American Government Final Vocabulary

  1. Those activities aimed at influencing or controlling government for the purpose of formulating or guiding public policy are known as:
  2. Those institutions and officials whose purpose it is to write and enact laws and to execute and enforce public policy is are known as:
  3. The capacity to make and enforce public policies possessed by individuals who occupy formal governmental roles is known as:
  4. To Americans, a government where authority is based on the consent and will of the majority is known as:
  5. A system in which people govern indirectly by electing certain individuals to make decisions on their behalf is known as a(n):
  6. ________________ is a method of democratic decision making that places questions of public policy on the ballot BY PETITION for voters to consider directly.
    An initiative
  7. ________________ is a method of democratic decision making that places questions of public policy on the ballot BY THE LEGISLATURE for voters to consider directly.
    A referendum
  8. The capacity and ability to influence the behavior and choices of others through the use of politically relevant resources is known as:
  9. The view that political power should be distributed as equally as possible in a political system to facilitate meaningful majority rule is known as:
    Majoritarian view of power
  10. The view that political power should be in the hands of a relatively small part of the general population that shares a common understanding about the fundamental issues facing society and government is known as:
    Elitist view of power
  11. The view that political power should be dispersed among many elites who share a common acceptance of the rules of the game is known as:
    Pluralist view of power
  12. Those strongly held assumptions and attitudes about politics and government we grow up with or develop over time that are not reliant upon empirical evidence or narratives are known as:
  13. Conceptual tools used to help us think about whether government is doing what it should be doing are known as:
  14. A set of ideological beliefs that usually favor government intervention in the economy but oppose government interference in the private lives of individuals are known as:
  15. A set of ideological beliefs that tend to resist government interference in economic matters but favor government action to regulate private affairs for moral purposes are known as
  16. A set of ideological beliefs that favor government intervention in both economic and personal affairs are known as:
  17. The ideological belief that government should do no more than what is minimally necessary in the areas of both economic affairs and personal freedom is known as:
  18. The first constitution of the United States, ratified in 1781, that established a loose union of states and a congress with limited powers was known as the:
    Articles of Confederation
  19. A medieval political and economic system in which landless families secured protection and the use of farmland in exchange for providing services and resources to the land's owner is known as:
  20. A legal institution that originated during the Middle Ages and formed part of the British constitution, specifically, a formal agreement describing the rights and duties of both the landowner and those bound to that person is known as a:
  21. The ________ ___________ was a document signed by King John in 1215 reaffirming the long-standing rights and duties of the English nobility and the limits placed on the king. It stands for the principle that government is limited and that everyone, including the king, must obey the law.
    Magna Carta
  22. The collection of legal doctrines that grew out of the many cases heard, beginning in medieval times, by judges appointed by the British Crown; also called judge-made law, is known as:
    Common law
  23. The ______________ _____________ is a document that the Pilgrims composed that set forth major principles for the Plymouth Colony's government.
    Mayflower Compact
  24. The period from the 1600s through the 1700s in European intellectual history that was dominated by the idea that human reason, not religious tradition, was the primary source of knowledge and wisdom is known as the:
  25. The concept, first described by Jean-Jacques Rousseau around the time of the American Revolution, that the best form of government is one that reflects the general will of the people, which is the sum total of those interests that all citizens have in common is known as:
    Popular Sovereignty
  26. _____________ is defined as the belief of citizens in a government's right to pass and enforce laws.
  27. The ___________________________ was the document declaring the colonies to be free and independent states and also articulating the fundamental principles under which the new nation would be governed that was adopted by the Second Continental Congress in July 1776.
    Declaration of Independence
  28. An arrangement in which ultimate governmental authority is vested in the states that make up the union is known as a __________ system.
  29. A form of government in which the ultimate authority rests with the national government is known as a ___________ system.
  30. A system in which the authority of government is shared by both national and state governments is known as a ____________ system.
  31. A legislature divided into two separate houses (such as the U.S. Congress) is known as a ______________ legislature.
  32. A legislature that has only one house is known as:
  33. The proposal offered by the Connecticut delegation to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 calling for the establishment of a bicameral congress was known as ___________________.
    The Great Compromise
  34. The constitutional body designed to select the President is known as the:
    Electoral College
  35. The powers the Constitution gives to Congress are known as:
    Delegated powers
  36. Those powers that the Constitution grants to the national government but does not deny to the states are known as:
    Concurrent powers
  37. The eighteenth clause of Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution, which establishes "implied powers" for Congress that go beyond those powers listed in the Constitution is known as:
    the Necessary and Proper Clause
  38. Those powers given to Congress that are specifically named but are provided for by the necessary and proper clause are known as:
    Implied powers
  39. The powers that the Constitution provides for the states, although it does not list them specifically (all powers not expressly given to the national government or denied to the states) are known as:
    Reserved powers
  40. A court order that protects people against arbitrary arrest and detention is known as a _______________________.
    Writ of Habeus Corpus
  41. A law declaring an action criminal even if it was performed before the law making it illegal was passed is known as a(n):
    Ex-Post Facto Law
  42. In the United States, the first ten amendments to the Constitution are known as the:
    Bill of Rights
  43. The requirement of each state to respect in all ways the acts, records, and judicial proceedings of the other states is known as:
    Full Faith and Credit
  44. The provision that declares the Constitution to be the supreme law of the land, taking precedence over state laws is known as:
    the Supremacy Clause
  45. A process of constitutional change that involves attempts to discover the meaning of the words used in the different provisions of the Constitution as they may apply to specific situations is known as:
    Constitutional Interpretation
  46. The form of constitutional change that occurs as public officials fill in the institutional "blank spaces" left by the Constitution is known as:
    Constitutional Construction
  47. __________________ is the constitutionally sanctioned legal right to protection of creative works afforded under law.
