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Government

Semester 1 Vocab Portfolio

TermDefinition
Chapter 1: Government The institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies
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
Legislative Power The power to make a law and to frame public policies
Executive Power The power to execute, enforce, and administer law
Judicial Power The power to interpret laws, to determine their meaning, and to settle disputes within the society
Constitution The body of fundamental laws setting out the principles, structures, and processes of a government
Dictatorship A form of government in which the leader has absolute power and authority
Democracy A form of government in which the supreme authority rests with the people
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
Sovereign Having supreme power within its own territory; neither subordinate nor responsible to any other authority
Autocracy a form of government in which a single person holds unlimited political power
Oligarchy A form of government in which the power to rule is held by a small usually self-appointed elite
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
Division of Powers Basic principle of federalism; the constitutional provisions by which governmental powers, are divided on a geographic basis (in the United States, between the National Government and the the States).
Confederation A joining of several groups for a common purpose
Presidential Government A form of government in which a party's voters (1) choose State party organizations delegates to their party's national convention, and/or (2) express a preference for their party's presidential nomination
Parliamentary Government A form of government in which the executive branch is made up of the prime minister, or premier, and that official's cabinet
Compromise an adjustment of opposing principles or systems by modifying some aspects of each
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
Law of Supply and Demand A law which states that when supplies of goods and services become plentiful, prices tend to drop. When supplies become scarcer, prices tend to rise
Mixed Economy An economy in which private enterprise exists in combination with a considerable amount of government regulation and promotion
Chapter 2: Limited Government Basic principle of America government which states that government is restricted in what it may do, and each individual has rights that government cannot take away
Representative Government System of government in which public polices are made by officials selected by the voters and held accountable in periodic elections
Magna Carta Great Charter forced upon King John of England by his barons in 1215; established that the power of the monarchy was not absolute and guaranteed trial by jury and due process of law to nobility
Petition of Right Document prepared by Parliament and signed by King Charles I of England in 1628; challenged the idea of the divine right of kings and declared that even the monarch was subject to the laws of the land
English Bill of Rights Document written by Parliament and agreed by William and Mary of England in 1689, designed to prevent abuse of power by English monarchs; forms the basis for much in American government and politics today
Charter A city's basic law, its constitution; a written grant of authority from the king
Bicameral An adjective describing a legislative body composed of two chambers
Proprietary Organized by a proprietor ( a person to whom the king made a grant of land).
Unicameral An An adjective describing a legislative body with one chamber
Confederation A joining of several for a common purpose
Albany Plan of Union Plan proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1754 that aimed to unite the 13 colonies for trade, military, and other purposes; the plan was turned down by the colonies and the crown
Delegate representative
Boycott a refusal to buy or sell certain products or service
Repeal to withdraw or cancel
Popular Sovereignty government can exist only with the consent of the governed
Articles of Confederation Plan of government adopted by the Continental Congress after the American Revolution; it established "a firm league of friendship" among the States but allowed few important powers to the central government
Ratification formal approval of a constitution, constitutional amendment, or treaty
Presiding Officer chairperson
Farmers the group of delegates who attended the Philadelphia Convention
Virginia Plan called for a new government with three separate branches: legislative, executive, and judicial
New Jersey Plan plan presented as an alternative to the Virginia Plan that called for a unicameral legislature in which each state would be equally represented
Connecticut Compromise said that Congress should be made of two houses. In the Senate, each state would be represented equally. In the House, the representation would be based on state population.
Three-Fifths Compromise all "free persons" should be counted, and so, too, should "three-fifths of all other persons"
Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise Congress was forbidden the power to tax the export of goods from any state, and it could not act on the slave trade for a period of 20 years.
