AP Government Semester Review

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Social Contract

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116 Terms

1

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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2

Natural Rights

...

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3

Life, Liberty, and Property

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4

consent of the governed

the idea that government derives its authority by the sanction of the people

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5

direct democracy

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

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6

Representative democracy

A system of government in which citizens elect representatives, or leaders, to make decisions about the laws for all the people.

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7

articles of confederation

1st Constitution of the U.S. 1781-1788 (weaknesses-no executive, no judicial, no power to tax, no power to regulate trade)

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8

Shay's Rebellion

A Series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by Revolutionary War captain Daniel Shays to block foreclosure proceedings. Led to the Constitutional convention

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9

Elite Theory

A theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided along class lines and that an upper-class will rule, regardless of the formal niceties of governmental organization.

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10

Pluralist theory

A theory of government and politics emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own preferred policies

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11

Great Compromise

A compromise between the large and small states resolved that there would be representation by population in the House of Representatives, and equal representation would exist in the Senate. Each state, regardless of size, would have 2 senators. All tax bills and revenues would originate in the House. This compromise combined the needs of both large and small states and formed a fair and sensible resolution to their problems.

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12

3/5 compromise

settled debate over how slaves would be counted in regards to representation

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13

Confederate System

A system consisting of a league of independent states, each having essentially sovereign powers. The central government created by such a league has only limited powers over the states.

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14

federal system

A government that divides the powers of government between the national government and state or provincial governments

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15

unitary system

A government that gives all key powers to the national or central government

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16

McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

Court case that said that in establishing a national bank, Congress was legally exercising its enumerated powers not sepcifically mentioned in the Constitution. Established Implied Powers under the "Necessary and Proper Clause"

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17

Supremacy Clause

Article VI of the Constitution, which makes the Constitution, national laws, and treaties supreme over state laws when the national government is acting within its constitutional limits. Verified by McCullough V. Maryland (1819)

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18

conditions of aid

terms set by the national government that states must meet if they are to receive certain federal funds

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19

Categorical Grants

Federal grants that can be used only for specific purposes or "categories," of state and local spending. They come with strings attached, such as nondiscrimination provisions. Compare to block grants.

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20

Block Grants

Federal grants given more or less automatically to states or communities to support broad programs in areas such as community development and social services

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21

Federalist # 10

Madisons Warning on Factions. Solution = larger republic

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22

Cooperative Federalism (Marble Cake)

state and federal government work together to improve the lives of citizens

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23

Dual Federalism (Layer Cake) 1789-1937

A system of government in which both the states and the national government remain supreme within their own spheres, each responsible for some policies.

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24

Unfunded Mandate

actions imposed by the federal or state government on lower levels of government which are not accompanied by the money needed to fund the action required.

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25

Checks and Balances

A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power

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26

Implied Powers

Powers inferred from the express powers that allow Congress to carry out its functions. Justified via Necessary and Proper clause

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27

Reserved Powers

Powers not specifically granted to the federal government or denied to the states belong to the states and the people

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28

Delegated/Expressed Powers

Powers specifically given to the federal government by the US Constitution, for example, the authority to print money, declare War or regulate commerce

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29

Denied Powers

the powers that are denied to the federal government, the state government, or both; also called restricted powers

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30

Concurrent Powers

Powers held jointly by the national and state governments.

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31

New Jersey Plan

A constitutional proposal that would have given each state one vote in a new congress

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32

Virginia Plan

"Large state" proposal for the new constitution, calling for proportional representation in both houses of a bicameral Congress. The plan favored larger states and thus prompted smaller states to come back with their own plan for apportioning representation.

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33

Federalists

Favored ratification of the constitution (Madison)

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34

Anti-Federalists

Anti-Federalists rose up as the opponents of the Constitution during the period of ratification. They opposed the Constitution's powerful centralized government, arguing that the Constitution gave too much political, economic, and military control. They instead advocated a decentralized governmental structure that granted most power to the states

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35

Amending the Constitution

Needs approval of two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the states

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36

Political Socialization

Complex process by which people get their sense of political identity, beliefs, and values. Four sources: Family and community, Events, Group Identity, Politicians and other actors

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37

sample

A relatively small proportion of people who are chosen in a survey so as to be representative of the whole population

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38

sampling error

A calculation that describes what percentage of the people surveyed may not accurately represent the population being studied. Increasing the number of respondents lowers the sampling error.

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39

ideological polarization

The effect on public opinion when many citizens move away from moderate positions and toward either end of the political spectrum, identifying themselves as either liberals or conservatives.

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40

mass media

Forms of communication designed to reach large numbers of people.

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41

gatekeepers

the news media's influence on how citizens make political judgments, through emphasis on particular stories.

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42

critical realignment

periods when a major, lasting shift occurs in the popular coalition supporting one or both parties

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43

political action committee (PAC)

A committee set up by a corporation, labor union, or interest group that raises and directly spends campaign money from voluntary donations

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44

527 organization

A tax-exempt group formed primarily to influence elections through voter mobilization efforts and issue ads that do not directly endorse or oppose a candidate. Unlike political action committees, they are not subject to contribution limits and spending caps.

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45

party coalition

The groups who identify with a political party, usually described in demographic terms, such as African American Democrats or evangelical Republicans.

