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Glossary of SS

Social Studies terms and vocab

Acid rain A type of polluted rain, produced when acids from smokestacks combine with water vapor that can harm lakes, forests, and human health.
Adapt To change or tailor something to fit, humans change their environment or their way of doing something to fit their current needs or goals.
Affirmative Action Efforts to recruit or hire members of underrepresented groups, such as women and minorities.
Allegiance Devotion or loyalty.
Allocation The process of choosing which needs will be satisfied and how much of our resources we will use to satisfy them.
Altitude The height of a thing above sea level or above the earth's surface.
Amendment (to the U.S. Constitution) Changes in, or additions to, a constitution. Proposed by a two
American Influence on Foreign Countries As the most powerful nation and economy in the world the United States affects the cultures, economies, and politics of nations worldwide. When other nations seek access to and become part of the lucrative U.S. market their own economies, cultures and po
American Political System/Presidential System A system of government in which the legislative and executive branches operate independently of each other and in which power is distributed through a system of checks and balances.
Ancient history history of people living from the beginnings of human society through 300 CE.
Articles of Confederation The first document created to govern the newly formed government after the American Revolution. It created a “firm league of friendship” among the 13 original states. The states agreed to send delegates to a Confederation Congress. Each state had one vot
Authority Right to control or direct the actions of others, legitimized by law, morality, custom, or consent.
Bar Graph A means of displaying data using the length of “bars” to represent the values of the data being displayed.
Bias An unfair act or policy resulting from prejudice.
Bigotry Intolerance and prejudice; obstinate and unreasoning attachment to one's own belief and opinions, with narrow
intolerance of beliefs opposed to them.
Biography A narrative account of a person’s life.
Bill of Rights First ten amendments to the Constitution ratified in 1791, these amendments limit governmental power and protect basic rights and liberties of individuals.
Bipartisan Supported by members of two parties, especially two major political parties.
Boundary The limit or extent within which a system exists or functions, including a social group, at state, or physical feature.
Branches of Government Established in the U.S. Constitution to divide the power of government between legislative, executive and judicial branches
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) Supreme Court case that declared that “separate
Calendar A table showing the days, weeks, and months of at least one specific year.
Campaign The overall effort a candidate makes to win votes through speeches, press conferences, and advertising.
Campaigns Activities planned to achieve a certain goal as in electing a candidate or establishing a public policy.
Capital Cash, goods, natural resources, or human skills that are used to produce income.
Capital Resources Goods made by people and used to produce other goods and services (also called intermediate goods).
Capitalism Economic system characterized by the following: private property ownership exists; individuals and companies are allowed to compete for their own economic gain; and free market forces determine the prices of goods and services.
Cash Currency and coins.
Census An official, usually periodic enumeration of a population, often including the collection of related demographic information. As required by the Constitution, the census of the population of the United States takes place every 10 years.
Century One hundred years.
Checking Accounts Deposits in a checking account give individuals quick, convenient, and immediate access to money in their account. Money is accessed through the writing of a check, which transfers money to the person or business named. Some checking accounts pay interes
Checks and Balances Constitutional mechanisms that authorize each branch of government to share powers with the other branches and thereby check their activities. For example, the president may veto legislation passed by Congress, the Senate must confirm major executive app
Choice What someone must make when faced with two or more alternative uses for a resource, also called an economic choice.
Chronological order Arranged in order of time occurrence.
Circle Graph Used to display data that adds up to 100%.
Citizen’s responsibilities and conduct Actions expected of citizens in their daily conduct such as upholding the values and principles of the Constitution, obeying the law, voting and participating in the civic life of the community.
Citizenship Status of being a member of a nation, one who owes allegiance to the government and is entitled to its protection and to political rights.
City state
Civilization The type of culture and society developed by a particular nation or region or in a particular epoch: The ways in which people organize themselves.
Civil Rights Protections and privileges given to all U.S. citizens by the Constitution and Bill of rights.
Climate The temperature, precipitation, winds, etc. that characterize a region. Long term trends in weather elements and atmospheric conditions.
Common Good Involves individual citizens having the commitment and motivation (that they accept as their obligation) to promote the welfare of the community (even if they must sacrifice their own time, personal preferences or money) to work together with other membe
Communism The final state of social evolution according to Marx, in which the state has withered away and economic goods are
distributed according to need.
Communication The exchange of thoughts messages and or information.