Federalists people who favored ratification of the Constitution
Anti-Federalists people who opposed the ratification of the Constitution
Quorum majority
Chapter 3: Preamble short, noteworthy introduction to the Constitution
Articles Constitution that is broken up into 7 numbered sections
Constitutionalism government must be conducted according to constitutional principles
Rule of Law government and its officers are always subject to-never above-the law
Separation of Powers powers that are distributed among three distinct and independent branches of the government
Checks and Balances each branch is subject to a number of constitutional checks(restraints) by the other branches
Veto reject
Judicial Review power of courts to determine whether what government does is in accord with what the Constitution provides
Unconstitutional to declare illegal, null and void, of no force and effect
Federalism division of power among a central government and several regional governments
Amendment Formal Amendment changes in its written words Formal: changes or additions that become part of the written language of the Constitution itself changes in its written words changes or additions that become part of the written language of the Constitution itself
Bill of Rights first ten amendments
Executive Agreement pact made by the President directly with the head of a foreign state
Treaty formal agreement between two or more sovereign states
Electoral College group that makes the formal selection of the nation's President
Cabinet heads of the 15 executive departments, an advisory body to the President
Senatorial Courtesy a long-established custom that the Senate will approve only those presidential appointees who are acceptable to the senator or senators of the President's party from the State involved
Chapter 4: Federalism a system of government in which a written constitution divides the powers of government on a territorial basis between a central, or national, government and several regional governments, usually called states or provinces
Division of Powers dividing the powers between the National and states
Delegated Powers government that only has those powers granted to it in the Constitution
Expressed Powers powers granted to the National government that are spelled out in the Constitution
Implied Powers powers not expressly states in the Constitution but are reasonably suggested by the expressed powers
Inherent Powers powers the Constitution is presumed to have delegated to the National Government because it is the government of a sovereign state within the world community
Reserved Powers those powers that the Constitution does not grant to the National Government and does not, at the same time, deny the states
Exclusive Powers the powers that the Constitution delegates to the National Government
Concurrent Powers those powers that both the National government and the states possess and exercise
Enabling Act an act directing the people of the territory to frame a proposed state constitution
Act of Admission an act creating a new state
Grants-in-Aid Program grants of federal money or other resources to the states and/or their cities, counties, and other local units
Revenue Sharing a program in which Congress gave an annual share of the huge federal tax revenue to the states and their cities, counties, and townships
Categorical Grant grants made for some specific, closely defined purpose
Block Grant a type of federal grant-in-aid for some particular but broadly defined area of public policy
Project Grant grants made to the states, localities, and sometimes private agencies that apply for them
Interstate Compact formal agreement entered into with the consent of Congress, between or among states, or between a state and a foreign state
Full Faith and Credit Clause Constitution's requirement that each state accept the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state
Extradition the legal process by which a fugitive from justice in one state is returned to that state
Privileges and Immunities Clause Constitution's stipulation that citizens are entitled to certain privileges and immunities, regardless of their state of residence; no state can draw unreasonable distinction between its own residents and those persons who happen to live in other states
Chapter 19: Bill of Rights The first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution, containing a list of individual rights and liberties, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press
Civil Liberties Constitutional freedoms guaranteed to all citizens
Civil Rights Policies designed to protect people against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by government officials or individuals
Alien Foreigner - not guaranteed all rights
Due Process Clause 14th amendment clause stating that no state may deprive a person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law
Process of Incorporation the process of incorporating , or including, most of the guarantees in the Bill of Rights into the 14th amendment's Due Process Clause
Establishment Clause Clause in the First Amendment that says the government may not establish an official religion
Parochial Church-related, as in a parochial school
Free Exercise Clause A First Amendment provision that prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion
Libel False charges and malicious written statements about someone
Slander False charges and malicious oral statements about someone
Sedition behavior that promotes rebellion or civil disorder against the state
Seditious Speech Urges resistance to lawful authority or advocates overthrowing the government
Prior Restraint Government censorship of information before it is published or broadcast
Shield Law state laws that protect journalists from having to reveal their sources
Symbolic Speech nonverbal communication, such as burning a flag or wearing an armband. The Supreme Court has accorded some symbolic speech protection under the first amendment
Picketing Patrolling of a business site by workers who are on strike
Assemble To gather with one another in order to express views on public matters
Content Neutral The government may not regulate assemblies on the basis on what might be said
Right of Association the right to associate with others to promote political, economic, and other social causes
