AP Government Unit I

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Social Contract theory
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Rosseau definition: we need to be under a social contract in which the general will of the people is observed. Locke definition: people enter into a social contract to create a government in which their property is preserved. If the government doesn’t follow the will of the people, then it can be overthrown. Hobbesian Social Contract views people as constantly in a state of war, and a government is necessary to enforce the law.
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Magna Carta
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Signed by King John in 1215 in which the power of the monarch was limited.
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English Bill of Rights
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King William and Queen Mary accepted this document in 1689. It guaranteed certain rights to English citizens and declared that elections for Parliament would happen frequently. By accepting this document, they supported a limited monarchy, a system in which they shared their power with Parliament and the people.
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Government
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institutions and processes through which public policies are made for a society
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Separation of Powers
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Important part of the Madisonian model that requires each of the three branches of government- executive, legislative, and judicial- to be relatively independent of the others so that one cannot control the others. Power is shared among the three institutions.
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Checks and Balances
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Important part of the Madisonian Model deisgned to limit govt power by requiring that power be balanced among the different govt institutions. These inst. continually check one another’s activities. This system reflects Madison’s goal of setting power against power.
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Federalist
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Supporters of the US Constitution when states were contemplating its adoption.
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Anti-Federalist
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Opponents of the Am. Constitution at the time when the states were contemplating its adoption. They argued that the Constitution was a class-based document, that it would erode fundamental liberties and that it would weaken the power of the states.
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Federalist Papers
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Collection of 85 articles written by Hamilton, Jay, and Madison under the name Publius to defend the Constitution in detail. Collectively, these papers are second only to the US Const. in characterizing the framer’s intent
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Judicial Review
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Power of the courts to determine whether acts of Congress, and by implication the executive, are in accord with the US Constitution. Judicial review was established by John Marshall in Marbury v. Madison
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Privileges and Immunities
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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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Unicameral
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one-house legislature
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Bicameral
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a legislature consisting of two parts, or houses. Everyone except Nebraska is bicameral.
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New Jersey Plan
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Proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for equal rep of each state in Congress regardless of the state’s population
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Virginia Plan
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Proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for rep of each state in Congress in proportion to that state’s share of the US Pop.
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Connecticut Compromise
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Compromise reached at the Const Convention that established two houses of Congress: House of Reps in which reps is based on a state’s share of the US pop, and the Senate, in which each state has two reps.
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3/5 Compromise
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Representation and taxation were to be based on the number of free persons plus 3/5 of the number of all other persons.
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Declaration of Independence
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Document approved by rep of the American colonies in 1776 that stated their grievances against the British monarch and declared their independence
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Madisonian Model
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Madison’s proposal to balance the powers wielded by the economic elite who want a political system that entrenches them in power and the masses who want stotal political freedom that could result in \”tyranny of the majority.\” (Majority rule while protecting minority rights) -place as much of the government out of the reach of the majority (i.e. electoral college and the original election of US Senators was through the state legislatures) -separate powers of different institutions (separation of powers) -checks and balances
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Articles of Confederation
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First constitution of the US adopted by Congress in 1777 and enacted in 1781. Articles established a national legislature, Cont Congress, but most authority with state legislatures.
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Enumerated Powers
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Powers of the fed govt that are specifically addressed in the Constitution; for Congress these powers are listed in Article I Section 8, and include the powers to coin money, regulate value, and impose taxes
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Implied Powers
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Powers of the fed govt that go beyond those enumerated in the Constitution. Constitution states that Congress has power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers enumerated in Article I. Many federal policies are justified on the basis of implied powers.
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Concurrent Powers
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Powers that the Constitution gives to both the national and state governments, such as the power to levy taxes.
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Exclusive Powers
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Those powers that can be exercised by the National Government alone
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Reserved Powers
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powers that the Constitution does not give to the national government that are kept by the states
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Inherent Powers
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The powers of the national government in foreign affairs that the Supreme Court has declared do not depend on constitutional grants but rather grow out of the very existence of the national government
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McCulloch Powers
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1819 Supreme Court decision that established the supremacy of the nat government over state governments. Jogn Marshall held that Congress had certain implied powers in addition to enumerated powers found in the Constitution.
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Marbury v Madison
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1803 case in which CJ John Marshall and his associates first asserted the right of SC to determine the meaning of the US Constitution. Enacted judicial review, in this case the Judiciary Act of 1789.
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Habeas Corpus
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the civil right to obtain a writ of habeas corpus as protection against illegal imprisonment
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Linkage Institutions
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Channels or access points through which issues and people’s policy preferences get on the government’s policy agenda. In the US, elections, pol parties, interest groups, and mass media are the 4 main linkage institutions.
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Pluralist theory
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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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Hyperpluralist theory
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Theory of govt and politics contending that groups are so strong that govt is weakened. Extreme, exaggerated, or perverted form of pluralism
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Elite theory
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Theory of govt and ptx contending that societies are divided along class lines and that an upper class elite will rule, regardless of the formal niceties of govt organization
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federalism
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Way of organizing a nation so that 2 levels of gov have formal authority over the same land and people. It is a system of shared power between units of government
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Dual federalism
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System of government in which both the states and national government remain supreme with their own spheres, each responsible for their own policies
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Cooperative federalism
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System of government in which powers and policy assignments are shared between states and national government. They may also share costs, admin, and even blame for programs that work poorly.
