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19 Cards in this Set

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Article VI
A provision of the Constitution that makes the laws and treaties of the federal government the "supreme law of the land."
block grants
Grants given by the federal government to state and local authorities for general purpose.
categorical grants
Grants given by the federal government to state and local authorities for a specific purpose defined in a federal law.
confederation (or confederal system)
A form of government in which sovereignty is wholly in the hands of the states and local governments, so the national government is dependent on their will.
conditions of aid
A condition which a state government must fulfill for taking federal funds.
evolution
The effort on the part of the national government to pass responsibility for functions and responsibilities previously held by the national government on to the state governments.
dual federalism
An interpretation of the Constitution which holds that states are as supreme within their sphere of power as is the federal government within its sphere of power. The Supreme Court no longer supports this interpretation.
federal system
A form of government in which sovereignty is shared, so that on some matters the national government is supreme and on others the states are supreme.
federalism
The division of power between a national government and regional (state) governments.
grants-in-aid
Federal funds provided to states and localities.
intergovernmental lobby
Lobbying activities by state and local officials who establish offices in Washington, D.C., to compete for federal funds.
mandates
Requirements imposed against state and local governments to perform. The requirements may have nothing to do with the receipt of federal funds and may originate from court orders.
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
A Supreme Court decision that settled two issues. First, Congress can exercise powers not specifically mentioned in the Constitution if the power can be implied from an enumerated one. This authority is conferred by the "necessary and proper" clause. Second, the federal government is immune from taxation by the states.
necessary-and-proper clause
The final paragraph of Article 1, section 8, of the Constitution, which authorizes Congress to pass all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out the enumerated powers.
nullification
A doctrine espoused on behalf of the states' rights position which holds that states are empowered to void federal laws considered in violation of the Constitution.
revenue sharing
A grant-in-aid program that allowed states maximum discretion in the spending of federal funds. States were not required to supply matching funds, and they received money according to a statistical formula. The program was terminated in 1986.
sovereignty
The supreme or ultimate political authority. A sovereign government is one that is legally and politically independent of any other government.
Tenth Amendment
An amendment to the Constitution which defines the powers of the states, stipulating that the states (or the people) retain all powers not specifically delegated to the national government by the Constitution.
unitary system
A system in which sovereignty is wholly in the hands of the national government, so that subnational units are dependent on its will.