Chapter 20: Due process The government must act fairly and in accord with established rules in all that it does
Substantive Due Process The government must create fair policies and laws
Procedural Due Process The government must employ fair procedures and methods
Police Power The authority of each State to act to protect and promote public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of its people
Search Warrant A court order authorizing a search
Involuntary Servitude Forced labor
Discrimination Bias, unfairness
Writs of Assistance Blanket search warrant with which British officials had invaded private homes to search for smuggled goods
Probable Cause Reasonable grounds, a reasonable suspicion of crime
Exclusionary Rule Evidence gained as the result of an illegal act by police cannot be used against the person from whom it was seized
Writ of Habeas Corpus A court order which prevents unjust arrests and imprisonments
Bill of Attainder A legislative act that inflicts punishment without a court trial
Ex Post Facto Law A law applied to an act committed before its passage
Grand Jury The formal device by which a person can be accused of a serious crime
Indictment A formal complaint before a grand jury which charges the accused person with one or more crimes
Double Jeopardy Part of the 5th Amendment which says that no person can be put in jeopardy of life or limb twice. Once a person has been tried for a crime, he or she cannot be tried again for the same crime
Bench Trial A trial in which the judge alone hears the trial
Miranda Rule The constitutional rights which police must read to a suspect before questioning can occur
Bail A sum of money that the accused may be required to post (deposit with the court) as a guarantee that he or she will appear in court at the proper time
Preventive Detention A law which allows federal judges to order that an accused felon be held, without bail, when there is good reason to believe that he or she will commit yet another serious crime before trial
Capital Punishment The death penalty
Treason Betrayal of one's country; in the Constitution, by levying war against the United States or offering comfort or aid to its enemies
Chapter 21: Heterogenous of another or different, race, family, or kind; composed of a mix of elements
Immigrant a person who comes to a country where they were not born in order to settle there
Reservation land set aside by the United States government for Native Americans
Refugee a person who has to leave his or her country to find safety
Assimilation Process by which people of one culture merge into and become part of another culture
Segregation separation of people based on racial, ethnic, or other differences
Jim Crow Law Law to isolate and separate one group of people from another on the basis of race
Separate-But-Equal Doctrine the doctrine established by Plessy v Ferguson (1896) that African Americans could constitutionally be kept in separate but equal facilities
Integration process of bringing people of different races together
De Jure Segregation segregation that is imposed by law
De Facto Segregation segregation (especially in schools) that happens in fact although not required by law
Affirmative Action a policy designed to give special attention to or compensatory treatment for members of some previously disadvantaged group
Qutoa the proportion or share of a larger number of things that a smaller group is assigned to contribute
Reverse Discrimination Discrimination against the majority group
Citizen a member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to it by birth or naturalization and is entitled to full civil rights
Jus Soli The law of soil, which determines citizenship based on where a person is born
Jus Sanguinis The law of soil, which determines citizenship based on where a person is born
Naturalization the legal process by which a person is granted citizenship
Alien a citizen of another country
Expatriation migration from a place (especially migration from your native country in order to settle in another)
Denaturalization Process by which a naturalized citizen may involuntarily lose their citizenship
Deportation the expulsion from a country of an undesirable alien
Chapter 10: Term Each term of congress lasts for two years and each is numbered consecutively
Session the period of time each year when congress assembles and conducts it's businesses. One session every year
Adjourn when congress ends it's current session to wait for the next one
Prorogue the presidential power to end a session of congress
Special Session a session of congress called by the president to deal with national emergencies
Apportion determining the number of seats in the House of Representatives based off of population
Reapportion redistributing the number of seats in the House. Happens every census (10 years)
Off-Year Election congressional elections that occur in the middle of a president's term
Single-Member District voters in each district elect one of the State's representatives from among a field of candidates for a seat in the House of Representatives
At-Large elected from the state as a whole instead of from districts
Gerrymander redistricting a state so that certain areas give the party in power of the state legislature an advantage
Continuous Body redistricting a state so that certain areas give the party in power of the state legislature an advantage
Constituency the people and interests the senators represent
Trustee use their conscience and their independent judgment to decide on issues whether they are representing their constituents or not
Partisan people who vote in line with their party on issues
Politico a balance of trustees, delegates and partisans; they base their decisions off of the current situation
Oversight Function Process by which Congress (through it's committees) checks to see that the various agencies in the executive branch are working effectively and in a constitutionally legal manner
Franking Privilege well known benefit that allows Senate and House members to mail out letters and information to their constituents
Chapter 11: Expressed Powers Those delegated powers of the National Government that are spelled out, expressly in the constitution; also called the "enumerated powers."
