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American political values

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162 Terms

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American political values

Liberty, democracy, equality

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Aristocracy

A form of government in which power is held by a few privileged people

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Checks and balances

A system that allows each branch of government to check the other branches to prevent one branch from becoming too powerful

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Collective action problems

Free riders, tragedy of the commons

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Critical consumer of politics and news

Who wrote the material, if there is verifiable evidence, thinking about both sides of the claim, read multiple articles, be wary of simple explanation

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Democracy

A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them

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Direct democracy

A form of government in which citizens rule directly and not through representatives

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Economic individualism

The autonomy of individuals to manage their own financial decisions without government interference

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Factions

small groups such as parties or interest groups, opposed by James Madison due to their potential to cause instability in government

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10

Free market

An economic system in which prices are determined by unrestricted competition between privately owned businesses

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11

Free riders

Those who enjoy the benefits of collective goods but did not participate in acquiring them

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12

Government

the institutions and procedures through which people are ruled

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13

Ideology

A set of basic values or beliefs (republican, democrat)

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14

Indirect democracy

A system of government that gives citizens the opportunity to vote for representatives who work on their behalf

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15

Monarchy

Ruled by one, particularly a king

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16

Politics

Method of maintaining, managing, and gaining control of government

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17

Polity

An organized society that has a specific form of government, rule by many

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18

Public goods

A commodity or service that is provided without profit to all members of a society either by the government or a private individual/organization

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19

Republic

A form of government in which the people select representatives to govern themselves and make laws

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20

Separation of powers

Power is divided in the federal government (articles I, II, and III, and the legislative, executive, and judicial)

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21

Texas creed

Individualism, liberty, constitutionalism, equality, democracy (main ideas that shaped Texas government)

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22

Tragedy of the commons

When people acting individually use up commonly available/limited resources, creating a community shortage

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23

Articles of Confederation

First constitutional framework, limited central government, sovereign states, many issues

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Bicameralism

Having two legislative house or assemblies

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25

Bill of rights

First 10 amendments in the constitution, concerned about basic liberties

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26

Common Sense

Pamphlet written Thomas Paine to present an argument for why the colonies should declare independence from Britain

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27

Constitution

A document that spells out the principles by which a government runs and the laws needed to govern a society (oldest in the world, 9/13 states had to ratify it)

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28

Constitutional Amendments and process

First 10 amendments were the bill of rights, most common way to alter an amendment is to get 2/3 vote in the houses and ratification by states (other way that is never used would be to call a convention)

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Constitutional Convention

Occurred after Shay’s rebellion, 40 delegates took part, agreed to scrap the articles and rewrite them to have a stronger national government (technically treason)

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Declaration of Independence

Influenced by John Locke, social contract, consent of the governed, unalienable rights

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Elastic clause

Necessary and proper clause, gives congress the authority to make whatever laws are necessary and proper without breaking the constitution

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Electoral college

Votes cast indirectly to a state of electors pledged to each candidate

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Enumerated powers

Powers and provisions explicitly given to Congress in the constitution

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Federalism

A system where power is divided between the state and national governments

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35

Federalist 10

Written by James Madison arguing to ratify the constitution for two main reasons (it supports a republic and can best guard against small factions)

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Federalist papers

A collection of 85 articles written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison to defend the constitution

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37

Federalists and Anti Federalists

Federalists favored the constitution and a strong national government (generally from cities, believed the bill of rights was unnecessary), and Anti Federalists wanted to limit the power of the national government in favor of state governments (generally from rural areas, wanted the bill of rights to check the government)

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38

Formal and informal constitution

A written constitution and court cases that are used to address matters typically addressed in the constitution

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Full faith and credit clause

The constitution's requirement that each state accept the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state

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40

Great Compromise

Ended disputes by forming a house with equal representation (Senate) and representation based on population (House of Representatives), Connecticut Compromise

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41

Impeachment

A formal accusation of wrongdoing against a public official

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42

Implied powers

Powers of the US government which have not been explicitly granted by the Constitution but that are implied by the necessary and proper clause (allows Congress to function)

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43

Judicial review

Established by Marbury vs. Madison, actions of the executive and legislative branches are subject to review and invalidation by the Supreme Court

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44

Limited government

Governmental power is restricted by law, usually in a written constitution

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Major ideas debated over in the Constitution

How strong should the government be, slavery, representation in Congress, presidency

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Majority v. minority rights

Majority of a group should hold the power to make group biding decisions, guaranteed rights to those who do not belong to majorities

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Marbury v Madison

First time the court had power, ruled in favor of Marbury

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48

Natural rights

Fundamental rights based on universal natural law

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Necessary and proper clause

Congress has the right to make all necessary and proper laws to carry out the Constitution