  48. ________________ is the principle that a standard of impartiality, fairness, and equality against which all government actions can be evaluated exists. (Also says that nobody is "above the law.")
    Rule of Law
  49. _______________ is a doctrine of government in which decisions are made by elected or appointed officials who are answerable to the people, not directly by the people themselves.
  50. The __________ __________ were a series of editorials written by Madison, Hamilton, and Jay in 1788 to support the ratification of the Constitution in New York.
    Federalist Papers
  51. The principle that lets the executive, legislative, and judicial branches share some responsibilities and gives each branch some control over the others' activities is known as:
    Checks and Balances
  52. The President's power to reject legislation is known as:
  53. Comments and clarifications that presidents attach to congressional acts when they sign them into law are known as:
    Signing Statements
  54. The power of Congress to provide the President with the right to carry out legislated policies is known as:
    Congressional authorization
  55. The power of the U.S. Senate to approve or disapprove a Presidential nominee for an executive or judicial post is known as:
  56. The power of the U.S. Senate to approve or disapprove formal treaties negotiated by the President on behalf of the nation is known as:
    (Treaty) Ratification
  57. The action taken by Congress to authorize the spending of funds is known as:
    Appropriation (of Funds)
  58. A formal charge of misconduct brought against a federal public official by the House of Representatives is known as:
  59. The power of the courts to declare acts of Congress to be in conflict with the Constitution is known as:
    Judicial Review
  60. Name the principle that makes the Constitution and those laws and treaties passed under it the "supreme law of the land."
    National Supremacy
  61. ________ is an approach to interpreting the Constitution that seeks to rely on the original understanding of its provisions by the framers.
  62. ___________ is an approach to interpreting the Constitution that relies on a literal, "plain words" reading of the document.
  63. The ultimate source of authority in any political system is known as:
  64. ______________ ______________ is the view that the Constitution allowed the national government only limited powers and that the states could overrule national laws if they determined that those laws were in violation of the constitution.
    State-centered Federalism
  65. __________ ______________ is the view that the authority of the national government goes beyond the responsibilities listed in the Constitution; it is based on the necessary and proper clause and the principle of national supremacy.
    Nation-centered Federalism
  66. Trade across state lines is known as:
    Interstate Commerce
  67. The powers of state governments over the regulation of behavior within their borders is known as:
    Police Powers
  68. ________ ____________ saw the national and state governments as equal but independent partners.
    Dual federalism
  69. Federal appropriations given to states and localities to fund state policies and programs are known as:
    Grant-in-aid programs
  70. _____________ grants are given to states and localities by Congress to be used for limited purposes under specific rules.
  71. _____________ grants are given to states and localities by Congress on the basis of population, the number of eligible persons, per capita income, or other factors.
  72. _____________ grants are given to states and localities by Congress for a specific program or plan of action.
  73. _____________ grants are given to states and localities by Congress in which the recipient governments are required to provide a certain percentage of the funds needed to implement the programs.
  74. _____________ grants are given to states and localities by Congress that can be used in broad areas and is not limited to specific purposes.
  75. _____________ grants are given to states and localities by Congress that have no significant conditions attached to them. (Used in the 70s and 80s.)
    General revenue sharing
  76. Required actions imposed on lower-level governments by federal (and state) governments that are not accompanied by money to pay for the activities being mandated are known as:
    Unfunded mandates
  77. Freedoms, most of which are spelled out in the Bill of Rights, from excessive or arbitrary governmental interference are known as:
    Civil liberties
  78. Guarantees of government protection of individuals against discrimination or unreasonable treatment by other individuals or group are known as:
    Civil rights
  79. The Supreme Court's practice of making applicable to the states only those portions of the Bill of Rights that a majority of justices felt to be fundamental to a democratic society is known as:
    Selective Incorporation
  80. The government has the right to punish speech if it can be shown to present a grave and immediate danger to the country's interests under the ___________________.
    Clear and present danger test
  81. The _______________ test allows the government to punish speech that might cause people to behave badly.
    Bad Tendancy
  82. The principle that some freedom - such as free speech - are so fundamental to a democracy that they merit special protection is supported by the _________ _________ test.
    Preferred Freedoms
  83. The government's blocking of a publication before it can be made available to the public is known as:
    Prior Restraint
  84. The use of print or pictures to harm someone's reputation is known as:
  85. Injury by spoken word is known as:
  86. A reading of the establishment clause that bars only the establishment by Congress of an official public church is known as the ____________ interpretation.
