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Level 42

American Political Culture

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institutions and procedures through which a territory and its people are ruled
conflict over the leadership structure and policies of government
Political Efficacy
A belief that you can take part in politics (internal) or that the government will respond to the citizenry (external).
informed and active membership in a political community
a form of government in which a single individual-a king, queen, or dictator-rules
a form of government in which a small group-landowners, military officers, or wealthy merchants-controls most of the governing decisions
a form of government in which ultimate responsibility for the exercise of power rests with the majority of the people
constitutional government
a system of rule in which formal and effective limits are placed on the powers of the government
authoritarian government
a system of rule in which the government recognizes no formal limits but may nevertheless be restrained by the power of other social institutions
totalitarian government
a system of rule in which the government recognizes no formal limits on its power and seeks to absorb or eliminate other social institutions that might challenge it
because cannot assume power and means to live well, without acquisition of more
A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them.
Direct Democracy
A form of government in which citizens rule directly and not through representatives.
the theory that all interest are and should be free to compete for influence in the government; the outcome of this competition is compromise and moderation
political culture
A given population's underlying set of values and beliefs about politics and system of meaning for interpreting politics.
laissez-faire capitalism
an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned and operated for profit with minimal or no government interference
equality of opportunity
a widely shared american ideal that all people should have the freedom to use whatever talents and wealth they have to reach their fullest potential
Political Equality
All citizens have the right to participate in the government, and to choose or remove public officials by voting.
popular sovereignty
a principle of democracy in which political authority rests ultimately in the hands of the people
majority rule, minority rights
the democratic principle that a government follows the preferences of the majority of voters but protects the interests of the minority
Political Ideology
A coherent and consistent set of beliefs about who ought to rule, what principles rulers ought to follow, and what policies rulers ought to pursue.
Civic Duty
A belief that one has an obligation to participate in civic and political affairs
Work Ethic
A set of values based on the moral virtues of work and diligence.
Class Consciousness
A belief that you are a member of an economic group whose interests are opposed to people in other such groups.
A belief that morality and religion ought to be of decisive importance.
A belief that personal freedom and solving social problems are more important than religion.
Internal Efficacy
Confidence in a citizen's own abilities to understand and take part in political affairs.
External Efficacy
A belief that the political system will respond to a citizen's demands.
Central ideas, principles, or standards that most people agree are important
Belief that what is good for society is based on what is good for individuals
People who generally favor limited government and are cautious about change
People who generally favor government action and view change as progress
Economic Liberals
Those who favor and expanded government role in the economy but a limited role in the social order
Economic Conservative
Those who favor a strictly procedural government role in the economy and the social order
Those who favor a minimal government role in any sphere
Social Liberals
Those who favor greater control of the economy and the social order to bring about greater equality and to regulate the effects of progress
Those who favor a strong substantive government role in the economy and the social order to realize their vision of a community of equals. Often referred to as "populists" or "statists".
Social Conservatives
Those who endorse limited government control of the economy but considerable government intervention to realize a traditional social order; based on religious values and hierarchy rather than equality