Community A group of people living in the same locality and under the same government.
Comparison An examination of two or more objects, ideas, locations, concepts, or individuals to discover the similarities and differences.
Conflict An open clash between two opposing groups, individuals, or nations regarding an ideology or a course of action.
Conflict and cooperation A recurring theme of social studies that represents the opportunities for people in communities, nations, regions or worldwide to engage in activities in which they openly clash with one another while retaining the capacity at other times to work togethe
Conflicting viewpoint A position taken by one individual group, or nation, which is in opposition to the position of another individual, group, or nation.
Consensus A point reached in a negotiation where a general agreement of all or most of the people consulted is achieved.
Constitution The system of fundamental laws and principles that prescribes the nature, functions, and limits of a government or another institution. The fundamental law of the United States, framed in 1787, ratified in 1789, and variously amended since then.
Consumer A customer who buys the products or services a business produces.
Consumer Credit Ability to buy goods or services now and pay later by installment payments.
Consumer Goods Items that are made for final consumption (i.e., not used by business to produce other goods or services).
Continent One of seven large landmasses on the Earth, which separates the oceans.
Core Democratic Values Fundamental beliefs and constitutional principles outlined in the Declaration of independence and/or the United States Constitution and other important writings of the nation such as Supreme Court decisions.
Corporation An organization of people legally bound together by a charter to conduct some type of business.
Costs The total money, time, and resources associated with a purchase or activity.
Costs of Production All resources used in producing goods and services, for which their owners receive payment.
Country A sovereign nation.
Crusade Any of the military expeditions undertaken by European Christians in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. Also, a vigorous concerted movement for a cause or against an abuse.
Culture The values, beliefs and perceptions of the world that are learned and are shared by members of a community or society, and which they use to interpret experience and to generate behavior, and that are reflected in their own behavior.
Cultural geography The study of how people use space and interact with their environment.
Culture Learned behavior of people, which includes their belief systems and languages, their social relationships, their institutions and organizations, and their material goods (food, clothing, buildings, tools, and machines).
Currency paper money with a specified value, issued by the government or a central bank.
Currency Exchange The comparative value of foreign currencies.
Decade Ten years.
Deciduous Type of tree that loses its leaves during portions of the year, usually beginning in the autumn months.
Declaration of Independence The declaration of the Congress of the Thirteen United States of America, on the 4th of July, 1776, by which they formally declared that these colonies were free and independent States, not subject to the government of Great Britain.
Deforestation The clearing or destruction of forests, generally for the purposes of timber extraction, agricultural expansion, cattle raising and in drier climates an increase demand for firewood.
Delegated Powers Powers granted to the national government under the Constitution, as enumerated in Articles, II, III, and I
Demand The desire and ability of individuals to purchase economic goods or services at the market price; along with supply, one of the two key determinants of price.
Democracy A system of government in which political authority is held by the people; typically feature constitutional governments where the majority rules, a belief in individual liberty and in equal rights for all people, freedom of expression, political freedom,
Describe To tell the who, what, when or where about something.
Desegregation To abolish or eliminate segregation; to open (a school or workplace, for example) to members of all races or ethnic groups, especially by force of law; to become open to members of all races or ethnic groups.
Desert An area with little precipitation or where evaporation exceeds precipitation and thus includes sparse vegetation.
Dictator A ruler with absolute power.
Discrimination Treatment based on class or category rather than individual merit.
Disparities Lack of equality.
Dispute A disagreement or argument about something important.
Distributor A firm that sells and delivers merchandise to retail stores or acts as an intermediary in business.
Distribution The delivery of merchandise to retail stores.
Diversity Variety in culture and ethnic background, race and belief is not only permissible but also desirable and beneficial in a pluralistic society.
Doctrine A principle or body of principles presented for acceptance or belief, as by a religious, political, scientific, or philosophic group; dogma, e.g., Monroe Doctrine.
Domestic Of one’s own country; not foreign.
Domestic Economy Activities dealing with the production and distribution of goods and services within ones own country.
Dred Scott v. Sanford: Dred Scott Decision of 1857 The Supreme Court ruled that Dred Scott could not file a lawsuit because, as a black, he was not a citizen. The justices also agreed that slaves were property. They also ruled that Congress did not have the power to outlaw slavery in any territory.
Due Process of Law Right of every citizen to be protected against arbitrary action by government; the government must use fair
procedures to gather information and make decisions in order to protect the rights of individuals and the interests of society.