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New Jersey Plan

Constitutional proposal that favored a congress based on equal representation

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51

Pluralism

A theory of government that holds that open, multiple, and competing groups can check the asserted power by any one group

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Proprietary Colony

A colony that was granted to an individual or group by the British crown and were given full rights of self-government

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Republican democracy

A country that is both a republic and democracy, authority is derived from people and ran by elected officials

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54

Republicanism

A philosophy pf limited government with elected representatives serving at the will of the people

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Reserved powers

Powers given to the state government alone

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56

Second Treatise on Government

Written by John Locke, states that governments and their people should be engaged in a social contract

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57

Shays Rebellion

Farmers were upset with being taxed so they protested by preventing the courthouse from opening, which the federal government had no power to stop

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Social contract

A voluntary agreement among individuals to secure their rights and welfare by creating a government and abiding by its rules

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59

Supremacy clause (national supremacy clause)

Federal law has the power over state law

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60

Theocracy

A government controlled by religious leaders

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61

Three-fifths compromise

Gave the South the right to count slaves as 3/5 of a person in exchange for them closing their ports

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Virginia Plan

Constitutional proposal that called for proportional representation in both houses of congress, favored larger states

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10th amendment

Powers that are not delegated to the US by the constitution or not prohibited to the states, or respectively, the people

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14th amendment

Granted citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States

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65

Block grants

Money can be allocated to a wide range of services, without specific conditions (favored by Republicans)

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66

Categorical grants

Congress appropriates money for specific reasons (favored by Democrats)

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Coercive federalism

A form of federalism in which the federal government pressures the states to change their policies by using regulations, mandates, and conditions (often involving threats to withdraw federal funding)

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68

Commerce clause

Congress has the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among several states, and with Indian tribes

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Competitive federalism

A way to improve government performance by encouraging state/local governments to compete against one another for residents, investment, and national funding

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70

Concurrent power

Powers given to both the national and state governments

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71

Confederal government

A form of government in which sovereign states delegate power to a centralized government

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Cons about federalism

Lack of standards can create inequalities, low visibility between states, competition

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Cooperative federalism

Solutions for state and local problems are directed and sometimes funded by both national and state governments

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Denied powers

Powers not granted to the government

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75

Dred Scott v. Sandford

Ruled that a slave who had resided in a free state and territory was not thereby entitled to his freedom (1857)

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76

Dual federalism

Each level of power remains supreme in its own jurisdiction

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77

Ex Post Facto

When things ruled illegal can cause people to be punished for use in the legal timeframe

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78

Federalism

A system where power is divided between national and state governments

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Fiscal federalism

How national funds are given to lower levels of government

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Formula grant

Money allocated in a predetermined manner

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81

Full faith and credit clause

State’s laws carry over into other states

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Good things about federalism

Divided powers, national cooperation, better regulations state to state

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83

Intergovernmental organizations

Organizations that seek to coordinate policy across member nations

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84

Marshall Court

Chief Justice John Marshall, established fed > state power, supremacy clause

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85

McCullough v Maryland

Maryland attempted to impose a tax on the National Bank in Maryland, invoked the necessary and proper clause, showed federal government power

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86

New federalism

A plan announced in 1969 to turn over the control of some federal programs to state and local governments and instituted revenue sharing

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87

Nullification

States can decide what is considered unconstitutional and declare a federal law invalid

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Picket fence federalism

Federalism is organized but not fully divided, with policies separated like boards on a picket fence that all make up the government/different areas

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89

Police power

Power to enforce laws and provide for public safety

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90

Powers given to different levels of government

Powers are divided among different areas of the government, the federal government can regulate commerce, foreign relations, admit new states, while the States can ratify amendments, establish local governments, etc.

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91

Preemption

Federal law takes precedent over state and local law

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92

Privileges and immunities clause

Requires states to treat people from other states as they would their own citizens, meant to promote commerce and travel between states

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Revenue sharing

The distribution of a portion of federal tax revenues to state and local governments

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Spillover effects

When the effects of an action by the national government inadvertently affect lower levels of government

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95

State’s rights and state power

Have power over local governments and certain policies, can ratify amendments, etc.

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96

Unitary government

The central government is ultimately supreme and any administrative divisions exercise only powers that the central government chooses to delegate

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Basic duties of Congress

Make laws, declare war, raise and provide public money, etc.

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98

Bicameralism

A government with a two-house legislative system

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99

Casework

Legislative work on behalf of individual constituents to solve their problems with government agencies and programs

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100

Caucus and conference

A closed meeting of each party’s members in each house

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