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97 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
separation of powers
each branch of government has its own duties
where people elect others to represent them.
(relationship between states and national government) Power is shared by states governments and federal governments. Federal government has military powers whereas the state government has education powers.
popular sovereignty
power comes from the people
bicameral structure of congress
Our legislative branch is "bicameral". This means that there are two "houses"- the house of representatives and the senate. both have to approve a law before it can be sent to the president. most work in congress is done through committees who conduct hearings and write legislation that is then submitted to the whole Congress.
checks and balances
each branch of government checks to see that the other branches are not getting out of line.
separation of church and state
the distance in the relationship between organized religion and the nation state.
individual rights
people have civil liberties and civil rights
Declaration of Independence
was written primarily by Thomas Jefferson and it officially declared that the U.S. was independent of British rule. Asserts that all men are created equal and have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Federalist Papers
written by John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. They were published around the country and the purpose of these papers was to explain the purposed constitution to the people and to get public support for approving the constitution.
English Bill of Rights
In 1689 King William and Queen Mary approved the English Bill of Rights that was very much the precursor of the American Bill of Rights. The rights guaranteed included freedom to petition the government, to bear arms, to elect members of Parliament, and freedom from cruel and unusual punishments.
Process by which the U.S. Constitution has been changed
There are two ways to officially amend the constitution:
1. both houses of congress can propose an amendment with a two thirds vote. After this the proposed amendment goes to the states where it must be approved by three-fourths of the states before it becomes an official amendment.
2. the 2nd way has never been used, however, an amendment can be proposed through a constitutional convention called by two-thirds of the states legislatures. Any amendments proposed at the convention would then be sent to the states where three-fourths of the states must approve it before it becomes official.
civil rights era
led to increased federal authority. the federal government had to step in to protect the rights of individuals when state governments failed to do so.
new deal legislation
the legislative and administrative program of President F. D. Roosevelt designed to promote economic recovery and social reform during the 1930s
wartime policies
congressed passed the war powers resolution in 1973 that limits the ability of the president to send troops into combat without the consent of congress. only congress can declare war.
Franklin D. Roosevelt's attempt to increase the number of U.S. Supreme court justices
the first major era was the great depression era when the federal government began several social programs in an effort to ease the worst economic crisis in American history. as programs were developed and expanded, the federal government assumed the responsibility for financing and managing programs. when the supreme court ruled some of the programs unconstitutional, president Roosevelt tried to change the number of supreme court justices so that he could appoint enough justices to guarantee the success of his programs.
judicial review
review by the US Supreme Court of the constitutional validity of a legislative act.
13th amendment
abolished slavery
14th amendment
granted African americans citizenship
15th amendment
guaranteed the right to vote to all male citizens over the age of 21
17th amendment
called for senators to be directly elected by the people rather than appointed by state legislatures.
19th amendment
granted women the right to vote
24th amendment
outlawed poll taxes in federal elections
26th amendment
gave people 18+ the right to vote
Marbury v. Madison
court ruled that they have the power of judicial review-they can decide if a law is unconstitutional
McCulloch v. Maryland
court ruled that states cannot tax the federal government. "the power to tax is the power to destroy"
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia
Cherokee nation was not an independent state so the court did not have any jurisdiction to hear the case. whether the state of Georgia would seize land from the Cherokees. led to the trail of tears where the Cherokees were forced to walk from Georgia to Oklahoma.
Dred Scott v. Sandford
court ruled that dred scott, a slave who had sued for his freedom because he had moved to s a freed state, was not a citizen ad had no standing in court; scott's residence in a free state and territory had not made him free since he had returned to Missouri. congress had no power to prohibit slavery in a territory, thus voiding the Missouri compromise of 1820.
Plessy v. Ferguson
separate public facilities for blacks and whites were acceptable if they were SEPARATE BUT EQUAL
Schenck v. U.S.
defendants who distributed leaflets to draft-age men, urging resistance to induction, could be convicted of an attempt to obstruct the draft, a criminal offense.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas
ruled that separate but equal in public schools was unconstitutional
Engel v. Vitale
it is unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and encourage its recitation in public schools.