Implied Powers Those delegated powers of the National Government that are suggested by the expressed powers set out in the constitution; those "necessary and proper" to carry out the expressed powers
Inherent Powers Powers the constitution is presumed to have delegated to the National Government because it is the Government of a sovereign state within the world community
Strict Constructionist One who argues a narrow interpretation of the constitution's provisions in particular those granting powers to the national government
Liberal Constructionist One who argues a broad interpretation of the provisions of the constitution, particularly those granting powers to the federal government
Consensus General agreement among various groups on fundamental matters; broad agreement on public questions
Tax A charge levied by government on persons or property to meet public needs
Direct Tax A tax that must be paid by the person on whom it is levied
Indirect Tax A tax levied on one party but passed on to another for payment
Deficit Financing Practice of funding government by borrowing to make up the difference between government spending and revenue
Public Debt All of the money borrowed by the government and not yet repaid, plus the accrued interest on that money; also called the national debt or federal debt
Commerce Power Exclusive power of congress to regulate interstate and foreign trade
Legal Tender Any kind of money that a creditor must by law, accept in payment for any debts
Bankruptcy The legal proceedings by which a bankrupt person's assets are distributed among those to whom he or she owes debts
Naturalization The governmental acquisition of private industry for public use
Copyright The exclusive, legal right of a person to reproduce, publish and sell his or her own literacy, musical, or artistic creations
Patent A license issued to an inventor granting the exclusive right to manufacture, use, or sell his or her invention for a limited period of time
Eminent Domain Power of a government to take private property for public use
Appropriate Assign to a particular use
Necessary and Proper Clause Constitutional clause that gives Congress the power to make all laws "necessary and proper" for executing its powers
Doctrine Principle of fundamental policy
Successor A person who inherits a title or office
Impeach To bring formal charges against a public official; the power of congress
Acquit Find not guilty of a charge
Perjury Find not guilty of a charge
Censure Issue a formal condemnation
Subpoena An order for a person to appear and to produce documents or other requested materials
Chapter 12: Speaker of the House The presiding officer of the house of representatives, chosen by and from the majority party in the House
President of the Senate the presiding officer of a senate ; in congress, the vice president of the united states; in the lieutenant governor or a senate
President Pro Tempore the member of the united states senate or of the upper house of a senate legislature, chosen to preside in the absence of the president of the senate
Party Caucus is a close meeting of the members of each party in each house
Floor Leader members of the house and senate picked by their parties to carry out party decisions and steer legislative action to meet party goals
Whip assistant to the floor leaders in the house and senate responsibly for monitoring and marshaling votes
Committee Chairman those members who head the standing committees in each chamber also hold strategic posts
Seniority Rule unwritten customs
Standing Committee each house began setting up permanent panels
Select Committee also called special committees set up for specific purposes
Joint Committee one composed of members from both houses
Conference Committee temporary, joint body is created to iron out the differences in the bill
Joint Resolution similar to bills and when passed have the force of law
Concurrent Resolution deal with matters in which house and senate must act jointly
Resolution deal with matters concerning either house alone and are taken up only by that house
Rider dealing with an unrelated matter is included
Discharge Petition enables members to force a bill that has remained in committee 30 days (7 in the rules committee) onto the floor for consideration
Subcommittee division of existing committees formed to address specific issues
Committee of the Whole old parliamentary device for speeding business on the floor
Quorum majority of the full membership (218) must be present in order for the house to do business on the floor
Engrossed means the bill is printed in its final form
Filibuster attempt to "talk a bill to death"
Cloture limited debate
Veto refuse to sign the bill
Pocket Veto type of veto a chief executive may use after a legislature has adjourned; when the chief executive does not sign or reject a bill within the time allowed to do so
Chapter 13: Chief of State term used for President as the ceremonial head of the U.S. ; symbol of the people of the nation
Chief Executive term for President as vested with the executive power of the U.S.
