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Ch.1

US History Ch1

TermDefinition
Constitution A plan that provides the rules for government. (1). It sets out ideals that people bound by the constitution believe in and share. (2) It establishes the basic structure of government and defines the governments powers and duties. (3) It provides supreme
Sovereignty supreme power or authority.
Democracy Any system of government in which rule is by the people.
communism A command system in which the central government directs all major economic decisions.
Autocracy A system of government where one individual has all the power.
Capitalism An economic system providing free choice and individual incentive for workers, investors, consumers, and business enterprises.
State A political community that occupies a territory and has an organized govt. with the power to make & enforce laws without approval from higher authority.
Free market Economic system in which buyers and sellers make free choices in the marketplace.
Republic Voters are the source of the govts. authority.
Command Economy An economic system in which the government controls the factors of production.
Nation Any sizable group of people, who are united by common bonds of race, language, custom, tradition and sometimes religion.
Nation-State A country in which the territory of both the nation and the state coincide.
Consensus Agreement about basic beliefs
Social Contract That people need govt. to maintain social order because they have not yet discovered a way to live in groups without conflict.
Government An institution through which state maintains social order, provide public services & enforces decisions that are binding on all people living within the state
Unitary system A govt. that gives all key powers to the national or state govt.
Federal System A Govt. that divides the powers of govt. between the national government and state or provincial govts.
Confederacy A loose union of independent states.
Constitutional Govt. A Govt. i which a constitution has authority to place clearly recognized limits on the powers to the who govern.
PreAmble A statement in a constitution that sets forth the goals and purposes of government.
Constitutional Law Law that involves the interpretation and application of the US Constitution and State constitutions.
Politics The effort to control or influence the conduct and policies of govt.
Industrialized nation A nation with large industries and advanced technology that provides a more comfortable way of life than developing nations.
Developing Nation A nation only beginning to develop industrially.
Monarchy In which a king, queen, or emperor exercises supreme powers of govt.
Oligarchy A system of govt. in which a small group holds power.
Political Party A group of people with similar interests who organize to nominate candidates for office, win elections conduct govt and determine public policy.
Free Enterprise The opportunity to control ones own economic decisions.
Economics The study of human efforts to satisfy seemingly unlimited wants through the use of limited resources.
Capitalism An economic system providing free choice and and individual incentive for workers, investors, consumers, and business enterprises.
laissez-faire The philosophy that govt should keep its hands off the economy.
bourgeoisie Capitalists who own the means of prodution.
Proletariat Workers who produce the goods
Limited Government A system in which the power of the government is limited, not absolute
Cede To Yield
Representative Government A system of govt. in which people elect delegates to make laws and conduct government
Revenue The money a govt collects from taxes or other sources.
Ratify To approve
Anarchy Political Disorder
Ordinance A Law
Interstate Commerce Trade among the states.
Separation of powers The division of power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of govt.
Embargo An agreement prohibiting trade.
Unicameral A single chamber legislature.
extralegal Not sanctioned by law.
Judicial Restraint The Idea that the Supreme court should avoid taking the initiative on social & political questions.
Seperation of Powers The division of power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.
Expressed Powers Powers directly stated in the constitution.
Reserved powers Powers that belong strictly to the states.
Judicial review The power of the Supreme court to declare laws and actions of local, or national govts. unconsitutional.
Eminent domain The power of the govt. to take private property for public use.
Judicial Activism The philosophy that the Supreme court should play an active role in shaping national policies by addressing social and political issues.
Due process of law Principle in the 5th amendment stating that the govt. must follow proper constitutional procedures in trials & in other actions it takes against people.
Prior Restrain Govt. censorship of information before it is published or broadcasted.
Probable cause A reasonable basis to believe a person or premises is linked to a crime
Search Warrant An order signed by a judge describing a specific place to be searched for specific items.
Arrest Warrant An order signed by a judge naming the individual to be arrested for a specific crime.
Lame duck An outgoing official serving out the remainder of a term, after retiring or being defeated for election.
Poll tax Money paid in order to vote.
Ratify To approve
Petition An appeal
Balanced budget Plan requiring that what the govt. spends will not exceed its income.
Impeach To accuse a public official
Treaty A formal agreement between the govts. of tow or more countries.
Executive agreement An agreement made between the president and a head of state.
Enumerated Powers The expressed powers of congress that are itemized and numbered 1-18 In Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution.
Elastic Clause Clause in Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution that gives congress the right to make all laws, "necessary and proper" to carry out the powers.
Federal Bureaucracy Departments and agencies of the Federal Govt. mostly the executive branch.
Article One of seven main divisions of the body of the constitution.
Jurisdiction The authority of a court to rule on certain cases
Supremacy Clause Statement in Article VI of the constitution establishing that the constitution, and treaties of the US, "shall be the supreme law of the land".
Amendment A change to the constitution
Checks and Balances The system where each branch of govt exercises some control over the others
Veto Rejection of a bill.
Delegated Powers Powers the constitution grants or delegates to the national govt.
Expressed Powers Powers directly stated in the constitution.
Implied Powers Powers that the Govt. requires to carry out the expressed constitutional powers.
ElasticClause Clause in Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution that gives the Congress the right to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out the powers expressed in the other clauses.
Inherent Powers Powers that the National Govt. may exercise simply because it is a Govt.
Reserved Power Powers that belong strictly to the states.
