AP Gov Vocab

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Declaration of Independence

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100 Terms

1

Declaration of Independence

A document applying Enlightenment Principles that provided a foundation for the American government. People with protected rights, not monarchs, were the source of government power.

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2

Grand Committee

A committee formed by the delegation deciding the Constitution to form compromises needed for all states to ratify the Constitution.

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3

Thomas Hobbes

A famous political figure, best known for his work "The Leviathan". The document argued that the government is necessary to avoid war and anarchy. The government requires the people to forfeit some rights in order to live in a fair and orderly society.

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4

Thomas Jefferson

A historical figure who was part of a committee to draft a document outlined by the colonists declaring independence from Britain. Jefferson was responsible for the planning of the document.

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5

Limited Government

A governing body whose power exists within limits that are set by a constitution.

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6

John Locke

British philosopher who wrote the Second Treatise of Civil Government/Two Treatises of Government. Argued for natural law.

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7

Montesquieu

French philosopher who wrote the Spirit of the Laws. Repub. form of govt., defined + limited power and political liberty for citizens.

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8

Natural Law

Law of god, people are born free and equal. "Nobody can be subjected to political power without consent".

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9

Popular Sovereignty

A government derives its power from the consent of the people, mostly through elected representatives.

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10

Representative Republic

A collection of sovereign states gathered for the natural interest, needs, and defense.

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11

Republicanism

Governing a nation where power is held by the people, and elective representatives.

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12

Jean-Jacques Rosseau

Wrote the Social Contract. Agreement of free people to abandon some rights in order to be protected by society.

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13

US Constitution

An improved version of the Articles of Confederation, establishes checks and balances among government branches, allocates power between federal and state government. Outlines the powers of government, rights of citizens.

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14

Anti-Federalists

Those that opposed the consolidation of states under a federal government.

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15

Elite Democracy

A form of government in which elected officials/representatives make decisions for those who elect them.

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16

Federalists

Those who support the formation of a strong central government, and support the ratification of the Constitution.

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17

Initiative

Power given to people that allows them to place a measure on the ballot for popular vote.

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18

Interest Groups

Nongovernmental groups formed by people with shared political interests, that persuade policymakers on local/state/federal levels.

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19

Participatory Democracy

A form of govt. that which depends on the participation of many individuals on govt/public life, ie. voting.

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20

Pluralist Democracy

People with widely varying interests find others who share interests, and organize into interest groups in which they persuade policymakers.

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21

Referendum

Allows citizens to contest the work of the legislature. If the legislature passes a law that is unpopular, the public can vote to defeat it.

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22

Representative Democracy

A government in which people trust elected officials to represent their concerns.

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23

Brutus No. 1

Anti-federalist writing advocating for small, decentralized government. They warned against the formation of factions, and the abuse of power by the government.

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24

Faction

A group consisting of powerful individuals that dominate political decisions.

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25

Federalist No. 10

A document written by Madison, arguing that the power of a large republic would be able to control factions. He advocated for a representative republic.

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26

Articles of Confederation

The document that laid out the first form of government for the US. It redefined colonies as states, and unites them under a loosely defined government.

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27

Shay's Rebellion

A rebellion led by Daniel Shays of impoverished farmers undergoing foreclosure. They obstructed government, organized, and eventually turned violent. They showed that lack of military strength was a threat to the security of the nation.

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28

Article V of the Constitution

The Constitution can be amended if 2/3rds of the House/State/Convention offers a proposal, and if 3/4ths of state legislature/state ratifying conventions ratify it.

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29

Bicameral

Two-house legislature (House of Representatives + the Senate)

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30

Bill of Rights

A list of uninfringable rights, protecting individuals and setting limits on government power.

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31

Constitutional Convention

The convention that debated the Constitution of the United States, and agreed on + signed it.

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32

Great Compromise

A proposal that created a two-house Congress, with a House of Representatives and a Senate. House seats were awarded based on population, while every state had 1 representative in the Senate.

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33

New Jersey/Small State Plan

The New Jersey Plan assures states of their sovereignty through national government with limited, defined powers.

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34

3/5 Compromise

A compromise that declared slaves would count as 3/5 of a person when determining representation in the House.

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35

Virginia/Large State plan

Called for a three-branch system with an executive, legislative, and judicial branch.

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36

Advice and Consent

The Senate can suggest appointees, and must approve presidential appointees.

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37

Checks + Balances

The ability of each branch to limit other branches using unique powers.

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38

Federalist No. 51

A document that addresses how checks + balances are created in government, and advocates for a separation of powers in government.

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39

Federalism

The sharing of power between the national and state governments.

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40

Supremacy clause

The federal constitution and federal law take precedence over state constitution and federal law.

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41

Full faith and credit

States must regard and honor laws in other states.

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42

Privileges and immunities

States must give non-residents the same privileges as residents of the state.

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43

Extradition

States must deliver fugitives to the state where they originally committed the crime.

