AP Gov Midterm Review - 2nd Quarter Flashcards

Terms Definitions
A political ideology that, although changing in meaning, adheres to the following principles and practices: on economic matters, it does not favor government efforts to ensure that everyone has a job; on civil rights, does not favor strong federal action to desegregate schools and increase hiring opportunities for minorities; and on political conduct, does not favor tolerance toward protest demonstrations, legalizing marijuana, or protecting the rights of the accused.
People with a disproportionate amount of a valued resource.
gender gap
Differences between the political views of men and women.
John Q Public
The average man or woman on the street, often portrayed by cartoonists as befuddled.
A political ideology that, although changing in meaning, adheres to the following principles and practices: on economic matters, it favors government efforts to ensure that everyone has a job; on civil rights, it favors strong federal action to desegregate schools and increase hiring opportunities for minorities; and on political conduct, it favors tolerance toward protest demonstrations, legalizing marijuana, and protecting the rights of the accused.
And adherent of a political ideology that is conservative on economic matters and liberal on social ones. The ideology's goal is the creation of a small, weak government.
Middle America
A phrase coined by Joseph Kraft in a 1968 newspaper column to refer to Americans who have moved out of poverty but who are not yet affluent and who cherish the traditional middle-class values.
new class
People whose advantages stem not so much from their connections with business as from the growth of government.
A standard of right and proper conduct. Elites tend to state the norms by which issues should be settled.
Identification with a political party.
political elite
A person who possesses a disproportionate share of political power.
political ideology
A coherent and consistent set of beliefs about who ought to rule, what principles rulers ought to obey, and what policies rulers ought to pursue.
A survey of public opinion.
An adherent of a political ideology that is liberal on economic matters and conservative on social ones. It believes the government should reduce economic inequality but regulate personal conduct.
pure conservatism
A political ideology that is conservative on both economic and personal conduct.
pure liberalism
A political ideology that is liberal on both economic and personal conduct.
random sample
A sample selected in such a way that any member of the population being surveyed (e.g., all adults or voters) has an equal chance of being selected.
religious tradition
The values associated with the major religious denominations in America: Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish. In general, Catholic families are somewhat more liberal on economic issues than white Protestant ones, while Jewish families are much more liberal on both economic and social issues than families of either Christian religion.
sampling error
The difference between the results from two different samples of the same population. This difference in answers is not significant and its likely size can be computed mathematically. In general, the bigger the sample and the bigger the differences between the percentage of people giving one answer and the percentage giving another, the smaller the error.
silent majority
A term referring to people, whatever their economic status, who uphold traditional values, especially against the counterculture of the 1960's.
adversarial press
The suspicious nature of the national press toward public officials.
attack journalism
The current era of media coverage that seizes upon any bit of information or rumor that might call into question the qualifications or character of a public official.
background story (news)
A tactic by government officials to win journalistic friends. The official purportedly explains current policy on condition that the source of the information not be identified by name.
Reporters' keeping sources of their stories secret. Most states and the federal government allow courts to decide whether the need of a journalist to protect sources outweighs the interests of the government in gathering evidence in a crin-tinal investigation.
equal-time rule
An FCC regulation requiring that if a station sells time to one candidate seeking an office, it must sell time to the opposing candidate as well.
fairness doctrine
An FCC rule, abolished in 1987, that required broadcasters to give time to opposing views if they broadcast one side of a controversial issue.
feature stories
A type of news story that involves a public event not routinely covered by reporters and that requires a reporter to take initiative to select the story and persuade an editor to run it.
Federal Communications Commission
An agency of the federal government with authority to develop regulations for the broadcast media.
The role played by the media in influencing what subjects become national political issues and for how long.
insider stories
A type of news story that involves information not usually made public which requires investigative work on the part of a reporter or a leak by some public official.
loaded language
The use of words to persuade people of something without actually making a clear argument for it.
market (television)
An area easily reached by a station's television signal.
mental tune-out
The attitude of a person who ignores or is irritated by messages from radio or television which do not agree with his or her existing beliefs.