Miranda v. Arizona
those arrested must be advised of their right to remain silent and their right to an attorney. (Miranda rights)
Roe v. Wade
legalized abortion by ruling that state laws can not restrict it during the first three months of preganancy
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke
the court ruled that using affirmative action criteria in admitting students to medical school was constitutional; however, not in this particular case.
limited government
governmental power is not absolute
structure of the U.S. government
1. Legislative Branch (Congress) -passes laws.
2. Executive Branch (President)- executes the laws
3. Judicial Branch (Supreme Court)- interprets the laws
House of Representatives
435 members. Every 10 years through the census, the seats of the house are reapportioned meaning that the states with more people get more seats in the house. Congressmen serve for 2 years.
100 members. (each state elects 2 senators.)Senators serve for 6 years.
President of the U.S.
In the 1940s a Constitutional amendment (22) was passed that limited a president to two terms. Serves for 4 year term. President has 2 jobs:
1. either approve legislation from congress or veto it. If the President vetoes a law, congress can override the veto.
2. execute the laws. The president does this through his cabinet. his cabinet includes the secretary of state, agriculture, treasurer, and veterans affairs. Each secretary helps the president carry out or execute a law. For example, if Congress passes a law dealing with agriculture, the Dept. of agriculture, under the control of the secretary of agriculture, will be in charge of putting the law into effect.
Supreme Court
*The supreme court is made up of nine members who are appointed by the president, approved by the senate, and serve for life. The supreme court hears cases that are appealed from lower courts. although thousands of cases are appealed each year, very few cases actually are ever heard by the supreme court. those cases that are decided by the supreme court set precedent and all legal decisions throughout the U.S. must comply with decisions of the court.
informal amendment
another way the constitution' meaning is changed. There is no way to informally amend the constitution, only the two formal ways. However, the meaning of the constitution, or the interpretation, can change over time.
political party
role of political parties include:
-nominate presidential and vice presidential candidates
-recruit and screen potential candidates for all offices
-conduct "get out the vote" campaigns
-promote certain issues
interest groups; lobbying
interest groups are organizations that seek to influence the government to achieve a goal through lobbying. Lobbying can be direct, like holding conferences with electives officials or it can be indirect such as financing advertisements to gain public support for a group cause.
historically, the media has played a major role in the American political process. the mainstream press- newspapers, magazines, tv stations- is responsible for delivering what it considers newsworthy to the American public. through extensive coverage, the media can turn certain events into major issues just as certain issues can disappear if the media fails to give it adequate coverage. Modern media, primarily TV, has greatly changed politics. Politicians now write and make speeches knowing that on average less than 30 seconds of what he or she says will ever be broadcast on the evening news. This has created sound bite politics where snappy lines get more airplay than true issues.
a type of election. various candidates compete to represent a specific political party in an election.
electoral college
the constitution sets up the electoral college to vote for president and vice president. electoral votes are equal to the number of representatives and senators each state has, so each state has at least three electoral votes (every state has two senators and each state has at least one representative regardless of population.) states with the largest populations have more electoral votes. Alaska has 3 electoral votes while California has 55 and Texas has 34.
due process
14th amendment.
abolitionist movement
the effort to end slavery
the effort to outlaw alcohol consumption and end chronic alcoholism
civil rights reform movement
the effort to secure voting, employment, education, and housing rights for members of all ethnic and racial groups
the election process
all elections, local state and national, are decided by popular vote except the vote for president and vice president.
a type of election. voters normally choose between two or more candidates for an office.
rights guaranteed in the constitution
1st amendment- right to free speech, press, petition, and free exercise of religion.(most impact)
2nd amendment- right to bear arms
4th- limited search and seizure
5th- right to not incriminate yourself through forced testimony
6th- right to speedy trial and council
7th- right to a jury trial
8th- prohibits excessive bail and cruel unusual punishment
14th- right to due process of law and equal protection of the law
George Washington
first president of the U.S. his decision not to accept a royal title greatly shaped the American governmental system.
