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Government - Topic 1

Topic 1 Vocabulary

TermDefinition
Government The institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies
Public Policies All of the things a government decides to do
Legislative Power The power to make laws and to frame public policies
Executive Power The power to execute, enforce, and administer laws
Judicial Power The power to interpret laws, to determine their meaning, and to settle disputes that arise within the society
Constitution The body of fundamental laws setting out the principles, structures, and processes of a government
Democracy Form of government where supreme authority rests with the people
State A body of people, living in a defined territory, organized politically (that is, with a government), and with the power to make and enforce law without the consent of any higher authority
Population The number of people in a particular state or other area
Territory The land, with known an recognized boundaries, claimed by a state
Sovereignty A state's supreme and absolute power within it's own territory
Force Theory The idea that the state was born when one individual or group claimed control of an area and forced others within it tt submit ot that person's or group's rule
Evolutionary Theory The idea that the state arose out of the early family, which over time developed into a network of families and then into a tribe and, with the rise of agriculture, into a state
Theory of the Divine Right of the Kings The idea that God grants authority to a government
Social Contract Theory The idea that people, who had freedom but lacked the protection and security, agreed with one another to create state in which they would, through a social contract, give up as much power to the state as needed to promote the safety and well-being of all
Autocracy A form of government in which a single person holds unlimited power
Oligarchy A form of government in which the power to rule is held by a small, usually self-appointed elite
Theocracy A form of government in which the legal system is based on religious law
Unitary Government A centralized government in which all government powers 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
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 Government A form of government in which the executive branch is made up of the prime minister, or premier, and the official's cabinet; this branch is part of the legislature
Feudalism A loosely organized system in which powerful lords divided their land among other, lesser lords
Legitimacy The belief of the people that a government has the right to make public policy
Colonialism The control of one nation over foreign lands
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
Compromise An adjustment of opposing principles or systems by modifying some aspect of each in order to find the position most acceptable to the majority
Free Enterprise System An economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods; investments that are determined by private decision rather than by state control and determined in a free market
Created by: brittlloyd