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C&E Midterm


Constitution A Plan of Government that sets forth the structures and powers of government. In democracies a constitution is an authoritative law through which the sovereign people authorize a government to be established grant it certain powers.
Constitutional Government Limited government; the rule of law, a form of government in which a written, unwritten, or partly written constitution serves as a higher or fundamental law that everyone must obey. The rule of law is an essential feature of constitutional government.
Democracy Literally Defined as “rule of the people”, democracy is a form of government in which all citizens exercise political power, either directly or through their elected representatives.
Forms of Government Aristotle’s idea “right” form and a “corrupt” form. The right form of government by a single person is a monarchy. The right form of government by a few people is an aristocracy. And the right form of government by many people is called “polity
Limited Government N.R: system restricted to protecting natural rights that does not interfere with other aspects of life.limited government is const. government governed by the rule of law. Written or unwritten constitutions are used to empower and limit government.
Parliament British legis. which consists of two houses: The House of Lords and the House of Commons. Most members of the House of Lords are appointed there for life by the government of the day and are not members of the heredity aristocracy, who once dominated it
Republic derives its powers directly or indirectly from the people, is administered by officials holding power for a limited time, and incorporates representative institutions.
Unwritten Constitution custom and tradition. 3 only have it. Britain, Israel, and New Zealand. In each of these nations, the constitution is a combination of written laws and precedents.
Civic Virtue The declaration of citizens to the common welfare of their community or country, even at the cost of their individual interestsrelevant to republics, since republican citizens are responsible for the well-being of their country
Classical Republicanism ancient Greek or roman city states that emphasized well-being of their polity or country. Acts by citizens that placed the public good or common welfare above private interest were especially prized
Common Good The good of the community as a whole, as contrasted with private interests that may conflict with public interest. Also known as the public good
Consent of the Governed Agreement by citizens to obey the laws and the government they create. Consent is the foundation of government’s legitimacy.
Inalienable rights Fundamental rights inherent to being human that every person therefor possesses that cannot be taken away by government.
Political Legitimacy Acceptance by the governed that the claim to authority by those who govern is justified. In democratic societies, legitimacy is achieved only when those who govern gain power through the free consent of the governed in free and fair elections.
Popular sovereignty The natural rights concept that ultimate political authority rests with the people.
Social Contract theory Presumption of an imaginary or actual agreement among people to set up a government and obey its laws. The theory was developed by the English natural rights philosopher john Locke, among others, to explain the origin of legitimate government
State of Nature of people living in a situation without government; anarchy.rights, moral rules, or laws applied in such circumstances and what rights, if any, people retained after agreeing to leave the state of nature to form a politically organized society or state
Capitalism An economic system in which the means of producing and distributing goods are privately owned and operated for profit in competitive markets
City State - A politically independent community consisting of a city and its surrounding territory.
Feudalism A system of social, economic, and political organization in Europe from the ninth to about the fifteenth century in which a political weak monarch shared power with the nobility
Judeo Christian Ideas, beliefs, and practices that have their historical roots in Judaism and Christianity.
Nation state The nation state received its name from the idea of a people, or nation, organizing itself politically for self-rule. Many countries today however are composed of two or more distinct people
Private Morality individuals ideas about right and wrong to be practiced in one’s personal life. These are derived from religious, philosophical, familial, and other sources, including individual conscience.
Common Law The body of the community as a whole, as contrasted with private interests that may conflict with public interest
Magna Carta aka Great Charter. 1215 granted certain civil rights and liberties to English nobles and to all “freedmen”of life, liberty, or property except in accordance with law. limited the power of the king, who agreed that his will could be bounded by law
Precedent Previous court decisions upon which legal issues are decided
Rights of Englishmen 17th century england and america regarding the magna carta. that all English subjects were understood to have these plus right cant be kept in prison without a trial, the right to trial by jury security in one’s home from unlawful entry and no bad taxes
Rule of Law The rule of law requires an independent judiciary that is immune from political or other manipulation. that both those who govern and those who are governed must obey the law and are subject to the same laws
Writ of Habeas Corpus A court order directing that a prisoner be brought to court before a judge to demine whether that prisoners detention is lawful.
Charter A written document from a government or ruler that grants certain rights to an individual, group, organization, or to people in general. In colonial times, a charter granted land to a person or company along with the right to found a colony on that land.
Constituent A person represented by an elected official.
Covenant A binding agreement made by two or more persons or parties. In protestant churches during the reformation, a covenant was an agreement made in the sight of god.