A journalist who investigates the activities of public officials and organizations, especially business firms, seeking to expose and publicize misconduct or corruption.
party press
Newspapers created, sponsored, and controlled by political parties to further their interests. This form of press existed in the early years of the American republic. Circulation was chiefly among political and commercial elites.
political editorializing rule
A regulation of the FCC providing a candidate with the right to respond if a broadcaster endorses the opposing candidate.
popular press
Self-supporting daily newspapers aimed at a mass readership.
prior restraint
Government censorship by forbidding publication of the information.
right-of-reply rule
A regulation by the FCC permitting a person the right to respond if attacked on a broadcast other than in a regular news program.
routine stories
A type of news story that involves a public event regularly covered by reporters. These stories are related in almost exactly the same way by all the media. The political opinions of journalists have the least effect on these stories.
The role played by the national media in keeping track of and helping make political reputations.
selective attention
Perceiving only what one wants to perceive from television or radio reporting.
sound bite
A video clip used on nightly newscasts. The average length of such clips has decreased, making it harder for candidates to get their message across.
trial balloon
A tactic by an anonymous source to float a policy to ascertain public reaction before the policy is actually proposed.
The role played by the national media in investigating political personalities and exposing scandals.
yellow journalism
The use of sensationalism to attract a large readership for a newspaper.
cue (political)
A signal, frequently provided by interest groups, that tells a politician what values are at stake in an issue and how that issue fits into his or her own set of political beliefs.
direct mail
A mailing from an interest group focused at a specialized audience whose purpose is both to raise money and mobilize supporters.
Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act of 1946
A law which required groups and individuals seeking to influence legislation to register with the secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House of Representatives. Quarterly financial reports on expenses were also to be filed. Note new reform legislation (1995) was more stringent.
ideological interest group
An organization that attracts members by appealing to their interests on a coherent set of controversial principles.
Something of value offered by mass-membership organizations to get people to join; it is a benefit exclusive to members.
institutional interests
Individuals or organizations representing other organizations.
interest group
An organization that seeks to influence public policy.
A group that attempts to influence legislation through direct contact with members of the legislative or executive branches.
A person attempting to influence government policy on behalf of a lobby.
material incentive
Something tangible, such as money or services, which attracts people to join mass-membership organizations.
membership interests
A type of interest group that represents the interest of its members.
pluralistic political system
A description of the American political system, once used by scholars, contending that the policy-making process encompasses the effective competition of interest groups. This account is generally considered wrong, or at least incomplete.
political action committee
An organization which finances candidates and may lobby. Such organizations can contribute no more than $5,000 to a federal candidate in any election.
public-interest lobby
An interest group whose principal purpose is to benefit nonmembers.
purposive incentive
An incentive to join a mass-membership organization based on the appeal of the group's goal.
A type of cue supplied by some interest groups that ranks legislators on their degree of support for a particular cause, such as unions or the environment. These can be helpful sources of information, but are often biased.
social movement
A widely shared demand for change in some aspect of the social or political order.
solidary incentive
An inducement to join a mass-membership organization based on the sense of pleasure, status, or companionship derived from membership.
An individual, usually outside government, who actively promotes a political party, philosophy, or issue he or she cares personally about.
Australian ballot
An election ballot of uniform size printed by the government and cast in secret.
According to Sidney Verba and Norman Nie, people who not only vote but like to get involved in campaign activities as well. The are better educated than the average voter, but what distinguishes them most is their interest in the conflicts of politics, their clear party identification, and their willingness to take strong positions.
According to Sidney Verba and Norman Nie, people who tend to reserve their energies for community activities of a nonpartisan kind. Their education and income are similar to those of campaigners.
complete activists
According to Sidney Verba and Norman Nie, people who are highly educated, have high incomes, and tend to be middle-aged rather than young or old. These people participate in all forms of politics and account for 11 percent of the population.
