AP Gov. Vocab

Ch. 1, 2, 3, 4 (Ch.1 is behind Ch. 2)

Chapter 2

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

Separation of Powers- constitutional division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, with the legislative branch making law, the executive appllying and enforcing the law, and the judiciary interpreting the law.

Checks and Balances- A constitutional grant of powers that enables each of the three branches of government to check some acts of the others and therefore ensures that no branch can dominate.

Autocracy- a type of government in which one person with unlimited power rules.

Partisanship- strong allegiance to one's own political party, often leading to unwillingness to compromise with members of the opposing party.

Divided Government- governance divided between te parties, especially when one holds the presidency and the other controls one or both houses of congress.

Unified Government- governance in which one party controls both the white house and both houses of congress.

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

Judicial Review- the power of a court to review laws or governmental regulations to determine whether they are consistent with the US constitution, or in a state court, the state constitution.

Federalists- a group that argued for ratification of the constitution, including a stronger national government at the expense of state's power. They controlled the new federal government until Thomas Jefferson's election in 1800.

Writ of Mandamus- a court order directing an official to perform an official duty.

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

Impeachment- a formal accusation by the lower house of a legislature against a public official; the first step in removal from office.

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

Executive Priviledge- the power to keep executive communications confidential, especially if they relate to national security.

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

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

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.

Ch. 1 Vocab

Democracy- government by the people, both directly or indirectly, with free and frequent elections

Direct Democracy- government in which citizens vote on laws and select officials directly

Direct Primary- an election in which voters choose party nominees

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Natural Rights- the rights of all people to dignity and worth

Political Culture- the widely shared beliefs, values, and norms citizens hold about their relationship to gov and to one another.

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

American Dream- a complex set of ideas that hold that the US is a land of opportunity where individuals initiative and hard work can bring economic success.

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

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

Popular Consent- the idea that a just gov must derive its powers from the consent of the people it governs.

Majority Rule-governance according to the expressed preferences of the majority.

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

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

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

Theocracy- gov by religious leaders who claim divine guidance.

Articles of Confederation- the first governing doc of the confederated state, drafted in 1777, ratified in 1781, and replaced by the present Constitution in 1789.

Annapolis Convention- held in Sept. 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

Constitutional Convention- the convention to Philadelphia, from May 25 to Sept. 17, 1787, that debated and agreed on the Constitution of the US.

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

Bicameralism- the principle of a two-house legislature

Virginia Plan- the initial proposal at the Constitutional Convention made by the Virginia delegation for a strong central gov with a bicameral legislature dominated by the big states (based on population)

New Jersey Plan- proposal made by William Paterson of New Jersey for a central gov. with a single-house legislature in which each state had equal representation

Connecticut Compromise- compromise madre for a bicameral legis. with a lower house in which representation would be based on population and an upper house in which each state would have two senators

Three-fifths Compromise- the compromise between northern and southern states at the Constitutional convention that three-fifths of the slave population would be counted for determining direct taxation and representation in the House

Electoral College- the electoral system used in electing the pres. and vp, in which voters vote for electors pledged to cast their ballots for a particular party’s candidate.

Federalists- supporters of ratification of the Constitution and of strong central gov.

Antifederalist- opponents of ratification of the Constitution and of strong central gov generally

The Federalist- essays promoting the ratification of the Constitution published anonymously by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison in 1787 and 1788

Ch. 3

Federalism- A constitutional arrangement in which power is distributed between a central government and states, which are sometimes called provinces in other nations. The national and states exercise direct authority over individuals.

Unitary System- A constitutional arrangement that concentrates power in a central government.

Confederation- A constitutional arrangement in which sovereign nations or states, by compact, create a central government but carefully limit its power and do not give it direct authority over individuals.

Delegated (Express) Powers- Powers given explicitly to the national government and listed in the Constitution.

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

Necessary and Proper Clause- The clause in the Constitution setting forth the implied powers of Congress. It states that Congress, in addition to its express powers, has the right to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out all powers the Constitution vests in the national government.

Inherent Powers- The powers of the national government in foreign affairs that the Supreme Court has declared do not depend on constitutional grants but rather grow out of the national government's obligation to protect the nation from domestic and foreign threats.

Supremacy Clause- Contained in Article IV of the Constitution, the clause gives national laws the absolute power even when states have enacted a competing law.

Commerce Clause- The clause in the Constitution that gives Congress the power to regulate all business activities that cross state lines or affect more than one state or other nations.

Federal Mandate- A requirement the national government imposes as a condition for receiveing federal funds.

Reserve Powers- All powers not specifically delegated to the national government by the Constitution. The reserve power can be found in the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution.

Concurrent Powers- Powers that the Constitution gives to both the national and state governments, such as the power to levy taxes.

Full Faith and Credit Clause- The clause in the Constitution requiring 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.

Extradition- The legal process whereby an alleged criminal offender is surrendered by the officials of one state to officials of the state in which the crime is alleged to have been committed.

Interstate Compact- An agreement among two or more states. Congress must approve most such agreements.

National Supremacy- A constitutional doctrine that whenever conflict occurs between the constitutionally authorized actions of the national government and those of a state or local government, the actions of the national government prevail.

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

Centralists- People who favor national action over action at the state and local levels.

Decentralists- People who favor state or local action rather than national action.

States rights- Powers expressly or implicitly reserved to the states.

Devolution Revolution- The effort to slow the growth of the national government by returning many functions to the states.

Chapter 4

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

Demography- The study of the characteristics of populations.

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

Cross- Cutting Divisins- Divisions within society that cut across demographic categories to produce groups that are more heterogeneous or different.

American Exceptionalism- The view that due to the circumstances of history, the Constitution, and liberty, the US is different from other nations.

Manifest Destiny- A notion held by the nineteenth- century Americans that the US was destined to rule the continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

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

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

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

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

Suburban- An area that typically surrounds the central city, is often residential, and is not as densely populated.

Rural- Sparsely populated territory and small towns. often associated with farming.

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

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

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.

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

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

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