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Magruder's American Government Chapter 1


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The institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies.
public policy
All of the goals a government sets and the various courses of action it pursues as it attempts to realize these goals.
legislative power
The power to make a law and to frame public policies.
executive power
The power to execute, enforce, and administer law.
judicial power
The power to interpret laws, to determine their meaning, and to settle disputes within the society.
The body of fundamental laws setting out the principles, structures, and processes of a government.
A form of government in which the leader has absolute power and authority.
A type of government in which the supreme government rests with the people.
A body of people living in a defined territory who have a government with the power to make and enforce law without the consent of any higher authority.
Having supreme authority within its own territory; neither subordinate nor responsible to any other authority.
A form of government in which a single person holds unlimited political power.
A form of government in which the power to rule is held by a small, usually self appointed elite.
unitary government
A centralized government in which all governmental powers belong to a single, central agency.
federal government
A form of government in which powers are divided between a central government and several local governments.
division of powers
Basic principle of federalism; the constitutional provisions by which governmental powers are divided on a geographic basis (in the United States, between the National Government and the States).
A joining of several groups for a common purpose.
presidential government
A form of government in which the executive and legislative branches of government are separate, independent, and coequal.
parliamentary government
A form of government in which the executive branch is made up of the prime minister, or premier, and that official’s cabinet.
An adjustment of opposing principles or systems by modifying some aspect of each.
free enterprise system
An economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods; investments that are determined by private decision rather than by state control, and determined in a free market.
law of supply and demand
A law which states that when supplies of goods and services become plentiful, prices tend to drop. When supplies become scarcer, prices tend to rise.
mixed economy
An economy in which private enterprise exists in combination with a considerable amount of government regulation and promotion.

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