AP Government Final Exam Study Guide

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The Declaration of Independence
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The Declaration of Independence an act of the Second Continental Congress, adopted on July 4, 1776, which declared that the Thirteen Colonies in North America were \”Free and Independent States\” and that \”all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved.
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Natural Rights
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Basic rights (life, liberty, property)
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John Locke
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Father of political liberalism (limited government to protect life liberty & property; right to revolt if government becomes a tyranny); he greatly influenced Jefferson & the Declaration of Independence.
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Consent of the Governed
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agreement by the people of a nation to subject themselves to the authority to a government. Natural rights philosophers, such as John Locke, believe that any legitimate government must draw its authority from the consent of the governed.
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Limited Government
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A government in which everyone, including those in authority, must obey the laws. This is common in Western culture. The U.S. constitution is a document that is an example of limiting the power of government.
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weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
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No national army or navy. No national courts. Each state has own paper money. No president, lacked strength and solid leader. No power to raise money to pay for action against border encroachments. Any changes to Articles required unanimous vote leading to long delays in implementation.
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Shays rebellion
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this conflict in Massachusetts caused many to criticize the Articles of Confederation and admit the weak central government was not working; uprising led by Daniel Shays in an effort to prevent courts from foreclosing on the farms of those who could not pay the taxes.
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Annapolis Convention
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Originally planning to discuss the promotion of interstate commerce, delegates from five states met at Annapolis in September 1786 and ended up suggesting a convention to amend the Articles of Confederation.
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Constitutional Convention
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meeting of delegates in 1787 to revise/debate the Articles of Confederation, which produced the new U.S. Constitution, in philadelphia.
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Federalist 10 & Factions
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Fed 10: James madison agrees for the adoption of the constitution, (written in 1787) argues that a strong central gov. can guard against the \”factionalism\” of smaller republics , a broad, strong remain non-paisan. & madison also includes the difference between democracy and republic. Factions: groups acting in pursuit of an interest (can be a subgroup) that often proceed formation of political parties.
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Compromises at the Convention
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Great Comprimise; New Jersey & Virginia plan; equal representation to each state. 3/5th compromise; one slave equals 3/5ths of a person – commerce compromise issue over congress should regulate trade, northern states said they could, the southern states said they couldn’t, the outcome was that congress could regulate trade, no export tax, and no limit on slave trade for 20 years, election of the president.
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How is a bill passed in the federal gov
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passed by congress and has to go through committees. then president decides if it is a law or not.
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How does each branch \”check\” the other branches
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it goes through a judicial review.
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different type of presidential vetoes
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veto law, waits 10 days not sign it, automatically becomes a law, pocket veto.
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how can vetoes be overridden
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if 2/3 of the house of representatives and 2/3 of the senate agree to the bill, the president has no choice but to sign it into law.
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impeachement
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process in which elected officials are removed from office.
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Federalists v antifederalist
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Supporters of the new constitution in 1787. Supported a strong central government. Hamilton, Washington, Marshall. Became first political party (vs. Jefferson’s Democratic-Republicans) //////A group who opposed the ratification of the Constitution in 1787. They opposed a strong central government (tyranny) and supported states’ rights. \”I smell a rat!\”
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Bill of Rights
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The first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution, containing a list of individual rights and liberties, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press.
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Federalist Papers
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Written in 1788 by Madison, Hamilton, and Jay to support ratification of the Constitution. Fed 10 (factions) & Fed 51 (separation of powers, checks & balances).
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Formal Amendment Process
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Article V; the (very difficult) process of adding or deleting words to the constitution (27 times since 1788); propose by 2/3 vote of Congress or Constitutional Convention (never used); ratify by 3/4 vote of state legislators or state convention (only used once).
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Unitary Government
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centralized govt where all govt powers belong to a single central agency
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Supremacy Clause
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The Federal constitution, laws, and treaties are the supreme law of the land. States cannot interfere with federal power (ex. McCulloch v. Maryland).
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10th Amendment
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Powers not expressly given to federal government by the Constitution are reserved to states or the people. Also known as \”reserved powers amendment\” or \”states’ rights amendment\”.
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Enumerated powers
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powers given to the national government alone.
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Implied Powers
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those delegated powers of the National government that are suggested by the expressed powers set out in the Constitution; those \”necessary and proper\” to carry out the expressed powers.
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Concurrent Powers
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powers that are shared by both the federal and state governments.
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Reserved Powers
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powers given to the state government alone.
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Full Faith and credit clause
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A clause in Article IV, Section 1, of the Constitution requiring each state to recognize the official documents and civil judgments rendered by the courts of other states.
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Extradition
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A legal process whereby an alleged criminal offender is surrendered by the officials of one state to officials of the state in which the crime is alleged to have been committed.
