GOVT-2305 MidTerm

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Chapters 1-5

125 Terms



System of government where power is vested in the people, who exercise it directly or through elected representatives. It promotes equality, freedom, and participation in decision-making.

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Social Democracy

Political ideology that combines elements of socialism and capitalism. It aims to create a welfare state, providing social safety nets and equal opportunities for all citizens. It supports progressive taxation, government regulation of the economy, and public provision of education, healthcare, and other essential services.

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A form of government where power is held by the people through elected representatives.

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American Exceptionalism

Belief that the United States is unique and superior due to its democratic principles, individual freedoms, and opportunities for success.

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negative liberty

The absence of external constraints or interference on an individual's actions, allowing them to act freely without coercion or limitations imposed by others or the government.

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positive liberty

The freedom to actively pursue one's goals and fulfill one's potential, with access to resources, opportunities, and support, ensuring the ability to make meaningful choices and have control over one's own life.

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The absence of external constraints or interference, allowing individuals to act and make choices without coercion or restrictions.

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is a direct vote by the people on a specific issue or policy. It allows citizens to express their opinion and make decisions on important matters. They are often used to decide on constitutional changes, major policies, or to settle controversial issues.

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The ability to take action without being prompted or directed. It involves being proactive, self-motivated, and willing to take the lead in a situation.

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A political ideology that emphasizes traditional values, limited government intervention, and free markets to preserve social order and individual liberties.

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Refers to the freedom to actively pursue one's goals and aspirations, with access to resources and opportunities necessary for self-realization. It emphasizes the role of the state in ensuring equal opportunities and social welfare, aiming to empower individuals and promote social justice.

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The principle that all individuals should have the same rights, opportunities, and treatment, regardless of their race, gender, religion, or any other characteristic.

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equal outcome

A principle advocating for fairness in society by ensuring that everyone has the same opportunities and resources to achieve their goals, regardless of their starting point or circumstances. It aims to minimize disparities and promote equity by addressing systemic barriers and providing necessary support for marginalized groups.

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equality of opportunity

Principle advocating for fair and equal access to resources, education, and opportunities, regardless of one's background or circumstances. It promotes a level playing field for individuals to pursue their goals and achieve success based on their merit and effort.

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social equality

Principle advocating for fairness and justice, ensuring equal rights, opportunities, and treatment for all individuals regardless of their race, gender, religion, or socioeconomic status. It aims to eliminate discrimination, prejudice, and systemic barriers, promoting inclusivity and diversity in society.

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political equality

Principle that all individuals possess the same political rights and opportunities, regardless of their social status, wealth, or background. It ensures that every citizen has an equal voice and influence in the political decision-making process, promoting fairness and democracy in society.

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economic equality

The principle of ensuring fairness and equal opportunities in the distribution of economic resources and outcomes among individuals and groups in society. It aims to reduce income and wealth disparities, promote social justice, and provide a level playing field for all members of society.

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the politics of religion

The study of how religious beliefs and practices influence political systems and policies. It examines the role of religion in shaping governance, law, and public opinion. It explores the tensions between religious freedom and state power, as well as the impact of religious groups on social movements and political ideologies.

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Revolution for Independence

A movement or uprising by a group of people seeking to break free from colonial rule and establish their own independent nation. It often involves armed conflict, political changes, and the formation of new governments. EX: the American Revolution

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First Continental Congress

  • Date: September 5, 1774

  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Purpose: To address grievances against British policies and discuss colonial rights and liberties

  • Key outcomes: Boycott of British goods, creation of Continental Association, petition to King George III for redress of grievances

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declaration of independence

Flashcard: "Document that declared the American colonies' independence from Britain in 1776. It justified the separation, listed grievances against the British king, and affirmed natural rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the Continental Congress."

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A feeling of resentment or dissatisfaction towards someone or something due to a perceived unfairness or injustice.

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thomas paine

An influential political writer during the American Revolution. His pamphlet "Common Sense" advocated for independence from Britain and inspired many colonists to support the revolution. Paine's writings played a significant role in shaping public opinion and promoting democratic ideals in early America.

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articles of confederation

The first attempt at national government adopted in 1781. It created a weak central government with limited powers, such as no power to tax or regulate trade. Each state had one vote in Congress, and unanimous consent was required to make amendments. Replaced by the Constitution in 1789.

