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U.S government

TermDefinition
Amendment A change in, or addition to, a constitution or law
Anti- federalists Those persons who opposed the ratification of the constitution in 1787-1788
Bicameral An adjective describing a legislative body composed of two chambers
Boycott A refusal to buy or sell certain goods
Cabinet Presidential advisory body, traditionally made up of the exceutive departments and other officers
Charter A city’s basic laws, its constitution, a written grant of authority from the king
Checks and balances System of overlapping the powers of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches to permit each branch to check the actions of others
Compromise An adjustment of opposing principles or systems by modifying some aspect of each
Constitutionalism basic principle that government and those who govern must obey the law
Electoral college Group of persons chosen in each state and the District of Columbia every four years who make a formal selection of the president and Vice President
Executive agreement A pact made by the president directly with the head of a foreign state
Expressed powers those delegated powers of the national government that are spelled out, expressly, in the constitution
Federalism A system Government in which a written constitution divides power between a central or national government and several regional governments
Federalists Those persons who supported the ratification of the constitution in the 1787-1788
Formal amendment Change of addition that becomes part of the written language of the constitution itself through the four methods set forth in the constitution
Framers A group of the delegates who drafted the u.s. constitution at the Philadelphia convention in 1787.
Government The institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies
Implied powers Those delegated powers of the national government that are suggested by the expressed powers out in the constitution
Informal amendment the Constitution does not specifically list these processes as forms of amending the Constitution, but because of change in society or judicial review changed the rule of law
Inherent powers Powers of the constitution is presumed to have delegated to the government because it is the government of a sovereign state within the world community
Judicial power The power to interpret laws to determine their meaning and their meaning and to settle disputes within society
Judicial review The power of a court to determine the constitutionality ifba governmental action.
Limited government Basic principle of American government which states that government is restricted in what it may do and each individual has nights that government cannot take away
Popular sovereignty Basic principle of the American system of government which asserts that the people are the source or any all governmental power and share certain views and work to shape public policy
Lobbying Activities by which group pressures are brought to bear on legislators, the legislative process, and all aspects of the public- policy- making process
Major parties having electoral strength sufficient to permit it to win control of a government usually with comparative regularity and when defeated to constitute the principle opposition to the part lay in power
Mandate The instructions or commands a constituency gives to its elected officials
Minor parties Party with a smaller role than the mainstream parties in a country’s politics and elections
Opinion leader Any person who for any reason has an usually strong influence on the views of others
Plurality In an election the number of votes that leading candidate obtains over the next highest candidate
Political action committee The political extension of special-interest groups which have a major stake in public policy
Political party A group of persons who seek to controls government through the winning of elections and the holding of the public office
Propaganda Information, especially if a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view
Public opinion The complex collection of the opinions of many different people
Single- interest group An association of individuals or organizations, usually formally organized of one or more shared concerns
Splinter parties Parties that have split away from one of the majority parties
Split- ticket voting Voting for candidates of different parties for different offices at the same election
Straight-ticket voting The practice or candidates of only one party in an election
Straw vote Poll that seeks to read the public’s mind by asking the same question of a large number of people
Apportion Distribute, as in seats in a legislative body
Cloture Procedure that may be used t limit or end floor debate in legislative body
Constituency The people and interest that an elected official represents
Direct tax A tax such as income tax which is levied on the income or profits of the person who pays it
Eminent domain Power of a government to take private property for public use
Filibuster Various tactics aimed at defeating a bill in a legislative body by preventing a final vote
Impeach To bring formal charges against a public official
Indirect tax A tax collected by an intermediary from the person who bears the ultimate economic burden of the tax
Naturalization The legal process by which citizens of one country become citizens of another
Necessary and proper clause Constitutional clause that gives congress the power to make all laws “necessary and proper” for executive its powers
President of the senate The presiding officer of a senate
President pro tempore The member of the United States government can exist only with the consent o the governed
Preamble No legal force but does set out the purposes of those who drafted and adopted the document
Proprietary Organized by a proprietor
Public policy All of the many goals that a government pursues in all of the many areas of human affairs in which it is involved
Quorum Least number of memebers who must be present for a legislative body to conduct business
Ratification Formal approval, final consent to the effectiveness of a constitution, constitutional amendment o treaty
Representative government System of government in which public policies are made by officials selected by bthe voters are held accountable in periodic elections
Separations of powers Basic principles of American system of government that the executive, legislative and judicial powers are divided among three independent and coequal branches of government
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
Treaty a formal agreement between two or more sovereign states
Unconstitutional Contrary to the constitutional provisions and so illegal, null and void of no force and effect
Unicameral And adjective describing a legislative body with one chamber
Veto Chief executives power to reject a bill passed by a legislature
Confederation A joint of several groups for a common purpose
Democracy A form of government in which the supreme authority rests with the people
Dictatorship A form of government in which leader has absolute power and authority
Parliamentary government A form of government in which the executive branch is made up of the prime minister or premier and that officials cabinet
Presidential government A form of government in which the executive and legislative branches of the government are separate independent and coequal
Unitary government A centralized government in which all government powers belong to a single central agency
Closed primary A party nominating elections in which only declared party members can vote
Electorate All of the people entitled to vote in a given election
Gerrymandering That drawing of electoral district lines to the advantage of a party or group
Grass roots Pressures on public officials from members of an interest group or the people at large
Ideological parties Parties based on a particular set of beliefs a comprehensive view or social economic and political matters
Incumbent The current officeholder
Independents A term used to describe people who have no party affiliation
Interest group Private organizations whose members senate or if the upper house of a states legislature chosen to preside in the absence of the president of the senate
Attorney general The head of the department of justice
Bureaucracy A large complex administrative structure that handles the everyday business or and organization
Bureaucrat A person who works for a bureaucratic organization
Civil service Those civilian employees who preform the administrative work of government
Government corporation Corporation within the executive branch subject to the presidents direction and control set up by congress to carry out certain business like activities
Patronage The practice of giving jobs to supporters and friends
Spoils system The practice of giving offices and other divots of government to political supporters and friends
Concurring opinion Written explanation of the views of one or more judges who support a decision reached by a majority of the court
Dissenting opinion Written explanation of the views of one or more judges who disagree with a decision reached by a majority of the court
Exclusionary rule Evidence gained as the result of an illegal act by police cannot be used against the person from whom it was seized
Free exercise clause The second part of the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom which guarantees to each person the right to believe whatever he/she chooses to believe in no matter religion
Indictment A formal complaint before a grand jury which one or more crimes
Majority opinion Officially called the opinion of the court
Plaintiff I’m civil law the party who brings a suit or some other legal action against another in court
Search warrant A court order authorizing a search
Symbolic speech Expression by conduct
Treason Betrayal of ones country
Common law An unwritten law made by a judge that’s has developed over centuries form those generally accepted ideas of right and wrong that have fined judicial recognition
Jury A body of persons elected according to law who hear evidence and decide questions of fact in a court case
The legislative branch Government that writes debates and passes laws
The judicial branch Us government makes decisions interpretation of laws
The executive branch Responsible for implementing supporting and enforcing the laws made by the legislative branch and interpreted by the judicial branch
Floor leaders Members of the house and senate picked by their parties to carry out party decisions and steer legislative action to meet party goals
Created by: Diamondf00