AP Government Vocab

Unit 1

Chapter 1 Constitutional Democracy

1. Democracy - Government by the people, both directly or indirectly, with free and frequent elections

2. Direct Democracy - Government in which citizens vote on laws and select officials directly

3. Direct Primary - An election in which voters choose party nominees

4. Initiative - A procedure whereby a certain number of voters may, by petition, propose a law or constitutional amendment and have it submitted to the voters

5. Referendum - Procedure for submitting to popular vote measures passed by the legislature or proposed amendments to a state constitution

6. Recall - A procedure for submitting to popular vote the removal of officials from office before the end of their term

7. Representative Democracy - Government in which the people elect those who govern and pass laws; also called a republic

8. Constitutional Democracy - Government that enforces recognized limits on those who govern ans allows the voice of the people to be heard through free, fair, and relatively frequent elections

9. Constitutionalism - The set of arrangements, including checks and balances, federalism, separation of powers, rule of law, due process, and a bill of rights, that requires our leaders to listen, think, bargain, and explain before they act or make laws. We then hold them politically and legally accountable for how they exercise their powers

10. Natural Rights - The rights of all people to dignity and worth

11. Political Culture - The widely shared beliefs, values, and norms citizens hold about their relationship to government and to one another

12. Statism - The idea that the rights of the nation are supreme over the rights of the individuals who make up the nation

13. American Dream - A complex set of ideas that holds that the United States is a land of opportunity where individual initiative and hard work can bring economic success

14. Capitalism - An economic system based on private property, competitive markets, economic incentives, and limited government involvement in the production, pricing, and distribution of goods and services

15. Popular Consent - The idea that a government must derive its powers from the consent of the people it governs

16. Majority Rule - Governance according to the expressed preferences of the majority

17. Majority - The candidate or party that wins more than half the votes cast in an election

18. Plurality - The candidate or party with the most votes cast in an election, not necessarily more than half

19. Democratic Consensus - A condition for democracy is that the people widely share a set of attitudes and beliefs about government procedures,institutions, core documents and fundamental values

20. Theocracy - Government by religious leaders, who claim divine guidance

21. Articles of Confederation - The first governing document of the confederate states, drafted in 1777, ratified in 1781, and replaced by the present constitution in 1789

22. Annapolis Convention - A convention held in September 1786 to consider problems of trade and navigation, attended by five states and important because it issued the call to congress and the states for what became the constitutional convention

23. Constitutional Convention - The convention in Philadelphia, from May, 1787, that debated and agreed on the Constitution of the United States

24. Shay's Rebellion - A rebellion led by Daniel Shays of farmers in western Massachusetts in 1786-1787 protesting mortgage foreclosures. It highlighted the need for a strong national government just as the call for the Constitutional Convention went out

25. Bicameralism - The principle of a two-house legislature

26. Virginia Plan - The initial proposal at the Constitutional Convention made by the Virginia delegation for a strong central government with a bicameral legislature dominated by the big states

27. New Jersey Plan - The proposal at the Constitution Convention made by William Paterson of New Jersey for a central government with a single-house legislature in which each state would be represented equally

28. Connecticut Compromise - The compromise agreement by states at the Constitutional Convention for a bicameral legislature with a lower house in which representation would be base on population and an upper house in which each state would have two senators

29. Three-Fifths Compromise - The compromise between northern and southern states at the Constitutional Convention that three-fifths of a slave population would be counted for determining direct taxation and representation in the House of Representatives

30. Electoral College - The electoral system used in electing the president and vice president, in which voters vote for electors pledged to cast their ballets for a particular party's candidates

31. Federalists - Supporters of the new constitution

32. Antifederalists - against the new constitution

33. The federalist - Essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay to persuade people to vote for the ratification of the new constitution

Chapter 2

1. Natural Law - God's or nature's law that defines right from wrong and is higher than human law

2. Separation of Powers - the distribution of authority among the three branches of government

3. Checks and Balances - each branch is given the constitutional power to check the others

4. Autocracy - government where one person with unlimited power rules

5. Partisanship - strong allegiance to one's own party, may not be willing to compromise with the opposing party

6. Divided Government - government divided between parts (one holds presidency and other holds one or both houses in congress