John Marshall
served as the chief justice for the supreme court during the early 19th century. Marbury v. Madison was determined during his reign. Marbury said that the supreme court had the right of judicial review - it could declare laws unconstitutional. His role is shaping the court as a body that sought to guarantee individual rights and protections ensured that citizens could seek judicial relief from laws and governmental actions that they believe violated constitutional rights.
Frederick Douglas
a former slave who wrote an autobiography, gained support for abolishing slavery
Elizabeth cady stanton
organized the effort to gain suffrage for women.
Franklin D Roosevelt's New Deal policies
began the process of the government providing a safety net to Americans in need of public assistance (work programs, educational assistance, aid to disabled, social security)
Martin Luther King Jr.'s
efforts in civil rights movement helped to gain protections and secure rights for African americans and ultimately other groups as well
prison reform
the effort to make prisons places of reform, not torture
civic responsibilities
our government and constitution provides Americans with many freedoms that are only dreams in other countries. In exchange for these freedoms, we, as citizens are expected to contribute to our system. Our civic responsibilities include serving of juries, voting, becoming informed on issues, and volunteering to help those who are less fortunate.
john locke and natural rights
Two Treaties of Government book. man had certain natural rights in life, liberty, and property. Locke wrote that the purpose of government was to protect the natural rights of man. Thomas Jefferson borrowed from Locke when he wrote about the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
divine right of monarchs
divine right of kings. belief that kings were God's representative on earth and that they had been chosen to rule. any disobedience towards a king was disobedience towards God.
Hammurabi's code
Hammurabi is one of the oldest known kings. he's best known for his code of laws. he was the first known king to codify and publish all his laws for all citizens to see. "an eye for an eye".
Justinian's Code
Rome divided into the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Byzantine Empire. One of the greatest leaders of the Byzantine was Justinian. He established a uniform law code. The laws preserved the laws of the Roman Empire.
Magna Carta
the first real limit on the power of a western king. signed in 1215. said the king was not above the law.
one of the oldest forms of government. the rule of a king or queen. power to rule is normally inherited along male family line.
In Ancient Rome, the population was too large so Romans directly voted on representatives to vote on issues in the senate.
Athens was the birthplace of democracy. Issues were directly voted on by citizens.
more western governments (Europe and north and south America) have democratic-republican forms of government. they share a respect for the enlightenment liberalism of freedom of speech, press, religion, and association. Most countries in this region have presidents or prime ministers. Prime ministers are chosen by parliament to serve as the executive of the country.
Thomas Hobbes and Social Contract Theory
The Leviathan book. Hobbes claimed that man was born in a state of nature that would lead to destruction if a force - government - did not act to restrain man. Hobbes' social contract theory said that in exchange for the end of anarchy that man should submit totally to the power of the monarch.
concept emerged in England after magna carta. the power of the ruler was limited. various laws were passed that gave power to parliament. as more power was transferred to parliament, the monarchy relied upon parliament for authority.
totalitarian and authoritarian rulers
this is where one person or a group of people have dictatorial control the affairs of state. Cuba, China and Iran.
Which of the following statements correctly explains how the United States Constitution may be amended?
Congress may propose an amendment by a two-thirds vote, and three-fourths of the states must ratify it.
Which of the following is the purpose of the due process clause in the Fifth Amendment?
To protect those accused of crimes. The United States Constitution guarantees that legal proceedings be fair and that those accused of crimes be given notice and an opportunity to be heard in trial before being convicted. Furthermore, the United States Constitution guarantees that all suspects are held as innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.
Some powers are delegated, such as declaring war and coining money.
 Some powers are reserved, such as establishing schools and conducting elections.
