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102 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Public Good
Goods, such as clean air, that everyone must share
Political Participation
All the activities used by citizens to influence the selection of political leaders or the polocies they pursue. Voting is the most common but not the only means of democracy. Others: Protest, and civil disobedience.
Single 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.
Policy Making System
The process by which policy comes into being and evolves over time. People's interest, problems, and concerns create issues for the government policymakers. These issues shape policy, which in turn impacts people, generating more interests, problems and concerns.
Linkage Institutions
The political channels through which people's concerns become political issues on the policy agenda. In the United States, linkage institutions includes elections, political parties, interest groups, and the media.
Political Issues
An issue that arises when people disagree about a problem and how to fix it
Policymaking Institutions
The branches of government charged with taking action on political issue. The United States Constitution established three policymaking institutions: Congress, The Presidency, and The Courts. Today, the power of the bureaucracy is so great that the most political scientists consider it a fourth policymaking institution.
Public Policy
A choice that government makes in response to a political issue. A policy is a course of action taken with regard to some problem
Majority Rules
A fundamental principle of traditional democracy theory. In a democracy, choosing among alternatives requires that the majority's desire be respected.
Minority Rights
A principle of traditional democratic theory that guarantees rights to those who don't belong to majorities and allows that they might join majorities through persuasion and reasoned argument.
A basic principle of traditional democratic theory that describes the relationship between the few leaders and the many followers.
A theory of government and politics emphasizing that politics in mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own preferred policies.
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
An 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.
The institutions and processes through which public policies are made for a society.
The process by which we select our governmental leaders and what policies these leaders pursue. Politics produces authoritative decisions about public issues.
Policy Agenda
The issues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people actually involved in politics at any given point in time.
Policy Impacts
The effects a policy has on people and problems. Impacts are analyzed to see how well a policy has met its goal and at what cost.
A system of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the public's preferences.
Elite & Class Theory
A theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided along class lines and that an upperclass elite will rule, regardless of the formal niceties of governmental organization.
A theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened. Hyperpluralism is an extreme, exaggerated, or perverted for of pluralism.
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 representative of the American colonies in 1776 that atarted 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.
Consent of the Governed
The idea that government derives its authority by sanction of the people.
Limited Government
The idea that certain restrictions should be placed on government to protect the natural rights of citizens.
Articles of Confederation
The first constitution of the United States, adopted by Congress in 1777 and enacted in 1781. The Articles established a national legislature, the Continental Congress, but most authority rested with the state legislatures.
Shay's Rebellion
A series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by the Revolutionary War Captain Daniel Shays to block 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.
Interest groups arising from the unequal distribution of property or wealth that James Madison attacked in Federalist 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 called 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, in which representation is based on a state's share of the US population and the Senate, in which each state has two representatives.
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 one cannot control the others. Power is shared among these three institutions.
Checks & Balances
Features of the Constitution that limit government's power by requiring that power be balanced among te different governmental institutions. These institutions continually constrain one another's activities.
Supporters of the US Constitutions at the time that states were contemplating its adoption.
Opponents of the American Constitution at the time when the states contemplating its adoption.
Federalist 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 10 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 defendants' 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 United States or by any state on account of sex." The amendment failed to acquire the necessary support from three-forths of the state legislatures.
Marbury v. Madison
The 1803 case in which Cheif 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 exectutive are in accord with the U.S. Constitution.
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.
Unitary Governments
A way of organizing a nation so that all power resides in the central government. Most national governments today are unitary governments.
Intergovernmental Relations
The workings of the federal system- the entire set of interactions among national, state, and local governments.
Supremacy Clause
Article IV of the Constitution, which makes the Constitution, national laws and treaties supreme over state laws when the national government is acting within its constitutional limits.
Tenth Amendment
The constitutional amendment stating, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."
McCulloh v. Maryland
An 1819 Supreme Court decision that established the Supremacy of the national government over state governments. In deciding this case, Chief Justice John Marshall and his colleagues held that Congress had certain implied powers in addition to the enumerated powers found in the Constitution.
Enumerated Powers
Powers of the federal government that are specifically addressed in the Constitution; for Congress, these powers are listed in Article I, Section 8, and include the power to coin money, regulate its value, and impose taxes.
Implied Powers
Powers of the federal government that go beyond those enumerated in the Constitution. The Constitution states that Congress has the power to "make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution" the powers enumerated in Article I.
Elastic Clause
The final paragraph of Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, which authorizes Congress to pass all laws "necessary and proper" to carry of the enumerated powers.
Gibbons v. Ogden
A landmark case decided in 1824 in which the Supreme Court interpreted very broadly the clause of Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution giving Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce, encompassing virtually every form of commercial activity.
Full Faith and Credit
A clause in Article IV, Section I, of the Constitution requiring each state to recognize the official documents and civil judgments rendered by the courts of other states.
A legal process 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
A clause in Article IV, Section 2, of the Constitution according citizens of each state most of the privileges of citizens of other states.
Dual Federalism
A system of government in which both the states and national government remain supreme within their own spheres, each responsible for some policies.
Cooperative Federalism
A system of government in which policy assignments are shared between states and the national government. They may also share costs, administration, and even blame for programs that work poorly.
Transferring responsibility for policies from the federal government to state and local governments.
Fiscal Federalism
The pattern of spending, taxing and providing grants in the federal system; it is the conerstone of the national government;s relations with state and local governments.
Categorical Grants
Federal grants that can be used only for specific purposes, or "catagories," of state and local spending. they come with strings attached, such as nondiscrimination provisions.
Project Grants
Federal categorical grants given for specific purposes and awarded on the basis of the merits of applications.
