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Government Unit 2

Unit 2 Study Guide Chapters 3 - 6

Natural Law A universal set of moral principles believed to come from human's basic sense or right and wrong that can be applied to any culture or system of justice.
Direct Democracy A democratic form of government in which citizens make public decisions directly, either in a popular assembly or through a popular vote.
Representative Democracy Democratic form of government in which elected representatives make public decisions on behalf of the citizens.
Magna Carta Was signed by King John in 1215. This was forced on the king by English nobles. This defined the rights and duties of English nobles and set limits on the monarch's power.
Petition of Right Prohibited arbitrary arrests and the quartering of troops in private homes without the owners consent. This underscored the principle of limited government by affirming that the king's power was not absolute.
English Bill of Rights Was passed by Parliament in 1689. It reaffirmed the principle of individual rights established in the Magna Carta and the Petition of Right. New individual rights guaranteed to British subjects included the right to petition the king, bear arms.
Rule of Law The principle that government is based on clear and fairly enforced laws and that no one is above the law.
Limited Government A political system in which the powers exercised by the government are restricted, usually by a written constitution.
Individual Rights The rights and liberties that can be claimed by individuals by virtue of being human.
Hobbes Was an English philosopher who developed the notion of a social contact between rulers and their subjects. He thought that people were too selfish to govern themselves and needed the protection of a strong ruler.
Locke Was an English political theorist and philosopher that believed that people formed governments to protect their rights, not to save them from themselves.
Montesquieu Was a French aristocrat and political philosopher that believed that democracy was the best form of government. But he said that power must be divided among different groups for democracy to work.
Social Contract Theory The idea that the legitimacy of a government stems from an unwritten contract between the ruler and the ruled; a ruler who breaks this contract by abusing people's rights loses legitimacy and may be overthrown.
Separation of Powers The idea that the powers of a government should be split between two or more strongly independent branches to prevent any one person or group from gaining too much power.
Checks and Balances A system in which each branch of government can limit the power of the other branches.
Popular Sovereignty The principle that the people are the ultimate source of the authority and legitimacy of a government.
Stamp Act A tax levied by Parliament on all paper goods in the colonies, raises cries of "no taxation without representation".
Boston Tea Party Colonists protesting the Tea Act dumped taxed tea into the Boston Harbor, they were disguised as Indians.
Mayflower Compact In this compact, they agreed to live in a "civil body politic". They also agreed to obey "just and equal laws" enacted by representatives of their choosing "for the general good of the Colony".
Declaration of Independence The Continental Congress adopts a resolution declaring the colonies to be "Free and Independent States".
Articles of Confederation The original constitution of the United States, ratified in 1781, which was replaced by the constitution in 1789.
Shay's Rebellion Was a revolt by desperate farmers, which was led by Daniel Shays.
Intolerable Acts Was Britain's parliament's response to punish the colonies for the dumping of their tea.
Constitution The act or process of composing, setting up, or establishing.
Boston Massacre Protesters in Boston provoke British soldiers, causing them to fire into the crowd, killing five people.
Electoral College This body would be made up of electors from each state who would cast votes to elect the president and vice president.
Weakness of Articles Over time the articles became less efficient with people so the government had to change the articles.
Due Process The principle that no person can be deprived of life, liberty, or property without fair legal procedures and safeguards.
Parts of the Constitution The constitution includes the preamble which says what the constitution is about.
Expressed Powers The powers given specifically to the national government by the U.S. Constitution.
Implied Powers Those powers of the national government, and particularly of Congress, that are not specifically listed in the Constitution, but which the government can reasonably claim as part of its governing responsibility.
Inherent Powers Are powers handed down from family member to family member.
Concurrent Powers Powers shared by the federal and state government under the U.S. Constitution.
Reserved Powers Powers kept by the states under the U.S. Constitution.
Ratification of Amendments Formal approval of an agreement, treaty, or constitution.
Federalism A political system in which powers is divided between a central government and smaller regional governments.
Precedent A decision by a court that serves as an example or guide for future decisions.
Legislative Branch Roles Makes the laws. Appropriates funds for laws and programs. Approves treaties and executive appointments. Establishes federal courts.