    Accommodationist Interpretation
  87. The interpretation of the establishment clause that requires a complete separation of government and religion is often referred to as a:
    Wall of Separation
  88. The ____________ _______ is the principle that evidence, no matter how incriminating, cannot be used to convict someone if it is gathered using illegal methods.
    Exclusionary Rule
  89. Opinion saliency refers to one's perception of the __________ of an issue.
  90. The degree to which public opinion on an issue changes over time is referred to as:
    opinion stability
  91. A set of values, beliefs, and traditions about politics and government that are shared by most members of society is called:
    Political Culture
  92. The process by which individuals acquire political values and knowledge about politics is known as:
    Political Socialization
  93. The perception of one's ability to have an impact on the political system is:
    Political efficacy
  94. The method by which pollsters choose interviewees, based on the idea that the opinions of individuals selected by chance will be representative of the opinions of the entire population is called:
    Random probability sampling
  95. Polls that rely on unsystematic selection of respondents are known as:
    Straw Polls
  96. ____________ is a term used to describe the Republican and Democratic parties, meaning that decision-making power is dispersed, the party is regulated at the state level, and no single individual controls the system.
  97. List the three forms a political party takes.
    Party-as-organization, party-as-electorate, and party-as-government.
  98. Groups of loyal supporters who agree with the party's stand on most issues and vote for its candidates are known as:
    Electoral coalitions
  99. ________ are statements of party goals and specific party agendas that are taken seriously by the party's candidates but are not binding.
  100. A major shift from one party to another that occurs when one party becomes dominant in the political system is known as:
    Party Realignment
  101. The ______________________ system of election used in the U.S. in all national and state elections. In it, officials are elected from districts that are served by only one legislator and a candidate must win a plurality - the most votes.
    Single-member district, winner-take-all electoral system
  102. The bottom of the typical local party structure - a voting district, generally covering an area of several blocks - is known as a:
  103. A city council district; in the party organization, this is the level below the city-wide level:
  104. The provision of jobs in return for political support is known as:
  105. The provision of services or contracts in return for political support is known as:
  106. Independent organizations that can be established for the sole purpose of contributing money to the campaigns of candidates who sympathize with its aims are known as:
    Political Action Committees (PACs)
  107. The forum for choosing candidates, open to all who live in the precinct, in which citizens discuss and then vote for delegates to district and state conventions is known as a:
  108. An election in which party members select candidates to run for office under the party banner is known as a:
    Primary (election)
  109. A primary election in which any qualified voter may participate, regardless of party affiliation is known as a(n):
    Open Primary
  110. The scheduling of primaries very early in the campaign is known as:
  111. Unrestricted contributions to political parties by individuals, corporations, and unions that can be spent on party-building activities are known as:
    Soft Money
  112. Tax-exempt groups that can raise unlimited soft-money to be used to mobilize targeted voters and for issue advocacy if there is no expressed support for or against a specific candidate are known as:
    527 Committees
  113. Individuals basing their votes on the candidates' or parties' past record or performance is known as:
    Retrospective voting
  114. Any organized group of individuals who share common goals and who seek to influence government decision making is known as a(n):
    Interest group
  115. Citizen groups that try to represent what they deem as the interests of the public at large are known as:
    Public interest groups
  116. Those who benefit from the actions of interest groups without spending time or money to aid those groups are called:
    Free riders
  117. Participating in the election process by providing services or raising campaign contributions is known as:
  118. The type of journalism that flourished in the late nineteenth century and whose popularity was based on sensationalized stories of scandal and corruption is known as:
    Yellow Journalism
  119. The capacity of the media to isolate particular issues, events, or themes in the news as the criteria for evaluating politicians is known as:
  120. Events, such as speeches, rallies, and personal appearances, that are staged by politicians simply to win maximum media coverage are known as:
  121. _____________ are payments that go directly to any person or local government entity that meets the requirements specified by law.
  122. Work done by members of Congress to provide constituents with personal services and help them through the maze of federal programs and benefits is called:
  123. The tradition that provides that the member of the majority party with the longest continuous service on a committee automatically becomes its chair is known as the ___________ system.
  124. The right, claimed by presidents from Washington onward, to withhold information from Congress, is known as:
    Executive privilege
  125. Agreements made with other nations that are made by the president without the consent of the Senate are known as:
    Executive agreements
  126. An agreement with a foreign nation that is negotiated by the president and then submitted to both houses of Congress for approval is known as a(n):
    Congressional-executive agreement
  127. Provisions, usually unrelated, that are attached to a bill are known as:
  128. Withholding by a President of funds that have been appropriated by Congress is known as:
  129. A rule or regulation issued by the president that has the effect of law is known as a(n):
    Executive order
  130. Lawmaking functions performed by regulatory commissions as authorized by Congress are known as:
    Quasi-legislative functions
Card Set
American Government Final Vocabulary
Study cards for American Government Final at SBU.