Earning Activities people engage in to acquire resources. Also, income after taxes is deducted.
Economic Freedom The right to acquire, use, transfer, and dispose of private property without unreasonable governmental interference; the right to seek employment wherever one pleases; to change employment at will; and to engage in any lawful economic activity.
Economic geography The study of how people use space and interact with their environment to answer the basic economic questions of production and distribution.
Economic Goals of Government In the mixed economy of the United States government has six broad goals: economic growth, more and better goods and services produced; full employment, everyone who wants to work should have a job; price stability, stable prices that do not rise dramati
Economic Indicators The leading indicators include the money supply, stock prices, consumer expectations, commodity (raw materials, farm products) prices, the average work week, new unemployment claims, new building permits, new orders for consumer goods, new orders for cap
Economic Roles of Government In the mixed economy of the United States government has six broad goals: economic growth, more and better goods and services produced; full employment, everyone who wants to work should have a job; price stability, stable prices that do not rise dramati
Economics 1. Having to do with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. 2. The management of the income, supplies, and expenses of household, government, etc.
Ecosystems (ecological system) A system formed by the interaction of all living organisms (plants, animals, and humans) with each other and with the physical and chemical factors of the environment in which they live.
Electoral college The group of people selected by each state that elect the president and Vice President of the United States. The number of votes each state receives is determined by the number of representatives they have in Congress (the number of their state’s Represe
Elevation The height on the earth’s surface above or below sea level.
Emigrant Emigrant and emigration have reference to the country from which the migration is made; the correlative words immigrant and immigration have reference to the country into which the migration is made, the former marking the going out from a country, the l
Emotion Arousal that is interpreted in relation to a situation and results in expressive behavior.
Enslaved people Individuals whose liberty has been taken away and are forced to work for others without compensation as property.
Entrepreneur Individual who takes the risk of producing a product for a profit.
Environment The natural or human surrounding in which living things interact.
EPA Environmental Protection Agency.
Equality Everyone should get the same treatment regardless of where their parents or grandparents were born, their race or religion, or how much money they have; citizens all have political, social, and economic equality.
Era A period of time in history.
Ethics Standards of right and wrong; morals.
Ethnic Cleansing The removal or extermination of a racial or cultural group.
Ethnicity One's cultural identity (NOT biological identity).
Evaluate Make judgments about the value of ideas or materials.
Exchange Giving one thing in return for some other thing.
Executive Branch Carries out and enforces laws to protect individual rights and promote the common good.
Executive Power Power of the president governor or mayor to implement and enforce laws.
Explain To give reasons for why something happens.
Exports Goods or services produced in one nation but sold to buyers in another nation.
Federal Anything pertaining to the national government, but not the state or local government.
Federal Courts Article III of the Constitution gives the federal courts jurisdiction—the authority to hear and decide a case—only in certain specific areas. These are cases that involve one of the following: The Constitution, federal laws, admiralty and maritime laws,
Federal Judiciary Nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court and approximately five hundred judges appointed by the president and approved by the Senate for the federal courts.
Federal Reserve System (the Fed) The central banking system in the United States. It regulates money and banking in the United
Federalism Power is shared between two sets of governmental institutions, those of the states and those of the central or federal
authorities, as stipulated by the Constitution.
Fees Charges for services rendered.
Feudal system Introduced to England by William I
personal property kept one quarter, some was given to the church, and the rest was rented out. In this system a lord swears allegiance to the king in return for protection. A lord took in serfs who paid homage to him and took the same oath. This system wo
Filibuster The use of obstructionist tactics, especially prolonged speechmaking, for the purpose of delaying legislative action.
Fiscal Policy Decisions by the President and Congress, usually relating to taxation and government spending, with the goals of full
employment, price stability, and economic growth.
Five Themes of Geography
Human Environment/Interaction – How people change their surroundings like clearing land to make farms; and how people adapt to their environment like building homes with insulation and central heating in cold climates.
Movement – the moving of people, ideas, information, and products around the world.
Region – An area with one or more common characteristics or features, which gives it a measure of homogeneity and makes it different from surrounding areas.
Foreign market When buyers and sellers from different countries make transactions, directly or via intermediaries.
Foreign policy When dealing with other nations, the systematic collection of practices, regulations, and rules of procedure and conduct followed by the Federal Government.
