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97 Cards in this Set

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Rule by the “best”; in reality, rule by an upper class
A type of regime in which only the government itself is fully controlled by theruler. Social and economic institutions exist that are not under thegovernment’s control.
The right and power of a government or other entity to enforce its decisionsand compel obedience.
An economic system characterized by the private ownership of wealthcreatingassets, free markets, and freedom of contract.
civil liberties
Those personal freedoms, including freedom of religion and of speech, thatare protected for all individuals in a society.
consent of thepeople
The idea that governments and laws derive their legitimacy from the consentof the governed.
A set of beliefs that includes advocacy of a limited role for the nationalgovernment in helping individuals, support for traditional values andlifestyles, and a cautious response to change
A system of government in which political authority is vested in the people.
A republic in which representatives elected by the people make and enforcelaws and policies.
direct democracy
A system of government in which political decisions are made by the peopledirectly, rather than by their elected representatives.
The values, customs, and language established by the group or groups thattraditionally have controlled politics and government in a society.
elite theory
A perspective holding that society is ruled by a small number of people whoexercise power to further their self-interest
As a political value, the idea that all people are of equal worth.
The preeminent institution within a society. Government has the ultimateauthority to decide how conflicts will be resolved and how benefits andprivileges will be allocated.
A procedure by which voters can propose a law or a constitutionalamendment.
An ongoing organization that performs certain functions for society.
A governmental body primarily responsible for the making of laws.
Popular acceptance of the right and power of a government or other entity toexercise authority.
A set of beliefs that includes advocacy of positive government action toimprove the welfare of individuals, support for civil rights, and tolerance forpolitical and social change.
A political ideology based on skepticism or opposition toward mostgovernment activities.
The greatest freedom of the individual that is consistent with the freedom ofother individuals in the society.
A political theory holding that in a democracy, the government ought to dowhat the majority of the people want.
majority rule
A basic principle of democracy asserting that the greatest number of citizensin any political unit should select officials and determine policies.


Rule by a few
A state of peace and security. Maintaining order by protecting members ofsociety from violence and criminal activity is the oldest purpose ofgovernment.
A theory that views politics as a conflict among interest groups. Politicaldecision making is characterized by bargaining and compromise.
political culture
The patterned set of ideas, values, and ways of thinking about governmentand politics that characterizes a people.
A comprehensive set of beliefs about the nature of people and the role ofgovernment
The process by which political beliefs and values are transmitted toimmigrants and children in a society. The family and the educational systemare two of the most important forces in the political socialization process.
The struggle over power or influence within organizations or informal groupsthat can grant or withhold benefits or privileges.
The concept that ultimate political authority is based on the will of the people.
A procedure allowing the people to vote to dismiss an elected official fromoffice before his or her term has expired.
An electoral device whereby legislative or constitutional measures arereferred by the legislature to the voters for approval or disapproval.
A form of government in which representatives elected by the people makeand enforce laws and policies, but in which the monarchy may be retained ina ceremonial role
A form of government in which sovereign power rests with the people, ratherthan with a king or a monarch.
A political ideology based on strong support for economic and social equality.Socialists traditionally envisioned a society in which major businesses weretaken over by the government or by employee cooperatives.
Literally, rule by God or the gods; in practice, rule by religious leaders,typically self-appointed.
A form of government that controls all aspects of the political and social lifeof a nation.
The right of all adults to vote for their representatives.
Anti Federalist
An individual who opposed the ratification of the new Constitution in 1787. TheAnti-Federalists were opposed to a strong central government.
A legislature made up of two parts, called chambers. The U.S. Congress,composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate, is a bicamerallegislature.
checks andbalances
A major principle of the American system of government whereby each branchof the government can check the actions of the others.
A political system in which states or regional governments retain ultimateauthority except for those powers they expressly delegate to a centralgovernment.
A group of persons, called electors, who are selected by the voters in eachstate. This group officially elects the president and the vice president of theUnited States.
An individual who was in favor of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and thecreation of a federal union with a strong central government.
The compromise between the New Jersey and Virginia plans that created onechamber of the Congress based on population and one chamber representingeach state equally; also called the Connecticut Compromise.
judicial review
The power of the Supreme Court or any court to declare unconstitutional federalor state laws and other acts of government
A structure of government proposed by James Madison in which the powers ofthe government are separated into three branches: executive, legislative, andjudicial.
natural rights
Rights held to be inherent in natural law, not dependent on governments. JohnLocke stated that natural law, being superior to human law, specifies certainrights of “life, liberty, and property.” These rights, altered to become “life, liberty,and the pursuit of happiness,” are asserted in the Declaration of Independence.
The allocation of seats in the House of Representatives to each state after eachcensus.
