AP Gov Unit 1 Vocab

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Declaration of Independence

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62 Terms

1

Declaration of Independence

Document that announced separation of 13 American British colonies from Great Britain

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2

Limited government

government only has powers delegated to it by law, (Constitution)

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3

Natural Law

moral standards that govern human behavior, derived from the nature of human beings and the nature of the world

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4

Natural Rights

Inalienable rights/rights that cannot be taken away

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5

Popular sovereignty

Government power is derived from the people and their consent

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6

Representative

person chosen to act or speak for another

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7

Republic

supreme power is held by people and their elected representatives, and has an elected president

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8

Republicanism

Support for a republican system of government

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9

Stakeholders

person with an interest or concern in something, especially a business

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10

Checks and balances

provides each branch of government with individual powers to check the other branches and prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful

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11

Veto

President’s ability of check and balances to make a law passed by Congress void

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12

Separation of powers

3 different branches of government: legislative, executive, judicial

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13

Advice and consent

power of US Senate to be consulted on and approve treaties signed and appointments made by the president of the United States to public positions

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14

Impeachment

to charge a public official with a crime or misconduct and remove them from office

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15

Rule of Law

principle under which all persons, institutions, and entities are accountable to law

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16

Majority Rule/Minority Rights

Principle in democratic societies that decisions are made by the majority, but the rights of the minority are protected.

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17

Consent of the governed

political theory that a government's power is only legitimate when it is determined by those who are being governed

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18

Social contract

Implied agreement among the members of a society to cooperate for social benefits

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19

Anti-Federalist

People who opposed ratification of US Constitution and feared strong federal government power

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20

Elite Democracy/Elite Theory

society is ruled by a minority who hold political power (those with money and connections)

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21

Federalist

A person in favor of the US Constitution who wanted a strong federal government

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22

Hyperpluralism

Political groups that compete for influence within government, they have so much influence to the point that government weakens

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23

Initiative

a petition signed by a certain number of registered voters can force a government to choose either to enact a law or hold a public vote in the legislature

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24

Participatory Democracy

form of government in which citizens participate individually and directly in political decisions and policies that affect their lives

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25

Pluralist Democracy

political system where multiple groups, representing diverse interests and viewpoints, coexist

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26

Referendum

general vote by the electorates on a single political question that has been referred to them for a direct decision

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27

Representative Democracy

type of democracy where elected delegates represent a group of people

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28

Federalism

Division of power between federal and state governments

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29

Supremacy Clause

establishes that the Constitution, federal laws, and treaties made under its authority, is the "supreme Law of the Land", and take priority over any conflicting state laws

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30

Concurrent powers

Powers shared by both state and federal government

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31

Exclusive powers

Powers granted only to the federal or state government

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32

Block Grants

grant from federal government that a state government can allocate to a wide range of services

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33

Categorical Grants

funds the federal government gives to state and local governments to spend on specific activities within specific programs

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34

Cooperative federalism

flexible relationship between the federal and state governments in which both work together on a variety of issues and programs

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35

Mandates (Unfunded and Funded)

regulation that requires a state government to perform certain actions, with or without providing money for fulfilling the requirements

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36

Conditions of Aid

terms set by the national government that states must meet if they are to receive certain federal funds

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37

Devolution

transfer of power to a lower level, from central government to local government

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38

Faction

small organized dissenting group within a larger one, especially in politics

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39

Federalist 10

Essay by James Madison, addresses how a large republic will help control factions because when more representatives are elected, there will be a greater number of opinions and there won’t be a ruling majority opinion

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40

Personal Liberty

Ability of an individual to do his/her will freely except for those restraints imposed by law

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41

Brutus 1

Anti-Federalist paper, the proposed Constitution would unite national government, this would likely lead to disaster since is a threat to individual rights

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42

Enumerated powers

Powers granted to federal government listed in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution

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43

Necessary and Proper Clause

“Elastic clause” gives federal government power to create laws that they deem necessary, since society changes, so should laws

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44

Commerce Clause

gives Congress power to regulate interstate commerce and restricts states from impairing interstate commerce

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45

Amendment 10/Reserved Powers

powers that are not specifically granted to the federal government by the Constitution are given to the states

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46

Dual federalism

Each government is supreme/holds authority over matters within its own sphere

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47

Selective exclusiveness

legal belief that states when the commerce at issue requires national, uniform regulation, only Congress can regulate; Congress regulation over commodities

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48

Implied Powers

Powers not explicitly stated in the Constitution, inferred from the necessary and proper clause, allows Congress to carry out its powers effectively

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49

Articles of Confederation

First constitution of the US in 1781; a weak central government with limited powers, emphasizing sovereignty of individual states (lacked ability to tax & regulate trade this lead to economic and political challenges)

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50

Flashcard: Shay's Rebellion

Armed uprising in Massachusetts (1786-1787) led by Daniel Shays, protesting high taxes and debt. Highlighted weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation and influenced the creation of a stronger central government under the Constitution.

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51

Poltical Agenda

The set of issues and policies that a political party or individual aims to prioritize and address

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52

Public Policy

Unwritten principles on which social rules are based

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53

Virgina Plan

proposal at Constitutional Convention that called for a strong central government with a bicameral legislature based on state population.

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54

Bicameral

Congress’s two houses: House of Representative and Senate

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55

Great Compromise

Bicameral legislation; House of Representatives (reps based on population) and Senate (each state gets 2 reps)

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56

New Jersey Plan

unicameral (one-house) legislature with equal votes of states and an executive elected by a national legislature by William Paterson

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57

Three Fifths Compromise

agreement during the Constitutional Convention, stated enslaved individuals would be counted as three-fifths of a person when determining a state's population for representation in Congress and taxation purposes

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58

Electoral College

system used in the US to elect presidents, each state is assigned a certain number of electors based on its population

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59

Confederacy

loose association of states, in which the states are independent

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60

Ratification

Process of giving formal consent to a treaty/agreement

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61

Bill of Rights

First 10 Amendments in the Constitution demanded by Anti-Federalists that state individual rights

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62

Amendment

Change or addition to improve a piece of legislation

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