AP Gov - Political Beliefs and Opinions Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Political culture
The widely shared beliefs, values, and norms concerning the relationship of citizens to government and to one another.
The right to vote.
Social Capital
Democratic and civic habits of discussion, compromise, and respect for differences, which grow out of participation in voluntary organizations.
Natural Rights
the idea that all humans are born with rights, which include the right to life, liberty, and property
Mercantile System
System that binds trade and its administration to the National govn't.
Free Market System
Pure capitalism, in which all economic decisions are made without government intervention.
Immunity from arbitrary exercise of authority: political independence
Political Equality
The principle that all citizens are equal in the political process, as implied by the phrase "one person, one vote"
Equal Opportunity
A guarantee that government and private institutions will not discriminate against people on the basis of factors such as race, religion, age, gender, or disability.
Giving priority to one's own goals over group goals, and defining one's identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identifications
Democratic Consensus
Widespread agreement on fundamental principles of democratic governance and the values that undergird them.
Majority Rule
Governance according to the expressed preferences of the majority.
Popular Sovereignty
This principle of government states that political power rests with the people. This power is expressed by voting and free participation in government.
Rule of Law
Principle that the law applies to everyone, even those who govern.
Laws should be stated generally and not single out any group or individual.
Rule of law principle that states laws must apply to present and future action, not past action.
Laws cannot be kept secret and then enforced
Valid laws are made by those with legitimate power, and the people legitimate that power through some form of popular consent.
Due Process
Laws must be enforced impartially with fair processes.
A strong feeling of pride in and devotion to one's country
American Dream
The widespread belief that the United States is a land of opportunity and that individual initiative and hard work can bring economic success.
An economic system based on open competition in a free market, in which individuals and companies own the means of production and operate for profit
Private Property
Property owned by individuals or companies, not by the government or the people as a whole
Competitive Economy
Economy in which individuals reap large rewards for their initiative and hard work.
Egalitarian Society
Society that recognizes few differences in wealth, power, prestige, or status
Political Ideology
A consistent pattern of beliefs about political values and the role of government.
A belief in the positive uses of government to bring about justice and equality of opportunity.
Limited Government
The idea that certain restrictions should be placed on government to protect the natural rights of citizens.
A belief that limited government ensures order, competitive markets, and personal opportunity.
An economic system in which the factors of production are owned by the public and operate for the welfare of all.
An ideology that cherishes individual liberty and insists on a sharply limited government, promoting a free market economy, a noninterventionist foreign policy, and an absence of regulation in the moral and social spheres.
Internal Political Efficacy
The belief that an understanding of government enables one to participate in the government.
External Political Efficacy
The belief of an individual that their activities will influence the actions of the government or who will win an election.
The practice of judging another culture by the standards of one's own culture.
Political Socialization
Complex process by which people get their sense of political identity, beliefs, and values (family, school, media, religion, national events-all help to socialize).
The branch of sociology that studies the characteristics of human populations.
Political Predispositions
A characteristic of individuals that is predictive of political behavior.
Reinforcing Cleavages
Divisions within society that reinforce one another, making groups more homogeneous or similar.
Cross-cutting Cleavages
Divisions within society that cut across demographic categories to produce groups that are more heterogeneous or different.
Manifest Destiny
This expression was popular in the 1840s. Many people believed that the U.S. was destined to secure territory from "sea to sea," from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. This rationale drove the acquisition of territory.
American Exceptionalism
The perception that the United States differs qualitatively from other developed nations because of its unique origins, national credo, historical evolution, and distinctive political and religious institutions.
A group of human beings distinguished by physical traits, blood types, genetic code patterns or genetically inherited characteristics.
A social division based on national origin, religion and language, often within the same race, and includes a sense of attachment to that group.
Property that has economic utility: a monetary value or an exchange value.
Earnings from work or investments.
Conservative Christians who as a group have become more active in politics in the last two decades and were especially influential in the 2000 presidential election.
Shared Identity
Process whereby the members of the group come to common perceptions of the environment, common cognitive and feeling orientations, and shared goals and values.
Gender Gap
The difference between the political opinions or political behavior of men and women.
Don't ask, don't tell
Policy that refuses for gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military.
Gross Domestic Product
The total value of goods and services produced within the borders of a country during a specific time period, usually one year.
Socioeconomic Status
A division of population based on occupation, income, and education.
Lifecycle Effects
As people become middle-aged, they become more politically conservative, less mobile, and more likely to participate in politics.
Generational Effects
when a particular generation has had certain experiences, their experiences make them politically extinct.
Public Opinion
The distribution of individual preferences for or evaluations of a given issue, candidate, or institution within a specific population.
Random Sample
A sample in which every element in the population has an equal chance of being selected.
Margin of Error
Sample accurately reflects the population within this certain range (usually plus or minus 3 percent for a sample of at least 1,000 individuals).
Panel Surveys
Surveys that measure the same group of respondents over time, but not necessarily on the same variables.
The degree to which people feel strongly about their opinions.
The political opinions people may hold but have not fully expressed.
Manifest Opinion
A widely shared and consciously held view, such as support for abortion rights or for homeland security.
Measures the extent to which people believe issues are relevant to them.
Selective Exposure
The process by which individuals screen out messages that do not conform to their own biases.
Attentive Public
Those citizens who follow public affairs carefully.
Part-time Citizens
People who are rarely interested in politics or public affairs and seldom vote.
Voter Registration
System designed to reduce voter fraud by limiting voting to those who have established eligibility to vote by submitting the proper documents including proof of residency.
"Motor Voter Bill"
A legislator act passed in 1933 to allow voters to register by mail when they renew their drivers' license and provides for the placement of voter registration forms in motor vehicle, public assistance, and military recruitment offices.
General Elections
Elections in which voters elect officeholders.
Primary Elections
Elections in which voters determine party nominees.
Presidential Elections
Elections held in years when the president is on the ballot.
Midterm Elections
Elections held midway between presidential elections.
The proportion of the voting-age public that votes, sometimes defined as the number of registered voters that vote.
"Swing Voters"
Individuals who are not consistently loyal to any one party. They are independents whose allegiance is fought for in every election.
Party Identification
An informal and subjective affiliation with a political party that most people acquire in childhood.
Candidate Appeal
How voters feel about a candidate's background, personality, leadership ability, and other personal qualities.
Prospective Issue Voting
Voting based on what a candidate pledges to do in the future about an issue if elected.
Retrospective Issue Voting
Holding incumbents, usually the president's party, responsible for their records on issues, such as the economy or foreign policy.
Help American Vote Act (HAVA)
Federal law that was enacted in 2002 to reform elections management and voter registration nationwide, rights to access voting etc.
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