Forms of Taxation Forms of taxation: taxes are charges imposed by the government on people or property for public purposes. Taxes take different forms like the benefit principle (gasoline taxes for road construction), progressive taxes, regressive taxes, proportional taxe
Free Market Economy An economy in which individuals decide the economic questions in the market place.
Freedom Being able to act without interference or control by another; right to believe in what you want, right to choose own friends, and have own ideas and opinions, to express own ideas in public, the right for people to meet in groups, the right to have any l
Fundamentalism Fundamentalism can be broadly defined as a strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles and specific beliefs. Although many, if not most forms of fundamentalism are religious, by no means are all religious people fundamentalists. The adheren
Genocide The extermination of a cultural or racial group.
Geography An integrated discipline that brings together the physical and human dimensions of the world in the study of people, place, and environment focusing on the earth’s surface and the processes that shape it, the relationships between people and environments
Goods Objects that can be held or touched that can satisfy people’s wants.
Globalization Refers to the many ways in which people are being drawn together not only by their own movements but also through the flow of goods/services, capital, and ideas/information. Globalization also includes the impact that increased human interactions have on
Global warming The theory that Earth’s atmosphere is gradually warming due to the buildup of carbon dioxide in the lower atmosphere caused by human activity such as the burning of coal.
Governor The chief executive of a state government who is elected by the state’s voters.
Government An institution that determines and enforces a society’s laws. The size and nature of a government varies according to the society it governs.
Greenhouse effect The warming of the earth caused by the buildup of carbon dioxide in the lower atmosphere, possibly as the result of human industrial activity.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) The total dollar value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given year equals the total consumer, investment and government spending, plus the value of exports minus the value of imports.
Gross National Product (GNP) Is calculated by adjusting the GDP to include income accruing to domestic residents as a result of
investments abroad minus the income earned in domestic markets accruing to foreigners abroad.
Habitat A place where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives and grows.
Households Individual or family units.
Human Resources Quantity and quality of human effort directed toward producing goods and services (also called labor or human
Human rights The basic rights and freedoms, to which all humans are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law.
Hydrologic Cycle The continuous circulation of water from the oceans, ice sheets, lithosphere, atmosphere, and all living things in the biosphere.
Identify To recognize and name an object, person, or idea.
Ideas Something, such as a thought or concept, that potentially or actually exists in the mind as a product of mental activity, an opinion, conviction, or principle.
Identify To name something.
Immigration To enter and settle in a country or region to which one is not native.
Imports Goods and services that consumers in one country buy from producers in another country.
Inalienable (also unalienable) rights that cannot be given or taken away.
Incentives Factors that motivate and influence the behavior of households and businesses; prices, profits, and losses act as incentives for participants to take action in a market economy.
Indigenous Originating and living or occurring naturally in an area or environment e.g., indigenous plants or the indigenous people of a country.
Income Taxes Taxes paid by households and business firms on the income they receive.
Individual Rights Fundamental to American constitutional democracy is the belief that individuals have certain basic rights that are not created by government but which government should protect. These are the right to life, liberty, economic freedom, and the pursuit of h
Inflation An increase in the general level of prices people pay for goods and services. A popular measure of inflation is the consumer price index.
Infringement Contrary to or violate; go beyond the proper or usual limits.
Innovation A newly introduced idea, invention, or way of doing things that changes the world.
Institutions Customs, practices, relationships, or behavioral patterns of importance in the life of a community or society: the institutions of marriage and the family. Established organizations or foundations that reflect the culture and beliefs of a people.
Integration The bringing of people of different racial or ethnic groups into unrestricted and equal association.
International Between or among nations; having to do with the relations between nations.
International Trade The exchange of goods and services between or among nations.
Interpretation An explanation of something that is not immediately obvious.
Investment Purchase of tangible assets, such as machines, factories, or inventories that are used to produce goods and services for the purpose of making a profit.
Islam A monotheistic religion characterized by the acceptance of the doctrine of submission to God and to Muhammad as the chief and last prophet of God.
Jihad A Muslim holy war or spiritual struggle against infidels (those who do not believe in the doctrines of the Islamic faith).
Jim Crow Laws The systematic practice of discriminating against and segregating Black people, especially as practiced in the American South from the end of Reconstruction to the mid – 20th century.
Judicial Branch The Branch of the Federal government responsible for interpreting laws. The Supreme Court heads it. A major
responsibility is to protect individual rights and settle conflicts or disputes.