Fifteenth Amendment
The constitutional amendment that guaranteed the right to vote regardless of race, color, or pervious condition of slavery.
grandfather clause .A state law allowing people to vote, even if they did not meet legal requirements, if an ancestor had voted before 1867
The clause was used as a vehicle to enable poor and illiterate whites to vote while excluding blacks (who had no ancestor voting prior to 1867). Such clauses were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
According to Sidney Verba and Norman Nie, people who rarely vote, do not get involved in organizations, and do not even talk much about politics. They account for about 22 percent of the population.
literacy test
A state law requiring potential voters to demonstrate reading skills. The laws were frequently implemented in a discriminatory fashion to prevent otherwise qualified blacks from voting. These tests were suspended by the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
motor-voter bill
A law passed by Congress in 1993 that requires states to allow people to register to vote when applying for a driver's license and to provide registration through the mail and at some state offices that serve the disabled and provide public assistance. The law took effect in 1995.
Nineteenth Amendment
An amendment to the Constitution allowing women the right to vote.
parochial participants
According to Sidney Verba and Norman Nie, people who do not vote and stay out of election campaigns and civic associations, but who are willing to contact local officials about specific, often personal, problems.
poll tax
A state tax paid prior to voting. The tax was designed to prevent blacks from voting since poor whites were usually exempted through a grandfather clause. Poll taxes have been made illegal.
registered voters
People who are eligible to vote in an election and who have signed up with the government to vote.
Twenty-sixth Amendment
The 1971 constitutional amendment that lowered the voting age in both state and federal elections to eighteen. Congress had attempted to achieve this goal through legislation, but the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government had no authority to do so with respect to state elections.
Twenty-third Amendment
The 1961 constitutional amendment permitting residents of Washington, D.C., to vote in presidential elections.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
The federal law that suspended the use of literacy tests in elections and authorized federal examiners to order the registration of blacks in states and counties where fewer than 50 percent of the voting-age population were registered or had voted in the last presidential election.
voting-age population
The percentage of people in a country who are eligible to vote because they satisfy the minimum age requirement.
voting specialists
According to Sidney Verba and Norman Nie, people who vote but participate in little else politically. They tend not to have much schooling or income, and to be substantially older than the average person.
white primary
The exclusion of blacks from voting in the primary elections of political parties. Such primaries were employed largely in the South where the Democratic party won almost all general elections. In effect, winning the Democratic primary meant winning the election. The Supreme Court voided the use of white primaries.
caucus (nominating)
An alternative to a state primary in which party followers meet, often for many hours, to select party candidates.
congressional campaign committees
Separate committees in Congress for each political party to help members who are running for reelection or would-be members running for an open seat or challenging a candidate from the opposition party.
direct primary
A proposal originated by progressive reformers to open up political parties to their membership. It permits a vote of party members to select the party's nominee in the general election.
economic-protest parties
Parties, usually based in a particular region, especially involving farmers, that protest against depressed economic conditions. These tend to disappear as conditions improve. An example would be the Greenback party.
factional parties
Parties that are created by a split in a major party, usually over the identity and philosophy of the major party's presidential candidate. An example would be the "Bull Moose" Progressive party.
first party system
The original party structure in which political parties were loose caucuses of political notables in various locations. It was replaced around 1824.
ideological party
A political party organization that values principle above all else and spurns money incentives for members to participate.
A proposal favored by progressive reformers to curtail corruption. It allows a law to be enacted directly by vote of the people without approval of a legislative body.
mugwumps (or progressives)
One of two major factions largely within the Republican party who opposed the heavy emphasis on patronage and disliked the party machinery because it only permitted bland candidates to rise to the top, was fearful of immigrants, and wanted to see the party take unpopular stances on certain issues. They challenged the Old Guard from around 1896 to the 1930s.
national chairman
The person responsible for managing the day-to-day work of a national political party. The person is given a full-time, paid position and is elected by the national committee.
national committee
Delegates from each state and territory who manage party affairs between national conventions. These exist at the national level for both major political parties.
national party convention
The ultimate authority in both major political parties in the United States. The conventions are held every four years to nominate each party's candidate for the presidency.