Formula Grants
Federal categorical grants distributed according to a formula specified in legislation or in administrative regulations.
Block Grants
Federal grants 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. Although our civil liberties are formally set down in the Bill of Rights, the courts, police, and legislatures define their meaning.
Gitlow v. New York
The 1925 Supreme Court decision holding that freedoms of press and speech are "fundamental personal rights and liberties protected by the due process clause of the 14th amendment for impairment by the states" as well as by the federal government.
Barron v. Baltimore
The 1833 Supreme Court decision holding that the Bill of Rights restrained only the national government, not the states and cities.
Fourteenth Amendment
The constitutional amendment adopted after the Civil War that states, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Due Process Clause
Part of the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteeing that persons cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property by the United States or state government without due process of law.
Incorporation Doctrine
The legal concept under which the Supreme Court has nationalized the Bill of Rights by making most of its provisions applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.
Establishment Clause
Part of the First Amendment stating that, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."
Free Exercise Clause
A first amendment provision that prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion.
Lemon v. Kurtzman
The 1971 Supreme Court decision that established that aid to a church-related schools must be (1) have a secular legislative purpose; (2) have a primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits religion; and (3) not foster excessive government entanglement with religion.
Zelman v. Simmons-Harris
The 2002 Supreme Court decision that upheld a state providing families with vouchers that could be used to pay for tuition at religious schools.
Engel v. Vitale
The 1962 Supreme Court decision holding that state officials violated the First Amendment when they wrote a prayer to be recited by New York's schoolchildren.
School District of Abington Township, Pennsylvania v. Schempp
A 1963 Supreme Court decision holding that a Pennsylvania law requiring Bible Reading in schools violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
Prior Restraint
A government preventing material from being published. this is a common method of limiting the press in some nations, but it is usually unconstitutional in the US, according to the First Amendment and as confirmed in the 1931 Supreme Court case of Near v. Minnesota.
Near v. Minnesota
The 1931 Supreme Court decision holding that the First Amendment protects newspapers from prior restraint.
Schneck v. United States
A 1919 decision upholding the conviction of a socialist who had urged young men to resist the draft during World War I. Justice Holmes declared that government can limit speech provokes a "clear and present danger" of substantive evils.
Zurcher v. Stanford Daily
A 1978 Supreme Court decision holding that a proper search warrant could be applied to a newspaper as well as to anyone else without necessarily violating the First Amendment rights to freedom of the press.
Roth v. United States
A 1957 Supreme Court decision ruling that "obscenity is not within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press."
Miller v. California
A 1973 Supreme Court decision that avoided defining obscenity by holding that community standards be used to determine whether material is obscene in terms of appealing to a prurient interest" and being "patently offensive" and lacking in value.
The publication of false or malicious statements that damage someone's reputation.
New York Times v. Sullivan
Decided in 1964. this case established the guidelines for determining whether public officials and public figures could win damage suits for libel. To do so, individuals must prove that the defamatory statements were made with "actual malice" and reckless disregard for the truth.
Texas v. Johnson
A 1989 case in which the Supreme Court struck down a law banning the burning of the American flag on the grounds that such action was symbolic speech protected by the First Amendment.
Symbolic Speech
Nonverbal communication, such as burning a flag or wearing an armband. The Supreme Court has accorded some symbolic speech protection under the first Amendment.
Commercial Speech
Communication in the form of advertising. It can be restricted more than many other types of speech but has been receiving increased protection from the Supreme Court.
Probable Cause
The situation occurring when the police have reason to believe that a person should be arrested. In making the arrest, police are allowed to search and seize incriminating evidence.
Unreasonable Search and Seizures
Obtaining evidence in a haphazard or random manner, a practice prohibited by the Fourth Amendment. Probable Cause and/or a search warrant are required for a legal and proper search for and seizure of incriminating evidence.
Search Warrant
A written authorization from a court specifying the area to be searched and what the police are searching for.
Exclusionary Rule
The rule that evidence, no matter how incriminating, cannot be introduced into a trial if it was not constitutionally obtained. The rule prohibits use of evidence obtained through unreasonable search and seizure.
Fifth Amendment
A constitutional amendment designed to protect the rights of persons accused of crimes, including protection against double jeopardy, self incrimination, and punishment without due process of law.
The situation occurring when an individual accused of a crime is compelled to be a witness against him or herself in court. The 5ht amendment forbids self-incrimination.
Miranda v. Arizona
The 1966 Supreme Court decision that sets guidelines for police questioning of accused persons to protect them against self-incrimination and to protect their right to counsel.
6 Amendment
designed to protect individuals accused of crimes. It includes the right to counsel, the right to confront witnesses, and the right to a speedy and public trial.
Gideon v. Wainwright
The 1963 Supreme Court decision holding that anyone accused of a felony where imprisonment may be imposed, however poor he or she might be, has a right to a lawyer.
Plea Bargaining
A bargain struck between the defendant lawyer and the prosecutor to the effect that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser crime (or fewer crimes) in exchange for the state's promise not to prosecute the defendant for a more serious (or additional) crime.
8th Amendment
forbids cruel and unusual punishment, although it does not define this phrase.
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Court sentences prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. Although the Supreme Court has ruled that mandatory death sentences for certain offenses are unconstitutional, it has not held that the death penalty itself constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
Right to Privacy
The right to a private personal life free from governmental intrusion.
Roe v. Wade
The 1973 Supreme Court decision holding that a state ban on all abortions was unconstitutional. The decision forbade state control over abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy, permitted states to limit abortions to protect the mother's health in the second trimester, and permitted states to protect the fetus during the third trimester.