7. Unified Government - when a party controls both houses in congress and the presidency

8. Electoral College - electoral system in how the president and vice-president are elected

9. Judicial Review - power of the court to review laws and gov't regulations if they are consistent with the U.S. or state constitution

10. Federalists - argued for the ratification of the constitution

11. Writ of Mandamus - Court order directing an official to perform an official duty

12. Congressional Elaboration - Congressional legislation that gives further meaning to the constitution based on sometimes vague constitutional authority, such as the necessary and proper clause

13. Impeachment - Formal accusation against a public official and the first is removing him or her from office

14. Executive Order - directive issued by a president or governor that has the force of law

15. Executive Privilege - Power to keep executive communications confidential, especially if they relate to national security

16. Impoundment - Presidential refusal to allow an agency to spend funds that congress authorized and appropriated

17. Originalist Approach - an approach to constitutional interpretation that envisions the document as having as fixed meaning that might be determined by a strict reading of the text or the Framers' intent

18. Adaptive approach - a method used to interpret the constitution that understands the document to be flexible and responsive to the changing needs of the times

Chapter 3 American Federalism

1. Federalism - power distributed between states, sometimes called provinces (regions of the gov't) and central gov't

2. Unitary System - power is concentrated within the central gov't

3. Confederation - states create central gov't with limited power on what it could do

4. Delegated (express) Powers - powers given to national gov't

5. Implied Powers - powers inferred from the express powers that allow congress to carry out its functions

6. Necessary and Proper Clause - setting forth the implied powers, Congress has right to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out all powers the constitution vests in the national gov't

7. Inherent Powers - United States has right to deal with other nations as if it were a unitary system to protect itself

8. Supremacy Clause - national law is above the state law

9. Commerce Clause -congress can regulate all business activities that cross state lines or affect more than one state or other nations

10. Federal Mandate - requirement to receive federal funds

11. Reserve Powers - all powers not specifically delegated to the national gov't by the constitution

12. Concurrent Powers - powers that the constitution gives both the national and state gov'ts, such the power to levy taxes

13. Full Faith and Credit Clause -each state to recognize the civil judgments rendered by the courts of the other states and to accept their public records and acts as valid

14. Extradition - criminal is returned to state of original crime rather than stay in state caught

15. Interstate Compact - agreement among two or more states

16. National Supremacy - national gov't actions is above state or local gov't actions

17. Preemption -right of a national law or regulation to preclude enforcement of a state or local law or regulation

18. Centralists - favor national gov't

19. Decentralists - favor state or local gov't

20. States' Rights - powers expressed or implicitly reserved to the states

21. Devolution Revolution - slow national gov't growth by returning power to the states

Unit 2

Chapter 4 The American Political Landscape

1. Ethnocentrism - Belief in the superiority of one's nation or ethnic group

2. Demography - The study of the characteristics of populations

3. Reinforcing Cleavages - divisions within society that reinforce one another, making groups more homogeneous or similar

4. Cross-cutting Cleavages - divisions within society that cut across demographic categories to produce groups that are more heterogeneous or different

5. American Exceptionalism - The view that due to circumstances of history, the constitution, and liberty, the United States is different from other nations

6. Manifest Destiny - a notion held by nineteenth-century Americans that the United States was destined to rule the continent, from the Atlantic to the pacific

7. Sun Belt - region of United States in South and Southwest that has seen population growth relative to the rest of the country and which, because of its climate, has attracted retirees

8. Bible Belt - region of states in South and states bordering the South with a large number of strongly committed Protestants who see a public role for religion

9. Rust Belt - States in the Midwest once known for their industrial output, which have seen factories close and have experienced relatively high unemployment

10. Urban - densely settled territory that is often the central part of a city of metropolitan area

11. Suburban - an area that typically surrounds the central city, is often residential, and is nor as densely populated

12. Rural - sparsely populated territory and small towns, often associated with farming

13. Race - grouping of human beings with distinctive characteristics determined by genetic inheritance

14. Ethnicity - social division based on national origin, religion, language, and often race

15. Fundamentalists - Conservative Christians who, as a group, have become more active in politics in the last two decades and were especially influential in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections

16. Gender Gap - difference between the political opinions or political behavior of men and women

17. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - total output of all economic activity in the nation, including goods and services

18. Socioeconomic Status (SES) - division of population based on occupation, income, and education

Chapter 5 Interest Groups The Politics of Influence

1. Collective Bargaining - process in which union represents a group of employees in negotiations with the employer about wages, benefits, and workplace safety

2. Recall - procedure for submitting to popular vote the removal of officials from office before the end of their term

3. Faction - term the founders used to refer to political parties and special interest or interest groups

4. Pluralism - theory of gov't that holds that open, multiple, and competing groups can check the asserted power by any one group

5. Interest Group - group who share common interest or attitude and seek political power

6. Social Movement - body of people interested in a common issue, idea, or concern that is of continuing significance and who are willing to take action

7. Open Shop - company with a labor agreement under which union memebership cannot be required as a condition of employment

8. Closed Shop - company with a labor agreement under which union membership can be a condition of employment

9. Free Rider - not in an interest group but gets the benefits of one who is

10. Professional Associations - groups of individuals who share a common profession and are often organized for common political purposes related to that profession

11. Nongovernment Organization (NGO) - association operating outside gov't that advocates and pursues policy objectives

12. Collective Action - how groups form and organize to pursue their goals or objectives, including how to get individuals and groups to participate and cooperate

13. Public Choice - synonymous with "collective action," specifically studies how gov't officials, politicians, and voters respond to positive and negative incentives

14. Lobbying - engaging in activities aimed at influencing public officials, especially legislators, and the policies they enact

15. Federal Register - an official document, published every weekday, that lists the new and propo

16. Amicus Curiae Brief - Note to supreme court saying "view this" or "don't view this"

17. Super PAC -

18. Bundling - rounding up money to give to a single candidate

19. Lobbyist - Person who influences a political official to be on the side of their employer

20. Resolving Door - Gov't job to interest group job or vice-versa

21. Issue Network - relationship between interest groups, congressional committees, and subcommittees

22. Political Action Committee (PAC) - group formed by interest groups to raise and contribute funds to a candidate or political party

23. Leadership PAC - PAC formed by office holder that collects money from people or other PACs and contributes to a candidate or political party

24. Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) - Largely banned party soft money, restored long-standing prohibition on corporations and labor unions use of general treasury funds for electoral purposes, and narrowed the definition of issue advocacy

25. Soft Money - unlimited amount of money raised by political parties for party-building purposes

26. Independent Expenditures - people can spend unlimited amounts of money for or against candidates if they operate independently from the candidate(s)

27. Issue Advocacy - unlimited and undisclosed spending by an individual or group on communications that do not use words like "vote for" or "vote against," although much of this activity is actually about electing or defeating candidates

28. 527 Organization -tax-exempt groups organized under section 527 of the Revenue Service Code and they run ads against or for candidates but under more restrictive conditions than existed before 2004

Chapter 8 Campaigns and Elections Democracy in Action

1. Winner-Take-All System -

2. Single-Member District -

3. Proportional Representation -

4. Electoral College -

5. Safe Seat -

6. Coattail Effect -

7. Candidate Appeal -

8. National Tide -

9. Name Recognition -

10. Caucus -

11. National Party Convention -

12. Federal Election Commission (FEC) -

13. Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) -

14. Soft Money -

15. Hard Money -

16. Issue Advocacy -

17. Independent Expenditures -

18. Super PAC -

Unit 3

Chapter 10 Congress The People's Branch

1. Constituents - residents of a congressional district or state

2. Reapportionment - assigning by congress of congressional seats after each census, state legislation reapportion state legislative disctricts

3. Redistricting - redrawing of congressional and other legislative district lines following the census to accommodate population shifts and keep dixtricts as equal as possible in population

4. Gerrymandering - redrawing the districts to fit the controlling party, group, or incumbent

5. Safe Seat - elected official that does not have to worry about reelection

6. Incumbent - current holder of an office position

7. Earmarks - special spending projects that are set aside on behalf of individual members of congress for their constituents