Old Guard
One of two major factions largely within the Republican party, composed of the party regulars and professional politicians. They were preoccupied with building up the party machinery, developing party loyalty, and acquiring and dispensing patronage. They were challenged by progressives from around 1896 to the 1930s.
one-issue parties
Parties seeking a single policy, usually revealed by their names, and avoiding other issues. An example would be the Free Soil party.
personal following
A type of local party organization in which a candidate gets people to work for him or her for a campaign and then the organization disbands until the next election. To run this type of campaign, a candidate needs an appealing personality, a lot of friends, or a large bank account.
plurality system
An electoral system in which the winner is that person who gets the most votes, even if they do not constitute a majority of the votes.
political machine
A political party organization that recruits its members by the use of tangible incentives and is characterized by a high degree of leadership control over members' activities.
political party
A group that seeks to elect candidates to public office by supplying them with a label by which they are known to the electorate.
second party system
The second party structure in the nation's history that emerged when Andrew Jackson first ran for the presidency in 1824. The system was built from the bottom up as political participation became a mass phenomenon.
solidary group
A political party organization based on gregarious or game-loving instincts. It survives on the basis of a friendship network.
solidary incentive
An inducement that attracts people out of gregarious or gameloving instincts. It is one reason why people become involved in a state or local party organization.
special-interest caucus
A group within a political party united by a concern over a specific cause. The Democratic party has attempted to assure many special-interest groups representation at its national convention, although lately the party has moved away from this commitment.
sponsored party
A political party organization created or sponsored by another organization. This form of local party organization is rare in the United States.
Elected officials and party leaders represented at the national convention of the Democratic party. Such representation was provided for by a recent party reform to ensure that an electable presidential candidate is selected.
two-party system
An electoral system with two dominant parties that compete in state or national elections. Third parties have little chance of winning.
unit rule
A requirement that all delegates representing a state at a national party convention vote with the majority of their state delegation.
winner-take-all system
An element of the electoral system used in the United States which requires that only one member of the House of Representatives can be elected from each congressional district.
blanket primary
A variant of the open primary in which the voter receives a ballot that lists the candidates for nomination of all the parties, enabling the voter to vote for candidates of different parties.
closed primary
A type of primary in which the voter must be a registered member of a political party to vote in that party's primary.
coattails (political)
The tendency of lesser-known or weaker candidates to profit in an election by the presence of a more popular candidate on the ticket.
critical or realigning periods
Periods during which a sharp, lasting shift occurs in the popular coalition supporting one or both parties. The issues that separate the two parties change, so the kinds of voters supporting each party change.
electoral coalition
A base of committed partisans supporting an electoral candidate who also attracts swing votes.
electoral realignment
The situation when a new issue of utmost importance to voters cuts across existing party divisions and replaces old issues that formed the basis of party identification.
general election
The second election in a campaign (primary is first). It determines which party's nominee will win office.
The person currently in office.
negative ad
Media advertising meant to cast an unfavorable light on an opponent.
office-bloc ballot
A ballot, sometimes called the Massachusetts ballot, that lists all candidates by office to minimize a straight party ticket vote. It was an innovation championed by the Progressives.
open primary
A type of primary in which the voter can decide upon entering voting booth in which party's primary to participate.
party-column ballot
A ballot, sometimes called the Indiana ballot, that was government-printed and contained a list in columns of all candidates of each party. A voter could simply mark the top on one column to vote for every candidate in that column. It was replaced by the office-bloc ballot.
political action committee
A committee, set up by a special-interest group representing a corporation, labor union, or other special interest, to contribute financially to candidates and campaigns.
position issue
A campaign issue on which the rival parties or candidates take different positions in order to reach out for electoral support. It tends to divide the electorate.
