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POLS1101 Chap 1

American Government

Anarchy The condition of no government.
Aristocracy Rule by the "best"; in reality, rule by an upper class.
Authoritarianism A type of regime in which only the government itself is fully controlled by the ruler. Social and economic institutions exist that are not under the governments control.
Authority The right and power of a government or other entity to enforce its decisions and compel obedience.
Bill of Rights The first ten amendments to amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Capitalism An economic system characterized by private ownership of wealth-creating assets, free markets, and freedom of contract.
Civil Liberties Those personal freedoms,including freedom of religion and freedom of speech,that are protected for all individuals.The civil liberties set forth in the US Constitution, as amended, restrain the government from taking certain actions against individuals.
Communism A variant of socialism that favors a partisn ( an often totalitarian) dictartorship, government control of all enterprises, and the replacement of free markets with central planning.
Consent of the people The idea that governments and laws derive their legitmacy from the consent of the governed.
Conservatism A set of beliefs that includes a limited role for the national government in helping individuals, support for traditional values and lifestyles, and a cautious response to change.
Democracy A system of government in which political authority is vested in the people. the term is derived from the Greek words "demos" (the people) and "kratos" (authority)
Democratic Republic A republic in which representatives elected by the people make and enforce laws and policies.
Direct Democracy A system of government in which political decisions are made by the people directly, rather than by their elected representatives; probably attained most easily in small political communities.
Dominant Culture The values, customs, and language established by the groups that traditionally have controlled politics and government in a society.
Elite Theory A perspective holding that society is ruled by a small number of people who exercise power to further their self-interest.
Equality As a political value, the idea that all people are of equal worth.
Fascism A twentieth-century idology - often totalitarian - that exalts the national collective united behind an absolute ruler. Fascism rejects liberal individualism, values action over rational deliveration, and glorifies war.
Government The preeminent institution in which decisions are made that resove conflicts or allocate benefits and privileges. It is unique because it has the ultimate authority for making decisions and establishing political values.
Ideology A comprehensive set of beliefs about the nature of people and about the roe of an institution or government.
Initiative A procedure by which voters can propose a law or a constitutional ammendment.
Institution an ongoing organization that performs certain functions for society
Islamism A political idology based on a radical and fundamentalist interpretation of Islam.Islamists reject all Western democratic values and often call worldwide Islamist political order.Radical Islamists have provided membership of many recent terrorist groups
Legislature A governmental body primarily responsible for the making of laws.
Legitimacy Popular acceptance of the right and power of a government or other entity to exercise authority.
Liberalism A set of beliefs that includes the advocacy of positive government action to improve the welfare of individuals, support for civil rights, and tolerance for political and social change.
Libertarianism A political ideology based on skepticism or opposition toward most government activities.
Liberty The greatest freedom of the individual that is consistent with the freedom of other individuals in the society.
Limited Government A government with powers that are limited either through a written document or through widely shared beliefs.
Majoritarianism A political theory holding that in a democracy, the government ought to do what the majority of the people want.
Majority Rule A basic principle of democracy asserting that the greatest number of citizens in any political unit should select officials an determine policies.
Majority More than 50 percent.
Oligarchy Rule by a few.
Order A state of peace and securiy. Maintaining order by protecting members of society from violence and criminal activity is the oldest purpose of government.
Pluralism A theory that views politics as a conflict among interest groups. Political decision making is characterized by compromise and accomodation.
Political Culture A patterned set of ideas, values, and ways of thinking about government and politics.
Political Socialization The process by which political beliefs and values are transmitted to new immigrants and to our children. The family and the educational system are two of the most important forces in the political socialization process.
Politics The process of resolving conflicts and deciding "who gets what, when, and how." More specifically, politics is the struggle over power or influence within organizations or informal groups that can grant or withhold benefits or privileges.
Popular Sovereignty The concept that ultimate political authority is based on the will of the people.
Property Anything that is or may be subject to ownership. As conceived by the political philosopher John Locke, the right to property is a natural right superior to human law (laws made by government).
Recall A procedure allowing the people to vote to dismiss and elected official from state office before his or her term has expired.
Referendum An electoral device whereby legislative or constitutional measures are referred by the legislature to the voters for approval or disapproval.
Representative Democracy A form of government in which representatives elected by the people make and enforce laws and policies; may retain the monarchy in a ceremonial role.
Republic A form of government in which sovereign power rests with the people, rather than with a king or a monarch.
Socialism A political ideology based on strong support for economic and social equality. Socialists traditionally envisioned a society in which major businesses were taken over by the government or by employee cooperatives.
Theocracy Literally, rule by God or gods; in practice, rule by religious leaders, typically self appointed.
Totalitarian Regime A form of government that controls all aspects of the political and social life of a nation.
Universal Suffrage The right of all adults to vote for their representatives.
Created by: GPC-nursing