issue
An issue that arises when people disagree about a problem and how to fix it.
policymaking institutions
The brances of government charged with taking action on political issues. The US Constitution established three policymaking institutions - the Congress, the presidency, and the courts. Today, the power of the bureaucracy is so grat that most political scientists consider it a fourth policymaking institution.
public policy
A choice that goverrnment makes in response to a political issue. A policy is a course of action taken with regard to some problem.
democracy
A system of selection policymakers and of organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the public's preferences.
majority rule
A fundamental principle of traditional democratic theory. In a democracy, chossing among alternatives requires that the majority's desire be respected.
minority rights
A principle theory of traditional democratic theory that guarantees rights to those who do not belong to majorities and allows that they might join majoritites through persuasion and reasoned argument.
representation
A basic principle of traditional democratic theory that describes the relationship betwenn the few leaders and the many followers.
pluralist theory
A theory of government and politics emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one presing for its own preferred policies.
elite and class theory
A theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided along class lines and that an upper-class elite will rule, regardless of the formal niceties of governmental organization.
hyperpluralism
A theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government in weakened. Hyperpluralism is an extreme, exaggerated, or perverted form of pluralism.
policy gridlock
A condition that occurs when no coalition is strong enough to form a majority and establish policy. The result is that nothing may get done.
political culture
A overall set of values widely shared within a society.
gross domestic product
The sum total of the value of all the goods and services produced in a nation.
constitution
A nation's basic law. It creates political institutions, assigns or divides powers in government, and often provides certain guarantees to citizens. Constitutions can be either written or unwritten.
declaration of independence
The document approved by representatives of the American colonies in 1776 that stated their grievances against the British monarch and declared their independence.
natural rights
rights inherent in human beings, not dependent on governments, which include life, liberty, and property. The concept of natural rights was central to English philosopher John Locke's theories about government and was widely accepted among America's Founders.
concept of the governed
The idea that government derices its authority by sanction of the people
limited government
THe idea that certain restrictions shoud be placed on government to protect the natural rights of citizens
articles of confederation
The first constitution of the US, adopted by Congress in 1777 and enacted in 1781. The Articls established a national legislature, the Continental Congress, but most authority rested with the state legislature.
Shay's Rebellion
A series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by Revolutionary War Captain Daniel Shays of blovk foreclosure proceedings.
US Constitution
The document written in 1787 and ratified in 1788 that sets forth the institutional structure of US government and the tasks these institutions perform. It replaced the Articles of Confederation.
Factions
Interest groups arising from the unequal distribution of property or wealth that James Madison attacked in Feralist Paper No. 10. Today's parties or interest groups are what Madison had in mind when he warned of the instability in government caused by factions.
New Jersey Plan
The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that caled for equal representation of each state in Congress regardless of the state's population
Virginia Plan
The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for representation of each state in Congress in proportion to that state's share of the US population.
Connecticut Compromise
The compromise reached at the Constitutional Convention that established two houses of COngress: the House of Representatives, based on population, and the Senate, with equal vote
writ of habeas corpus
A court order requiring jailers to explain to a judge why they are holding a prisoner in custody
separation of powers
a feature of the Constitution that requires each of the three branches of government - executive, legislative, and judicial- to be relatively independent of the others so that once cannot control the others. Power is shared among these three institutions.
checks and balances
features if the Constitution that limit government's power by requiring that power be balanced among the different governmental institutions. These institutions continually constrain one another's activities.
republic
A form of government in which the people select representatives to govern them and make laws.
federalists
supporters of the US constitution at the time the states were contemplating adoption
anti-federalists
oponents of the US constitution at the time the states were contemplating adoption
federalists papers
a collection of 85 articles written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison under the name Publius to defend the Constitution in detail.
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments to the US Constitution, drafted in response to some of the anti-federalist concerns. THese amendments define such basic liberties as freedom of religion, speech, and press and guarantee defendents' rights.
equal rights amendment
a constitutional amendment passed by Congress in 1972 stating that equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the US or by any state on account of sex. The amendment failed to acquire the necessary support from three-fourths of the state legislatures.