Supremacy Clause Statement in Article IV of the constitution establishing that the constitution, laws passed by congress, and treaties of the US, shall be the supreme law of the land.
Concurrent Powers Powers that both he national govt and the states have.
Enabling Act The first step in the state admission procedure which enables the people of a territory to prepare a constitution.
Extradite To return a criminal or fugitive who flees across state lines back tot he original state.
Civil Law One relating to disputes among tow or more individuals and the govt.
Interstate Compact A written agreement between tow or more states.
States rights position A position that favors state and local action in dealing with problems
Nationalist Position A position that favors national action with dealing in problems.
Income Tax The tax levied on individual and corporate earnings.
Sunset Laws A law that requires periodic checks of govt. agencies to see if they are still needed
Sunshine law A law prohibiting public officials from holding meetings not open to the public.
Bureaucracy Government Administrators
Expressed Powers Powers directly stated in the Constitution
Necessary & Proper Clause Article, Section 8 of the constitution, which gives congress the power to make all laws that are necessary and proper for carrying out its duties.
Implied Powers Powers that the govt. requires to carry out the expressed constitutional powers.
Revenue Bill A law proposed to make money
Appropriations Bill A proposed law to authorize spending money
Interstate Commerce Trade among the states
Impeachment A formal accusation of misconduct in office against a public official.
Subpoena A legal order that a person appear or produce requested documents.
Perjury Lying under oath
Immunity Freedom from prosecution for witnesses who's testimony ties them to illegal acts.
Legislative Veto The provisions Congress wrote into some laws that allowed it to review and cancel actions of executive agencies.
National Budget The yearly financial plan for the national govt.
Impoundment The presidents refusal to spend money congress has vote to fund a program.
Private bill A bill dealing with individual people or places.
Public Bill A bill dealing with general matters and applying to the entire nation
Simple Resolution A statement adopted to cover matters affecting only one house of Congress.
Rider A provision included in a bill on a subject other than the one covered in the bill.
Hearing A session at which a committee listens to testimony from people interested in the bill.
Pocket Veto When a president kills a bill 10 passed during the last 10 days congress is in session by simply refusing to act on it.
Pigeonholding deposit (a document) into a pigeonhole.
Congressional Committee a legislative sub-organization in the United States Congress that handles a specific duty. Committee membership enables members to develop specialized knowledge of the matters under their jurisdiction
Tax The money that people and business pay to support the activities of the government.
Appropriation Approval of government spending.
Authorization Bill A bill that sets up a federal program and specifies how much money may be appropriated for the program.
Entitlement A required government expenditure that continues from one year to the next.
Lobbyist Interest group representative.
Lobbying Direct contact made by a lobbyist in order to persuade government officials to support the policies their interest group favors.
Political Action Committee An organization formed to collect money and provide financial support for political candidates.
Compensation Salary
Presidential succession The order in which officials fill the office of president in case in case of a vacancy
Elector Member of a party chosen in each state to formally elect the president and vice president.
Electoral Vote The official vote for president and vice president by electors in each state
Cabinet Secretaries of the executive departments, the vice president, and other top officials that help the president make decisions and policy
Leak The release of secret information by anonymous government officials to the media.
Central Clearance Office of management and Budgets review of all legislative proposals that executive agencies prepare.
National Security advisor Director of the National Security Council Staff
Press secretary One of the presidents top assistants who is in charge of media relations.
Mandate A formal order given by a higher authority.
Forum medium for discussion
Executive order A rule issued by the president that has the force of law.
Reprieve The post-ponement of legal punishment.
Pardon A release from legal punishment.
Amnesty A group pardon to individuals for an offense against the government.
Patronage The practice of granting favors to reward party loyalty.
De facto existing "in fatct", rather than legally.
Covert Secret
Presidential isolation When a person becomes the President, the persons around him give him respect. This can lead to not expressing themselves honestly around him, shielding him from knowledge of problems and issues.
Executive Privelage The right of the president and other high ranking executive officers to refuse to testify before congress or a court.
Riding the circuit Traveling to hold court in a justices assigned region of the country.
Opinion A written explanation of a supreme courts decision.
Appointing justices The President nominates new members to the Supreme Court, but the Senate must approve the nomination by a majority vote.
Number of Justices 9
Earl Warren an American jurist and politician who served as the 14th Chief Justice of the United States and the 30th Governor of California.
American Bar Association (ABA) The role is to evaluate the professional qualifications of candidates for all article 3 judicial positions.
National Organization of Women (NOW) A womens rights organization that are for womens rights
writ of certiorari An order from the court to a lower court to send up the records on a case for review.
Per curiam Opinion A brief, unsigned statement of the courts decision.
brief A written statement setting forth the legal arguments, relevant facts, and precedants supporting one side of a case
amicus curiae "friend of the court", Consist of individuals, interest groups, or govt. agencies claiming to have info useful to the courts consideration of the case.
Majority Opinion Expresses the views of the majority of the justices on a case .
Dissenting Opinion The opinion of justices on the losing side in a case.
Stare decisis A term meaning, Let the decision stand. Under this principle, once the court rules on a case its decision serves a s a precedent.
Precedent A model, on which to base other decisions in similar cases.
Advisory opinion A ruling on a law or action that has not been challenged.
bloc swing vote Coalition of justices.
landmarks supreme court cases
Created by: kianx