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Govt. Terms-semester

Vocabulary Terms

Affirmative Action A plan or program to redress grievances toward a minority group for past discrimination.
Absolute Monarchy Autocracy in which a king, queen, or emperor exercises unlimited powers of government.
Amendment Formal change in a document.
Appellate Jurisdiction The legal authority of a court to hear appeals from a lower court.
Authoritarian A form of government in which those in power hold absolute and unchangeable authority
Articles of Confederation The first Constitution of the US in 1781
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt 95 percent positive a suspect on trial has committed a crime
Balanced Budget A plan requiring that what the governments spend will not exceed its income
Bicameral A legislative body composed of two houses
Bill A proposal presented to legislative body with the possibility of becoming a law
Budget an itemized summary of expenses and income for a given period of time
Bill of rights First 10 amendments to the constitution
Budget Surplus A positive balance at the end of the business year
Budget Deficit A negative balance at the end of the business year
Checks and Balances Allows one branch of the government to check on another branch of government to limit its power
Capitalism Both Private and government ownership of goods and services
Civil Law Deals with relationships between individuals or groups of individuals
Civil Disobedience Peaceful refusal to obey laws
Civil Rights Act (1964) An act of Congress designed to protect the rights of individuals to fair treatment
Civil Rights Protections and privileges given to all citizens regardless to race, gender, or national origin
Command Economy All economic decisions and means of production are owned by the central government
Civil War Amendments 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution
Communism Collective ownership of all economic productions
Concurrent Jurisdiction Both the federal and the state courts are able to hear certain types of cases. (Civil Cases)
Concurrent Powers Powers that both the rational govt and the states have
Confederation A group of independent states or nations under a weak central govt. that has little influence over the independent states
Constituents Residents of a district or members of a group represented by an elected official
Constitution A set of customs, traditions, rules, and laws that sets forth the way a government is organized and operated
Consumer Price Index (CPI) A measure of the changes in the cost of selected consumer goods and services from a fixed base period
Criminal Case A case in which a defendant is tried for committing a crime as defined by the law
Criminal Law Law and law proceedings that deal with the investigation and trial of those accused of crimes against society
Declaration of Independence Written in 1776, it is a statement of philosophy on govt., a list of colonists' grievances against the King of England and a declaration of separation
Delegated Powers Powers expressly given to the national/federal govt.
Democracy People elect representatives to govern the country. (Type of government the U.S. has)
Desegregation To integrate schools and other public facilities to reduce discrimination
Dictatorship A government in which the leader has absolute power and authority
Discrimination Actions where people of various minority groups are treated differently due to race, color, gender, religion, class, etc.
Double Jeopardy You cannot tried twice for the same crime
Due process of law Rights of citizens between arrest and the decision of guilty or innocent
Economic Sanctions Foreign policy strategy to stop trading with a country to penalize it for something that the US does not feel is right to influence that country to change
Economics Supply and demand of goods and services
Elastic Clause Necessary and proper. Do what is in the best interest of the citizens
Electoral College How the U.S. elects the president. It takes 270 electors to win
Eminent Domain Power of the government to take private land for public use
Enumerated Powers Expressed powers are not directly written in the constitution but the federal and state governments can still carry out
Entitlements Welfare programs that help individuals in need
Equal protection under the law Everyone is equal and no one is given special privileges
European Union Organization of European nations to establish a common currency and trade union
Executive Order Law to review all laws before they are paseed
Ex Post Facto Law Law to review all laws before they are passed
Expressed Powers Powers directly written in the constitution
Federal System/ Federalism Division of powers between the federal and state governments
Felony U.S. interaction in world affairs
Foreign Policy U.S interaction in world affairs
Formal Amendment Ratified by 2/3rd of Congress and 3/4 of the states
Full faith and credit Each state accepts public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state
General Assembly The legislative body in the state of MD consisting of the senate and the House of delegates
Gerrymandering The dividing of a geographic area into an electoral district to give an unfair political advantage to a party or group
Grand Jury Group that hears the charges against a suspect and decides if there is sufficient evidence to bring the person to trial
Gross domestic Product (GDP) The total dollar value of all final goods and services produced within a country's borders in a given time period
Gross National Product (GNP) The total dollar value of all final goods and service's produced by a country's citizens, business, and governments, both in and out of the country's borders in a given time
impeachment charging a public official with a crime in office for which they can be removed from office
Implied Powers Not directly stated in the constitution, helps to carry out the "necessary and proper" clause
Import A good or service purchased from an individual, business, or government in another country
Indictment A written statement issued by a grand jury that charges the accused with one or more crimes
Inflation Occurs when the measurement of overall prices (CPI) shows that prices are rising
Informal Amendment A change made in the Constitution, not by written amendment but by the experience of the government, ie. passage of laws by congress, actions taken by the president, Supreme Court decisions, and customs
