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civics

civics studies

TermDefinition
A legally recognized member of a country Citizen
ALL citizens of the United States of America and the beginning of the Preamble of the US Constitution "We the people"
1) Provide public goods and services 2) Keep order 3) Protect citizens The three Purposes of Government are:
The government and those who govern are bound by the law. Rule of Law
Consent of the Governed People are the source of any and all government power.
Limited Government The government is not all powerful and can do only those things that the people have allowed it to do.
Representative Government People elect public officeholders to make laws and conduct government on their behalf.
Democracy form of government in which the people rule and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
Charters of the Virginia Company of London stated that the rights of the English men were guaranteed to colonists
Virginia Declaration of Rights served as a model for the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States of America
Virginia Statute of Religious Freedoms established freedom of religious beliefs and opinions
Declaration of Independence Stated grievances against the king of Great Britain Declared the colonies' independence from Great Britain Affirmed "certain unalienable rights" (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) Established the ideas that all people are equal under the la
Articles of Confederation Established the first form of national government for the independent states Maintained that major powers resided with individual states Weakness of central government (no power to tax and enforce laws) led to the writing of the U.S. Constitution
Preamble the opening section of the Constitution that expresses the reasons it was written
Constitution of the United States Establishes the structure of the United States government Guarantees equality under the law with majority rule and the rights of the minority protected Affirms individual worth and dignity of all people Protects the fundamental freedoms of religion, s
unalienable rights rights that cannot be taken away
domestic tranquility to maintain peace and order, keeping citizens and their property safe from harm
Bill of Rights The first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States
Equality under the law All citizens are treated equally regardless of status
Minority a group differing, especially in race, religion, or ethnic background, from the majority of a population
Citizen an individual with certain rights and duties under a government and who, by birth or by choice, owes allegiance to that government
Fourteenth Amendment Definition of Citizenship "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the state wherein they reside."
Means of Obtaining Citizenship -by birth -by naturalization
To Become a Citizen Through Naturalization -demonstrate knowledge of American history and principles -ability to read, speak, and write English
U.S. Constitution Establishes and Protects citizens' fundamental rights and liberties
First Amendment Freedoms religion -speech -press -assembly -petition
Freedom of Religion government may not establish an official religion, endorse an official religion, or unduly interfere with the free exercise of religion
Freedom of Speech individuals are free to express their opinions and beliefs
Freedom of Press the press has the right to gather and publish information, including that which criticizes the government
Freedom of Assembly individuals may peacefully gather
Freedom of Petition individuals have the right to make their views known to public officials
Fourteenth Amendment extends the due process protection to actions of the states
Civic Duties -obey laws -pay taxes -serve in the armed forces, if called -serve on a jury or as a witness in court, when summoned
Civic Responsibilities -register and vote -hold elective office -communicate with government officials to influence government actions -serve in voluntary, appointed government positions -participate in political campaigns -keep informed regarding current issues -respect
Democratic Society Requires active participation of its citizens
Ways for Citizens to Participate in Community Service -volunteer to support democratic institutions (e.g., League of Women Voters) -express concern about the welfare of the community as a whole (e.g., as related to environment, public health and safety, education) -help to make the community a good place t
Personal Traits of Good Citizens trustworthiness and honesty -courtesy and respect for the rights of others -responsibility, accountability, and self-reliance -respect for the law -patriotism -participation in the school and/or local community -participation in elections as an info
functions of political parties - recruiting and nominating candidates - educating the electorate about campaign issues - helping candidates win election - monitoring actions of office holders
electorate group of qualified voters
The American political process is characterized by a... two party system
Third Parties ... rarely win elections
similarities between political parties - organize to win elections - influence public policy - reflect both liberal and conservative views - defines themselves in a way to win majority support
political center where the most voters are found; political parties try to appeal to them
differences between political parties found in a party's platform and reflected in their campaigning
platform stated goals of a political party
third parties - introduce new ideas - often revolve around a political personality
Teddy Roosevelt a political personality associated with third parties from Progressive party
Strategies for evaluating campaigns - separating fact from opinion - detecting bias - identifying propaganda - evaluating sources
bias prejudice
role of the mass media in elections - identifying candidates - emphasizing selected issues - writing editiorials and creating political cartoons - broadcasting different points of view
expensive Running for political office is...
Effects of Rising Campaign Costs - require candidates to conduct extensive fund raising - limit opportunities to run for public office - give an advantage to the wealthy - encorage the development of PACs - give special interest groups increased influence
PAC Political Action Committee
campaign finance reform limits exist on the amount individuals may contribute to candidates and campaigns
registration required before a citizen may vote
requirements for registering to vote - 18 years of age by the general election - U.S. citizen - resident of Virginia and your precinct
Where to register - registrar's office - DMV - other designated sites - online
Registration closes 22 days before elections
factors that predict who will vote - age - education - income
reasons citizens fail to vote - lack of interest - failure to register
presidential elections there is usually greater turn out at these elections
electoral college system used to elect the president and vice president
popular vote how electors are chosen for each state
Targeting large state the winner take all system results in this
close elections small states matter in...
congressional representation each states electors are equal to that states -
you need 270 votes (over 1/2) to win Why does the electoral college favor a two party system?