Justice People should be treated fairly in the distribution of the benefits and burdens of society, the correction of wrongs and injuries, and in the gathering of information and making of decisions.
Key An explanation of the features, colors, or shading on a map or chart.
Kinship The patterns and rules of relationship among people who are linked or related to each other through shared descent from
common ancestors or through marriage.
Labor The physical and mental exertion that human beings put into production activities.
Labor force Those who are working or actively seeking work.
Landform The shape, form, or nature of a specific physical feature of the earth’s surface; e.g., plain, hill, valley, plateau, bay island.
Land use The range of uses of Earth’s surface made by humans. Uses are classified as urban, rural, agricultural, forested, etc.
Latitude A measure of distance north or south of the equator.
Law A set of rules, issued and enforced by a government that binds every member of society.
Learning A relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs through experience.
Legal According to the law; permitted by law; lawful.
Legend An explanatory description to the features on a map or chart.
Legislative Branch Passes laws to protect individual rights and promote the common good.
Liberty Includes the freedom to believe what you want, freedom to choose your own friends, and to have your own ideas and opinions, to express your ideas in public, the right for people to meet in groups, and the right to have any lawful job or business.
Life Each citizen has the right to the protection of their life; individual’s right to life should be considered inviolable except in certain highly restricted and extreme circumstances, such as the use of deadly force to protect one’s own or others’ lives.
Limited Resources The condition of there not being enough resources to fulfill all wants and needs.
Line graph A means of displaying data by connecting lines between dots representing the values of a continuous variable.
Location Where something is: Absolute Location – the exact position on the globe using addresses, grid coordinates, or the imaginary lines of longitude and latitude.
Relative Location The location of a place or region in relation to other places or regions (e.g., northwest of or downstream from).
Longitude The position of a point on Earth’s surface expressed as its angular distance, east, or west, from the prime meridian to 180°.
Loss The investment lost in a business when its expenses exceed its income.
Lumbering Industry involved in cutting timber and selling it.
Market The place where buyers and sellers come together to make transactions of goods and services.
Market Economy An economic system based only on the interaction of market forces, such as supply and demand. A true market
economy is free of governmental influence, collusion and other external interference, and buyers and sellers making exchanges determine prices.
Melting pot Term was coined in the early 1900s by playwright Israel Zangwill in his play The Melting Pot. The term refers to the Zangwill’s theory that immigrants to the United States lose their unique national
Millennium One thousand years.
Minerals A naturally occurring, homogeneous inorganic solid substance having a definite chemical composition and characteristic
crystalline structure, color, and hardness.
Migration To move from one place to settle in another.
Miranda Rule An arresting officer’s requirements to inform criminal suspects of their rights before questioning.
Model A set of assumptions and hypotheses that is a simplified description of reality.
Monarchy A system of government in which the head of state, usually a royal figure (king, queen) is a hereditary position.
Monetary Policy The regulation of the money supply and interest rates by a central bank, such as the Federal Reserve Board in the U.S., in order to control inflation and stabilize currency.
Money A medium of exchange, a good that can be used to buy other goods and services.
Movement The moving of people, ideas, information, and products around the world.
Multicultural A social or educational theory that encourages interest in many cultures within a society rather than in only a mainstream culture.
Muslim also Moslem A believer in or adherent of Islam.
NAFTA North American Free Trade Agreement – the United States, Canada, and Mexico formed a major trading block in 1992 that
removed tariffs and other barriers to the creation of a free trade zone among the three countries.
Narratives In social studies narratives are stories or tales about events that identify the people involved, describe the setting, and
sequences the important events.
Nation A culturally and politically unified group of people bound together by a strong sense of shared values, institutions, and cultural characteristics.
Nationalism The belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively, emphasizing national rather than
international goals.
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization founded in 1948 to curb communist expansion. There are nineteen member countries of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. They are: Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ice
Natural Resources Anything from the natural environment that people use to meet their needs. They are “gifts of nature” that are present without human intervention.
Needs Those things that everyone must have to survive.
Negotiate To arrange for or bring about through conference, discussion, and compromise.
Nonrenewable resource A finite resource that cannot be replaced once it is used e.g. petroleum, minerals.
Ocean The entire body of salt water that covers more than 70 percent of the earth's surface and is separated by the continents; and whose principal divisions include the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Antarctic oceans.
