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AP Gov Vocab


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Jacques Rousseau
French author and philospher (1712-1778); wrote the Social Contract
The Social Contract
published in 1762; stated that man once lived in a "state of nature" (complete freedom); believed that people muse have a civil society that is controllable yet allowed some freedom
Thomas Hobbes
English philospher; wrote Leviathan
stated that "state of nature" was harsh, violent and unruly; stated that men signed a social contract to give up their freedom to a rule (whose job was to protect the people); believed that the state was a "leviathan" or monster
John Locke
17th century philospher; wrote Two Treatises on Government; believed in 1. standing laws (people must know consequences of actions in advance) 2. private property
Natural Rights
political theory that individuals have basic rights given to them by nature or God that no individual or government can deny; rights inherit human beings
Consent of the governed
people must agree on their ruler
Limited Government
type of government in which it's functions and powers are perscribed, limited and restricted by law; clear restrictions on what rulers can do
Two Treatises on Government
believes taht "state of nature" was when individuals relied only upon their own strength; stated that people accepted a social contract under which the state gains legitimacy by protecting its citizens; stated that a just government is dependent upon the peoples thoughts/views
Thomas Paine
wrote Common Sense, a pamphlet that was published for Americans, urging the revolution and independence
Common Sense
states reasons for declaring independence: 1. natural right 2. our duty 3. monarchy withholds information for "subjects" 4. One person is making decisions on behalf of the people 5. US is secondary to Britain
ability to cause others to modify their behavior; comes from authority
right to use their power (govnm power comes from authority)
US govnm gets legitimacy from constitution (gives govnm power)
highest class rules and makes decisions
small group governs (typically wealthy, high social status or high ranks in military)
US's 2nd government document (after Articles of Confederation); written in 1787; Founding Fathers defined and limited powers of the government
ultimate soverignity belongs to the people
government of the people
Direct Democracy
the people make decisions, not elected officals (impracticle in a big society; majority rules! [no compromise]); technology might allow direct democracy; quick decisions can throw off vote; people want it because they think society/govnm is elitest
Indirect Democracy/ Representative Democracy
people voted for officals to make decisions; disadvantages: 1. too slow 2. unresponsive to majority
select few makes decisions for the people
theory that govnm is run by who backs it up (dominant class); whoever runs the factories runs the country
Max Weber
thinks the elite power should be based on specialization; based on merit
believes that every issued has 2 sides (and they typically conflict with each other; no single interest group is recognized because things MUST change; so must form coallition with other special interest groups
people who work in the govnm
when nothing gets passed because of the checks and balances system
George Washington
1st US president; everybody assumed he would be te first (unanimously voted for by electoral college)
Shays' Rebellion
Daniel Shay led ex-soldier and former rebellion (didn't like taes because he was in debt; they stopped courts from foreclosing on their farms; governor asks for help (needed soldiers)but couldn't get money or manpower; private citizens had to volunteer for volunteer army (showed Founding Fathers that the Articles of Confederation wouldn't work)
Articles of Confederation
US's first "constitution"; didn't have strong, central govnm; states have more power than national govnm; WEAKNESSES: 1.couldn't levy taxes 2.couldnt' regulate commerce (1 state=1 vote) 3. no quirks to settle problems between two states STRENGTH: 1.FF knew what wouldn't work in the future
James Madison
one of the FF; promised and wrote Bill or Rights; 4th president; hated political partise/special interest groups/factions because the majority faction could wreak havoc and violence on everyone
one house govnm (no executive power); punished people who were aganist the war (NO trial by jury) and manipulation of judicary (1787- Pennslyvania & Massachusetts)
Judicial Review
the power of a court to adjudicate the constitutionality of the laws of govnm or the acts of a govnm offical (Marbury v. Madison)
New Jersey Plan
a plan unsuccessfully proposed at the constitutional convention, providing for a single legistlative house with equal representation for each stat; unicameral (1 state= 1 vote)
Virginia Plan
a plan, unsuccessfully proposed at CC, provided for a strong, cental govnm and 3 branches (representation based on population and people elect them)
Connecticut Compromise
3 branches; house of reps based on population; 2 senators/state (elected by state legislation)

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