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46

primary election

A ballot vote in which citizens select a party's nominee for the general election.

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47

caucus

A meeting of local party members to choose a parties nominee for the general election

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48

closed primary

A primary election in which a voter is allowed to obtain only a ballot of the party in which they are registered.

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49

open primary

A primary election in which voters may choose in which party to vote as they enter the polling place.

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50

plurality

A voting system in which the candidate who receives the most votes within a geographic area wins the election, regardless of whether that candidates wins a majority (more than half) of the votes.

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51

electoral college

A group selected by the states to elect the president and the vice-president, in which each state's number of electors is equal to the number of its senators and representatives in Congress.

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52

split ticket

Voting for candidates of different parties for various offices in the same election

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53

Gerrymandering

attempting to use the process of redrawing district boundaries to benefit a political party, protect incumbents, or change the proportion of minority voters in a district

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54

divided government

a situation in which our government has one party in control of one branch and one party in control of another

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55

factions

groups such as political parties and interest groups

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56

hyper pluralist theory

a theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened

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57

participatory democracy

a system of democracy in which all members of a group or community participate collectively in making major decisions

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58

Rule of Law

No one is above the law

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59

Popular Sovereignty

Rule by the people

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60

majority rule

Governance according to the expressed preferences of the majority.

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61

Limited Government

government structure in which government actions are limited by law

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62

Legitimacy

Political authority conferred by law or by a state or national constitution

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63

authority

the right to use power

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64

Common Good

When the government makes policy decisions to help as many people as possible

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65

Federalist Papers

A collection of 85 articles written by Alexander Hamilton (GOAT), John Jay, and James Madison under the name "Publius" to defend the Constitution in detail.

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66

Separation of Powers

Constitutional division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, with the legislative branch making law, the executive applying and enforcing the law, and the judiciary interpreting the law

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67

Devolution

Transferring responsibility for policies from the federal government to state and local governments.

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68

10th Amendment

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

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69

Necessary and Proper Clause (Elastic Clause)

Clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) setting forth the implied powers of Congress. Congress can "stretch" their powers.

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70

Commerce Clause

The clause in the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 1) that gives Congress the power to regulate all business activities that cross state lines or affect more than one state or other nations.

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71

Full Faith and Credit Clause

Section of Article IV of the Constitution that ensures judicial decrees and contracts made in one state will be binding and enforceable in any other state.

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72

Political culture

an overall set of values widely shared within a society

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73

Liberalism

A belief that government can and should achieve justice and equality of opportunity.

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74

Conservatism

a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, favoring obedience to political authority and organized religion

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75

Moderates

persons who do not hold extreme political views

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76

Demographic Trend: Who Votes Democrat?

Young, Female, African American, More Educated, Low income

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77

Demographic Trend: Who Votes Republican?

Older, Male, White, Less Educated, High Income

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78

Demographic Trend: Who is MOST likely to vote?

Old, Wealthy, High Education Level, High Income, White, African American.

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79

Referendum

a general vote by the electorate on a single political question that has been referred to them for a direct decision.

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80

Initiative

A procedure by which voters can propose a law or a constitutional amendment.

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81

incumbent

the current officeholder seeking reelection

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82

incumbency advantage

name recognition, previous electoral experience, past record, more seniority, constituent services, gerrymandered districts.

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83

political efficacy

The belief that one's political participation really matters - that one's vote can actually make a difference

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84

internal efficacy

the ability to understand and take part in politics

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85

external efficacy

A belief that the system will respond to a citizen's demands.

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86

Trust in Government

A positive evaluation of the government in Washington; particularly having faith in the performance of government and in political leaders

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87

party identification

a citizen's self-proclaimed preference for one party or the other

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88

Alexis de Tocqueville

He wrote a two-volume Democracy in America that contained insights and pinpointed the general equality among people. He wrote that inequalities were less visible in America than France.

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89

Motor Voter Act of 1993

Tried to increase voter turnout by allowing voter registration at same time as getting or renewing driver's license. Increased the registration rate, but not the voter turnout rate (people still apathetic or not motivated to vote)

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90

rank and file

These voters are registered as a party member but only participate by voting in primary and general elections. Tend to vote straight-party ticket and follow the leads of local party officials.

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91

party activists

partisans who contribute time, energy, and effort to support their party and its candidates

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92

Third parties/Minor parties

represent social and economic interests not voiced by the two major parties

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93

Reasons third parties struggle for success in the United States

Wasted Vote Mentality, Hard to get on the ballot, Hard to get in the debate, not as easy to raise money.

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94

Why are third parties good?

Increase participation and raise awareness to issues that the main parties may take.

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95

Dealignment

A decline in party loyalties that reduces long-term party commitment.

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96

Frontloading

The recent tendency of states to hold primaries early in the calendar in order to capitalize on media attention.

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97

winner-take-all system

an election system in which the candidate with the most votes wins

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98

hard money

Political contributions given to a party, candidate, or interest group that are limited in amount and fully disclosed.

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99

soft money

Money that used to go to political parties but now mainly go to SuperPACs in unlimited amounts.

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100

Public (TAX) money in elections

Can ONLY go to presidential candidates.

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