Chief Administrator term for President as head of the administration of the Federal Government
Chief Diplomat term for President as the main architect of foreign policy, and spokesperson to other countries
Commander in Chief term for President as commander of the nation's armed forces
Chief Legislator term for President as architect of public policy and the one who sets the agenda for Congress
Chief of Party term for the President as the leader of his or her political party
Chief Citizen term for President as the representative of he people, works for public interest
Presidential Succession Scheme by which a presidential vacancy is filled
Presidential Succession Act of 1947 Law specifying the order of presidential succession following the Vice President.
Balance the Ticket when a Presidential candidate chooses a running mate who can strengthen his chance of being elected by virtue of certain idea logical, geographic, racial, ethnic, gender, or other characteristics
Presidential Electors a person elected by the voters to represent them in making a formal selection of the Vice President and President
Electoral Votes Votes cast by electors in the electoral college
Electoral College group of persons chosen in each State and the District of Columbia every 4 years who make a formal selection of the President and Vice President
Presidential Primary an election in which a party's voters : choose State party organization's delegates to their party's national convention, and or express a preference for their party's presidential nomination
Winner-Take-All an almost obsolete system whereby a presidential aspirant who won the preference vote in a primary automatically won all the delegates chosen in the primary
Proportional Representation rule applied in Democratic primaries whereby any candidate who wins at least 15% of the votes gets the number of State Democratic convention delegates based on his or her share of the primary vote
National Convention meeting at which a party's delegates vote to pick their presidential and vice-presidential candidates
Platform a political party's formal statement of basic principles, stands on major issues, and objectives
Keynote Address speech given at a party convention to set the tone for the convention and the campaign to come
District Plan proposal for choosing presidential electors by which two electors would be selected in each State according to the Statewide popular vote and the other electors would be selected separately in each of the State's congressional districts
Proportional Plan proposal by which each presidential candidate would receive the same share of a State's electoral vote as he or she received in the State's popular vote
Direct Popular Election proposal to do away with the electoral college and allow the people to vote directly for the President and Vice President
Electorate all of the people entitled to vote in a given election
National Bonus Plan Proposal for electing a President which the winner of the popular vote would receive a bonus of 102 electoral votes in addition to his/her State-based electoral college votes If no one received at least 321 electoral votes a run-off election would be held
Chapter 14: Executive Articles Article II of the Constitution. Establishes the presidency and gives the executive power of the Federal Government to the President
Mass Media forms of communication, including printed publications, radio, television, and most recently, internet
Imperial Presidency paints a picture of the President as emperor, taking strong actions without consulting Congress or seeking its approval--sometimes acting in secrecy to evade or even to deceive Congress
Oath of Office Oath taken by the President on the day he takes office, pledging to "faithfully execute" the office and "preserve, protect, and defend" the Constitution
Executive Order the president has the power to issue an executive order. This is a directive, rule or regulation that has the power of law
Ordinance Power the power to issue an executive order. This power comes from the Constitution and acts of Congress
Treaty a formal agreement between two of more sovereign states
Executive Agreement a pact between the President and the head of a foreign state, or between the President and the head of a foreign state, or between their subordinates
Recognition the President, acting for the US, acknowledges the legal existence of that country and its government. To establish a formal diplomatic relationship with another country
Persona Non Grata when a president may show American displeasure with the conduct of another country by asking for the recall of that nation's ambassador or other diplomatic representative
Line-Item Veto In government, the line-item veto, or partial veto, is the power of an executive authority to nullify or cancel specific provisions of a bill, usually a budget appropriations bill, without vetoing the entire legislative package
Reprieve the postponement of the execution of a sentence
Pardon legal forgiveness of a crime (almost as though the crime never happened). A pardon is only valid if the person who it is given to accepts it
Clemency shorten a sentence
Commutation mercy or leniency
Amnesty group pardon e.g. draft dodgers
Chapter 15: Bureaucracy A large, complex administrative structure that handles the everyday business of an organization
Bureaucrat A person who works for a bureaucratic organization
Administration The officials in the executive branch of a government and their policies and principles
Staff Agency An agency which supports the chief executive and other administrators by offering advice and other assistance and management in the organization
Line Agency An agency which performs the tasks for which the organization exists
Executive Office of the President An organization of several agencies staffed by the president's closet advisers
Federal Budget A detailed financial document containing estimates of federal income and spending during the coming fiscal year
Fiscal Year A 12-month period used by a government and the business world for its record-keeping, budgeting, revenue collecting, and other financial management purposes
Domestic Affairs All matters not directly connected to the realm of foreign affairs
Executive Departments Often called the cabinet departments, they are the traditional units of federal administration
Secretary An official in charge of a department of government
Attorney General The head of the department of justice
Independent Agencies Additional agencies created by Congress located outside the Cabinet departments
Independent Executive Agencies Agencies headed by a single administrator with regional sub-units, but lacking Cabinet status
Independent Regulatory Commissions Independent agencies created by Congress, designed to regulate important aspects of the nation's economy, largely beyond the reach of presidential control.
