AP Gov Vocabulary

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Politics

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233 Terms

1

Politics

The process of deciding who benefits in society and who does not

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2

Efficacy

Citizens’ belief that they have the ability to achieve something desirable and that that government listens to people like them

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3

Civic Engagement

Individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern

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4

Political Engagement

Citizen actions that are intended to solve public problems through political means

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5

Government

The institution that creates and implements policies and laws that guide the conduct of the nation and its citizens

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6

Citizens

Members of the polity who, through birth or naturalization, enjoy the rights, privileges, and responsibilities attached to membership in a given nation

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7

Naturalization

The process of becoming a citizen by means other than birth, as in the case of immigrants

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8

Legitimacy

A quality conferred on government by citizens who believe that its exercise of power is right and proper

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9

Public Goods

Goods whose benefits cannot be limited and that are available to all

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10

Monarchy

Government in which a member of a royal family, usually a king or queen, has absolute authority over a territory and its government

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11

Oligarchy

Government in which an elite few hold ower

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12

Democracy

Government in which supreme power of government lies in the hands of its citizens

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13

Totalitarianism

System of government in which the government essentially controls every aspect of peoples’ lives

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14

Authoritarianism

System of government in which the government holds strong powers but is checked by some forces

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15

Constitutionalism

Government that is structured by law, and in which the power of government is limited

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16

Limited Government

Government that is restricted in what it can do so that the rights of the people are protected

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17

Divine Right of Kings

The assertion that monarchies, as a manifestation of God's will, could rule absolutely without regard to the will or well-being of their subjects

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18

Social Contract

An agreement between people and their leaders in which the people agree to give up some liberties so that their other liberties are protected

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19

Natural Law

The assertion that standards that govern human behavior are derived from the nature of humans themselves and can be applied universally

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20

Popular Sovereignty

The theory that governmnet is created by the people and depends on the people for the authority to rule

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21

Social Contract Theory

The idea that individuals possess free will and that every individual is equally endowed with the God-given right to self-determination and the ability to consent to be governed

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22

Direct Democracy

A structure of government in which citizens discuss and decide policy through majority rule

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23

Indirect Democracy

Sometimes called a representative democracy, a system in which citizens elect representatives who decide policies on behalf of their constituents

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24

Political Culture

The people's collective beliefs and attitudes about government and political processes

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25

Liberty

The most essential quality of American democracy, it is both the freedom from governmnetntal interference in citizens' lives and the freedom to pursue happiness

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26

Capitalism

An economic system in which the means of producing wealth are privately owned and operated to produce profits

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27

Property

Anything that can be owned

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28

Consent of the Governed

The idea that, in a democracy, the government's power deriveds from the consent of the people

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29

Majority Rule

The idea that, in a democracy, only policies with 50 percent plus one vote are enacted

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30

Political Ideology

Integrated system of ideas or beliefs about political values in general and the role of government in particular

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31

Liberalism

An ideology that advocates cahnge in the social, political, and economic realms to better protect the well-being of individuals and produce equality within society

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32

Conservatism

An ideology that emphasizes preserving tradition and relying on community and family as mechanisms of continuity in society

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33

Socialism

An ideology that advocates economic equality, theoretically achieved by having the government or workers own the means of production (businesses and industry)

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34

Libertarianism

An ideology whose advocates believe that government should take a "hands-off" approach in most matters

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35

Constitution

The fundamental princuples of a government and the basic structures and procedures by which the government operates to fulfill those principles may be written or unwritten

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36

Natural Rights

The rights possessed by all humans as a gift from nature, or God, including the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (AKA Unalienable rights)

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37

Republic

A government that derives its authority from the people and in which citizens elect government officials to represent them in the processes by which laws are made (AKA representative democracy)

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38

Bicameral Legislature

Legislatrue comprising two parts, called chambers

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39

Confederation

A union of independent states in which each state retains its sovereignty (ultimate power to govern) and agrees to work collaboratively on matters the states expressly agree to delegate to a central governing body

