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GOV Topic 1 Vocab

GOV Topic 1 Vocabulary Lessons 1,2,3,4 PEARSON 2016

TermDefinition
government the institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies
public policies all of the many goals that a government pursues in all of the many areas of human affairs in which its is involved
legislative power the power to make a law and to frame public policies
executive power the power to execute, enforce, and administer law
judicial power the power to interpret laws, to determine their meaning, and to settle disputes within the society
dictatorship a form of government in which the leader has absolute power and authority
democracy a form of government in which the supreme authority rests with the people
Aristotle Greek philosopher, observed that "man is by nature a political animal"
state a body of people living in a defined territory who have a government with the power to make and enforce law without the consent of any higher authority
sovereign having supreme power within one's own territory
Thomas Hobbs English philosopher, said that without government there would be "continual fear and danger of violent death and the life of man [would be] solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short"
John Locke English philosopher, helped to develop the Social Contract Theory, which believed in natural rights, and promoting the safety and well-being of all
autocracy a form of government in which a single person holds unlimited political power
Oligarchy a form of government in which the power to rule is held by a small, usually self-appointed elite
unitary government a centralized government in which all government power belong to a single, central agency
federal government a form of government in which powers are divided between a central government and several local governments
division of powers basic principle of federalism,; which is a system of government in which a written constitution divides power between a central, or national government and regional governments
confederation a joining of several groups for a common purpose
presidential government a form of government in which the executive and legislative branches of the government are separate, independent, and coequal
parliamentary a form of government in which the executive branch is made up of the prime minister or premier, and that official's cabinet
Abraham Lincoln 16th president who freed the slaves; gave immortality to the definition of "democracy" in his Gettysburg Address in 1863: "government of the people, by the people, for the people"
Alexander Pope English poet who wrote a couplet asking the question: Does the form a government takes have any importance? Pope thought NOT.
partricians rich upper-class, landowning aristocrat of ancient Rome
plebeians the common folk in the Roman Republic
feudalism a loosely organized system in which powerful lords divided their lands among other, lesser lords
sovereignty utmost authority in decision making and in maintaining order of a state
legitimacy the belief of the people that a government has the right to make public policy
divine right of kings God created the state, making it sovereign. The government is made up of those chosen by God to rule a certain territory. The population must obey their ruler.
mercantilism an economic and political theory emphasizing money as the chief source of wealth to increase the absolute power of the monarchy and the nation
Moses a Biblical religious leader, lawgiver, and prophet who received the Ten Commandments
Francois-Marie Arouet major enlightenment figure; French philosopher, known as Voltaire, who advocated reason, freedom of religion, the importance of scientific observation, and the idea of human progress.
majority rule in a democracy, the majority of the people will be right more often than they will be wrong, and will be right more often than will any one person or small group
compromise an adjustment of opposing principles or systems by modifying some aspect of each
citizen a member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to it by birth or naturalization and is entitled to full civil rights
free enterprise system an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods
James Bryce British academic, jurist, historian and left-wing Liberal politician; known for the following quote: "No government demands so much from the citizen as Democracy, and none gives so much back."
Sir Winston Churchill British statesman who was the Prime Minister of the UK from 1940-1945 and 1951-1955
Oliver Wendell Holmes Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court once had this to say about the relative nature of each individual's rights: "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."
Theodore Roosevelt 20th president, leader of the "Rough Riders"; quoted in 1902: "the first requisite of a good citizen in our republic is that he should be able and willing to pull his weight."
George Washington 1st president; quoted in Farewell Address in 1796: on citizenship, "the very idea of the power and right of the People to establish govern presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government
Created by: cwarsing