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AP Gov Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Vocab Terms

TermDefinition
Politics The Study of who gets what, when, and how
Monarchy Government where power is invested in hereditary kings who govern in the interest of all
Totalitarianism Government where power resides in individual leader based on self-interest
Oligarchy Government where the right to participate is conditioned on the possession of wealth, social status, military position or achievement
Democracy Government that gives power to the people directly or through elected representatives
Social Contract An agreement signifying consent to be governed.
Social Contract Theory The belief that people are free and that this in turn requires that all people give their consent to be governed; espoused by John Locke and influential in the writing of the Declaration of Independance
Direct Democracy Government where members of the polity (that’s a real word) meet to discuss all policy decisions and then agree to abide by majority rule
Indirect Democracy Government where citizens have the opportunity to vote for representatives who will work on their behalf
Republic Government rooted in the consent of the governed; a representative or indirect democracy
Political Culture Commonly shared attitudes, beliefs, and core values about how government should operate
Personal Liberty A key characteristic of U.S democracy. Initially meaning freedom from governmental interference, today it includes demands for freedom to engage in a variety of practices free from governmental interference or discrimination
Political Equality The principle that all citizens are equal in the political process that is implied by the phrase “one person, one vote”
Popular Consent The idea that government must draw their powers from the consent of the governed
Popular Sovereignty The notion that that the ultimate authority in society rests in the people
Natural Law A doctrine that society should be governed by certain ethical principles that are part of nature and, as such, can be understood by reason.
Civil Society Society created when citizens are allowed to organize and express their views publicly as they engage in an open debate about public policy
Ideology A set system of beliefs that shapes the thinking of individuals and how they view the world
Political Ideology The coherent set of value and beliefs about the purpose and scope of government held by groups and individuals
Libertarian One who favors a free market economy and no governmental interference in personal liberties.
Conservative One thought to believe that a government is best that governs least and that big government can only infringe on individual, personal and economic rights
Social Conservatives One who believes that the traditional moral teachings should be supported and furthered by the government
Liberals One considered to favor governmental involvement in the economy and in the provision of social services and to take an activist role in protecting the rights of women, the elderly, minorities, and the environment