presidential primary
A special kind of primary used to pick delegates to the presidential nominating conventions of the major parties.
primary election
The first election in a campaign; it determines a party's nominee for an office.
prospective voting
Voting on the basis of a person's views of candidates' positions on the issues.
public finance law
A federal law providing funds to candidates seeking the presidency. In primaries, matching funds are available only after eligibility requirements are fulfilled. In the general election, the federal government gives candidates of major parties the option of complete financing.
retrospective voting
Voting on the basis of how things have gone in the recent past and, if the voter approves of the current administration's performance, voting for the party in the White House or voting against that party if the voter disapproves.
runoff primary
A type of primary used in some southern states. If no candidate gets a majority of the votes in the first primary vote, the two candidates with the most votes vie in a second primary election.
split-ticket voting
An election result in which a congressional district (or voter) votes for the presidential candidate of one party and the congressional candidate of the other party.
Short ads on behalf of a candidate on television. Such ads may convey a substantial amount of information.
straight-ticket voting
Voting for candidates who are all of the same party; for example, voting for the Republican candidates for senator, representative, and president.
An element of campaign strategy that is a simple, appealing idea that can be repeated over and over again.
An element of campaign strategy that involves either a positive (build-me-up) or negative (attack-the-opponent) approach.
valence issue
A campaign issue that is linked in the voters' minds with conditions, goals, or symbols that are almost universally approved or disapproved by the electorate, e.g., corruption. visual A campaign appearance covered in a news broadcast.
Civil rights
policies designed to protect people against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by government officials or individuals.
Fourteenth amendment
the constitutional amendment adopted after the Civil War that states, "no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Equal protection of the laws
part of the fourteenth amendment emphasizing that the laws must provide equivalent "protection" to all people.
Civil liberties
the legal constitutional protections against government. Although our civil liberties are formally set down in the bill of rights, the courts, police and legislatures define their meaning.
Bill of rights
the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which define such basic liberties as freedom of religion, speech, and press and guarantee defendants' rights.
First Amendment
the constitutional amendment that establishes the four great liberties: freedom of the press, of speech, of religion and of assembly.
Barron v Baltimore
the 1833 Supreme Court decision holding that the bill of rights restrained only the national government, not the states and cities.
Gitlow v New York
the 1925 supreme court decision holding that freedoms of press and speech are "fundamental personal rights and liberties protected by the due process clause of the 14th amendment from impairment by the states" as well as by the federal government.
Fourteenth amendment
the constitutional amendment adopted after the Civil War that states, "no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Incorporation doctrine
the legal concept under which the supreme court has nationalized the bill of rights by making most of its provisions applicable to the states through the 14th amendment
Establishment clause
part of the first amendment stating that "congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."
Free exercise clause
a first amendment provision that prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion.
Lemon v Kurtzman 1971
Supreme Court decision that established that aid to church related schools must have a secular legislative purpose; have a primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits religion; and not foster excessive government entanglement with religion.
Zelman v Simmons Harris 2002
Supreme Court decision that upheld a state providing families with vouchers that could be used to pay for tuition at religious schools
Engel v Vitale 1962
Supreme Court decision holding that state officials violated the first amendment when they wrote a prayer to be recited by New York's schoolchildren.
School District of Abington Township, Pennsylvania v
Schempp 1963 supreme court decision holding that a Pennsylvania law requiring bible reading in schools violated the establishment clause of the first amendment.
Prior restraint
a government preventing material from being published. This is a common method of limiting the press in some nations, but it is usually unconstitutional in the United States according to the first amendment and as confirmed in the 1931 case of Near v Minnesota.
Near v Minnesota
the 1931 Supreme Court decision holding that the first amendment protects newspapers from prior restraint.
Schenck v United States 1919
decision upholding the conviction of a socialist who had urged young men to resist the draft during World War I. Justice Holmes declared that government can limit speech if the speech provokes a "clear and present danger" of substantive evils.
