American Government (Definitions chapters 1-2) Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Political thinking
Reflective thinking to make political judgments
Political science
Government and politics
Political culture
Deep-seated Political beliefs of a particular people
Free to act and think
Self-sufficient, accumulate for own well being
All individuals are entitled to equal treatment under the law
Fourth political ideal. Government based on majority rule
Process through which a society settles its conflicts
Political developments
Government, acting directly or by elected representatives
prevails, in election and policy determination
interests of society are represented through power exercised by groups
Party polarization or partisan polarization
Condition in which opinions divides along political party lines
The recognized right of officials to exercise power
limits on the power of government
Legal action
Individuals can protect their rights and settle conflicts
Free market system
Private transactions
Corporate power
Influence that firms have with policy-makers
Power exercised by well-positioned and highly influential individuals
Public policies
Decisions by government to pursue particular courses of action
Public policy process
Three stages. 1) problem recognition, 2) the development of a response to it, 3) implementation of the response
Social contract
Voluntary agreement to form a government
Inalienable or natural rights
Life, liberty, and property. Government will preserve these rights
how a government will operate
Virginia (large state) plan
Nationalists. Separate judicial and executive branches. Lower and upper chambers
New Jersey (small state) plan
Stronger government. Single chamber. Same legislative power, large or small state.
Great compromise
Two chambers. House (population). Senate (2 senators for each state)
Three-fifths compromise
Northerns, not count slaves. Southerns, count them as full persons. They counted each slave as three-fifths of a person.
Opponents of the constitution
Supporters of the constitution
Grants of power
Congress's lawmaking powers. Article I, section 8. Powers not granted to government
Denials of power
Limit government, prohibiting certain practices that European rulers used.
Separation of powers
Separate institutions or branches. Pennsylvania was an exception.
Separating institutions sharing power
Institutions can not act decisively without the support of other institutions
Checks and balances
Controlling the power of government
Bill of rights
The first ten amendments to the constitution. (Freedom to speech and religion)
Judicial review
Courts decide if an institution has acted within its constitutional powers. If not it is null or void.
Tyranny of the majority
Mob that tramples on the rights of the minority.
Democracy (according to the framers)
Power of the majority is unlimited
Republic (according to the framers)
Institutions that are responsive to the majority but not captive to it.
Representatives are obliged to serve the interest of those who elect them
Electoral college
Institutions that officially elects the president and Vice President every four years
Electoral votes
Each state has the same number as it has members in congress
Office holders who are obligated to carry out the expressed opinions of the people they represent
Primary election
Gives voters the power to select party nominees
Constitutional democratic republic
A government that is constitutional. Democratic, and republic
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