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U.S. Government Basics > Essential Vocabulary > Flashcards

Flashcards in Essential Vocabulary Deck (66):
1

representative democracy/republic

form of government in which citizens elect representatives to a legislature

  • based on the idea that every citizen deserves to participate in government, whether directly or indirectly
  • unlike a monarchy because leadership positions are not inherited

2

statism

a political system in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs

3

federalism

a system of shared powers between the central and state governments

4

plurality

the most votes in an election, yet not necessarily a total majority

5

Federalist Party

late 18th to early 19th-century political party that supported a strong centralized government

6

Anti-Federalist Party

political party that opposed a strong centralized government, fearing it would take away the rights of states

7

initiative

a petition that is put to a public vote

  • requires a certain number of signatures
  • also known as a citizen's initiative
  • form of direct democracy

8

referendum

national or local vote to reject or accept a proposal

  • also known as a ballot question
  • form of direct democracy

9

recall

a direct vote to end an elected official's term

  • occurs after enough citizens have signed a petition
  • also known as a recall referendum or recall election

10

judicial review

a re-examination of a case by a higher court after a lower court is deemed incorrect in its rulings

The Supreme Court has the power to review laws and treaties and deem any of them constitutional or unconstitutional.

 

11

executive order

command given by the U.S. President or a state governor

  • based on constitutional powers or laws passed by Congress
  • carries the full force of the law

12

impoundment

refusal of the U.S. government to spend funds allocated by Congress

  • done in an effort to reduce debt
  • banned in 1974

13

express powers

powers explicitly given to the federal government in the U.S. Constitution

  • also known as enumerated powers
  • listed in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution

14

implied powers

the powers of Congress not explicitly noted in the Constitution

needed to enforce enumerated powers

15

concurrent powers

powers belonging both to the state and federal government

e.g., charging taxes, protecting the environment, and borrowing money

16

centralists

those who favor the concentration of power in a higher form of government

17

decentralists

those who want to share power between local, state, and federal authorities

18

capitalism

economic system in which means of production (land and factories) are privately owned rather than owned by the government

  • operated for profit
  • developed during the Industrial Revolution

19

liberal

In the modern political
context, one who: 

  • believes the government's duty is to promote equality
  • champions minorities, the poor, and disadvantaged
  • usually supports environmental causes and opposes extravagant military spending

20

conservative

In the modern political
context, one who: 

  • usually opposes government intervention in social and economic areas
  • conversely, prefers a strong army
  • generally champions traditional religions

21

socialism

economic system in which workers control the means of production and all wealth is evenly distributed

  • in Marxist theory, it is marked by an unequal distribution of goods and pay
  • current nations include China, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam
  • it has inspired programs and institutions, however, that exist in many countries including the U.S.

22

Manifest Destiny

19th-century belief that the U.S. had the God-given right to acquire and control all of North America

23

lobbying

attempts to influence government action by an individual, a legislator, or an advocacy group

24

nonpartisan election

election where candidates run without formal affiliation to any political party

25

caucus

forum where party leaders debate issues, discuss the party platform, and choose delegates for the national convention

26

party convention

forum where members of a specific party discuss their platform and select their Presidential candidate

27

direct primary

an initial election (for a particular party) where popular vote decides the candidates who will move onto the next phase

28

open primary

forum where any registered voter can vote to choose the party's political candidate

form of direct primary

29

closed primary

forum where members of a specific political party vote to choose the party's  candidate

form of direct primary

30

turnout

percentage of qualified citizens who actually vote

31

coattail effect

reflex where one candidate's popularity leads to support for other members of his or her political party

32

incumbent

person currently holding political office

33

filibuster

a speech that lasts long enough so that a vote cannot be taken

occurs during a debate

34

form of government in which citizens elect representatives to a legislature

  • based on the idea that every citizen deserves to participate in government, whether directly or indirectly
  • unlike a monarchy because leadership positions are not inherited

representative democracy/republic

35

belief that a central government should regulate economic and political power

statism

36

a system of shared powers between the central and state governments

federalism

37

the most votes in an election, yet not necessarily a total majority

plurality

38

late 18th to early 19th-century political party that supported a strong centralized government

Federalist Party

39

political party that opposed a strong centralized government, fearing it would take away the rights of states

Anti-Federalist Party

40

a petition that is put to a public vote

  • requires a certain number of signatures
  • also known as a citizen's initiative
  • form of direct democracy

initiative

41

national or local vote to reject or accept a proposal

  • also known as a ballot question
  • form of direct democracy

referendum

42

a direct vote to end an elected official's term

  • occurs after enough citizens have signed a petition
  • also known as a recall referendum or recall election

recall

43

a re-examination of a case by a higher court after a lower court is deemed incorrect in its rulings

The Supreme Court has the power to review laws and treaties and deem any of them constitutional or unconstitutional.

 

judicial review

44

command given by the U.S. President or a state governor

  • based on constitutional powers or laws passed by Congress
  • carries the full force of the law

executive order

45

refusal of the U.S. government to spend funds allocated by Congress

  • done in an effort to reduce debt
  • banned in 1974

impoundment

46

powers explicitly given to the federal government in the U.S. Constitution

  • also known as enumerated powers
  • listed in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution

express powers

47

the powers of Congress not explicitly noted in the Constitution

needed to enforce enumerated powers

implied powers

48

powers belonging both to the state and federal government

e.g., charging taxes, protecting the environment, and borrowing money

concurrent powers

49

those who favor the concentration of power in a higher form of government

centralists

50

those who want to share power between local, state, and federal authorities

decentralists

51

economic system in which means of production (land and factories) are privately owned rather than owned by the government

  • operated for profit
  • developed during the Industrial Revolution

capitalism

52

In the modern political
context, one who: 

  • believes the government's duty is to promote equality
  • champions minorities, the poor, and disadvantaged
  • usually supports environmental causes and opposes extravagant military spending

liberal

53

In the modern political
context, one who: 

  • usually opposes government intervention in social and economic areas
  • conversely, prefers a strong army
  • generally champions traditional religions

conservative

54

economic system in which workers control the means of production and all wealth is evenly distributed

  • in Marxist theory, it is marked by an unequal distribution of goods and pay
  • current nations include China, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam
  • it has inspired programs and institutions, however, that exist in many countries including the U.S.

socialism

55

19th-century belief that the U.S. had the God-given right to acquire and control all of North America

Manifest Destiny

56

attempts to influence government action by an individual, a legislator, or an advocacy group

lobbying

57

election where candidates run without formal affiliation to any political party

nonpartisan election

58

forum where party leaders debate issues, discuss the party platform, and choose delegates for the national convention

caucus

59

forum where members of a specific party discuss their platform and select their Presidential candidate

party convention

60

an initial election (for a particular party) where popular vote decides the candidates who will move onto the next phase

direct primary

61

forum where any registered voter can vote to choose the party's political candidate

form of direct primary

open primary

62

forum where members of a specific political party vote to choose the party's  candidate

form of direct primary

closed primary

63

percentage of qualified citizens who actually vote

turnout

64

reflex where one candidate's popularity leads to support for other members of his or her political party

coattail effect

65

person currently holding political office

incumbent

66

a speech that lasts long enough so that a vote cannot be taken

occurs during a debate

filibuster