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Const. Underpinnings

KHS Constitutional Underpinnings

authority The right to use power.
direct democracy (participatory A form of democracy in which most, or all, Of the citizenry participate directly by either holding office or making policy.
elite An identifiable group of persons who possess a disproportionate share of some valued resource.
elitist theory A theory that a few top leaders make the key decisions without reference to popular desires.
legitimacy What makes a law or constitution a source of right.
majoritarian politics Politics in which leaders are constrained to follow closely the wishes of the people.
Marxist theory The ideology espoused by Karl Marx which holds that government is a reflection of economic forces, primarily ownership of the means of production.
Pluralist theory A theory that holds that political resources are divided among different kinds of elites, giving relevant interests the chance to influence decisions.
Power The ability of one person to cause another person to act in accordance with the first person's intentions.
Power elite A political theory espoused by C. Wright Mills which holds that an elite of corporate leaders, top military officers, and key political leaders make most political decisions.
representative democracy A political system in which political power is conferred on those selected by voters in competitive elections.
Bureaucratic Theory Institutions have fallen under the control of large bureaucracies whose expertise is essential to the management of contemporary affairs.
Amendment A change in, or addition to, a constitution.
Anti-federalists Opponents to the ratification of the constitution. They emphasized states' rights and worried that the new central government was to strong.
Articles of Confederation The document establishing a "league of friendship" among the American states in 1781.
Bill of attainder A law that declares a person, without trial, to be guilty of a crime. The state legislatures and congress are forbidden to pass such acts.
Bill of rights The first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
Checks and balances The power of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government to block some acts by the other two branches.
Constitutional Convention A meeting of delegates in 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation,which produced a totally new constitution.
ex post facto law A law which makes criminal an act that was legal when it was committed, or that increases the penalty for a crime after it has been committed, or that changes of the rules of evidence to make conviction easier.
faction Interests that exist in society, who seek their own political advantage by opposing what is in the "permanent and aggregate interest of the whole."
Federalism A political system in which ultimate authority is shared between a central government and state or regional governments.
Federalist Papers A series of eighty-five essays by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay to convince New Yorkers to adopt the newly proposed Constitution.
Federalist A term used to describe supporters of the Constitution during ratification debates in state legislatures.
Great Compromise Awarding states equal representation in the Senate and proportional representation in the House of Representatives.
Judicial Review The power of courts to declare and act of Congress unconstitutional.
line-item veto power of an executive to veto some provisions in an appropreations bill while approving others. The president does not have the right to exercise in line-item veto.
natural rights certain rights dealing with life, liberty, and property. They are essential to human progress.
Separation of Powers political power is portioned among the branches of government to allow self-interest to check self-interest.
unalienable rights rights granted at birth to all men that cannot be taken away.
writ of habeas corpus A court order to bring the prisoner before a judge to show sufficient cause for his or her detention.
block grants grants given by the federal government to state and local authorities for a specific purpose defined in a federal law
categorical grants grants given by the federal government to state and local authorities for a specific purpose defined by federal law
confederation A form of government in which sovereignty is wholly in the hands of the states and local governments, so the national government is dependent on their will.
conditions of aid A condition which a state government must fulfill in return for taking federal funds.
devolution The return of programmatic management to the states, albeit with some federal guidelines in place.
dual federalism An interpretation of the Constitution which holds that states are as supreme within their sphere of power as is federal government within its sphere of power.
federal system Sovereignty is shared, so that on some matters the national governments is supreme and on others the states are supreme.
federalism The division of power between a national government and regional (state) governments, with the national government sovereign and the states retaining significant powers.
grants-in-aid Federal funds provided to states and localities.
initiative A provision that allows voters to place legislative matters directly on the ballot by getting enough signatures on a petition.
mandates Requirements imposed on state and local governments to perform.
McCulloch v. Maryland First, congress can exercise powers not specifically mentioned in the constitution if the power can be implied from an enumerated power. Second, the federal government is immune to taxation by the states.
necessary and proper clause Article I, section 8 of the constitution, which authorizes Congress to pass all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out enumerated powers.
nullification A doctrine which holds that states are empowered to void federal laws considered in violation of the Constitution.
police power The power of a government to enact laws and regulations that promote citizens' health, safety, and morals.
recall A provision that allows voters to remove a duly-elected official from office.
referendum A provision that allows voters to reject a measure voted by the legislature in the election ballot.
revenue sharing A grant-in-aid program that allowed states maximum discretion in the spending of federal funds.
sovereignty The supreme or ultimate political authority.
Tenth Amendment States (or people) retain all powers not specifically delegated to the national government b the constitution.
unitary system A system in which sovereignty is wholly in the hands of the national government, so that sub national units are dependent on its will.
Created by: afailoni



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