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Extra Credit Government Vocabulary


undefined, object
copy deck
who gets what when and how in the political process
policy agenda
those issues that are receiving the serious attention of policymakers
policymaking institutions
those institutions (Congress, the President, the courts, and the bureaucracy) that are responsible for making public policy in the American political system.
linkage institutions
those institutions (political parties, elections, special interest groups, and the news media) that link (connect) people and government; assist the people in getting their concerns (issues/problems) on the policy agenda; the channels through which people's concerns become political issues on the Government's policy agenda.
public policy
a choice that government makes in response to a political issue(a course of action or inaction); includes: congressional statutes, bureaucratic rules and regulations, executive orders, court decisions, presidential decisions
50 percent + 1 (one more than half)
the most votes but not necessarily a majority
pluralist theory
belief that many groups competing for power express the public will; a theory of group competition that emphasizes multiple access points and a positive view of group competition
elite/class theory
a theory of government and politics that contends that society is divided along class lines and wealthy or upper class elite will rule regardless of the government structure; belief that big business, the wealthy, or even technical experts have the greatest influence in American government.
a group theory that contends that groups are so strong that government is weakened; an extreme, exaggerated, or perverted form of pluralism; pluralism gone bad--- too many groups creat gridlock and contradictory policies.
terms used by Founding Fathers to refer to self-interested groups arising from the unequal distribution of property; they feared faction would create instability in government; today's interest groups and political parties are examples of what Madison and others had in mind; in The Federalist #10, Madison explained that majority factions would control minority factions, but a large republic was needed to control majority factions.
Shays' Rebellion
a series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by Daniel Shays in 1786; was a catalyst for the Constitutional Convention; the Founding Fathers viewed it as evidence of a need for much stronger government.
Connectict Compromise
the major compromise made and the Constitutional Convention that combined the Virginia (representation based on population) and the New Jersey (equal representation of the states) plans to create a bicameral Congress consisting of a Senate with two Senators per state and a House of Representatives based on population.
Madisonian Model
plan for government designed by Madison to keep as much power as possible out of the hands of the people (to prevent majority factions from taking over government) by a system of separation of powers (legislative, executive, and judicial branches) and checks and balances; the only part of government directly elected by the people in the original plan was the House of Representatives.
Federalist Papers
a collections of 85 articles written by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay in support of ratification of the U.S. Constitution; the articles explain the intent of the Founding Fathers in writing the Constitution.
separation of powers
principle of the Constitution that calls for three separate branches (legislative, executive, and judicial) of government, each with separate but overlapping or shared powers.
checks and balances
a principle of the Constitution that seeks a balance of power between the various branches of government by giving each branch the ability to check the powers of the other branches.
judicial review
the power of the courts to determine the constitutionality of government actions (declare laws or presidential actions unconstitutional in cases before them); resulted from the Supreme Court case o Marbury v. Madison, 1803.
supremacy clause
Article VI of the Constitution establishes the U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws and treaties the supreme law of the land; establishes national supremacy in areas where the national government has the legitimate power; the linchpin of our federal system of government.
necessary and proper clause
Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to do what is necessary and proper to carry out its stated powers; stretches the power of the national government beyond what is specifically stated in the Constituiton; also called the ELASTIC CLAUSE.
reserved powers
state powers; those powers not delegated to the national government nor denied to the states; authorized by the 10th Amendment.
enumerated powers
powers of the national government specifically stated in the Constitution; also called expressed powers.
implied powers
powers of the national governement not specifically stated in the Constitution but reasonably derived from those that are; based on the necessary and proper clause; can expand the powers of the national government at the expense of the states.
full faith and credit clause
a clause in Article IV of the Constitution that requires states to give full faith and credit to the civil acts, records and judicial proceedings of other states; allows the use of a Texas drivers license while temporarily driving in other states (usually applies to marriage certificates; adoption records, wills and deeds).
dual federalism
the division of powers between the national and the state governments is distinct and clear- like a layer cake; each level of government is relatively supreme within its own sphere of power; requires a narrow interpretation of the national government's powers.
cooperative federalism
a type of federalism in which powers and policy assigments are shared within the levels of government; like a "marble cake" in that national and state powers are mingled and the distinction between the two are blurred; typically

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