Zurcher v Stanford Daily 1978
Supreme Court decision holding that a proper search warrant could be applied to a newspaper as well as to anyone else without necessarily violating the first amendment rights to freedom of the press
Roth v United States
a 1957 Supreme Court decision ruling that obscenity is not within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press.
Miller v California 1973
supreme court decision that avoided defining obscenity by holding that community standards be used to determine whether material is obscene in terms of appealing to a prurient interest and being patently offensive and lacking in value.
the publication of false or malicious statements that damage someone's reputation
New York Times v Sullivan 1964
this case established the guidelines for determining whether public officials and public figures could win damage suits for libel. To do so, individuals must prove that the defamatory statements were made with "actual malice" and reckless disregard for the truth.
Texas v Johnson 1989
case in which the Supreme Court struck down a law banning the burning of the American flag on the grounds that such action was symbolic speech protected by the first amendment
Symbolic speech
nonverbal communication, such as burning a flag or wearing an armband. The Supreme Court has accorded some symbolic speech protection under the first amendment.
Commercial speech
communication in the form of advertising. It can be restricted more than many other types of speech but has been receiving increased protection from the Supreme Court.
Miami Herald Publishing Company v Tornillo 1974
case in which the Supreme Court held that a state could not force a newspaper to print replies from candidates it had criticized, illustrating the limited power of government to restrict the print media.
Red Lion Broadcasting Company v FCC 1969
case in which the Supreme Court upheld restrictions on radio and television broadcasting. These restrictions on the broadcast media are much tighter than those on the print media because there are only a limited number of broadcasting frequencies available.
NAACP v Alabama
the supreme court protected the right to assemble peaceably in this 1958 case when it decided the NAACP did not have to reveal its membership list and thus subject its members to harassment.
Probable cause
the situation occurring when the police have reason to believe that a person should be arrested. In making the arrest, the police are allowed legally to search for and seize incriminating evidence.
Unreasonable searches and seizures
obtaining evidence in a haphazard or random manner, a practice prohibited by the fourth amendment. Probable cause and/or a search warrant are required for a legal and proper search for a legal and proper search for and seizure of incriminating evidence.
Search warrant
a written authorization from a court specifying the area to be searched and what the police are searching for. The fourth amendment requires a search warrant to prevent unreasonable searches and seizures.
Exclusionary rule
the rule that evidence, no matter how incriminating, cannot be introduced into a trial if it was not constitutionally obtained. The rule prohibits use of evidence obtained through unreasonable search and seizure.
Mapp v Ohio 1961
Supreme Court decision ruling that the fourth amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures must be extended to the states as well as to the federal government.
Fifth amendment
the constitutional amendment designed to protect the rights of persons accused of crimes, including protection against double jeopardy, self-incrimination, and punishment without the due process of law.
Self incrimination
the situation occurring when an individual accused of a crime is compelled to be a witness against himself or herself in court. The Fifth Amendment forbids self-incrimination.
Miranda v Arizona 1966
Supreme Court decision that sets guidelines for police questioning of accused persons to protect them against self-incrimination and to protect their right to counsel.
Sixth amendment
the constitutional amendment designed to protect individuals accused of crimes. It includes the right to counsel, the right to confront witnesses, and the right to a speedy and public trial.
Gideon v Wainwright 1963
supreme court decision holding that anyone accused of a felony where imprisonment may be imposed, however poor he or she might be, has a right to a lawyer.
Plea bargaining
a bargain struck between the defendant's lawyer and the prosecutor to the effect that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser crime (or fewer crimes) in exchange for the state's promise not to prosecute the defendant for a more serious (or additional) crime.
Eighth amendment
the constitutional amendment that forbids cruel and unusual punishment, although it does not define this phrase. Through the fourteenth amendment, this bill of rights provision applies to the states.
