This site is 100% ad supported. Please add an exception to adblock for this site.

American Government Test 1 Vocabulary


undefined, object
copy deck
A means through which individual and group interests compete to shape government's impact on society's problems and goals.
Practice of organizing on the basis of one's ethnic or racial identity, sex, or sexual orientation to compete for public resources and to influence public policy.
Identity Politics
A shared body of values and beliefs that shapes perception and attitudes toward politics and government and in turn influences political behavior.
Political Culture
Politcal equality, Rule by the people
Popular Sovereignty
Greek word meaning "Authority of the people"
Citizens do not pass laws or make policy; they select policymakers to make decisions for them.
Indirect Democracy, AKA Republic
Citizens vote on most issues and legislate for themselves.
Direct Democracy
First constitution of the United States. Ratified in 1781. "League of Friendship" among hte states.
Articles of Confedereation
Three-Fifths of slaves would be counted in apportioning the seats.
Three-fifths Compromise
Division of power between the national government and the state governments.
The power to make, administer, and judge the laws was split into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial.
Separation of Powers
Rather than one political party controlling both elected branches, one party might win the presidency while the other party wins a majority of seats in one or both houses of Congress.
Divided Government
Each branch was given some authority over the others. If one branch abused its power, the others could use their checks to thwart it.
Checks and Balances
John Locke believed some right cannot be taken away by rulers. They are given by God and are unalienable.
Natural Rights
Implied agreement between the people and their government.
Social Contract
Government strong enough to protect people's rights, but not so strong as to threaten these rights.
Limited Government
Those known to support the Constitution.
Did not want a division of pwer between the governments.
Madison drafted twelve amendments, the states ratified 10 of them.

Freedom of speech, press, assembly, religion. (First Amendment)
Protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. (Fourth)
Protection against self-incrimination
Bill of Rights
Proclaimed that slaves "Shall be...forever free" in the Confederate states where the Union army was not in control.
Emancipation Proclamation
Lincoln's speech given during a dedication of the battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Gettysburg Address
Thirteenth (Abolished Slavery), Fourteenth (Declared all persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens), and Fifteenth Amendments (Extended the right to vote to blacks).
Reconstruction Amendments
President Franklin Roosevelt initiated an ambitious program heralded as "a new deal for the American people".
New Deal
Central government has only those powers given to it by the subnational governments; it cannot act directly on citizens, and it can be dissolved by the states that created it.
Confederal System
National government creates subnational governments and gives them only those powers it wants them to have.
Unitary System
Established the predominance of the national government over the states.
Supremacy Clause
Reserves to the states and to the people those powers not granted by the Constitution to the national government.
Tenth Amendment
A government in which division of power leaves neither level dominant over the other.
Dual Federalism
The return of powers to make and implement policy to subunits or lower levels of government from a higher level.
Day-to-day joint activities and continuing cooperation among federal, state, and local officials in carrying out the business of government.
Cooperative Federalism
Requires states to recognize contracts made in other states.
Full Faith and Credit Clause
Laws or regulations imposed on the states unaccompanied by sufficient funding to implement them.
Unfunded Mandates
Gives local governments considerable autonomy in such matters as setting tax rates, regulating land use, and choosing their form of local government.
Home Rule
Collection of individual opinions towards issues or objects of general interest.
Public Opinion
People learn and develop opinions about government and politics.
Political socialization
Individuals learn about politics by being exposed to new information supplied or filtered through parents, peers, school,s and the media, political leaders, and the community.
Agents of political socialization
First attempts to measure popular sentiments on a large scale. Unscientific Polls.
Straw Polls
Manipulate opinion, rarely focus on candidate's issue positions, and often distort a candidate's record and the facts.
Push Poll
Idea that the national government can be a constructive force to extend a helping hand to cushion the impact of economic recessions and unemployment to improve schools, to help individuals provide for a cleaner environment and safer work conditions.
The notion that the nation and economy are best served if they are free of government interference.
The willingness of individuals to extend procedural rights and liberties to people with whom they disagree.
Political Tolerance
Media and Politicians use each other for their mutual advantage.
Symbiotic Relationship
Media and Politicians fight each other.
Adversarial Relationship
Disclosures of information that officials want kept secret.
Being first to break a story.
Frames the politician against a backdrop that symbolizes the points the politician is trying to make.
Photo Opportunity
Radio talks by the president. First started by Franklin Roosevelt.
Fireside Chats
The underlying assunption is that politics is a game and politicians are the players.
Game Orientation
"front-runners" "Dark horses" "Also-rans"
Horse Race Coverage
Influencing the process by which problems are considered important and solutions are proposed and debated.
Setting the Agenda

Deck Info