Quasi-Legislative Having to do with powers that are to some extent legislative
Quasi-Judicial Having to do with powers that are to some extent judicial
Government Corporation Corporations within the executive branch subject to the President's direction and control, set up by Congress to carry out certain business-like activities
Civil Service Those civilian employees who perform the administrative work of government
Spoils System The practice of giving offices and other favors of government to political supporters and friends
Patronage The practice of giving jobs to supporters and friends
Register A record or list of names, often kept by an official appointed to do so
Bipartisan Supported by two parties
Chapter 18: Inferior Courts the lower federal courts, beneath the Supreme Court
Jurisdiction the authority of a court to hear a case
Exclusive Jurisdiction power of the federal courts alone to hear certain cases
Concurrent Jurisdiction power shared by federal and State courts to hear certain cases
Plaintiff in civil law, the party who brings a suit or some other legal action against another (the defendant) in court
Defendant in a civil suit, the person against whom a court action is brought by the plaintiff; in a criminal case, the person charged with the crime
Original Jurisdiction the power of a court to hear a case first, before any other court
Appellate Jurisdiction the authority of a court to review decisions of inferior (lower) courts
Criminal Case a case in which a defendant is tried for committing a crime as defined by the law
Civil Case a case involving a noncriminal matter such as a contract dispute or a claim of patent infringement
Docket a court's list of cases to be heard
Writ of Certiorari an order by a higher court directing a lower court to send up the record in a given case for review;from the Latin meaning "to be more certain"
Certificate a method of putting a case before the Supreme Court;used when a lower court is not clear about the procedure or rule of law that should apply in a case and asks the supreme Court to certify the answer to specific question
Majority Opinion officially called the Opinion of the Court; announces the Court's decision in a case and sets out the reasoning upon which it is based
Precedent court decision that stands as an example to be followed in future, similar cases
Concurring Opinion written explanation of the views of one or more judges who support a decision reached by a majority of the court, but wish to add or emphasize a point that was not made in the majority decision
Dissenting Opinion written explanation of the views of one or more judges who disagree with (dissent from) a decision reached by a majority of the court
Redress satisfaction of a claim payment
Civilian Tribunal a court operating as part of the judicial branch, entirely separate from the military establishment
Court-Material a court composed of military personnel, for the trial of those accused of violating military law
Chapter 6: Suffrage the right to vote
Franchise the right to vote
Electorate all the people entitled to vote in a given election
Transient persons living in the State for only a short time
Registration a procedure of voter identification intended to prevent fraudulent voting
Purge the process of reviewing lists of registered voters and removing the names on those no longer eligible to vote; a purification
Poll Books the official list of qualified voters in each precinct
Literacy a person's ability to read or write
Poll Tax a special tax , demanded by the States, as a condition of voting
Gerrymandering the practice of drawing electoral districts (the boundaries of the geographic area from which candidate is elected to a public office)
Injunction a court order that wither compels (forces) or restrains (limits) the performance of some act by a private individual or by a public office
Preclearance mandated by the voting rights act of 1965, the prior approval by the Justice Department of changes to it new election laws by certain states
Off-Year Election congressional election that occurs between presidential election years
Political Efficacy one's own influence or effectiveness on politics
Political Socialization the process by which people gain their political attitudes and opinions
Gender Gap measurable differences between the partisan choices of men and women today
Party Identification the loyalty of people to a certain political party
Straight-Ticket Voting the practice of voting for candidates of only one party in an election
Split-Ticket Voting the practice of voting for the candidates of more than one party in an election
Independent a term used to destructive people who have no party affiliation
Chapter 7: Nomination the process of nominating and selecting political candidates for elected office
General Election regularly scheduled elections at which voters make final selections and decisions/votes for individual officeholders (representative democracy starts here)