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the constitution

"Document that establishes the framework of the US government, outlining its powers and limitations. It protects individual rights and sets up a system of checks and balances among the three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. Ratified in 1788, it remains the supreme law of the land."

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Philadelphia convention

"Meeting held in Philadelphia in 1787 to draft the U.S. Constitution. Delegates from 12 states attended to address the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. Resulted in the creation of a new framework for the American government, establishing a system of checks and balances, separation of powers, and federalism."

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article 1 of the constitution

  • Establishes the legislative branch of the US government

  • Grants Congress the power to make laws

  • Outlines the structure and responsibilities of Congress

  • Includes the House of Representatives and the Senate

  • Ensures a system of checks and balances within the government.

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article 2 of the constitution

  • Establishes the executive branch of the U.S. government

  • Grants executive power to the President

  • Outlines the qualifications, powers, and duties of the President

  • Includes provisions for the electoral college and impeachment

  • Ensures checks and balances by outlining the President's relationship with Congress and the judiciary.

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article 3 of the constitution

Establishes the judicial branch of the US government. Grants the power to interpret laws and resolve disputes. Establishes the Supreme Court as the highest court in the land. Outlines the jurisdiction of federal courts. Ensures that judges hold their positions for life, unless removed through impeachment.

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article 4 of the constitution

States' Powers. This article outlines the relationship between the states and the federal government. It guarantees that all states have a republican form of government, protects them from invasion and domestic violence, and ensures that they will be treated equally by the federal government. It also allows for the extradition of criminals between states and provides for the creation and admission of new states.

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article 5 of the constitution

Describes the process for amending the Constitution. Requires approval by two-thirds of both houses of Congress or by a convention called by two-thirds of the states. Ratification by three-fourths of the states is needed for an amendment to be adopted.

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article 6 of the constitution

Supremacy Clause. States that the Constitution, federal laws, and treaties are the supreme law of the land. Any state laws that conflict with them are invalid. Ensures federal government's authority over states and promotes national unity."

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article 7 of the constitution

Establishes the President as the head of the executive branch, outlining their powers and responsibilities. Specifies the Electoral College process for electing the President. Requires the President to take an oath of office and outlines the procedure for impeachment.

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federalist papers

Collection of 85 essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution.

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federalist and anti-federalist arguments

Federalist - Supported a strong central government, believed in the need for a Constitution to unify the states, argued for the separation of powers to prevent tyranny.

Anti-Federalist - Opposed a strong central government, feared it would infringe on individual liberties, wanted a Bill of Rights added to the Constitution to protect citizens' rights.

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bill of rights

The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. It protects individual rights and limits the power of the government.

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1st amendment

Protection of freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition.

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2nd amendment

Protects the right of individuals to bear arms and establishes the right to form a militia for self-defense and security.

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3rd amendment

Prohibits the quartering of soldiers in private homes during peacetime without the owner's consent.

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4th amendment

Protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Requires warrants based on probable cause. Safeguards privacy and personal property.

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5th amendment

Protection against self-incrimination and double jeopardy; right to due process, fair treatment, and a grand jury for serious crimes; eminent domain.

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6th amendment

Right to a fair and speedy trial, impartial jury, informed of charges, confront witnesses, obtain witnesses in your favor, and have legal representation.

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7th amendment

Right to a jury trial in civil cases exceeding $20. No retrial if jury has already reached a verdict. Protects citizens' rights in civil lawsuits.

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8th amendment

Amendment that protects against cruel and unusual punishment, as well as excessive bail and fines.

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9th amendment

Protection of rights not specifically listed in the Constitution.

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10th amendment

Reserves powers not delegated to the federal government to the states or the people.

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delegate and trustee representation

Delegate: Represents constituents' views and preferences, acting as a mouthpiece for their interests. Votes according to constituents' wishes, prioritizing their opinions over personal beliefs.

Trustee: Represents constituents but exercises independent judgment. Makes decisions based on what they believe is in the best interest of the people, even if it differs from constituents' preferences.

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classical republicanism

  • Political philosophy emphasizing civic virtue and common good

  • Promotes active citizen participation in government

  • Emphasizes the importance of public service and duty

  • Advocates for limited government and checks and balances

  • Originated in ancient Greece and Rome

  • Influenced the Founding Fathers in shaping the U.S. Constitution

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articles of confederation ratification date

March 1, 1781.

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constitution ratification date

June 21, 1788.

