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40 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is constitutionalism?
the power and authority to govern is sanctioned or made legitimate by law under a constitution
What is a constitution?
the fundamental or highest law of a society or nation from which all other laws derive, to which all other laws are inferior, and with which all other laws must be in accord
What is a constitutional amendment?
a fundamental change in the fundamental law
What is a positive right?
(privilege or civil right) what a citizen is free to do

ex. the right to vote
What is a negative right?
(immunity or civil liberty) what a citizen is free from

ex. habeus corpus
What is a republic?
any society organized politicalled under a type of represtentative government, based upon the rule of law, in which there is no form of semblance of monarchy
What is an aristocratic republic?
a republic in which representation, office holding, and the suffrage (right to vote) is limited to a privileged few
What is a democratic republic?
a republic in which the vast majority of the people are represented, are elible to hold office, and enjoy the suffrage (right to vote)
What is a state?
a body of people, living in a defined territory, organized politically- that is, with a government- and with the power to make and enforce laws without the consent of any higher authority. it is defined by population, territory, government, and sovereignty
What is a city-state?
a state the size of a city
What is a nation-state?
a state the size of a nation
What is a nation?
an expanse of territory with clearly defined borders within which a sizeable population dwells, bound together by several commonalities such as history, culture, language, customs, values, religion, and institutions (national consciousness)
What is a league?
a very loose association of sovereign governments in which the binding authority of the league is practically non-existent. the effectiveness of a league depends upon the willingness of its members to co-operate with one another. each member retains to the fullest extent its independence of action and will as a sovereign state. thus, decentralization of power is at a maximum
What is a confederation?
a more formal union of sovereign governments in which a larger measure of binding authority is vested in some type of central, or general, governing body. relatively speaking, however, there is a far greater degree of decentralization of power than centralization of power since each member government, or state, retains a very significant amount of self-determination and autonomy. thus, it is characterized by a modest degree of centralization of power accompanied by a still greater emphasis upon the autonomy and sovereignty of the member governments
What is a federation?
a union of sovereign governments which attempts to combine a strong central government with a still significant allowance for autonomous action on the part of the member governments. The binding authority of the union over its several member governments, as vested in a strong central government, is quite extensive as compared with that of a league or a confederation. thus, a federation is marked by dual government through which the member governments and the central government are supposed to function as partners, enjoy certain mutually exclusive powers, and share certain other concurrent powers. there is, in other words, an effort to balance centralization of power with decentralization of power
What is an unitary state?
a union of peoples within which the original sovereignty of member governments is completely obscured of removed. political power and authority is fully concentrated in a strong central government. local government is thoroughly tied to and absorbed by the central government. thus, centralization of power is at a maximum
What is decentralization of power?
political, governmental power is distributed among and exercised by governments at the local level
What is centralization of power?
political, governmental power is concentrated in and exercised by the general, or central, or national government
What is sovereign?
adj- being supreme and independent in respect to the power to rule or govern

noun- a ruling authority or the person or persons exercising the power to rule or govern
What is sovereignty?
the exercise of supreme and independent political, governing authority and power
What is autonomy?
the act or right of a people to govern themselves and to practice self-determination free of external control, influence, or interference
What is self-determination?
the act or right of a people to determine (choose) for themselves, independent of outside influence, their own social, economic, political, cultural, and moral affairs
What is a concurrent power?
any political or governmental power shared and exercised simultaneously by two levels of government
What is protectionism?
placing a tarriff (a tax or duty) on foreign imports that compete with domestic products of a country so as to make the foreign made product more expensive thus "protecting" the domestic product from foreign competition
What is unilateralism?
a nation acting alone in international affairs
What is multilateralism?
when a nation acts in concert with other nations concerning some issue or situation in international affairs
What is free trade?
the exchange of products between nations free from any trade barriers such as protective tariffs
What are checks and balances?
a system of constitutional government which guards against absolute power by providing for separate executive, judicial, and legislative bodies who share powers and thereby check and balance one another
What is the separation of powers?
the doctrine under which the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government are not to infringe upon each other's constitutionally vested powers
What is a monarchy?
an autocracy governed by a monarch who usually inherits the authority
What are civil rights?
positive rights (privileges) what a citizen is free to do

ex. the right to vote
What are civil liberties?
negative rights (immunities) what a citizen is free from

ex. habeus corpus
What is a protective tariff?
a tax or duty imposed to protect domestic firms from import competition
What is judicial review?
a constitutional doctrine that gives to a court system the power to annul legislative or executive acts which the judges declare to be unconstitutional
What is the due process of law?
as interpreted by the courts, this clause in the fifth and fourteenth amendments requires that a person be treated fairly by the government
What is the procedural due process?
refers to those clauses in the constitution that protect individuals from unreasonable and unfair governmental procedures
What is substantive due process?
those judicial interpretations of the due process clauses of the constitution that require that the content of laws be fair and reasonable
What is ratification?
To approve and give formal sanction to; confirm.
What is veto power?
The vested power or constitutional right of one branch or department of government to refuse approval of measures proposed by another department, especially the power of a chief executive to reject a bill passed by the legislature and thus prevent or delay its enactment into law
What is the power of the purse?
the constitutional power given to Congress to raise and spend money (used in the house and senate)