Cacus a group of like-minded people who meet to select candidates they will support in an upcoming election
Direct Primary an election within a party to pick that party's candidates
Closed Primary a party's nomination election in which only registered party members may vote ---- closed to any other party members
Open Primary a party's nomination election in which any qualified voter can cast a single ballot for any candidate regardless of party
Blanket Primary a primary where every voter can choose among all contenders, regardless of party affiliation, for every nomination to be made
Runoff Primary In most states, the person with the highest plurality is the winner. But in some states, the two highest vote-getters must run again to see who gets the majority
Nonpartisan Election Elections in which the party's labels or affiliations are not disclosed ---- often an election for judges occurs this way
Absentee Voting a process by which someone can vote without actually going to the poll place on polling day
Coattail Effect this occurs when a strong candidate running for an office draws along other associated candidates for other offices
Precinct A voting district
Polling Place the place where one goes to cast their vote
Ballot the paper for casting one's vote
Political Action Committee (PCA) groups of people that serve as political "arms" of special interest organizations with a stake in electoral politics, used to raise money. "Money talks."
Subsidy a grant of money, usually from a government, especially at the U.S. presidential level
Soft Money Campaign contributions unregulated by federal or state law, usually given to parties and party committees to help fund general party activities. (Has no limits)
Hard Money money that is raised and spent on specific candidates for national and local elections to which legal limits on the amount are placed
Chapter 8: Public Affairs Events and issues that concern the public at large
Public Opinion Those attitudes held by a significant number of people on matters of government and politics
Mass Media Means of communication that reach large, widely dispersed audiences simultaneously
Peer Group People with whom one regularly associates, including friends, classmates, neighbors, and co-workers
Opinion Leader Any person who, for any reason, has an unusually strong influence on the views of others
Mandate The instructions or commands a constituency gives to its elected officials
Interest Group Private organizations whose members share certain views and work to shape public policy
Public Opinion Poll Devices that attempt to collect information by asking people questions
Straw Vote Poll that seeks to read the public's mind simply by asking the same question of a large number of people
Sample A representative slice of the total universe
Random Sample A certain number of randomly selected people who live in a certain number of randomly selected places
Quota Sample Less complicated but less reliable method. Is deliberately constructed to reflect several of the major characteristics of a given universe
Medium A means of communication; it transmits some kind of information. Television, Radio, Newspaper, Magazines
Public Agenda The societal problems that political leaders and citizens agree need government attention. Media plays a large role in shaping it. It is not correct that the media tell the people what to think but it is clear that they tell the people what to think about
Sound Bite Snappy reports that can be aired in 30 to 45 seconds. Newscasts featuring candidates that are usually short. They are usually staged and carefully orchestrated
Chapter 9: Public Policy Choices the government makes and actions it takes in response to a particular issue or problem
Public Affairs Issues and events that concern the people at large
Trade Association Interest group within the business community
Labor Union A group of workers who join together to advance their wages, benefits, and safety
Public-Interest Group An interest group that works for the benefit of all citizens
Propaganda A method of persuasion used to influence individuals or groups
Single-Interest Group Political action committees that concentrate their efforts exclusively on one issue
Lobbying A strategy by which organized interests seek to influence the passage of legislation by exerting direct pressure on members of the legislature
Grass Roots Political activity that originates locally, or arises from ground level
Chapter 24: Popular Sovereignty basic principle of the American system of government which asserts that the people are the source of any and all governmental power, and government can exist only with the consent of the governed
Limited Government basic principle of American government which states that government is restricted in what it may do, and each individual has rights that government cannot take away
Fundamental Law laws of basic and lasting importance which may not easily be changed
Initiative a process in which a certain number of qualified voters sign petitions in favor of a proposed statute or constitutional amendment, which then goes directly to the ballot