Ownership The right to use something and to enjoy its benefits.
Ozone A gas formed from an interaction between oxygen and sunlight.
Ozone Layer A region in the earth’s upper atmosphere that protects life beneath by filtering out dangerous ultraviolet solar radiation.
Parliamentary System A system of government in which power is concentrated in a legislature. The legislature selects one of its
members, usually called a prime minister, as the nations’ principal leader and other legislative members deserve as the leader’s cabinet.
Partisan A fervent, sometimes militant supporter or proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea.
Patriotism Virtuous citizens display a devotion to their country in words and deeds, including devotion to the fundamental values and principles upon which it depends.
Per Capita Income The average income per person.
Personality Relatively stable pattern of behavior and thinking manifested in interactions with self and others.
Physical Features Natural characteristics of the earth’s surface such as land forms, climate, winds, and ocean currents.
Pie chart Used to display data that adds up to 100%.
Place A particular city, village, or area with distinctive physical and human characteristics that distinguishes it from other places.
Plains Landform feature characterized by gentle slopes and minimum of local relief.
Plateau Landform features characterized by high elevation and gentle upland slopes (e.g., the Grand Canyon area of the United States.
Political Freedom The right to participate freely in the political process choose and remove public officials, to be governed under a rule of law; the right to a free flow of information and ideas, open debate and right of assembly.
Population A group of individuals which interbreed or exchange genes primarily with each other, and thus share traits in common more than with members of other populations. If a population becomes split, as from migration, so that one part no longer interbreeds wit
Preamble Introduction to a formal document that explains its purpose.
Prejudice Holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions especially pertaining to irrational suspicion or hatred of a
particular group, race, or religion.
Presidential System /American Political System A system of government in which the legislative and executive branches operate independently of each other and in which power in branches operate independently of each other and in which power is distributed through a system of checks and balances.
Price The amounts of money that people pay in exchange for a unit of a particular good or service.
Primary Source Documents Original documents that help us learn about past people or events (e.g., letters, diaries, maps, drawings, laws, statutes).
Primary Sources Any document or artifacts that is direct evidence of historical events including clothing, furniture, homes, recordings, documents and photographs.
Privacy The state of being free from unsanctioned intrusion.
Private Goods Goods that are privately owned and used to benefit only their owners.
Process A series of gradual changes bringing about a result.
Processes The series of changes by which something develops (major world processes are population growth, economic development, urbanization, resource use, international trade, global communication, and environmental impact.).
Producers People who use resources to make goods and services.
Production The act of growing, making, or manufacturing goods and services.
Productivity The amount of output per unit of input.
Profit The positive gain from an investment or business operation after subtracting for all expenses. Opposite of loss.
Propaganda The systematic spreading of ideas or beliefs reflecting the views and interests of those advocating a doctrine or cause.
Property That which is legally owned by an individual or entity.
Property taxes Taxes paid by households and businesses on land and buildings.
Public Goods Goods and services that are provided by the government. They are often too expensive or not practical to be obtained by individuals.
Public Policy Decisions and laws that a government makes about an area of public concern to guide the actions of government.
Pursuit of Happiness The right of citizens in the American constitutional democracy to attempt to attain – “to pursue” –happiness in their own way, so long as they do not infringe upon rights of others.
Race Commonly used to refer to regional human populations assumed to be significantly genetically different from each other, though in the same species. Anthropologists hold that this view ignores the vast amount of genetic diversity within any population and
importance of differences between populations, so that race is used to refer to ethnic group (cultural) differences as though they had a biological basis. Recent DNA research shows that the amount of DNA variation within any population is more than 16 tim
Racism An irrational belief in an advocacy of the superiority of a given group, people, or nation.
Rebate A partial refund following a purchase.
Reciprocity Mutual exchange, especially an exchange of special privileges in regard to trade between two countries
Reconstruction Period after the Civil War when the south was re
Referendum The submission of a proposed public measure or actual statute to a direct popular vote.
Reform Movement to improve unsatisfactory conditions.
Region An area that shares common characteristics. Regions can be physical regions; land formations and climate; human traits that make up a region such as language, religion history and political boundaries.
Regulation Rules and laws the government makes to control the economy. In laissez
Religion A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
Religious Liberty There shall be full freedom of conscience for people of all faiths or none. Religious liberty is considered to be a natural inalienable right that must always be beyond the power of the state to confer or remove. Religious liberty includes the right to f
Representative Democracy A system of government in which the people choose political leaders to make policy decisions on their behalf.