Executive Branch Roles Enforces the laws. Acts as commander in chief of military. Negotiates treaties. Appoints federal judges and other top officials.
Judicial Branch Roles Interprets the laws. Reviews lower court decisions. Judges weather laws and executive action are constitutional. Rules on cases between states.
Civil Liberties Basic freedoms guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution, such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
Civil Rights Guarantees of equal rights and equal treatment under the law, such as trial by jury and voting rights.
Equal Protection Clause A clause in the Fourteenth Amendment declaring that no state may deny "equal protection of the laws" to any person withing the state.
Supremacy Clause A clause in Articles VI of the Constitution, stating that it is the "supreme law of the land"; this means that federal law supersedes all state and local laws.
Incorporation The process by which the Supreme Court applies the Bill of Rights to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Establishment Clause A clause in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that prohibits the establishment of religion by Congress.
Libel Publishing false information about someone with intent to cause harm.
Slander Orally spreading false information about someone with intent to cause harm.
Prior Restraint An attempt by government to prevent the publication or broadcast of material considered harmful.
Probable Cause Reasonable suspicion of criminal behavior.
Warrant A document issued by a judge that authorizes law enforcement officers to carry out a search, seizure of evidence, or arrest.
Self Incrimination Statement, usually made under oath, suggesting that the person speaking is guilty of a crime.
Unenumerated Rights Rights not specifically made under oath, suggesting that the person speaking is guilty of a crime.
Marbury vs. Madison This court case laid the foundation for the Supreme Court's enforcement of the Bill of Rights. Judicial was created because of this case.
Gitlow vs. New York This person appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court, claiming that the New York law violated his First Amendment right to free speech. The court disagreed.
Barron vs. Baltimore Concluded that the Bill of Rights applied only to actions of the federal government.
Texas vs. Johnson The Court concluded that flag burning as an expression of opinion was protected as symbolic speech.
Katz vs. United States Hinged on recording of a suspect's conversation made from a public phone booth.
Gideon vs. Wainwright Established that everyone has the right to an attorney if they cannot afford one.
Miranda vs. Arizona The court set forth a procedure for ensuring that suspects know their rights.
TLO vs. New Jersey Because of this court case no person is allowed to search anything of another's without permission or if they have great suspicion.
Tinker vs. Des Moines Defined the constitutional rights of the students in United States public schools.
Griswold vs. Connecticut Ruled that the Constitution protected a right to privacy.
Full Faith and Credit Clause Addresses the duties that states within the United States have to respect "public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state".
Privileges and Immunities Clause Prevents a state from treating citizens of other states in a discriminatory manner.
Dual Federalism A federal system with a fairly strict division of powers between the national and state government; also called "layer cake" federalism.
Unfunded Mandates A regulation or policy imposed by the national government on state and local governments without adequate funds to carry out the policy.
Apportionment The distribution of seats in a legislature according to law.
Gerrymandering The drawing the boundaries of a legislative district with the intent of giving one party or group a significant advantage.
Mayor Council System A system of city government in which voters elect both city council members and a mayor; the mayor may have either weak or strong executive powers.
Counties, Parishes, and Boroughs These are places where you can practice your religion.
Commission System A form of city government led by a group of professional commissioners chosen for there skill and expertise.
Council Manager System A system of city government in which an elected city council makes policy decisions by leaves the daily task of running the government to a hired city manager.
Role of State Legislature Children, youth, families, and communities.
Roles of the state governor They help pass laws for the state.
Role of the State Court System Decide if laws are unconstitutional, look at laws.
Benefits of Federalism Protects against tyranny of the majority. Promotes unity without imposing uniformity. Creates "laboratories" for policy experiments. Encourages political participation.
Drawbacks of Federalism Lack of consistency of laws and policies from state to state. The tension it sometimes creates between state and federal officials.
Grant Aid Programs Get funds given by the federal government to state and local governments for specific programs.
New Federalism A federal system guided by a policy of returning powers to the state and local governments; block grants are a key element of new federalism.
Block Grants Funds given by the federal government to states without restrictions on how the money should be spent.
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