Marbury v. Madison
The 1803 case in which Chief Justice John Marshall and his associates first asserted the right of the Supreme Court to determine the meaning of the US constitution. The decision established the court's power of judicial review over acts of Congress, in this case the Judiciary Act of 1789
judicial review
The power of the courts to determine whether acts of Congress and, by implication, the executive are in accord with the US Constitution. Judicial review was established by John Marshall and his associates in Marbury v. Madison
federalism
a way of organizing a nation so that two or more levels of government have formal authority over the same land and people. It is a system of shared power between units of government.
constitution
A nation's basic law. It creates political institutions, assigns or divides powers in government, and often provides certain guarantees to citizens. Can be written or unwritten.
Declaration of Independence
Document approved by representatives of the American colonies in 1776 that stated grievances against the British monarch and declared independence
natural rights
Rights inherent in human beings, not dependent on governments, which include life, liberty, and property. The concept of natural rights was central to John Locke's theories on government
consent of the goverened
governement derives its authority from the sanction of the people
limited government
idea that certain restrictions should be placed on government to protect the natural rights of citizens
Articles of Confederation
first constitution of the US, adopted in 1777 and enacted in 1781. Gave states power with little national control
Shay's Rebellion
attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by Daniel Shays to block foreclosure proceedings
US Constitution
Written in 1787 and ratified in 1788, sets forth the institutional structure of the US government and the tasks these institutions perform
factions
interest groups arising from the unequal distribution of property and wealth. warned against in federalist #10
New Jersey Plan
equal representation regardless of population
Virginia Plan
representation proportional to population
Connecticut Compromise
established two houses, one with equal representation and one based on population
powers of congress provided for by the US constitution
levy taxes
pay debts
borrow money
coin money and regulate value
regulate interstate commerce
regulate foreign commerce
establish uniform bankruptcy laws
punish piracy
punish counterfeiting
create standard weights and measures
establish post
protect copyrights and patents
prohibitions on the states in the US constitution
cannot pass laws impairing the obligations of contract.
states cannot issue money
cannot required debts paid in paper money
writ of habeas corpus
a court order requiring jailers to explain to a judge why a prisoner is being held
separation of powers
a feature of the constitiution that requires each of the three branches of government to be relatively independent of the others so that one cannot control the others.
checks and balances
features of the constitution that limit governments power by requiring that power be balanced among the different govermental institutions
republic
a form of government in which the people select representatives to govern and make laws
federalists
supporters of the US Constitution
anti-federalists
opponents of the constitution
federalist papers
85 articles written by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay in favor of the constitution
Bill of Rights
first ten amendments written in response to anti-federalists concerns. define basic liberties and rights
Equal Rights Amendment
failed amendment that would have given protection of law to people persecuted because of their sex
Marbury v. Madison
established judicial review
judicial review
said the supreme court can declare a law unconstitutional
federalism
a way of organizing a nation so that two or more levels of goverment have formal authority over the same land and people.
unitary government
all power resided in a central government
intergovernmental relations
the workings ot the federal system
supremacy clause
national laws over state laws
10th amendment
the powers note delegated to the US by the constitutions, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to teh states respectively, or to the people
McCulloch v. Maryland
decicion that established the supremacy of the national government over state overments
enumerated powers
powers of the federal governments that are specifically addresed in teh constitution
implied powers
powers of the federal government that go beyond those enumerated in the constitution
elastic clause
congress can pass all lays that are necessary and proper
Gibbons v. Ogden
Case that said congress had the power to regulate interstate commerce, encompassing virtually every form of commercial activity
full faith and credit
each state must recognize the official documents and civil judgments rendered by the courts of other states
extradition
a legal provess whereby an alleged criminal offender is surrendered by the officials of one state to officials of the state in which the crime is alleged to have been committed
privileges and immunities
accord citizens of each state most of the privileges of other states
dual federalism
a system of government in which both the states and the national government remain supreme within their own spheres
cooperative federalism
a system of government in which powers and policy assignments are shared between states and the national government
fiscal federalism
the pattern of spending, taxing, and providing grants in the federal system: it is the cornerstone of the national government's relations with state and local governments
categorical grants
federal grants that can be used only for specific purposes
project grants
grants given for specific purposes and awarded on the basis of the merits of application
block grants
grants given more or less automatically to states or communities to support broad programs in areas such as community development and social services
civil liberties
the legal constitutional protections against government