Republic A republic is a sovereign state in which all segments of society are enfranchised and in which the state's power is constitutionally limited. A republic is distinguished from a true democracy in that the republic operates through a representative assembl
Resources All natural, human, and man
Rule of Law Principle that every member of a society, even a ruler, must follow the law.
Rural Areas of low population density.
Sales Taxes Taxes paid by the consumer on the goods and services people buy.
Savings Accounts With savings accounts you can make withdrawals, although the number you can make each month may be limited. Savings accounts usually earn interest. Institutions may assess various fees on savings accounts, such as minimum balance fees.
Scale On maps the relationship or ratio between a linear measurement on a map and the corresponding distance on Earth’s surface. For example, the scale 1:1,000,000 means one unit (mile or kilometer) on the map and represents 1,000,000 similar units on Earth’s
Scarcity The condition that occurs because people’s wants and needs are unlimited, while the resources needed to produce goods and services to meet these wants and needs are limited.
Secondary Sources Summaries and interpretations of original artifacts.
Segregation The policy or practice of separating people of different races, classes, or ethnic groups, as in schools, housing, and public or commercial facilities, especially as a form of discrimination.
Separation of Powers The distribution of political power among the branches of government, giving each branch a particular set of
Services An intangible act, which satisfies the wants or needs of consumers such as medical advice and education.
Shortages The situation resulting when the quantity demanded exceeds the quantity supplied of a good, service, or resource.
Site The specific place where something is located, including its physical setting (e.g., on a floodplain).
Situation The general location of something in relation to other places or features of a larger region (e.g., in the center of a groups of cities).
Slavery The institution that supports the holding of human beings as property.
Socialism Any one of various systems in which the means of producing goods are owned by the community or the government rather than by private individuals with all people sharing in the work and the goods produced.
Social organization The rule
Soil Unconsolidated material found at the surface of Earth, which is divided into layers (or horizons) characterized by the accumulation or loss of organic and inorganic compounds. Soil types and depths vary greatly over Earth’s surface, and are very much inf
Sovereign The person, body, or state in which independent and supreme authority is vested; such as, in a monarchy, a king, queen, or emperor
Stock Market A financial market which is organized to buy and sell stocks through exchanges, over
Supply The quantities of a good or service that a firm is willing and able to make available for sale at different prices (economic concept of supply and demand).
Surpluses The situation resulting when the quantity supplied exceeds that quantity demanded of a good, service, or resource.
Synthesize Build a structure or pattern from diverse elements. Put parts together to form a whole, with emphasis on creating a new
meaning or structure.
Tariff Tax on foreign goods brought into a country. An official schedule of taxes imposed by a government on imports or exports.
Taxes Required payments of money made to governments by households and business firms.
Theory A set of principle that can be used to make inferences about the world.
Timeline A graphic means of displaying historical events in chronological order.
Tolerance A disposition to allow freedom of choice and behavior.
Totalitarian Country where a single party controls the government and every aspect of the lives of the people.
Trade/Exchange Trading goods and services with people for other goods and services or for money. When people exchange voluntarily, they expect to be better off as a result.
Trade offs
Treaty A formal agreement between two or more states, as in reference to terms of peace or trade.
Trial The examination before a court of the facts or law in a court case.
Truth A statement proven to be or accepted as true; in a democracy the principle that the government and citizens should not lie.
Tyrant One who exercises absolute power without legal authority.
Unalienable (also inalienable) rights that cannot be given or taken away; that cannot be transferred to another.
Unemployment The situation in which people are willing and able to work at current wages but do not have jobs.
Urban An area characterized as a city or town where the population density is greater than in the surrounding area and is acknowledged as a major cultural, service, and production location in a region
Urbanization A process in which there is an increase in the percentage of people living/working in cities and towns.
Values Beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment (either for or against something); those things that are considered to be most important by a person or group.
Wants Things that people desire.
Watershed An area of land drained by a river and its tributaries.
Weather Atmospheric conditions as regards to temperature, moisture, winds.
Wetlands Productive land areas that are flooded for at least part of the year.
World Trade Organization (WTO) An international agency which encourages trade between member nations, administers global trade agreements and resolves disputes when they arise.
Created by: pcmiller