A legislature composed of individuals who represent the population
separation ofpowers
The principle of dividing governmental powers among different branches ofgovernment.
A voluntary agreement among individuals to secure their rights and welfare bycreating a government and abiding by its rules.
A group of people occupying a specific area and organized under onegovernment; may be either a nation or a subunit of a nation.
A doctrine that asserts the priority of national law over state laws. This principleis rooted in Article VI of the Constitution.
A legislature with only one legislative chamber, as opposed to a bicameral (twochamber)legislature, such as the U.S. Congress. Today, Nebraska is the onlystate in the Union with a unicameral legislature.
block grant
Federal grants that provide funds to state and local governments for generalfunctional areas, such as criminal justice or mental-health programs.
Federal grants to states or local governments for specific programs or projects.
The section of the Constitution in which Congress is given the power to regulatetrade among the states and with foreign countries.
Powers held jointly by the national and state governments.
A system consisting of a league of independent states, each having essentiallysovereign powers. The central government created by such a league has onlylimited powers over the states.
A model of federalism in which the states and the national government cooperatein solving problems.
A model of federalism that looks on national and state governments as co-equalsovereign powers. Neither the state government nor the national governmentshould interfere in the other’s sphere.
elasticclause, ornecessaryand properclause
The clause in Article I, Section 8, that grants Congress the power to do whateveris necessary to execute its specifically delegated powers.
Powers specifically granted to the national government by the Constitution. Thefirst seventeen clauses of Article I, Section 8, specify most of the enumeratedpowers of the national government.
A requirement in federal legislation that forces states and municipalities to complywith certain rules.
The authority to legislate for the protection of the health, morals, safety, andwelfare of the people. In the United States, most police power is reserved to thestates.
The constitutional provision that makes the Constitution and federal laws superiorto all conflicting state and local laws.
The first act in a criminal proceeding, in which the defendant is brought before acourt to hear the charges against him or her and enter a plea of B26guilty or notguilty.
clear andpresentdanger test
The test proposed by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes for determining whengovernment may restrict free speech. Restrictions are permissible only whenspeech presents a “clear and present danger” to the public order.
defamation ofcharacter
Wrongfully hurting a person’s good reputation
The part of the First Amendment prohibiting the establishment of a churchofficially supported by the national government.
A judicial policy prohibiting the admission at trial of illegally seized evidence
free exerciseclause
The provision of the First Amendment guaranteeing the free exercise ofreligion.
gag order
An order issued by a judge restricting the publication of news about a trial or apretrial hearing to protect the accused’s right to a fair trial.
The view that most of the protections of the Bill of Rights apply to stategovernments through the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause
A written defamation of a person’s character, reputation, business, or propertyrights.
Sexually offensive material. Obscenity can be illegal if it is found to violate afour-part test established by the United States Supreme Court
prior restraint
Restraining an activity before it has actually occurred. When expression isinvolved, this means censorship.
public figures
Public officials, movie stars, and other persons known to the public because oftheir positions or activities
The public uttering of a false statement that harms the good reputation ofanother. The statement must be made to, or within the hearing of, someoneother than the defamed party.
Expression made through articles of clothing, gestures, movements, and otherforms of nonverbal communication.
writ of habeascorpus
Habeas corpus means, literally, “you have the body.” A writ of habeas corpus isan order that requires jailers to bring a prisoner before a court or judge andexplain why the person is being held.
A policy in educational admissions or job hiring that gives special attention orcompensatory treatment to traditionally disadvantaged groups in an effort toovercome present effects of past discrimination.
In the context of civil rights, the transportation of public school students fromareas where they live to schools in other areas to eliminate school segregationbased on residential patterns.
A nonviolent, public refusal to obey allegedly unjust laws
civil rights
Generally, all rights rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equalprotection under the law.
de factosegregation
Racial segregation that occurs because of patterns of racial residence andsimilar social conditions.
de juresegregation
Racial segregation that occurs because of laws or administrative decisions bypublic agencies.
The movement that supports political, economic, and social equality forwomen.
Any practice, policy, or procedure that denies equality of treatment to anindividual or to a group because of gender.
A device used by southern states to disenfranchise African Americans. Itrestricted voting to those whose grandfathers had voted before 1867.
literacy test
A test administered as a precondition for voting, often used to prevent AfricanAmericans from exercising their right to vote.
poll tax
A special tax that must be paid as a qualification for voting. The Twenty-fourthAmendment to the Constitution outlawed the poll tax in national elections, andin 1966, the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in state elections aswell.
Discrimination against members of a majority group
The doctrine holding that separate-but-equal facilities do not violate the equalprotection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The right to vote; a vote given in favor of a proposed measure, candidate, orthe like.