AP US Government: Chapter 1- The Democratic Republic Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Aristocracy
Rule by the "best"; in reality, rule by an upper class.
Authoritarianism
A type of regime in which only the government itself is fully controlled by the ruler. Social and economic institutions exist that are not under the government's control.
Authority
The right and power of a government or other entity to enforce its decisions and compel obedience.
Capitalism
An economic system characterized by the private ownership of wealth-creating assets, free markets, and freedom of contract.
Communism
A revolutionary variant of socialism that favors a partisan (and often totalitarian) dictatorship, government control of all enterprises, and the replacement of free markets by central planning.
Consent of the People
The idea that governments and laws derive their legitimacy from the consent of the governed.
Conservatism
A set of beliefs that includes a limited role for the national government in helping individuals, support for traditional values and lifestyles, and a cautious response to change.
Democracy
A system of government in which political authority is vested in the people. Derived from the Greek words demos ("the people") and kratos ("authority").
Democratic Republic
A republic in which representatives elected by the people make and enforce laws and policies.
Direct Democracy
A system of government in which political decisions are made by the people directly, rather than by their elected representatives; probably attained most easily in small political communities.
Dominant Culture
The values, customs, and language established by the group or groups that traditionally have controlled politics and government in a society.
Elite Theory
A perspective holding that society is ruled by a small number of people who exercise power to further their self-interest.
Eminent Domain
A power set forth in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that allows government to take private property for public use under the condition that just compensation is offered to the landowner.
Equality
As a political value, the idea that all people are of equal worth.
Fascism
A twentieth-century ideology—often totalitarian—that exalts the national collective united behind an absolute ruler.
Government
The institution in which decisions are made that resolve conflicts or allocate benefits and privileges. It is unique because it has the ultimate authority within society.
Hispanic
Someone who can claim a heritage from a Spanish-speaking country (other than Spain). The term is used only in the United States or other countries that receive immigrants—Spanish-speaking persons living in Spanishspeaking countries do not normally apply the term to themselves.
Ideology
A comprehensive set of beliefs about the nature of people and about the role of an institution or government.
Initiative
A procedure by which voters can propose a law or a constitutional amendment.
Institution
An ongoing organization that performs certain functions for society.
Legislature
A governmental body primarily responsible for the making of laws.
Legitimacy
Popular acceptance of the right and power of a government or other entity to exercise authority.
Liberalism
A set of beliefs that includes the advocacy of positive government action to improve the welfare of individuals, support for civil rights, and tolerance for political and social change.
Libertarianism
A political ideology based on skepticism or opposition toward almost all government activities.
Liberty
The greatest freedom of individuals that is consistent with the freedom of other individuals in the society.
Limited Government
The principle that the powers of government should be limited, usually by institutional checks.
Majoritarianism
A political theory holding that in a democracy, the government ought to do what the majority of the people want.
Majority
More than 50 percent.
Majority Rule
A basic principle of democracy asserting that the greatest number of citizens in any political unit should select officials and determine policies.
Order
A state of peace and security. Maintaining order by protecting members of society from violence and criminal activity is the oldest purpose of government.
Pluralism
A theory that views politics as a conflict among interest groups. Political decision making is characterized by bargaining and compromise.
Political Culture
The collection of beliefs and attitudes toward government and the political process held by a community or nation.
Political Socialization
The process through which individuals learn a set of political attitudes and form opinions about social issues. The family and the educational system are two of the most important forces in it.
Politics
The struggle over power or influence within organizations or informal groups that can grant or withhold benefits or privileges.
Popular Sovereignty
The concept that ultimate political authority is based on the will of the people.
Property
Anything that is or may be subject to ownership. As conceived by the political philosopher John Locke, the right to property is a natural right superior to human law (laws made by government).
Recall
A procedure allowing the people to vote to dismiss an elected official from state office before his or her term has expired.
Referendum
An electoral device whereby legislative or constitutional measures are referred by the legislature to the voters for approval or disapproval.
Representative Democracy
A form of government in which representatives elected by the people make and enforce laws and policies; may retain the monarchy in a ceremonial role.
Republic
A form of government in which sovereignty rests with the people, as opposed to a king or monarch.
Socialism
A political ideology based on strong support for economic and social equality.
Totalitarian Regime
A form of government that controls all aspects of the political and social life of a nation.
Universal Suffrage
The right of all adults to vote for their representatives.
Ben Burnanke
The current Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
John Roberts
The current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Gridlock
The inability of the government to act because rival parties control different parts of the government.
Divided Government
Governance divided between the parties, as when one holds the presidency and the other controls one or both houses of Congress.
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