Indentured Servant A person who voluntarily sold his or her labor for a set period of time in return for the cost of passage to the American colonies. Important for the 17th century, early 18th
Magistrate A lower level judicial officer, usually elected in urban areas, who handles traffic violations, minor criminal offences, and civil suits involving small amounts of money. Magistrate means Public official
Mayflower Compact An agreement to form a political body signed on November 21, 1620,males aboard the mayflower before the ship landed in Plymouth. signers agreed to submit to “just and equal laws
Suffrage The right to vote
Compact A formal contract or agreement between or among two or more parties or states. The mayflower compact of 1620 was such a formal agreement
Sovereignty The ultimate, supreme power in a state, democratic theory states that the people as a whole are sovereign; the citizens of the United States constitute the sovereign people
Writs of Assistance A document giving a governmental authority the power to search and seize property without restrictions. Abolished in American law, the use of such writs by the British government was a major issue during some phases of the American Resolution.
Law of Nature moral rules found out by correctly applied reason or right reason, telling persons what they may and may not do in various circumstances.laws of nature have often referred to the rules that could prevail in the absence of man-made law
Checks and Balances In American constitutional thought, distribution and balancing the powers of government among different branches so that no more branch or individual can completely dominate the others.
Legislative Supremacy A system of government in which the legislative branch has ultimate power. Parliamentary government is such a system
Veto The right of a branch of government to reject a proposed law that has been passed by another branch in an effort to delay or prevent its enactment
Articles of Confederation The first constitution for the United States, created to form a perpetual union and a firm league of friendship among the thirteen original states. It was adopted by the second continental congress, and sent to the states for ratification
Shays Rebellion An armed revolt by Massachusetts farmers seeking relief from debt and mortgage foreclosures. The rebellion fueled support for amending the article of confederation
Civil Discourse Reasoned discussion as opposed to emotional display.
Constitutional Convention The meeting held in Philadelphia from May to September 1787 at which in US constitution was written. Also called the constitutional convention
Proportional Representation In the context of American government, the electoral system in which the number of reps for a state is based on the number of people living in the same state. Prop. represet. is used to determine the number of each states reps in the US house of reps.
Electoral College The group of presidential electors who cast the official votes for president and vice president after a president election. Each state has a number of electors equal to the total of its members in the senate and House of Representatives
Necessary and Proper Clause gives congress the power to make all laws that are “necessary and proper” to Cary out the powers specifically delegated to it by the constitution. It’s also known as the elastic clause because of the vagueness of the clause “necessary and proper
Bill of Attainder An act of the legislature that inflicts punishment on an individual or group without a judicial trial.
Ex post Facto A law that criminalizes an act that was not a crime when committed, that increases the penalty for a crime after it was committed, or that changes the rules of evidence to make conviction easier. Ex post fact laws are forbidden by article I of the const.
Anti-Federalists Opponents to ratification of the US constitution who believed that it gave excessive power to the federal government and failed to protect the rights and liberties of the people.
Bill of Rights The first ten amendments to the US constitution. The Bill of Rights lists many basic rights that the federal government may not interfere with and must protect. Nearly all these rights are now also protected from violation by state governments
Ratification Formal approval of some formal legal instrument such as a constitution or treaty
Faction A number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united… by some common impulse of passion, or the interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.
Federalists Advocates for a strong central government who urged ratification of the US constitution in 1787-1788. They flourished as a political party in the 1790s under the leadership of alexander Hamilton. The party disappeared from national politics in 1816
Majority Tyranny A situation in which a majority uses the principle of majority rule but fails to respect the rights and interests of the minority
Amendment A change in or addition to a legal document
Judicial Review The power of the courts to declare laws and actions of the local and state governments or the national government invalid if they are found to contradict the US constitution
Political Party An organization seeking to achieve political power by electing members to public office so that its political philosophy is reflected in public policy
Abolitionists Opponents of slavery who wished to put an end to the institution
Grandfather Clause passed in the south after the Civil war stating that citizens could vote only if their grandfathers had been allowed to vote. The law made it imposs. for African Americans to vote because their grandfathers had been excluded from voting.
Literacy Test - A test to prove a person’s abilities to read and write. Until 1964, such tests were used in various states to prevent minorities from voting
Poll Tax A tax that voters in many states were required to pay in order to exercise their right to vote. These barriers were used until 1964 to prevent African Americans from voting.
Great Compromise a plan at the Constitutional Convention that called for a congress of two houses; in the Senate, represent. of the states would be equal; in the House of Reps., represent. would be proportional
Enumerated Rights those rights and responsibilities of the US government specifically provided for and listed in the constitution
Delegates appointed officials who represent their states and constituents
Deliberative Body a legislative assembly that meets to debate issues
Shared Powers legislative powers not completely seperated between the branches of government
A Major weakness of the national government under the articles of confederation was its... lack of authority to regulate interstate trade
the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention were authorized to... Amend the Articles of Confederation
In the debate over representation in Congress, the VA plan advocated... Propotional Representation
Created by: treegirl96