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40

Unicameral Legislature

A legislative body with a single chamber

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41

Dual Sovereignty

A system of government in which ultimate governing authority is divided between two levels of government, a central government and regional governments, with each level having ultimate authority over different policy matters

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42

Supremacy Clause

A clause in Article VI of the Constitution that states that the Constitution and the treaties and laws created by the national government in compliance with the Constitution are the supreme law of the land

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43

Separation of Powers

The Constitution's delegation of authority for the primary governing functions among three branches of government so that no one group of government officials controls all the government functions

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44

Checks and Balances

A system in which each branch of government can monitor and limit the functions of the other branches

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45

Virginia Plan

New governmental structure proposed to the Constitutional Convention which consisted of a bicameral legislature (Congress), an executive elected by the legislature, and a separate national judiciary. State representation in Congress is proportional to population and people would elect members to the lower house who would then elect others to the upper house

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46

NJ Plan

New governmental structure proposed to the Constitutional Convention by less populous states, which consisted of a unicameral national legislature where all states had an equal voice, an executive office composed of several people elected by Congress, and a Supreme Court whose members would be appointed by the Executive office

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47

Connecticut Compromise

Compromise between NJ and VA plan that created bicameral legislature with one chamber's representation based on population and the other has 2 members/ state (Great Compromise)

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48

Electoral College

The name given to the body of representatives elected by voters in each state to elect the President and VP

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49

Three-Fifths Compromise

Negotiated agreement by delegates to the Constitutional Convention to count each slave as 3/5 of a free man for purpose of representation and taxes

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50

Veto

The president's rejection of a bill, which is sent back to Congress with the president's objections noted

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51

Advice and Consent

The Senate's authority to approve or reject the president's appointments and negotiated treaties

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52

Marbury v. Madison

1803 Supreme Court case that established power of JUDICIAL REVIEW, which allows courts to determine that an action taken by any government official or governing body violates the Constitution

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53

Judicial Review

Court authority to determine that an action by any government official or governing body violates the Constitution; established by Marbury v. Madison

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54

Federalists

Individuals who supported the new Constitution as presented by the Constitutional Convenetion in 1787

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55

Anti-Federalists

Individuals who opposed ratification of the Constitutino because they were deeplysuspicious of the powers it gave to the national governmnet and of the impact those powers would have on states' authority and individual freedoms

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56

The Federalist Papers

A series of esays, written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay that argued for the ratification of the Constitution

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57

Bill of Rights

The first 10 amendments to the Constitution, which were ratified in 1791, constituting an enumeration fo the individual liberties with which the government is forbidden to interfere

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58

Federal System

A governmental structure with two levels of government in which each level has sovereignty over different policy matters adn geographic areas; government with dual sovereignty

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59

Unitary System

A governmental structure in which one central government is t eh sovereign government is the sovereign government and it creates other regional governments to which it delegates some governing powers and responsibilities; while retaining ultimate authority

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60

Confederal System

A governemental structure in which several independent sovereing states agree to cooperate on specified policy matters by creating a central governing body; each sovereign state retains ultimate authority over other govenmntal matters within its borders; no sovereign government

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61

Intergovernmental Relations (IGR)

Collaborative efforts of two or more levels of government working to serve the public

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62

Enumerated Powers

Powers of the national government that are listed in the Constitution

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63

Implied Powers

Powers of the national that are not enumerated in the Constitution but that Congress claims are necessary and proper for the national government to fulfill its enumerated powers in accordance with the Necessary and Proper Clause in the Constitution

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64

Necessary and Proper Clause (Elastic Clause)

Clause in Arictle I, Section 8, of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do whatever it deems necessary and constitutional to meet its enumerated obligations; the basis for the implied powers

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65

Supreme Law of the land

The Constitution's description of its own authority, meaning that all laws made by governmnets within the US must be in compliance with the Constitution

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66

Reserved powers

The matters referred to in the 10th Amendment over which states retain sovereignty

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67

Police Powers

The states' reserved powers to protect the health, safety, lives, and properties of residents in a state

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68

Horizontal Federalism

The state-to-state relationships created by the US Constitution

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69

Interstate Compacts

Agreements between states that Congress has the authority to review and reject

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70

Extradition

The return of individuals accused of a crime to the state in which the crime was committed, upon the request of that state's governor