Statutory Law a law passed by the legislature
Police Power the authority of each State to act to protect and promote the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of its people
Constituent Power the non-legislative power of Constitution making and the constitutional amendment process
Referendum a process by which a legislative measure is referred to the State's voters for final approval or rejection
Recall a petition procedure by which voters may remove an elected official from office before the completion of his or her regular term
Item Veto a governor may veto one or more items in a bill without rejecting the entire measure
Clemency Pardon mercy or leniency granted to an offender by a chief executive;release from the punishment or legal consequences of a crime by the President (in a federal case) or a governor (in a State case)
Commutation the power to reduce (commute) the length of a sentence or fine for a crime
Reprieve the power to reduce (commute) the length of a sentence or fine for a crime
Parole the release of a prisoner short of the complete term of the original sentence
Common Law an unwritten law made by a judge that has developed over centuries from those generally accepted ideas of right and wrong that have gained judicial recognition
Precedent court decision that stands as an example to be followed in future, similar cases
Criminal Law the portion of the law that defines public wrongs and provides for their punishment
Felony a serious crime which may be punished by a heavy fine and/or imprisonment or even death
Misdemeanor a lesser offense, punishable by a small fine and/or a short jail term
Infraction a minor crime punishable by a fine but not incarceration
Civil Law the portion of the law relating to human conduct, to disputes between private parties, and to disputes between private parties, and government not covered by criminal law
Jury a body of persons selected according to law who hear evidence and decide questions of fact in a court case
Information a formal charge filed by a prosecutor without the action of grand jury
Bench Trial a trial in which the judge alone hears the case
Warrant a court order authorizing, or making legal , some official action, such as a search warrant or an arrest warrant
Appellate Jurisdiction the authority of a court to review decisions of inferior (lower) court
Retention Election a yes or no to renew the term of an appointed judge
Chapter 25: County A major unit of local government in most States
Township A subdivision of a county
Charter a city's basic law, its constitution; a written grant of authority from the king
Ordinance a local law
Special District An independent unit created to perform one or more government related functions at the local level
Regional Body local government entity designed to address problems that extend beyond a single county or city
Incorporation the process by which a State establishes a city as a legal body
Strong-Mayor Government The oldest and most widely used type of city government: an elected mayor as the chief executive and an elected council as its legislative body
Weak-Mayor Government a type of government in which the mayor heads the city's administration
Council-Manager Government A modification of the mayor-council government, it consists of a strong council of members elected on a non-partisan ballot, a weak mayor, elected by the people, and a manager, named by the council
Commission Government A government formed by commissioners, heads of different departments of city government, who are popularly elected to form the city council and thus center both legislative and executive powers in one body
Zoning the practice of dividing a city into a number of districts and regulating the uses to which property in each of them may be put
Metropolitan Area a city and the area around it
Medicaid a program administered by the State to provide medical insurance to low-income families
Welfare cash assistance to the poor
Entitlement a benefit that federal law says must be paid to all those who meet the eligibility requirements, Medicare, food stamps, and veterans' pensions
Sales Tax A tax placed on the sale of various commodities, paid by the purchaser
Use Tax a tax imposed on transactions in which no sales tax is collected
Regressive Tax A tax levied at a flat rate, without regard to the level of the taxpayer's income or ability to pay them
Income Tax A tax levied on the income of individuals and/or corporations
Progressive Tax A type of tax proportionate to income
Property Tax A tax levied on real and personal property
Assessment the process of determining the value of property to be taxed
Inheritance Tax A tax levied on the beneficiary's share of an estate
Estate Tax A levy imposed on the assets of one who dies
Budget A financial plan for the use of money, personnel and property
Created by: Jessica79063
 

 



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