Inherent Powers Powers delegated to the national govt. simply because its a government
International Monetary Fund (IMF) An organization of 184 countries established to promote monetary cooperation and exchange stability
Interest Groups An organized group of people who share goals and try to influence public policy to meet these goals
Isolationism The views that the US should withdrawal from world affairs, limit foreign aid, and avoid involvement in foreign wars
Jim crows Laws Laws that separate people based on race
Judicial Review The power of the courts to determine the constitutionality of the actions of the legislative and executive branches of government
Jury A group of 12 individuals selected to decide upon the facts at issue in a criminal case
Laissez-Faire A government doctrine of noninterference in business practices and in the economic affairs of individuals
Law of demand The price and quantiy demanded of a resource are inversely related
Law of supply The price and quantity demanded of a resource are inversely related
Limited Government A higher law such as a constitution which declares it necessary to limit the powers of government in order to protect individual civil liberties
Lobbyist A person who represents a special interest group and tries to influence the legislators
Local/State Powers State governments determine the authority and powers that local governments will have
Majority Rule A principle of democracy that asserts that the greater number of citizens in any politicl unit should select officials and determine policies
Manifest Destiny A mid 19th-century belief in the ievitablility of the US expansion to the Pacific Ocean
Market Economy An economy in which decisions of what, how, and for whom are decided in markets through the interaction of buyers ans sellers
Maryland General Assembly The bicameral congress for Maryland
Medicad A social program that gives the states money to help those who can not afford to pay their medical expenses
Medicare A social program that helps pay for the medical care of the elderly
Minority Rights The rights of people who are under-represented, under-served and have fewer numbers and less power than the majority ruling class of people
Mixed Economy Traditional economy where there is private ownership with government involvment
NAFTA Agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada where there are no trade barriers
NATO Orginization involving countries in the North Atlantic who will fight together in a time of war
Necessary and Proper Clause The govt. makes all laws necessary for its citizens without taking advantage of them
Opportunity Cost Foregone benefit of the next best alternative when an economic decision is made
Original Jurisdiction The legal authority of a court to be rhe first to hear a case
Pardon The offical release of a person charged with a crime
Petit Jury Trial Jury composed of 6-12 persons
Plaintiff Civil Law- the party that brings the lawsuit against someone
Plea Bargaining A defendant pleads gulity to the crime for a lesser charge
Political Party Loosly organized group that raise money, campaign, and run for office
Popular sovereignty Rule by the pepople
Primary Election The first election to choose a political candidate to run for an elected office
Preponderance of the Evidence Civil Case0- to win the evidence of one party has to be more convincing than the other. (More than 51%)
Probably Cause Sufficient reason to search someone's propery
Propaganda Commercials set out to influence the way people think
Reasonable Doubt You must be 95% posotive a person on trial committed the crime to find them gulilty
Redistricting A state is responsible to set up new election districts after reapportionment
Referendum Special elections
Reapportionment Redistribution of political representation of the basis of population changes after a census
Representative Democracy Rule by the people where people vote representatives to make laws and decisions
Reserved Powers Powers reserved in the Constitution to the states- Marriage laws, elections, education
Rule of law Everyone must follow the law no matter who you are
Scarcity limited resources
Segregation The seperation of or isolation of a race, class, or ethnic group
Seperate But Equal Doctrine People could be separated as long as public facilities are equal
Smart Growth Rebuild infrastructure that is old and torn down
Sovereignty Supreme and absolute authority to rule
Special Interest Group Organization to influence people on 1 specific topic. MADD, SADD, NRA, Peta
State A defined territory
Supply and Demand Supply- total amount of a good Demand- how many people want the good
Supreme Court Highest Court in the United States
Totalitarian Exercising dictatorial power by government for nearly every aspect of human life
Traditional Economy Customs and values dictate economical interactions
Unitary Government All powers of the government belong to a single, central agency
United Nations (UN) An international organization formed after WWII, it hoped to settle disputes between nations and prevent future wars
Unlimited Government A government in which there are no effective controls over the powers of its rulers who cannot be easily removed from office
Urban Sprawl Sprawl is the spreading out of a city and its suburbs over more and more rural land
Veto Chief executive's power to reject a bill passed by a legislature
Voting Rights Act (1965) Federal law passed in 1965 to require that the states protect the rights of each citizen to vote
War Powers Act President can deploy the troops for 60 days
World bank One of the worlds largest sources of development assistance with helping the poorest people and the poorest countries
World Trade Organization (WTO) International organizations based in Geneva that monitors and enforces rules governing a global trade
World Health Organization (WHO) UN agency committed to assisting under-developed nations combat health related issues including simple childhood diseases and vaccines
Writ of Certiorari An order by a higher court directing a lower court to send up the record in a given case foe review
Writ of Habeas Corpus A court order to require an individual accused of a crime to appear in court to determine whether he or she has been legally detained
Created by: Shockley