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Key Terms (Review) - Key Terms You Should Know Note these...

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Key Terms You Should Know…. Note: these definitions are NOT complete nor all-inclusive Democracy: government by the people ; a governmental system in which ‘the people’ hold the power (as opposed to power held by one person or a few people) Representative Democracy: government that derives its power ‘indirectly’ from the people, who elect representatives to govern; a ‘representative democracy’ is also called ‘a republic Basic Ideals / Principles of Democracy (include, but not limited to): 1. government respect for human dignity ; government is required to preserve & protect fundamental human rights of the people 2. equality before law; government must provide ‘freedom, equality & justice’ for all people, not just the majority 3. universal suffrage; free & open elections , with widespread participation; 1 person = 1 vote 4. majority rule; decisions by the majority , with respect for minority rights 5 limited government; national government (executive & legislature) must be established by a constitution (written by the people) and be limited to the authority granted in the constitution; constitution must be the ‘law above all laws’ & above the government; it can only be changed by the people, not by the government it created 6. popular sovereignty; ultimate political authority is based on the will of the people Constitution: the rules or ‘basic law’ by which a government operates; a constitution establishes a government (not vice versa ); it sets up the structure & basic institutions of govt , defines authority & limitations of government over people; constitution is the ‘supreme law’ which can only be changed by ‘the people’ (or ‘representatives’ of the people), not by ‘the govt’ itself; a constitution (or amendment to it) is written by ‘the people’ and creates a government , not the other way around Constitutional Democracy: govt in which those who exercise powers do so as a result of winning free & frequent elections, and are subject to recognized, enforceable limits on their power… the elections make it democratic & recognized, enforceable limits on power make it constitutional Constitutionalism: set of arrangements such as checks & balances, separation of powers, federalism, rule of law, due process, and freedoms in the Bill of Rights; the concept that the constitution is the basic law , above all else, including elected leaders who are required to follow the constitution (limited govt); a government of laws, not of men, (also called ‘rule of law’ ) Purposes of Government: Preamble to US Constitution says “We the people, in order to form a more perfect Union, to ”… (1) establish justice, (2) insure domestic tranquility, (3) provide for the common defense, (4) promote the general welfare and (5) secure the blessings of Liberty…. “ Politics: governmental compromise & decision making ; the process by which society makes governing decisions & determines whose values will prevail in society; process by which the people resolve conflicts, decide who shall govern & what policies shall be adopted
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