8. Bicameralism - two-house legislature

9. Enumerated Powers -powers given to congress from the constitution

10. Speaker - presiding officer in the House of Rep. formally elected by the House but selected by the majority party

11. Party Caucus -meeting of the members of a party in a legislative chamber to select party leaders and to develop party policy

12. Majority Leader -legislative leader selected by the majority party who helps with the party

13. Minority Leader - leader selected by minority party as spokesman for the opposition

14. Whip - party leader who is liaison between the leadership and the rank-and-file in the legislation

15. Closed Rule - only members or no one can add amendments to a bill

16. Open Rule - anyone can add amendments to a bill

17. President Pro Tempore - officer of the senate selected bu the majority party to act as chair in the absence of the vice president

18. Filibuster - practice of where a senator refuses to relinquish the floor and thereby delays proceedings and prevents a vote on a controversial issue

19. Cloture - procedure for terminating debate, especially filibusters, in the senate

20. Standing Committee - permanent committee establish in a legislature, usually focusing on a policy area

21. Special or Select Committee - congressional committee created for a specific purpose, sometimes to conduct an investigation

22. Joint Committee -committee composed of members from both houses of congress

23. Seniority Rule - longest member in service of majority party assigned the chair of a committee or sub

24. Conference Committee - committee appointed by presiding officers of each chamber to adjust differences on a particular bill passed by each in different form

25. Discharge Petition - petition if signed by majority of House then it will be brought to to floor for consideration

26. Rider - provision added to a bill

27. Pocket VETO - Presidential VETO to where if Pres. takes no action in ten days, bill not become law and congress can't vote to override

28. Override - 2/3 vote to override pres. VETO in Congress

29. Delegate - official expected to represent people's views based on his/her judgement of the circumstances

30. Trustee - official expected to vote independently on his/her views

31. Logrolling - Mutual aid and vote trading among legislators

32. Attentive Public - Citizens who follow public affairs closely

33. Polarization - liberals and conservatives occupy the more extreme positions on the liberal-conservative ideological spectrum

Chapter 11 The Presidency

1. Parliamentary Gov't - gov't in which chief executive is leader of majority party in legislature

2. Electoral College - system used to elect pres. and vice pres.

3. Presidential Ticket - joint listing of pres. and vice pres. on same ballot

4. Vesting Clause - pres. constitutionally controls most executive functions

5. Treaty - formal, public, agreement of US and other nation/s that's congress must approve by 2/3 vote

6. Executive Agreement - agreement of US pres. And other leaders of nations not required by senate vote

7. Congressional-Executive Agreement - same as above but requires both houses

8. Recess Appointment - pres. Appointment made out of Senate confirmation during Senate process

9. Veto - formal rejection of a bill

10. Pocket Veto - formal rejection of a bill after it adjourns; congress adjourns during 10 days that pres. Is allowed to sign or veto, pres. can take no action at all to reject law

11. Take Care Clause - constitutional requirment that pres.s take care that laws are faithfully executed

12. Inherent Powers - gov't powers that grow from just existing

13. State of the Union Address - pres. Annual statement to congress and nation

14. Signing Statements document that explains why pres is signing a bill into law

15. Impeachment - accusation against pres or public official

16. War Power Resolution - resolution passed in 1973 requiring pres to give advance warning of a military attack or ask congress for declaration of war or specific legislature

17. Executive privilege - right to keep executive communications confiditional related to national security

18. Executive orders - orders to gov't or agency/idea as while that carry force of law issued by pres to direct action by fed bureaucracy

19. Executive memorandum - same as above but less powerful

20. Impoundment - pres not spend money approximated by congress

21. Line Item Veto - removal of certain parts of a bill w/out vetoing the whole thing

22. Chief or Staff - head of WH staff

23. Executive Office of Pres (EOP) - pres staff agencies that help pres carry out responsibilities

24. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) - pres staff agency that serves as clearinghouse for budgetary request and management improvements for gov't agencies

25. Pres Support Score - %of times a pres wins on key votes in congress

26. Mandate - pres claim of broad public support

27. Political Capital - amount of overall public approval that pres can use to win support for major decisions and proposals

28. Rally Point - rise in public approval of pres that follows a crisis as Americans "rally round the flag" and the chief executive