AP Gov Vocab

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Limited Government

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90 Terms

1

Limited Government

A type of system of government in which the powers of the government are limited by or kept in check by laws or a written Constitution

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2

Natural Rights

these are rights to which people are entitled by natural law, including life, liberty, and property.

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3

Popular Sovereignty

The idea that the right to rule comes from the people

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4

Republicanism

A form of government where people elect representatives to carry out their interests

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5

Social Contract

An agreement between the people, who give up some freedom, in exchange for protection from the government

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6

Participatory Democracy

A theory emphasizing broad citizen involvement in government

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7

Pluralist Democracy

A theory emphasizing group-based activism

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8

Elite Democracy

A theory that the wealthy have more influence

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9

Federalism

A system of government where power is shared between the national government and the states and where the states have some protected

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10

Exclusive Powers

The powers that are exclusively granted to the federal government and cannot be exercised by the states

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11

Concurrent Powers

Authority that is shared between the national and state governments

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12

Mandates

When the national government requires the states to do something

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13

Revenue Sharing

When the national government distributes tax revenues to the states to spend as they see fit

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14

Categorical Grants

Money given by the national government to the states to be used for specific, narrowly defined purposes

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15

Block Grants

Money given by the national government to the states to carry out a specific policy, with few restrictions about how it should be spent

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16

Enumerated Powers

Powers that are given to an institution of government directly in the Constitution

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17

Implied Powers

Powers that are necessary to carry out an expressed power in the Constitution, such as the power of Congress to establish a national bank

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18

Constituency

The voters in a district or state who are represented by a member of Congress

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19

Filibuster

An informal procedure used in the Senate to talk a bill to death

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20

Cloture

A vote by 60 senators to end unlimited debate

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21

Unanimous Consent

An agreement, usually among congressional leaders, setting the terms for considering a bill

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22

Hold in the Senate

A procedure to prevent a bill from reaching the floor

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23

Discharge Petition

A procedure for getting a bill out of committee and onto the floor for a vote

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24

Discretionary Spending

Spending on programs not already required by law

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25

Mandatory Spending

Spending that is required under the law, such as Medicare and interest on the national debt

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26

Entitlement Programs

A program for which funding is required that provides guaranteed benefits to those who qualify, regardless of income

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27

Budget Deficit

An annual shortfall between federal revenues and expenses

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28

Pork Barrel Legislation

A provision in a bill that benefits a relatively small group of people

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29

Logrolling

When members of Congress trade votes for favors in order to get bills they support passed

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30

Gerrymandering

Drawing congressional district boundaries to benefit a group, usually a political party

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31

Redistricting

Redrawing congressional district boundaries based on a new census

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32

Reapportionment

Redistributing legislative seats according to the population so that each district has roughly the same population

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33

Divided government

When the president is from one party and one or both houses of Congress are controlled by a different party

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34

“Lame Duck” President

A president who is at the end of his second term or who has lost an election or decided not to run for a second term

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35

Trustee Model

The idea that members of Congress should use their expertise and judgment in making policy

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36

Delegate Model

The idea that members of Congress should make the policies favored by their constituents

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37

Politico Model

The idea that members of Congress sometimes use their judgment and sometimes follow the wishes of their constituents in making policy

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38

Pocket Veto

When the president doesn't sign a bill for 10 days, after Congress has adjourned

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39

Executive Order

A presidential statement that has the force of law and does not require congressional approval

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40

Executive agreement

An agreement with a foreign nation that does NOT require congressional approval

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41

Signing Statement

Signing a bill with a written statement that the executive will not carry out a portion of the bill

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42

Stare decisis

When a court follows precedent by allowing a previous court decision to stand. “Let the Decision Stand”

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43

Judicial Activism

A philosophy that the Supreme Court should use its authority to make bold new policy

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44

Judicial Restraint

A philosophy that the Supreme Court should limit itself to constitutional interpretation and avoid making bold new policy

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45

Issue Network/Iron Triangle

The relationship between a congressional committee or subcommittee, an interest group, and bureaucratic agency regarding a policy area