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Fiscal federalism
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Pattern of spending, taxing, and providing grants in the federal system; cornerstone of the national government’s relation w/ state and local govt
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New Federalism
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a policy in 1969, that turned over powers and responsibilities of some U.S. federal programs to state and local governments and reduced the role of national government in domestic affairs (states are closer to the people and problems)
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Devolution
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The process whereby regions within a state demand and gain political strength and growing autonomy at the expense of the central government
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Conditions of Aid
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Terms set by the national government that states must meet if they are to receive certain federal funds.
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Mandates
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requirements that direct condition of receipt of a federal grant
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Unfunded mandates
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When the federal govt requires state and local action but does not provide the funds for that local action
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Parliamentarian Govt
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Governments, like the one in GB, that typically select the political leader from membership in the Parliament (legislature)
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Categorical 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 measures.
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Block grants
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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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Project grants
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federal grants given for specific purposes and awarded on the basis of merits of applications. A type of categorical grant available to state and localities
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Public agenda
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the public issues on which the people’s attention is focused, the most important public issues as measured by public opinion surveys
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Direct representation
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a system of choosing delegates to a representative assembly in which citizens vote directly for the delegates who will represent them
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Representative Democracy
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A system of government in which citizens elect representatives, or leaders, to make decisions about the laws for all the people.
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Rule of Law
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principle that the law applies to everyone, even those who govern
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Limited Government
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Idea that certain things are out of bounds for govt because of natural rights of citizens. Limited govt was central to Locke’s philosophy in the 17th century, and it contrasted sharply with the prevailing theory of the Divine Right of the Kings.
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Republic
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Popular Sovereignty
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The concept that political power rests with the people who can create, alter, and abolish government. People express themselves through voting and free participation in government
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Federalist # 10 (factions)
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Distribution of property unequally = number 1 source of factions, tyranny of the majority –> must protect the minority. Effect of factions had to be checked
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Full faith and credit
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A Clause in Article IV, Section 1, of the Const requiring each state to recognize the official documents and civil judgments recorded by the courts of other states
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Supremacy Clause
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Article VI of the Constitution which makes the Constitution, national laws, and treaties supreme over state laws when the national government is acting within its constitutional limits
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Preamble
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We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
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Bills of attainder
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a law that punishes a person accused of a crime without a trial or a fair hearing in court
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Ex Post Facto Laws
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A law which punishes people for a crime that was not a crime when it was committed. Congress cannot pass these laws.
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Gibbons v Ogden
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Landmark case decided in 1824 which the SC interpreted the very broadly clause in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution giving Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce, encompassing virtually every form of commercial activity. The commerce clause has been the constitutional basis for much of Congress’s regulation of the economy.
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Necessary and Proper Clause (Elastic Clause)
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Final paragraph of Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution which authorizes Congress to pass all laws necessary and proper to carry out the enumerated powers.
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Policy agenda
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List of subjects or problems to which govt officials, and people outside of govt closely associated with those officials, are paying some serious attention at any given time.
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Democracy
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System of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the public’s preference
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Majority Rule
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Fundamental principle of traditional democratic theory. In a democracy, choosing among alternatives require that the majority’s desire be respected.
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Politics
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Laswell –> who gets what, when, and how. Politics produces authoritative decisions about public issues.
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Bill of Rights
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The first 10 amendments to the US Const, drafted in response to some of the Anti-Fed concerns. These amendments define such basic liberties as freedom of religion, speech, and press and offer protections against arbitrary searches by the police and being held w/o talking to a lawyer.
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Writ of Habeas
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Court order requiring jailers to explain to a judge why they are holding a prisoner in custody
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Natural Rights
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Rights inherent in human beings, not dependent on governments, which include life, liberty, and property. The concept of natural rights was central to Locke, and was widely accepted by the Founding Fathers. Jefferson echoed Locke’s lang in the Decl of Indep.
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Unitary government
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Way of organizing a nation so that all power resides in the central govt. Most govt today, including those of GB and Japan, are unitary govt.
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Extradition
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Legal process whereby an alleged criminal offender is surrendered by the officials of one state of officials of the state in which the crime is alleged to have been committed.
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Policy-making institution
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The branches of govt charged with taking action on pol issues. US Const established three policymaking inst- Congress, Presid, and Courts. Fourth policymaking- bureaucracy.
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Shay’s Rebellion
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Series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by Daniel Shays to block foreclosure proceedings.
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\”Purpose of government\”
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to protect those natural rights that the individual cannot effectively protect in a state of nature
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Traditional Dem Theory
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Theory about ow a democratic government makes decisions. According to Dahl, cornerstones are equality in voting, effective participation, enlightened understanding, final control over the agenda, and inclusion.

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