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42 Cards in this Set

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Affirmative Action

Gov policies or programs that seek to address past injustices against specified groups by making special efforts to provide members of these groups with access to educational and employment opportunities

Bill of Rights

The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1791, they ensure certain rights and liberties to the people.

Brown Vs. Board of Education

the 1954 Supreme court decision that struck down the "Separate but Equal" doctrine as fundamentally unequal. This case eliminated state power to use race as a criterion for discrimination in law and provided the national gov. with the power to intervene by exercising strict regulatory policies against discriminatory actions

Civil Liberties

Ares of personal freedom with which gov. are constrained from interfering

Civil Rights

Obligation imposed on gov. to take positive action to protect citizens from any illegal action of gov. agencies and of other private citizens

Clear and present danger test

Test to determine whether speech is protected or unprotected, based on its capacity to present a clear and present danger to society

de facto discrimination

literally, "by fact"; practices that occur even when there is no legal enforcement, such as school segregation in much of the united states today.

de jure discrimination

Literally, "by law"; legally enforced practices, such as segregation in the south before the 1960's

equal protection clause

provision of the fourteenth amendment guaranteeing citizens "the equal of protection of the laws" This clause has served as a basis for the civil rights of African Americans, women and other groups.

Establishment Clause

The first amendment clause that says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." This law means that a "wall of separation" exists between church and state

First Amendments 4 Freedoms

Religion, expression, assembly and to petition

Thirteenth Amendment

One of three civil war amendments; abolished slavery

fourteenth amendment

one of three civil war amendments; guaranteed equal protection and due process

fifteenth amendment

guaranteed voting rights for african american men

Fighting Words

Speech that directly incites damaging conduct

free exercise clause

the first amendment clause that protects a citizens right to believe and practice whatever religion he or she chooses


A written statement, made in "reckless disregard of the truth," that is considered damaging to a victim because it is "malicious, scandalous, and defamatory"

Miranda Rule

The requirement, articulated by the supreme court in miranda v arizona that persons under arrest must be informed prior to police interrogation of their rights to remain silent and to have a benefit of legal council

Prior Restraint

an effort by a gov. agency to block the publication of material it deems libelous or harmful in some other way; censorship. In the u.s. the courts forbid prior restraint except under the most extraordinary circumstances

Right to Privacy

the right to be left alone, which has been interpreted by the supreme court to entail individual access to birth control and abortions

"separate but equal" rule

doctrine that public accommodations could be segregated by race but still be considered equal


An oral statement, made in "reckless disregard of the truth" which is considered damaging to the victim because it is "Malicious, scandalous and defamatory."

"Speech Plus"

Speech accompanied by conduct such as sit-ins, picketing, and demonstrations. Protection under this form of speech under the first amendment is conditional, and restrictions imposed by state or local authorities are acceptable if properly balanced by considerations of public order.

Agents of socialization

Social instatutions, including families and schools, that help shape individuals' basic political beliefs and values


today this term refers to those who generally support the social and economic status quo and are suspicious of efforts to introduce new political formulae and economic arrangements. Conservatives believe that a large and powerful gov poses a threat to citizens' freedom

Gender Gap

a distinctive pattern of voting behavior reflecting the differences in views between women and men


Support social and political reform, extensive gov intervention in the economy, the expansion of federal social services, more vigorous efforts on behalf of the poor, minorities, and women; and greater concern for consumers and the environment

Political Ideology

A Cohesive set of beliefs that forms a general philosophy about the role of the gov.

Political Socialization

the induction of individuals into the political culture; learning the underlying beliefs and values on which the political system is based

Public Opinion

Citizens' attitudes about political issues, leaders, institutions and events

Public-opinion polls

scientific instrument for measuring public opinion

Push Polling

a polling technique in which the questions are designed to shape the respondents opinion.


A small group selected by researchers to represent the most important characteristics of an entire population

Social Desirability effect

the effect that results when respondents in a survey report what they expect the interviewer wishes to hear rather than what they believe.

Electoral College

The presidential electors from each state who meet after the popular election to cast ballots for president and vice president

General Election

a regularly scheduled election involving most districts in the nation or state, which voters select officeholders; in the United States, general elections for national office and most state and local offices are held on the first tuesday following the first monday in november in even numbered years (every 4 years for presidential elections)

Party identification

an individual voters psychological ties to one party or another

Political party

organized groups that attempt to influence the gov by electing their members important gov offices

proportional representation

a multiple-member district system that allows each political party representation in proportion to its percentage of the total vote

Third parties

parties that organize to compete against the two major american political parties


the percentage of eligible idividuals who actually vote

two party system

a political system in which only two parties have a realistic opportunity to compete effectively for control of the government