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46

Oversight

When a congressional committee holds a hearing to determine how well an agency is performing

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47

Civil Liberties

Individual rights protected by law from unjust government interference

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48

Civil Rights

Rights provided by the government to protect groups from discrimination

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49

Selective Incorporation

The process by which the Bill of Rights has been applied to the states on a case-by-case basis through the 14th Amendment

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50

Symbolic Speech

Non-verbal expression protected by the First Amendment, such as wearing an armband

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51

Defamatory Speech

An untrue statement that damage's someone's reputation, which is not protected by the 1st Amendment

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52

Due Process Clause

Constitutional basis for individual liberties and fair treatment by the judicial system

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53

Equal Protection Clause

Constitutional basis for civil rights and equality under the law

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54

Miranda Rule

Policy requiring police to inform suspects in custody of their rights

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55

Exclusionary Rule

The rule that evidence obtained by authorities in violation of the Constitution may not be used in court

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56

Individualism

The belief that people should be self-reliant, free from state control, and responsible for their own success or failure

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57

Equality of Opportunity

The idea that the government should provide citizens with the same chance to succeed

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58

Free Enterprise

The idea that businesses should operate in competition, relatively free from government control

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59

Rule of Law

The idea that everyone, including government officials, is subject to well-defined and established laws that are not arbitrary

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60

Political Socialization

The process by which an individual develops his/her political beliefs

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61

Political Ideology

An individual's set of beliefs about the role of government

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62

Keynesian Theory

A theory that the government should spend money during economic recessions to stimulate demand in the economy

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63

Supply-Side Theory

The theory that government should cut taxes to stimulate economic growth

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64

Monetary Policy

The governments' use of the money supply to influence economic growth

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65

Fiscal Policy

The government's use of taxing and spending to influence economic growth

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66

Liberal Ideology

A political view that government should protect individual freedom and civil rights

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67

Conservative ideology

A political view that supports free enterprise and traditional social values

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68

Franchise/Suffrage

The right to vote

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69

Rational-Choice Voting

Voting for a candidate because they will act in the voters' best interest

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70

Retrospective Voting

Voting for a candidate based on what he or she has done in the recent past

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71

Prospective Voting

Voting for a candidate based on predictions about what the candidate will do in the future

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72

Party-Line Voting

Voting for candidates from one political party

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73

Demographics

The statistical characteristics of a population

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74

General Election

An election for president, members of the House of Representatives, and 1 / 3 of the Senate

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75

Mid-Term Elections

An election for members of Congress two years after a presidential election

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76

Linkage Institutions

Elections, interest groups, political parties, and the media

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77

Critical Election

An election where new coalitions of voters have formed, beginning a new party era

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78

Realignment

When voters leave one of the major political parties and join the other major political party

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79

Proportional System

An election system in which each party running receives the proportion of legislative seats corresponding to its proportion of the vote.

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80

Winner-Take-All System

A system for electing members of the legislature where the person who receives the plurality of votes is awarded the single seat available

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81

Party Coalition

Groups of voters (EX: labor unions, ethnic minorities) who support one political party over time

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82

Bipartisan

Legislation or policy that has the support of both major political parties

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83

Open Primary

A vote to determine a party's candidate for office where that party's members and unaffiliated voters may vote

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84

Closed Primary

A vote to determine a party's candidate for office where only members registered to a political party are allowed to vote

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85

Party Caucus

A vote to determine a party's candidate for office where only members registered to a political party are allowed to vote

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86

Incumbency Advantage

Those who already hold office are more likely to win than their challengers

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87

PAC

An organization that is registered with the Federal Election Commission that donates money to a candidate or campaign

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88

Super PAC

An organization whose members need not be disclosed that may donate unlimited amounts of money to a candidate or campaign

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89

Independent Expenditure

Money spent on ads not sponsored by a candidate or party

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90

Horse Race Journalism

The tendency of the media to focus on which candidate is ahead in the polls rather than focusing on the issues

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