Gov Unit 4 Vocab

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Division of Powers


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Division of Powers

Basic principle of federalism; the constitutional provisions by which governmental powers are divided on a geographic basis (in the United States, between the National Government and the States).

Delegated Powers

Those powers, expressed, implied, or inherent, granted to the National Government by the Constitution.

Expressed Powers

Those delegated powers of the National Government that are spelled out, expressly, in the Constitution; also called the “enumerated powers.”

Implied Powers

Those delegated powers of the National Government that are suggested by the expressed powers set out in the Constitution; those “necessary and proper” to carry out the expressed powers.

Inherent Powers

Powers that the Constitution is presumed to have delegated to the National Government because it is the government of a sovereign state within the world community.

Reserved Powers

Those powers that the Constitution does not grant to the National Government and does not, at the same time, deny to the states.

Exclusive Powers

Those powers that can be exercised by the National Government alone.

Concurrent Powers

Those powers that both the National Government and the States possess and exercise.

Supremacy Clause

a provision of the U.S. Constitution that states that the Constitution, federal law, and treaties of the U.S. are the "supreme Law of the Land"

Enabling act

A congressional act directing the people of a United States territory to frame a proposed State constitution as a step towards admission to the Union.

Act of Admission

A congressional act admitting a new State to the Union.

Grants-in-aid program

grants of federal money or other resources to States, cities, countries, and other local units

Categorical Grants

One type of federal grants-in-aid; made for some specific, closely defined, purpose.

Block grants

One type of federal grants in aid for some particular but broadly defined area of public policy.

Project grants

One type of federal grants-in-aid; made for specific projects to states, localities, and private agencies who apply for them.

Interstate Compact

Formal agreement entered into with the consent of Congress, between or among States, or between a State and a foreign State.

Full Faith and Credit Clause

Constitution’s requirement that each State accept the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other State.


The legal process by which a fugitive from justice in one State is returned to that State.

Privileges and Immunities

Constitution’s stipulation (Article IV, Section 2) that all citizens are entitled to certain “privileges and immunities,” regardless of their State of residence

no State can draw unreasonable distinctions between its own residents and those persons who happen to live in other States.