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bill of rights ratification date

December 15, 1791.

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A system of government where power is divided between a central authority and regional or state governments.

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The strengths of federal government

  • Ability to enforce laws nationwide

  • Power to regulate interstate commerce

  • Authority to maintain a strong military

  • Ability to negotiate treaties with other nations

  • Control over currency and monetary policy

  • Power to establish and maintain a national infrastructure

  • Authority to provide for the general welfare of the citizens

  • Ability to address national emergencies and crises.

  • Provides a common framework for laws and regulations

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federal government

System of government in which power is divided between a central authority and individual states. It is responsible for national defense, foreign policy, and regulating commerce. The central authority consists of three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.

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state government

The branch of government responsible for making and enforcing laws at the state level. It includes the governor, state legislature, and state courts.

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The strengths of state government

  • Sovereignty: States have independent power to govern within their borders.

  • Flexibility: States can tailor policies to meet specific needs and preferences of their residents.

  • Experimentation: States can serve as laboratories for testing new policies and programs.

  • Proximity: State governments are closer to the people, allowing for more direct representation and responsiveness.

  • Diversity: States can reflect the unique cultural, social, and economic characteristics of their regions.

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How does federalism work?

The division of power between the national and state governments in a country. It allows for shared authority, where both levels of government have their own responsibilities and can make decisions independently. This system promotes a balance of power and protects individual rights while ensuring a unified governance structure.

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How has federalism evolved?

The changing relationship between the federal government and state governments over time led to increased power and influence of the federal government, especially in areas like civil rights, social welfare, and economic regulation.

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contemporary conflicts that surround federalism

These conflicts arise from debates over the balance of power between the federal government and states. Examples include disputes over healthcare, immigration, gun control, and environmental regulations.

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role of federalism and the courts

The courts interpret and apply federalism principles in legal cases, ensuring a balance between state and federal powers. They resolve disputes between levels of government, safeguarding constitutional rights and maintaining the federal system's integrity.

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john marshall court

refers to the Supreme Court during John Marshall's tenure as Chief Justice (1801-1835). It strengthened the power of the federal government through landmark decisions like Marbury v. Madison (establishing judicial review) and McCulloch v. Maryland (affirming federal supremacy).

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McCulloch v. Maryland case

Supreme Court case (1819) that established the principle of implied powers, granting Congress the authority to create a national bank. It also declared that state laws cannot impede or interfere with federal laws and institutions.

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Gibbons v. Ogden case

Supreme Court case (1824) that established federal power over interstate commerce. Ruled that states cannot regulate interstate navigation, as it falls under Congress' authority.

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expressed powers

Powers explicitly granted to the federal government by the United States Constitution, such as the power to regulate commerce, declare war, and coin money.

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implied powers

Powers not explicitly stated in the Constitution but inferred to carry out the government's duties. They are derived from the Necessary and Proper Clause. They give flexibility to Congress in executing its enumerated powers. They have been used to expand federal authority and address new challenges beyond the Constitution's original scope.

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Article 1, sec. 8

Enumerated Powers: Powers granted to the U.S. Congress under this part of the Constitution. Examples include the power to tax, regulate commerce, coin money, establish post offices, and declare war.

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Article 1, sec. 8 clauses 1-17

Powers of Congress enumerated in the United States Constitution. These include taxation, regulating commerce, coining money, declaring war, and establishing post offices, among others.

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Article 1, sec. 8 clause 18

This clause of Article 1, Section 8 grants Congress the power to make all laws that are necessary and proper for carrying out its other powers.

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marble-cake federalism

System of government where power is shared between the national and state governments, blending their roles and responsibilities. Promotes a more cooperative and intertwined relationship between the two levels of government.

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layer-cake federalism

the division of powers between the federal and state governments. It emphasizes the clear separation of responsibilities, with each level of government having distinct and independent roles.

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elastic clause

Allows Congress to make all laws that are necessary and proper for carrying out its other powers.

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dual federalism

System of government where power is divided between the national and state governments, with each having their own distinct spheres of influence and authority.

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cooperative federalism

A system where power is shared between the national and state governments, with both levels working together to address issues and make decisions.

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grants-in-aid funding

financial assistance provided by the federal government to state and local governments for specific purposes. It helps fund programs and services such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure. They aim to promote national priorities and ensure cooperation between different levels of government.

