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Government

Government/Civics Vocab and principles

Vocab, Idea, PrincipleInformation
Preamble Introduction to the Constitution
To Form a More Perfect Union The Articles of Confederation did not work, so the founding fathers are trying again with a new one.
Establish Justice Each citizen in the new country needed to be treated equally.
To insure domestic Tranquility Direct result of Shay's Rebellion. New government will be able to keep peace in the country. Citizens can expect the government to be able to get rid of social unrest.
Provide for the Common Defense Gives the federal government the power to maintain armed forces to protect the nation.
To promote the general welfare Provides for the well-being of the nation.
Secure Blessings of Liberty Constitution guarantees that no American's basic rights will be taken away.
Popular Sovereignty Major principle of the Constitution. "Authority of the people."
Republicanism Major principle of the Constitution. People elect their political representatives.
Limited Government Major principle of the United States. The Constitution limits the actions of government by specifically listing powers it does and does not have.
Federalism Major principle of the Constitution. In this government system, power is divided between national and state governments.
Separation of Powers Major principle of the Constitution. Each of the three branches of government has its own responsibilities.
Checks and Balances Major principle of the Constitution. Each branch of government holds some control of the other two branches.
Individual Rights Major Principle of the Constitution. Basic liberties and rights of all citizens are guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.
Enumerated powers Powers that belong only to the federal government; coin money, regulate interstate and foreign trade, maintain the armed forces and create federal courts.
Reserved powers Powers retained (kept) by the state; establish schools, pass marriage and divorce laws, regulate trade within the state.
Concurrent powers Powers that are shared by state and federal governments; raise taxes, borrow money, provide for the public welfare, and administer criminal justice.
Amendments Changes to the Constitution.l Difficult process on purpose.
Elastic Clause "make all laws that are necessary and proper." Congress has certain implied powers to pass laws to deal with the needs of society.
Implied Powers Powers not specifically stated in the Constitution
Commerce Clause ."regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states." Used in areas like regulating the airline industry, radio and television, and nuclear energy.
Marbury v. Madison The Supreme Court case that gave the Supreme Court the power of judicial review.
Judicial Review The courts right to determine if a law or action violates the Constitution.
Congress The Legislative Branch: Senate AND House of Representatives
Role of Congress 1. Create nations laws 2. Control government spending
Impeach Bring formal charges against any federal official it suspects of wrongdoing or misconduct.
Constituents The people a Senator and Representative represent
Bills Proposed laws
Standing Committees permanent committees in both the House and the Senate that specialize in a particular topic.
Subcommittees Temporary committees that deal with issues requiring special attention.
Joint Committees Members are from both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Conference Committee Works out a compromise bill if the House and Senate pass different versions of the same bill.
Chief Executive President is responsible for carrying out the nation's laws.
Chief Diplomat President directs foreign policy, appoints ambassadors, and negotiates treaties with other nations.
Commander in Chief Controls the armed forces. Can use the military to intervene or offer assistance in crises at home or around the world. Can only hold the troops anywhere for 60 days.
Chief of State Symbolic role of representing all Americans.
Legislative Leader Proposing laws to Congress, State of the Union Address.
Cabinet A group that helps the president make decisions and set government policy.
District Courts Lowest of the Federal Courts. 91 in the nation. Hear criminal and civil cases.
Appeals Court Above the district courts. Reviews the decision made by the district court. If it agrees it is upheld, if not there is a retrial ordered.
Supreme Court The highest Court in the nation. 9 justices.
Duties of the Supreme Court 1. decide which cases to hear. 2. Deciding the case itself. 3. Writing the courts opinion, which is the courts decision.
Rights of Citizens Categories 1. The right to be protected from unfair actions of the government. 2. Have equal treatment under the law. 3. Have basic freedoms.
Due Process of Law The government must follow procedures established by the Constitution and treat all people according to those principles.
Citizen A person who owes loyalty to and is entitled to the protection of a state or nation.
Naturalization The granting of full citizenship to a foreigner.
Duties of Citizens 1. Obey the law. 2. Pay taxes. 3. Defend the nation. 4. Serve on a jury if called.
Responsibilities of Citizens 1. Know what the government is doing and voice your opinion. 2. Know your rights and exercise them when necessary.
Created by: Mrs. Hastings