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APGOVChapter 1 Vocab

QuestionAnswer
Institution An ongoing organization that performs certain functions for society.
Social Conflict Disagreements among people in a society over what the society’s priorities should be when distributing scarce resources.
Politics The process of resolving conflicts over how society should use its scarce resources and who should receive various benefits, such as public health care and public higher education.
Government The individuals and institutions that make society’s rules and that also possess the power and authority to enforce those rules.
Power The ability to influence the behavior of others, usually through the use of force, persuasion, or rewards.
Authority The ability to legitimately exercise power, such as the power to make and enforce laws
Public Services Essential services that individuals cannot provide for themselves, such as building and maintaining roads, providing welfare programs, operating public schools, and preserving national parks.
Autocracy A form of government in which the power and authority of the government are in the hands of a single person.
Monarchy A form of autocracy in which a king, queen, emperor, empress, tsar, or tsarina is the highest authority in the government; monarchs usually obtain their power through inheritance.
Divine Right Theory The theory that a monarch’s right to rule was derived directly from God rather then the consent of the governed.
Dictatorship A form of government in which the absolute power is exercised by a single person who usually has obtained his or her power by the use of force.
Democracy A system of government in which the people have ultimate political authority.
Direct Democracy A system of government in which political decisions are made by the people themselves rather than by elected representatives.
Representative Democracy A form of democracy in which the will of the majority is expressed through smaller groups of individuals elected by the people to act as their representatives.
Republic Essentially, a representative democracy in which there is no king or queen and the people are sovereign.
Limited Government A form of government based on the principle that the powers of government should be clearly limited either through a written document or through wide public understanding; characterized by institutional checks to ensure that government serves public.
Parliament The name of the national legislative body in countries governed by a parliamentary system, such as Britain or Canada.
Bicameral Legislature A legislature made up of two chambers, or parts. (House of Representatives and Senate)
Social Contract A voluntary agreement among individuals to create a government and to give that government adequate power to secure the mutual protection and welfare of all individuals.
Natural Rights Rights that are not bestowed by governments but are inherent within every man, woman, and child by virtue of the fact that he or she is a human being.
Political Culture The set of ideas, values, and attitudes about government and the political process held by a community or a nation.
Liberty The freedom of individuals to believe, act, and express themselves as they choose so long as doing so does not infringe on the rights of other individuals in the society.
Equality A concept that holds, at a minimum, that all people are entitled to equal protection under the law.
Capitalism An economic system based on the private ownership of wealth-producing property, free markets, and freedom of contract. The privately owned corporation is the preeminent capitalist institution.
Ideology Generally, a system of political ideas that are rooted in religious or philosophical beliefs concerning human nature, society and government.
Liberalism A set of political beliefs that include the advocacy of active government, including government intervention to improve the welfare of individuals and to protect civil rights.
Conservatism A set of beliefs that include a limited role for the national government in helping individuals and in the economic affairs of the nation, support for traditional values and lifestyles, and a cautious response to change.
Progressivism An alternative, more popular term for the set of political benefits also known as liberalism.
Moderate A person whose views fall in the middle of the political spectrum.
Radical Left Persons on the extreme left side of the political spectrum, who would like major changes in the political order, usually to promote egalitarian.
Radical Right Persons on the extreme right of the political spectrum. The radical right includes reactionaries and libertarians.
Ideologue An individual who holds very strong political opinions.
Created by: noniesa