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Government Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Vocabulary

TermDefinition
State A political community that occupies a definite territory and has an organized government with the power to make and enforce laws without approval from any higher authority
Nation A group of people who share the same race, language, customs, traditions, and, sometimes, religion
nation-state A country in which the territory of both the nation and the state coincide
consensus An agreement about basic beliefs
sovereignty The supreme and absolute authority within territorial boundaries
government The institution through which the state maintains social order, provides public services, and enforces binding decisions on citizens
social contract The theory that people surrender to the state the power needed to maintain order, and the state, in turn, agrees to protect its citizens
unitary system A government that gives all key powers to the national or central government
federal system A government that divides the powers of government between the national government and state or provincial governments
confederacy A loose union of independent states
constitution A plan that provides the rules for government
constitutional government A government in which a constitution has authority to place clearly recognized limits on the power of those who govern
preamble A statement in the constitution that sets forth the goals and purposes of government
constitutional law Law that involves the interpretation and application of the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions
politics The effort to control or influence the conduct and policies of government
industrialized nation A nation with large industries and advanced technology that provides a more comfortable way of life than developing nations
developing nation A nation only beginning to grow industrially
autocracy A system of government in which the power to rule is in the hands of a single individual
monarchy An autocracy in which a king, queen, or emperor exercises supreme powers of government
oligarchy A system of government in which a small group holds power
democracy A government in which the people rule
republic A government in which voters hold sovereign power; elected representatives, responsible to the people, exercise that power
political party A group of individuals with broad common interests who organize to nominate candidates for office, win elections, conduct government, and determine public policy
free enterprise A system in which individuals have the opportunity to make their own economic decisions
economics The study of human efforts to satisfy seemingly unlimited wants through the use of limited resources
capitalism An economic system providing free choice and individual incentive for workers, investors, consumers, and business enterprises
free market An economic system in which buyers and sellers make free choices in the marketplace
laissez-faire The philosophy that government should keep its hands off the economy
socialism An economic system in which the government owns the basic means of production, distributes products and wages, and provides social services such as health care and welfare
bourgeoisie Capitalists who own the means of production
proletariat Workers who provide the labor to produce the goods
communism An economic system in which the central government directs all major economic decisions
command economy An economic system in which the government controls the factors of production
Created by: perryherbst