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block grants

A type of grant-in-aid funding given to states or local governments with broad discretion on how to allocate and use the funds. They are less restrictive than categorical grants, allowing recipients to address various needs and priorities within a specific policy area.

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is the transfer of power and authority from a central government to regional or local governments.

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The principle that federal law takes precedence over state law when there is a conflict between the two.

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Supremacy clause

Clause in the U.S. Constitution stating that federal law takes precedence over state laws when there is a conflict.

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Inherent powers

Powers granted to the national government by the Constitution, not explicitly stated but implied. Examples include regulating immigration, conducting foreign affairs, and establishing a postal system.

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Commerce clause

Grants Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce.

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Delegated powers

Powers granted to the federal government by the Constitution, including the power to regulate interstate commerce, declare war, and coin money.

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Necessary and proper clause

Grants Congress the power to make laws that are necessary and proper for carrying out its other powers.

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Civil Liberties

Protections of individual freedoms granted by the Constitution, such as freedom of speech, religion, and assembly. These rights are essential for a democratic society and are safeguarded against government infringement. They ensure citizens can express opinions, practice religion, and peacefully assemble without fear of censorship or persecution.

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the case-by-case process through which the Supreme Court has determined provisions of the Bill of Rights — whether entire amendments or individual clauses — to be fundamental to due process and thus “incorporated” into the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

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selective corporation

a doctrine describing the ability of the federal government to prevent states from enacting laws that violate some of the basic constitutional rights of American citizens

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The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

“no state may deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

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Right to privacy and penumbras

Constitutional principle derived from the 14th Amendment's Due Process Clause. Protects certain personal liberties not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution. Recognizes individuals' right to make personal decisions regarding marriage, contraception, and abortion. Established through Supreme Court cases like Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade.

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Griswold v. Connecticut 1965

Supreme Court case that established a constitutional right to privacy, striking down a Connecticut law that banned the use of contraceptives.

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Roe v. Wade 1973

Landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States. Ruled that a woman's right to privacy includes the right to choose to have an abortion. Established the trimester framework, allowing states to regulate abortion in the second and third trimesters. Controversial and still debated today.

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Miranda v. Arizona 1966

  • Landmark Supreme Court case

  • Established Miranda rights

  • Protects against self-incrimination

  • Requires police to inform suspects of their rights

  • Ensures the right to remain silent and have an attorney present

  • Guarantees due process during police interrogations

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Establishment clause

"The clause in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that prohibits the government from establishing or promoting any official religion."

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Free exercise clause

Protects individuals' right to practice their religion freely without government interference. Found in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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Prior restraint

Government censorship or suppression of speech or publication before it occurs, violates the First Amendment's protection of free expression.

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hate speech

Speech that promotes or incites violence, discrimination, or hostility based on attributes like race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. It is not protected under the First Amendment in the United States and is considered harmful to individuals and society.

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fighting words

direct, face-to-face, personal insults that would likely lead the recipient to respond with violence. They provoke or incite violence, typically directed at an individual or group. They are not protected by the First Amendment as they can lead to immediate harm or disturb the peace. Examples include racial slurs, threats, and insults intended to provoke physical confrontation.

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A false and damaging statement about a person or organization communicated to others in writing or print. It can harm someone's reputation and result in legal consequences.

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Defamation through spoken words or gestures that harm someone's reputation. A form of false statement that can lead to legal consequences.

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civil rights

Laws that protect individuals from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability. These laws ensure equal treatment and opportunities in various areas such as employment, education, housing, and public accommodations.

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Steps to political equality

  1. Universal suffrage: Equal voting rights for all citizens regardless of race, gender, or social status.

  2. Elimination of voter suppression: Measures to prevent barriers that limit certain groups' access to voting.

  3. Fair representation: Ensuring that elected officials represent the diverse interests and demographics of the population.

  4. Political education: Promoting civic knowledge and engagement to empower individuals in the political process.

  5. Campaign finance reform: Addressing the influence of money in politics to level the playing field for all candidates.

  6. Anti-discrimination laws: Legislation to protect individuals from political discrimination based on their race, gender, or beliefs.

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Individuals who advocated for the complete eradication of slavery. They believed in the inherent rights and freedom of all individuals, regardless of race or ethnicity. Abolitionists played a significant role in the movement to end slavery, using various methods such as writing, speeches, and direct action to raise awareness and push for legislative change.

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