What branch of government consists of Congress? legislative branch
What are our three branches of government at the national and state level? Legislative Executive Judicial
How many members are there in the House of Representatives? 435
How many members are there in the Senate? 100
Unconstitutional Not in accordance with a political constitution
Executive branch powers over legislative branch Propose legislation, prepares an annual budget, vetoes acts of Congress, Call Congress into special session
Legislative branch powers over executive branch Overrides vetoes, approve the annual budget,Impeaches a president
Executive branch powers over judicial branch Appoints federal judges
Legislative branch powers over judicial branch Approves federal judges and impeaches federal judges
Judicial branch powers over executive branch Declares executive acts unconstitutional
Legislative branch powers over executive branch Overrides vetoes, approve the annual budget,Impeaches a president
Judicial branch powers over executive branch Declares executive acts unconstitutional
Judicial branch powers over legislative branch Declares laws unconstitutional
Checks and balances Each one of the three branches of the national government limits the exercise of power by the other two branches
Separation of powers The Constitution of the United States in articles 1, 2, and 3 defines the powers of the legislative executive and judicial branches of the national government
Judicial Review The Supreme Court's ability to review and if necessary declare executive actions and laws unconstitutional.
What does it mean if legislative powers are EXPRESSED? Specifically LISTED in the U.S. Constitution
What does it mean if legislative powers are IMPLIED? not specifically listed in the Constitution, but are USED TO CARRY OUT EXPRESSED powers
What are the (5) steps in the law-making process? 1) Introduce a Bill (either house) (2) Committees (3) Debate on the floor (4) Vote (each house) (5) Send to President to sign
Who can introduce a bill in Congress? (1) Senator (Senate) (2) Representative (House of Representatives)
What helps shape legislation? Individuals and Interest Groups
What documents limits the formal powers of Congress? the U.S. Constitution
Presidential power is __________ in both domestic and foreign affairs, but there are _____________ on what the president can do. broad but limited
What are the 4 ways the executive branch influences policy making? (1) Proposing legislation (State of the Union address) (2) Appeal directly to the people (3) Approving/Vetoing Legislation (4) Appointing officials to carry out the laws
In the executive branch, who carries out the laws? Cabinet departments, agencies, and regulatory groups.
What does it mean that the President is chief of state? Head of government (ceremonial)
What does it mean that the President is chief executive? Heads the executive branch
What does it mean that the President is Chief legislator? Proposes the legislative agenda
What does it mean that the President is the chief diplomat? Writes America's FOREIGN policy
What does it mean that the President is the chief of party? Leader of the political party that controls the executive branch
What does it mean that the President is the chief citizen? Representative of all the People
Has presidential power increased or decreased since the Constitution was ratified (approved)? Increased
Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General The other two people elected to the states's executive branch that have four year terms.
Supreme Highest court in Virginia.
Court of Appeals The court below the Virginia Supreme Court.
Circuit Court The third level court in the state court system that conducts jury trials.
District Court The fourth level court in the state court system.
Small Claims and Juvenile and Domestic Relations The courts that are within the District Court.
Federal Form of government established by the Constitution in which the national government is supreme.
Reserved The powers not given to the national government that are for the states.
Foreign Primary responsibility of the national government is to conduct this type of policy.
Commerce Primary responsibility of the national government is to regulate this.
Common Defense Primary responsibility of the national government is to provide for this.
Health, Safety, Welfare Primary responsibilities of the state government.
Introducing a Bill The first step in the state lawmaking process.
Committees The second step in the state lawmaking process requires the legislators work in these.
Debate The third step in the state lawmaking process that is done on the floor of each house.
Vote The fourth step in the state lawmaking process.
Governor The bill is sent to this person in the fifth step of the state lawmaking process.
Problems and Issues The reasons why elected officials in the General Assembly write laws and take action.
Individuals and Interest Groups Those who can help shape legislation.
Education This primary issue in the state legislative process means promoting an informed and engaged citizenry by setting minimum standards for local schools.
Public Health This primary issue in the state legislative process means to promote and protect the health of its citizens like funding health benefits.
Environment This primary issue in the state legislative process means to protect natural resources like improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.
Biennial The type of budget approved by the General Assembly.
Governor Ther person who prepares the budget for Virginia.
Revenue This primary issue in the state legislative process is about raising money by levying and collecting taxes.
Constitution of Virginia This gives the governor of Virginia the formal powers.
Roles of the Governor Chief of State, Chief Legislator, Chief Administrator, Party Chief, Commander-in-Chief
Groups that help the Governor Cabinet secretaries and departments, agencies, commissions, and regulatory boards
Things the groups help the Governor do administer laws, enforce laws, regulate aspects of business and the economy, provide services
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