46 words to learn

Ready to learn       Ready to review

Ignore words

Check the boxes below to ignore/unignore words, then click save at the bottom. Ignored words will never appear in any learning session.

All None

Limited Government
where the government is empowered by law from a starting point of having no power, or where governmental power is restricted by law, usually in a written constitution. It is a key concept in the history of liberalism.
Natural Rights
Life, liberty, property and other rights that it is the government's responsibility to uphold. Made famous by John Locke.
Popular Sovereignty
is the principle that the authority of a state and its government are created and sustained by the consent of its people, through their elected representatives (Rule by the People), who are the source of all political power. Stressed by the Declaration of Independence.
a political ideology centred on citizenship in a state organized as a republic under which the people hold popular sovereignty.
Social Contract
an implicit agreement among the members of a society to cooperate for social benefits, for example by sacrificing some individual freedom for state protection. Theories of a social contract became popular in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries among theorists such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as a means of explaining the origin of government and the obligations of subjects.
Participatory democracy
emphasizes the broad participation of constituents in the direction and operation of political systems
Pluralist Democracy
describes a political system where there is more than one center of power.
Elite Democracy
a small minority, consisting of members of the economic elite and policy-planning networks, holds the most power—and this power is independent of democratic elections.
electoral college
a body of people representing the states of the US, who formally cast votes for the election of the president and vice president.
Great Compromise (Connecticut)
Where there would be bicameral (two house) legislature with the House of Representatives based on population and the Senate with 2 per state.
3/5 compromise
Slaves would be counted as 3/5 of a person for purposes of representation
compromise on the importation of slaves
Slave trade could not be banned until 1808, which it could
impeachment and removal
Presidents and other federal officials can be removed by having an impeachment with a simple majority in the House and a conviction after a trial in the senate with 2/3 of senators
Federal Revenue Sharing
The Federal Government provides significant funding to the states for programs like highways and medicaid
Federal Mandate
a requirement or an order from the central government that all state and local government must comply with. Like the Americans with Disabilities act requires elevators and ramps in all government buildings.
Categorical grant
called conditional grants, are grants issued by the United States Congress which may be spent only for narrowly defined purposes.
Block grant
a grant from a central government that a local authority can allocate to a wide range of services.
10th Amendment
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
14th Amendment
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. 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.
the commerce clause
the enumerated power of the government's right to regulate trade between the states. It has been used to allow the government to provide social security, medicare, medicaid, civil rights, and environmental regulation
necessary and proper clause
A clause that has been interpreted in cases like McCulloch v. Maryland to allow the government to create institutions like a national bank or the IRS to implement constitutionally granted powers
enumerated powers
powers granted specifically in the Constitution
implied powers
are powers authorized by the Constitution that, while not stated, seem implied by powers that are expressly stated. ... Hamilton noted that the "general welfare clause" and the "necessary and proper clause" gave elasticity to the Constitution.
McCulloch v. Maryland
Case that stopped Maryland from taxing the National Bank out of existence. Claimed that bank was justified by the necessary and proper clause.
US v. Lopez
Case that ruled that the 1990 Gun-Free School Zones Act, forbidding individuals from knowingly carrying a gun in a school zone, unconstitutional because it exceeds the power of Congress to legislate under the Commerce Clause.
Federalist Papers
an authoritative commentary on the U.S. Constitution.
Shay's Rebellion
outbreak of violence before the Constitution may have made leaders more receptive to governmental change
Federalist 10
A system of republican representation helps to limit the excesses of factionalism.
Declaration of Independence
Foundation of popular sovereignty written by Jefferson
Blueprint of Government
Brutus 1
Antifederalist document that argued for decentralized government to protect individual rights and broad voting rights
Federalist 51
explains how constitutional provisions of separation of powers and checks and balances control abuses by majorities.
Opposed the Constitution and favored a weaker central government and smaller republics
Schenk v. US
Opposed the Constitution and favored a weaker central government and smaller republics
Articles' legislature
Constitution's Congress
representative democracy
a type of democracy founded on the principle of elected officials representing a group of people, as opposed to direct democracy
amending the Constitution
requires 2/3 of Congress for proposal or 2/3 of state legislatures for a Constitutional Convention and 3/4 of state legislatures or state conventions to ratify
unfunded mandate
When Government requires service without providing funds
elastic clause
Necessary and Proper Clause
Giving state governments greater discretion in deciding how to achieve the specific goals of welfare reform
Cooperative Federalism
Different levels of government are involved in common policy areas.
full faith and credit
What is valid in one state is valid in another, like a driver's license or a marriage
concurrent powers
powers that overlap between the state and federal government like taxation, building roads, and courts
a distribution of power between nation and state level where each has independent power and areas of influence
exclusive powers
certain powers that only the national government has like taxes on imports, having a military, foreign policy, etc