AP Governemnt

  1. What are Natural Rights (Locke)?
    Rights which persons possess by nature: that is, without the intervention of agreement, or in the absence of political and legal institutions.
  2. What is a Limited Government?
    A government in which anything more than minimal governmental intervention in personal liberties and the economy is not generally allowed by law, usually in a written constitution.
  3. What is Popular Sovereignty (Rousseau)?
    A doctrine in political theory that government is created by and subject to the will of the people
  4. What is Civic Virtue?
    The cultivation of habits of personal living that are claimed to be important for the success of the community. The identification of the character traits that constitute civic virtue have been a major concern of political philosophy.
  5. What is a Rule of Law?
    A legal maxim whereby governmental decisions are made by applying known legal principles. Such a government can be called anomocracy
  6. What does Separation of Powers mean (Montestquieu)?
    The state is divided into branches, each with separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility so that no branch has more power than the other branches. The normal division of branches is into an executive, a legislature, and a judiciary.
  7. What is the Bicameral Legislation (Virginia Plan)?
    the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers compromise bills. Bicameralism is an essential and defining feature of the classical notion of mixed government. Bicameral legislatures tend to require a concurrent majority to pass legislation.
  8. What is an Proportional Representation (Virginia Plan)?
    A concept in voting systems used to elect an assembly or council.
  9. What is a Soical Contract?
    An intellectual construct, originating during the Enlightenment, that typically addresses the questions of the origin of society and the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual.
  10. What does Self Government mean (Rousseau)?
    A government under the control and direction of the inhabitants of a political unit rather than by an outside authority; broadly : control of one's own affairs.
  11. What is a Plural Executive (New Jersey Plan)?
    A group of officers or major officials (as a board of directors) or a committee that functions in making current decisions or in giving routine orders usu. the responsibility of an individual executive officer or official
  12. What is the Magna Carta?
    A charter of liberty and political rights obtained from King John of England by his rebellious barons at Runnymede in 1215.
  13. What was Shay's Rebellion?
    An armed uprising that took place in central and western Massachusetts in 1786 and 1787. The rebellion was named after Daniel Shays, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War and one of the rebel leaders.
  14. What was the English Bill of Rights?
    It was a restatement instatutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William and Mary in March 1689, inviting them to become joint sovereigns of England. It lays down limits on the powers of sovereign and sets out the rights of Parliament and rules for freedom of speech in Parliament.
  15. What was the Mayflower Compact?
    The first case of colonial self-government in America and the first governing document of Plymouth Colony.
  16. What are The Federalist Papers?
    A series of 85 articles or essays promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay.
  17. Democracy (Greek Ideal).
    A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
  18. Republicanism (Roman Ideal).
    The ideology embraced by members of a republic -- a form of government in which leaders are elected for a specific period by the preponderance of the citizenry, and laws are passed by leaders for the benefit of the entire republic, rather than a select aristocracy.
  19. Individual Rights.
    Rights held by individual people regardless of their group membership or lack thereof.
  20. Enlightenment.
    A cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe and the American colonies. Its purpose was to reform society using reason (rather than tradition, faith and revelation) and advance knowledge through science. It promoted science and intellectual interchange and opposed superstition, intolerance and some abuses by church and state.
  21. Who is Thomas Hobbes?
     An English philosopher who believed that people are driven by selfishness and greed. To avoid chaos, people should give up their freedom to a government that will ensure order. Such government should be strong and able to suppress rebellion.
  22. What was the State of Nature (Hobbes)?
    The time-period before the establishment of government, which political philosophers call the "state of nature." Hobbes argued that all humans are by nature equal in faculties of body and mind and the state of nature exists at all times among independent countries, over whom there is no law except for those same precepts or laws of nature.
  23. Who is John Locke?
    An English philosopher who believed that all people had rights that no government could take away. He expressed three of them as "life, liberty, and property". He believed that government should be run by the governed for their benefit.
  24. Who is Baron de Montestquieu?
    An French philosopher who believed government should be separated into three equal parts (seperation of power; checks and balances).
  25. Who is Jean Jacques Rousseau?
    A Genevan philosopher who thought society was greater than the individual. Through the individual's involvement in society, one could succeed. He believed that humans were rational (like Locke) and believed in a state of nature. Rousseau also criticized Hobbes often for his idea that humans were naturally greedy people, and that Hobbes' idea could not be rationally used in the state of nature.
  26. What is the Declaration of Independence and what was the first section about?
    The proclamation made by the second American Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which asserted the freedom and independence of the 13 Colonies from Great Britain. Whenever it's necessary for people to cut the political ties that connect them with a country, and to make a separate country, it is only polite to state the reasons that they have made this separation(Laws of Nature;of Nature's God).
  27. Tyranny.
    A government in which absolute power is vested in a single ruler.
  28. What are Unalienable Rights?
    Rights that cannot be surrendered, sold or transferred to someone else - the government, for example, or another person. Some people refer to these as "natural" or "God-given" rights (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness).
  29. What was the second section of the DOC about?
    That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights government are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the the con cent pf the governed.
  30. What were the successes and failures of the Articles of Confederation?
    FAILURES...1.There was no executive head of government.2.Congress had no power to levy taxes over states, instead it depended on donations from the states.3.Congress could pass laws but were not able to force the states to obey them.SUCCESSES...1.The settlement of land disputes over the ohio valley.2. It proved to be a stepping stone towards the present constitution.3.Territorial arguments were settled, which led to greater expansion of the U.S.
  31. What is the Philadelphia Convention? Its orginal purpose? Its actual activity?
    The Philadelphia Convention was a meeting held in 1787 by delegates from the 13 states that then comprised the United States. At first, the purpose of the convention was to address the problems the federal government was having ruling the states and staying fiscally sound under the provisions of the Articles of Confederation. Feds saw the convention as an opportunity to draft a document that would replace the articles and strengthen the United States going forward. The delegates agreed these deliberations would be held in absolute secrecy.
  32. What was the Virginia Plan?
    The idea that opposed the New-Jersey Plan in that it expressed the idea that representation for the New Legislature should be based off of population (which would favor larger states) rather than have equal representation for the states.
  33. What was the New Jersey Plan?
    A proposal for the US Constitution. It was focused on insuring that small states got an equal share of representation in the government; every state has the same representation, regardless of size and population.
  34. Unicameral Legislature (New Jersey Plan).
    Consisting of a single chamber, as a legislative assembly.
  35. What was the Connecticut (Great) Compromise?
    An agreement during the Constitutional Convention that Congress should be composed of a Senate, in which States would be represented equally, and a House, in which representation would be based on a State's population. 
  36. What was the North-South Compromise?
    A four-year confrontation between theslave states of the South and the free states of the North regarding the status of territories acquired during the Mexican-American War.
  37. 3/5th Compromise (Great Compromise).
    Stated that a slave would count as 3/5 of a person in terms of both taxation and representation.
  38. Federalist
     An advocate of a federal union between the American colonies after the Revolution and of the adoption of the United States Constitution
  39. Anti-Federalist
    A person who opposed the adoption of the United States Constitution
Card Set
AP Governemnt
AP Gov't Vocab.