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privileges and immunities clause
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A clause in Article IV, Section 2, of the Constitution according citizens of each state most of the privileges of citizens of other states.
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Cooperate Federalism
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A system of government in which powers and policy assignments are shared between states and the national government. They may also share costs, administration, and even blame for programs that work poorly.
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Dual Federalism
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A system of government in which both the states and the national government remain supreme within their own spheres, each responsible for some policies.
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Fiscal Federalism
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The pattern of spending, taxing, and providing grants in the federal system; it is the cornerstone of the national government’s relations with state and local governments.
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Categorical grants and block grants
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Federal grants that can be used only for specific purposes or \”categories\” of state and local spending. They come with strings attached, such as nondiscrimination provisions./////Federal grants given more or less automatically to states or communities to support broad programs in areas such as community development and social services.
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Mandates
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The legitimacy of individual members of parliament, validated by popular support, expressed during elections.
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Pluralist Theory
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a theory of government and politics emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own preferred policies.
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Elitist & Class Theory
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A theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided along class lines and that an upper-class elite will rule, regardless of the formal niceties of governmental organization.
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Hyper pluralists Theory
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Pluralism gone wrong; belief that government is paralyzed by too many interest groups demanding things too many things from government.
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American Political Culture
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A set of basic, foundational values and beliefs about government that is shared by most citizens. Key elements: democracy, equality before the law, limited government, capitalism & private property.
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Democratic Theory
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greatly influenced by the people seeing that it is legitimate and by the consent of the people
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Conservatism
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This was the political idea in which the people regarded tradition as the basic source of human institutions and the proper state and society remained those before the French Revolution which rested on a judicious blend on monarchy, bureaucracy, aristocracy, and respectful commoners.
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Liberalism
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Sees liberty as the right to action as long as it isn’t hurting anybody. The role of government is to do what people want it to and only stop people from doing something if they’re hurting someone. Without these freedoms the world wouldn’t be able to benefit from people’s ideas and society can’t move forward, supports progressive change, people have equal opportunities but not always equal outcomes.
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Gender Gap
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a term that refers to the regular patterns by which women are more likely to support Democratic candidates. Women tend to be significantly less conservative than men and are more likely to support spending on social services and to oppose higher levels of military spending.
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Public Agenda
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the public issues on which the people’s attention is focused.
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Political Socialization
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The learning process by which people acquire their political opinions, beliefs, and values.
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Political Culture
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The characteristic and deep-seated beliefs of a particular people about government and politics.
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Random Sampling
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a sample in which every element in the population has an equal chance of being selected
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Random digit dialing
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A form of surveying where volunteers call random phone numbers from a phone book and survey the people who pick up.
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Exit Polls
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election-related questions asked of voters right after they vote.
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Sampling Error
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The % margin of error of a survey. Randomized polls accurate to 3%.
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Senior Citizens
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tend to vote republican and have a higher rate of voting.
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voter turnout
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minorities don’t vote that much whites do, no high school very low rate, college grad – republican grad school- democrat
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Protest and Civil Disobedience
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Protest A form of political participation designed to achieve policy change through dramatic and unconventional tactics/// Civil disobedience Form of political participation that reflects a conscious decision to break a law believed to be immoral and suffer the consequences.
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Primaries
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a preliminary election where delegates or nominees are chosen.
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Caucuses
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Private meeting of a group of people in a political party to select officers or determine policy; CF. the Caucus club of Boston.
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Different types of primaries
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Closed Primary a primary in which only registered members of a particular political party can vote./// Open Primary a primary in which any registered voter can vote (but must vote for candidates of only one party)/// Blanket Primary a primary election in which each voter may vote for candidates from both parties/// Primary Election Election in which voters choose the candidates from each party who will run in the general election
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Campaign Strategy
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The master game plan candidates lay out to guide their electoral campaign.
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Superdelegates
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A super-delegate is a leader in the National Democratic Party who has a vote at the national convention; they are not selected by state party members.
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Party Platform
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Declaration of each party’s beliefs and positions on major issues.
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Party Machines
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Type of political party organization that relies heavily on material inducements, such as patronage, to win votes and to govern.
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Patronage System
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one of the key inducements used by party machines. A patronage job, promotion, or contract is one that is given for political reasons rather than for merit or competence alone.
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National Committee
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one of the institutions that keep the party operating between conventions. The national committee is composed of representatives from the states and territories.
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Party Eras
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historical periods in which a majority of voters cling to the party in power, which tends to win a majority of the elections.
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Party realignment
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displacement of the majority party by the minority party.