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44

Exclusive powers

Powers given only to the federal government.

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45

Police powers

State powers to create and enforce laws on health, safety, and morals.

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46

Concurrent powers

Powers held by both state and federal governments.

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47

Cooperative federalism

A flexible relationship between federal and state governments in which both work together on issues and programs.

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48

Federal grants

The distribution of federal funds to states for them to take care of national governments.

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49

Revenue sharing

The distribution of tax income to other units of government by one government unit.

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50

Fiscal federalism

Same thing as grant in aid programs and revenue sharing

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51

Grant in aid programs

Same thing as fiscal federalism and revenue sharing

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52

Categorical grants

Grants with congressional guidelines/requirements.

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53

Strings

Conditions of aid/obligations in exchange for accepting a grant.

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54

Block grants

Federal money given to states for broad reasons.

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55

Mandates

Requires states to comply with federal directives, sometimes with incentive.

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56

Devolution

The return of power to states.

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57

Enumerated powers

Powers of the federal government specifically addressed in the Constitution.

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58

Commerce clause

Empowers Congress to regulate commerce with other nations, and among states.

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59

Necessary and proper clause

The Congress has power to make all laws that are deemed necessary for executing its power.

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60

Elastic clause

Another name for the necessary and proper clause.

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61

10th Amendment (1791)

Any power not given to the federal government specifically is given to the people.

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62

14th Amendment (1868)

Amendment that promises US citizenship to anyone born/naturalized in the United States.

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63

McCulloch vs. Maryland (1819)

The federal government has implied powers and supremacy under the elastic and supremacy clauses.

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64

Implied powers

Powers not specifically listed in the Constitution, but are derived from the elastic clause.

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65

Dual federalism

The national government is superior in its sphere, and the states are equally superior in their own spheres.

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66

Selective exclusiveness

Congress may regulate only when a national, uniform rule is required.

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67

United States v. Lopez (1995)

The court does not always allow Congress to legislate under the guise of regulating commerce.

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68

Kyoto Protocol (1997)

Multi-country agreement that committed the signing nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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69

Paris Agreement (2015)

An international climate agreement that sought out to improve upon the Kyoto Protocol.

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70

Medicaid

Government-run health care program for the impoverished who can't afford medical expenses.

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71

Medicare

Government-run insurance program for citizens over 65 years old.

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72

Mandatory Spending

Money paid to those legally entitled to entitlement programs.

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73

Entitlements

Government services Congress has promised by law to citizens.

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74

Inflation

When there is too much money in circulation, causing prices to rise and money to devalue.

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75

Monetary Policy

How the government manages the supply and demand of currency and the value of the dollar.

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76

Progressive tax

One's tax rate increases as one's income increases.

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77

Supply-side economics

The government should leave money supply with the people and let the laws of economics govern the marketplace.

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78

Fiscal policy

The part of economic policy concerned with government spending and taxation.

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79

Agenda

A list of potential policy ideas, bills, or plans to improve society.

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80

Majoritarian

The interaction of people with government in order to put into place and carry out the will of the majority.

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81

Progressive

Those aligned with the working class and labor unions. They believe in workers' rights and higher taxes for the wealthy.

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82

Populist

Those who often attend a Protestant church, and follow fundamental Christian ideas. They favor workplace regulation and farming subsidies, but dislike obscenity.

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83

Libertarian

Those with a high regard for civil liberties, including lower taxes, no censorship, and no government imposed morality.

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84

Liberal

Those who believe the government should act flexibly, beyond established constraints.

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85

Moderate

People whose opinions are between liberal and conservative, and may not be fully one party or another.

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86

Saliency

The importance of an issue to an individual or group.

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87

Wedge issues

Issues that the public is sharply divided on. Used by political parties to gain supporters.

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88

Valence issues

Concerns or policies viewed in the same way by people with differing ideologies.

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89

Ideology

A comprehensive and mutually consistent set of ideas.

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90

Globalization

The process of an ever-expanding and increasingly interactive world economy.

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91

Political socialization

The process by which political beliefs develop.

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92

Limited government

A government kept under control by law by checks and balances and the separation of power.

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93

Conservative

Believe in law and order, lean toward order at the expense of some liberties. Small government + fewer services, harsh punishment for lawbreakers.

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94

Political Culture

Set of attitudes that shape political legislation.

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95

Individualism

A belief in the worth and importance of the individual, a value of American social and political life. Enlightenment ideal.

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96

Equality of opportunity

Citizens of the US have the equal right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. People in similar conditions in every state will be treated equally under the law.

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97

Laissez-faire

The government takes a "hands-off" approach to regulating the economy.

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98

Free enterprise

An "invisible hand" guided by the interactions of producers and consumers will regulate the economy.

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99

Rule of law

The principle of a government that establishes laws that apply equally to all members of society and prevents the abuse of power by leaders.

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100

Flat rate

Citizens are taxed at the same rate, regardless of income bracket.

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