Cruel and unusual punishment
court sentences prohibited by the eighth amendment. Although the Supreme Court has ruled that mandatory death sentences for certain offenses are unconstitutional, it has not held that the death penalty itself constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
Gregg v Georgia 1976
Supreme Court decision that upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty, stating that "it is an extreme sanction, suitable to the most extreme of crimes." The court did not, therefore, believe that that the death sentence constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
McCleskey v Kemp 1987
Supreme Court decision that upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty against charges that it violated the fourteenth amendment because minority defendants were more likely to receive the death penalty than were white defendants.
Right to privacy
the right to a private personal life free from intrusion of the government.
Roe v Wade 1973
Supreme Court decision holding that a state ban on all abortions was unconstitutional. The decision forbade state control over abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy, permitted states to limit abortions to protect the mother's health in the second trimester, and permitted states to protect the fetus during the third trimester.
Planned Parenthood v Casey 1992
case in which the supreme court loosened its standard for evaluating restrictions on abortion from one of "strict scrutiny" of any restraints of a "fundamental right" to one of "undue burden" that permits considerably more regulation.
Scott v Sandford 1857
Supreme Court decision ruling that a slave who had escaped to a free state enjoyed no rights as a citizen and that Congress had no authority to ban slavery in the territories.
Thirteenth amendment
the constitutional amendment ratified after the Civil War that forbade slavery and involuntary servitude.
Plessy v Ferguson 1896
supreme court decision that provided a constitutional justification for segregation by ruling that a Louisiana law requiring "equal but separate accommodations for the White and colored races" was constitutional.
Brown v Board of Education 1954
Supreme Court decision holding that school segregation in Topeka, Kansas, was inherently unconstitutional because it violated the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection. This case marked the end of legal segregation in the United States.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
the law that made racial discrimination against any group in hotels, motels, and restaurants illegal and forbade many forms of job discrimination.
the legal right to vote extended to African Americans by the Fifteenth amendment, to women by the Nineteenth amendment, and to people over the age of 18 by the twenty-sixth amendment.
Fifteenth amendment
the constitutional amendment adopted in 1870 to extend suffrage to African Americans.
Poll taxes
small taxes levied on the right to vote that often fell due at a time of year when poor African American share croppers had the least cash on hand. This method was used by most Southern states to exclude African Americans from voting. Poll taxes were declared void by the twenty-fourth amendment in 1964.
White primary
one of the means used to discourage African American voting that permitted political parties in the heavily democratic south to exclude African Americans from primary elections, thus depriving them of a voice in the real contests. The Supreme Court declared white primaries unconstitutional in 1944.
Twenty-fourth amendment
the constitutional amendment passed in 1964 that declared poll taxes void in federal elections.
Voting rights act of 1965
a law designed to help end formal and informal barriers to African American suffrage. Under the law, hundreds of thousands of African Americans were registered and the number of African American elected officials increased dramatically.
Korematsu v United States 1944
Supreme Court decision that upheld as constitutional for the interment of more than 100,000 Americans of Japanese descent in encampments during World War II.
Nineteenth amendment
the constitutional amendment adopted in 1920 that guarantees women the right to vote.
Equal rights amendment
a constitutional amendment originally introduced in Congress in 1923 and passed by Congress in 1972, stating that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." Despite public support, the amendment failed to acquire the necessary support from three-fourths of the state legislatures.
Reed v Reed
the landmark case in 1971 in which the supreme court for the first time upheld a claim of gender discrimination.
Craig v Boren 1976
ruling wherein the Supreme Court established the "medium scrutiny" standard for determining gender discrimination.
Comparable worth
the issue rose when women who hold traditionally female jobs are paid less than men for working at jobs requiring comparable skill.
Affirmative action
policy designed to give special attention to or compensatory treatment of members of some previously disadvantaged group.
Regents of the University of California v Bakke
1978 supreme court decision holding that a state university could not admit less qualified individuals solely because of their race.
Adarand Constructors v Pena 1995
supreme court decision holding that federal programs that classify people by race, even for an ostensibly benign purpose such as expanding opportunities for minorities, should be presumed to be unconstitutional.
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