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Democrats & Whigs
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Democratic Party Guided by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren; previously Republicans; retained Jefferson’s suspicion of strong federal govt. and preference for states’ rights /// Whig Party Guided by Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams; previously Republicans; believed that natl. govt. should actively encourage economic development
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New Deal Coalition
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1933-1940: The historic period in the U.S. during which President Franklin Roosevelt’s numerous economic policies were implemented.
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Electoral System/ law
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laws that regulate electoral competition between candidates
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Factions
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groups acting in pursuit of an interest (can be a subgroup) that often precede formation of political parties.
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Lobbyists
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employees of the interest groups established to influence the outcome of elections and legislation.
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Free rider problem
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the problem faced by interest groups when citizens can reap the benefits of interest group action without actually joining, participating in, or contributing money to such groups.
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Amicus Curia Briefs
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An amicus curiae (also spelled amicus curiæ; plural amici curiae) is someone, not a party to a case, who volunteers to offer information to assist a court in deciding a matter before it. The phrase amicus curiae is legal Latin and literally means \”friend of the court\”.
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Class Action Lawsuits
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Lawsuits in which a small number of people sue on behalf of all people in similar circumstances.
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NAACP
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Founded on Feb. 12. 1909, this is the oldest, largest, and most widely recognized civil rights organization.’National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’
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AARP
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American Association of Retired Persons; Nationwide organization for people over 50 that offers discount drug purchases, health & auto insurance, publications, & other activities. Liberals
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NRA
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National Rifle Assoc. a powerful lobby that advocates the right to own and bear arms and rejects any gun regulation by the government. Conservative.
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Federal Election Campaign Act
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A law passed in 1974 for reforming campaign finances. The act created the Federal Election Commission, provided public financing for presidential primaries and general elections, limited presidential campaign spending, required disclosure, and attempted to limit contributions.
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Presidential Election Campaign Fund
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Money from the $3 federal income tax check-off goes into this fund, which is then distributed to qualified candidates to subsidize their presidential campaigns.
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Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act
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Banned soft money contributions to national political parties from corporations and unions; independent expenditures by corporations, labor unions, trade associations, and nonprofit organizations are sharply restricted, The elimination of \”soft money\”.
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Super PACs
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Officially known as \”independent-expenditure only committees,\” these may not make contributions to candidate campaigns or parties, but may engage in unlimited political spending independently of the campaigns. Also, unlike traditional PACs, they can raise funds from corporations, unions and other groups, and from individuals, without legal limits.
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Investigative Journalism
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In-depth reporting to near scandals; making media enemies of politicians.
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Media Event
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Purposely staged for the media but looks spontaneous.
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Beats
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Specific locations from which news emanates frequently; most top reporters work there and become specialists and that location. ex) white house.
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Trial Balloons
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Intentional news leak to see political reaction.
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Sound Bites
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A brief, memorable comment that can easily be fit into news broadcasts.
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Narrowcasting
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a media producer creates content that only a limited number of people or a specific demographic group will be interested in ex. cable or other channels geared toward specific groups (disney, spike, WB, lifetime)
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Incumbents
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Individuals who already hold office. In congressional elections, incumbents usually win.
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Bicameral
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A legislator that has two houses.
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New Jersey Plan
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Opposite of the Virginia Plan, it proposed a single-chamber congress in which each state had one vote. This created a conflict with representation between bigger states, who wanted control befitting their population, and smaller states, who didn’t want to be bullied by larger states.
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Virginia Plan
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Virginia delegate James Madison’s plan of government, in which states got a number of representatives in Congress based on their population.
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Census
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An official, usually periodic enumeration of population.
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Filibuster
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Various tactics (usually prolonged floor debate) aimed at defeating a bill in a legislative body by preventing a final vote on it; often associated with the US Senate.
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Speaker of the house
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The presiding officer of the House of Representatives, chosen by and from the majority party in the House.
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Whips
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Assistant of the floor leader in the House and Senate, responsible for monitoring and marshaling vote.
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House Rules Committees
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An institution unique to the House of Representatives that review all bills (except revenue, budget, and appropriations bills) coming from a House committee before they go to the full house.
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House Ways And Mean Committees
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Decides whether to go along with presidential requests for tax cuts or increases and makes the numerous rules and regulations that determine who will pay how much tax.
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Appropriations Committees
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Congressional committee that deals with federal spending.
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25th Amendment
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1967 If the president dies, resigns, or is impeached, the VP will become president. If the VP office is vacant, the president will nominate a VP, who will take office after a majority vote in House and Senate. If the president is disable, the VP will serve for him. Procedure for disqualifying president established.
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Executive Office of the President
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An umbrella term for an organization that consists of top presidential staff agencies that provide help, advice, coordination and administrative support for the president.