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71

Priveleges and Immunities Clause

The Constitution's requirement that a state extend to the other states' citizens the priveleges and immunities it provides for its own citizens

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72

Full Faith and Credit Clause

The constitutional clause that requires states to comply with and uphold the public acts, records, and judicial decisions of other states

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73

Judicial Federalism

State courts' use of their state constitutions to determine citizens' rights, particularly when state constitutions guarantee greater protections than does the U.S. Constitution

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74

Dual Federalism

The initial model of national and state relations in which the national government takes care of its enumerated powers while the sate governments independently take care of their reserved powers

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75

Grant-in Aid

Transfer of money, from one government to another, that does not need to be paid back

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76

Concurrent Powers

Basic governing functions that are exercised by the national and state governments independently, and at the same time, including the power to make policy, raise revenue, implement policies, and establish courts

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77

Cooperative federalism

Intergovernmental relations in which the national government supports state governments' efforts to address the domestic matters reserved to them

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78

Centralized Federalism

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79

Devolution

The process whereby the national government returns policy responsibilities to state and/or local governments

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80

Conflicted Federalism

Intergovernmental realtions in which elements of dual federalism, cooperative federalism, and centralized federalism are evident in the domestic policies implemented by state and local governments

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81

Fiscal Federalism

The relationship between the national govenment and state and local governments, whereby the nantional government provides grant money to state and local governments

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82

Categorical Formula Grant

A grant-in-aid for a narrowly defined purpose, whose dollar value is based on a formula

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83

Matching funds requirement

A grant requirement that obligates the government receiving the grant to spend some of its own money to match a specified percentage of the grant money provided

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84

Categorical project grant

A grant-in-aid for a narrowly defined purpose for which governments compete with each other by proposing specific projects

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85

block grant

A grant-in-aid for a broadly defined policy area, whose funding amound is typically based on a formula

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86

mandates

Clauses in legislation that direct state and local governments to comply with national legislation and national standards

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87

preemption

A consititutionally based principle that allows a law to supersede state or local laws

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88

Civil Liberties

Constitutionally established guarantees that protect citizens, opinions, and property against arbitraray government interference

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89

Due Process

Legal safeguards that prevent the government from arbitrarily depriving citizens of life, liberty, or property; guaranteed by 5th & 14th amendments

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90

Total Incorporation

The theory that the 14th amendment's due process clause requires the states to uphold all freedoms in the Bill of Rights; rejected by the Supreme Court in favor of selective incorporation

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91

Selective Incorporation

The process by which, over time, the Supreme Court applied those fredoms that served some fundamental principle of liberty or justice to the states, thus rejecting total incorporation

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92

Marketplace of Ideas

A concept at the core of the freedoms of expression and press, based on the belief that true and free political discourse depends on a free and unrestrained discussion of ideas

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93

Habeus Corpus

An ancient right that protects an individual in custody from being held without the right to be heard in a court of law

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94

Clear and Present Danger Test

A standard established in the 1919 Supreme Court case Schenck v. US whereby the government may silence speech or expression when there is a clear and present danger that such speech will bring about some harm that the government has the power to present

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95

Bad Tendency Test

A standard extended in the 1925 case Gitlow v. NY whereby any speech that has the tendency to incite crime or disturb the public peace can be silenced

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96

Clear and Probable Danger Test

A standard established in the 1951 case Dennis v. US whereby the government could suppress speech to avoid grave danger, even if the probability of the dangerous result was relatively remote; replaced by the imminent lawless action test in 1969

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97

Imminent Lawless Action Test

A standard established in the 1969 Brandenburg v. Ohio case, whereby speech is restricted only if it goes beyond mere advocacy, or words, to create a high likelihood of imminent disorder or lawlessness

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98

Symbolic Speech

Nonverbal "speech" in the form of an action such as picketing, flag burning, or wearing an armband to signify protest

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99

Commercial speech

Advertising statements that describe products

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100

Libel

False written statementsabout others that harm their reputation

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