 Some powers are shared, such as raising taxes and borrowing money.
The list above describes features of which of the following principles of the Constitution?
federalism. The term “federalism” refers to the evolving relationship between state governments and the federal government of the United States. In the United States, some powers are shared between the state and federal governments, and some powers are exclusive to the state governments or to the federal government.
The passage of the Twenty-second Amendment, which limits the number of terms a president can serve, was in reaction to the administration of which of the following presidents?
The Twenty-second Amendment was passed in response to Franklin Roosevelt’s four consecutive terms as president of the United States. Although the Constitution as originally written contained no limitation on the number of times the same person could be elected president, George Washington’s refusal to run for a third term in 1796 set a precedent that was generally respected until Franklin Roosevelt’s administration. After serving the country for two terms from 1933 to 1940, Roosevelt broke with tradition and was re-elected in 1940 and again in 1944 but died in office in April 1945.Supporters of Roosevelt cited the Great Depression and the war in Europe as justifications, but after his death, Congress and state legislatures amended the Constitution out of concern that a multi-term president might become too powerful.
 Signed in 1215
 Affirmed feudal rights
 Granted certain rights to nobles and all free men
 Required the monarch to obey the law
Which of the following is the best title for the above information?
magna carta
The United States Supreme Court cited the idea of separate but equal to justify the decision in which of the following cases?
The Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson upheld the constitutionality of state laws requiring racial segregation in public facilities under the doctrine of separate but equal
Jean Jacques Rousseau
A Frenchman that wrote that the monarch had a duty to protect man and if he failed to protect the natural rights of man that man could and should rebel against the monarch. His ideas were popular with Americans' Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.
Early American Documents
The American concept of consent of the government can be traced to the Mayflower compact. This document was written by the pilgrims to specify basic laws and social rules for their colony. In the compact, the Pilgrims agreed that they would all follow laws for the colony.

The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut was the first written constitution created in the American colonies. It served as the basis of Connecticut colonial law.

The American colonists had a long history of self-government through elected bodies. The first representative assembly in the American colonies was the Virginia House g Burgesses.
Declaration of Independence
written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, it officially declared that the U.S. was independent of British rule. The Declaration of Independence asserts that all men are created equal and have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Federalist Papers
written by John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. They were published around the country and the purpose of these papers was to explain the proposed constitution to the people and to get public support for approving the constitution.
English Bill of Rights
In 1689 King William and Queen Mary approved the English Bill of Rights that was very much the precursor of the American Bill of Rights. The rights guaranteed included freedom to petition the government, to bear arms, to elect members of Parliament, and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment.
Supremacy Clause
if the state law and federal law ever conflict, the federal law is always supreme.
Texas Government
parallels the American government. Texas WILL NOT go in debt. The Texas legislature meets in odd numbered years for 140 days. Must be at least 30 yrs old.
To amend the Texas Constitution, a 2/3 vote of the house is required, then the majority of the states voters has to approve it. All in all, over 600 amendments have gone to the voters with over 400 passing.

Texas has a closed primary, meaning that voters must choose which party's primary he or she is going to vote in prior to voting.
public education
the effort to provide free education to all children
In Texas the Alamo is a symbol of overcoming defeat to gain freedom.
unalienable rights
a person’s entitlement to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The Nullification Crisis was a
dispute over —
whether states have the
power to disregard federal
The U.S. Supreme Court played
a significant role in the Civil
Rights movement by —
declaring school segregation
The voting rights of African American men were guaranteed in —
the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Most colonial governments in British North America featured —
a governor appointed by the British monarch and a legislature elected by the colonists
In which of the following ways did the Civil Rights Act of 1964 advance the cause of equality
in the United States?
It made discriminatory hiring practices illegal.
The civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., was most associated with —
the Montgomery bus boycott
In 1787 many Americans did not believe that the new U.S. Constitution protected their individual
freedoms. This led Congress to add the —
Bill of Rights