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War powers Resolution
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A resolution of Congress declaring that the president can send troops into action abroad only by authorization of Congress or if U.S. troops are already under attack or seriously threatened.
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Executive order
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A formal device, issued by the President, used primarily to control the workings of the executive branch by directing the agencies that comprise it.
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Merit
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The system by which federal civil service jobs are classified into grades or levels, to which appointments are made on the basis of performance on competitive examinations.
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Patronage
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jobs, grants, or other special favors that are given as rewards to friends and political allies for their support.
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Civil Service system
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A system of hiring and promotion based on the merit principle and the desire to create a nonpartisan government service.
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Pendleton Civil Service Act
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The Pendleton Act of 1883 was the federal legislation that created a system in which federal employees were chosen based upon competitive exams. This made job positions based on merit or ability and not inheritance or class. It also created the Civil Service Commission. ECONOMIC.
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Hatch Act
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Federal statute barring federal employees from active participation in certain kinds of politics and protecting them from being fired on partisan grounds.
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Cabinet department
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Agriculture inspects/grades meat and poultry, helps farmers — Commerce Promotes trade, census, patents — Defense Armed Forces — Education researches and funds educational needs — Energy Finds, protects and controls sources of energy1 — Health and Human Services Welfare, social security, and checks safety of new medicine — Housing and Urban Development helps with urban problems and low income housing` — Interior national parks and Native American reservations` — Justice Legal advice to president, controls federal prisons — Labor Minimum wage, unemployment, job training — State Foreign policy, embassies, United Nations — Transportation safety laws for all forms of travel, makes and manages highways and railroads — Treasury makes money, secret service, taxes — Veteran Affairs Medical and financial help to veterans — Homeland Security Protects US from foreign and domestic threats/attacks
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Iron Triangle
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policy-making between Congress, special interest groups, and governmental agencies. creates a self-sufficient (and sometimes corrupt) sub governmental situations in which American citizens’ best interests are ignored in favor of receiving special favors and regulation changes for passing particular legislation.
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Policy Implementation
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the stage where government executes an adopted policy as specified by the legislation or policy action.
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Criminal law v. Civil law
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Civil law deals with disputes between individuals and criminal law punishes criminals.
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Juridiction
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1. The power of a court to decide a matter in controversy 2. The geographic area over which a particular court has authority
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Standing to Sue
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The requirement that plaintiffs have a serious interest in a case, which depends on whether they have sustained or are likely to sustain a direct and substantial injury from a party or an action of government.
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Senatorial Courtesy
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A tradition under which the Senate will defer to the judgment of a senator of the president’s party when determining the suitability of candidates for federal judgeships from the senator’s state.
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Judiciary Committee
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Standing committee of the us senate that has oversight responsibilities over the federal judiciary and is responsible for conducting hearings to consider judicial nominees including nominee to the supreme court.
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Motor voter act and its effects
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in 1993, requires all states to allow voters to register by mail when they renew their drivers’ licenses and provides for the placement of voter registration forms in motor vehicle, public assistance, and military recruitment offices.
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Federal Communications Commission
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An agency of the federal government with authority to develop regulations for the broadcast media.
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Federal Trade Commission
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Agency of federal government created in 1914 to promote free and fair competition by prevention of trade restraints, price fixing, false advertising and other unfair methods of competition.
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Miami Herald Publishing Company v. Tornillo
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Miami Herald refused to publish reply to papers criticism of state legislature candidate, Pat Tornillo. Court upheld refusal, requiring publication unconstitutionally dampens vigor and hinders election coverage.Private newspapers may not be compelled to publish news stories, advertisements, letters or replies.
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Coalitions
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a combination, union, or merger for some specific purpose.
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Joint committee
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Committees on which both senators and representatives serve.
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standing committees
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Permanently established legislative committees that consider and are responsible for legislation within a certain subject area.
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Conference committee
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A joint committee appointed to resolve differences in the Senate and House versions of the same bill.
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Reapportionment
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The number of representatives assigned to each state being recalculated every ten years based on population data.
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Gerrymandering
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The drawing of legislative district boundaries to benefit a party, group, or incumbent.
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Checks and Balances
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This system gives each of the three branches of government ways to limit the powers of the other branches.
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Cloture
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a parliamentary procedure used to close debate. cloture is used in the senate to cut off filibusters. under the current senate rules, 3/5s of the senators, must vote for cloture to halt a filibuster.
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Logrolling
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legislator supports a proposal favored by another in return for support in his or hers.
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Habeas Corpus
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A writ of habeas corpus is a court order commanding someone with a person in custody to produce that person before the court and show why the person is being held.
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judicial Activism
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a philosophy of judicial decision-making whereby judges allow, mainly, their personal views about public policy to guide their decisions.

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