The Constitution Definitions Flashcards Preview

USA Gov and Pol Unit 2 (AK) > The Constitution Definitions > Flashcards

Flashcards in The Constitution Definitions Deck (21)
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1

Articles of Confederation

Compact made between original 13 states that formed the basis of government before the US Constitution was introduced

2

Confederacy

League of member states with a very weak central government

3

Articles of the Constitution

Six sections of the original constitution that laid out the powers of government, states, courts and the constitution itself

4

The Bill of Rights

First 10 amendments of the constitution (all written in 1789) that laid out basic rights of US citizens

5

Constitutional Rights

Fundamental rights guaranteed in Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments

6

Congress

Legislative body of the US, made up of House of Representatives and Senate

7

Separation of Powers

Political power is distributed among different bodies, which act both interdependently and independently

8

Limited Government

Size and scope of federal government should be limited to that which is necessary only for the common good of the people

9

Checks and Balances

A system of government in which each branch exercises control over the actions of the other branches of government

10

State of the Union Address

Annual speech made by President to set out his/her legislative agenda. Not legally binding for congress

11

Executive

Branch of government that includes President and cabinet

12

Impeachment

Formal accusation of a federal official by a vote in the House. Followed by a trial in the Senate

13

Supreme Court

Judicial branch of the government responsible for ensuring new laws do not contradict the Constitution and reviewing cases related to the Constitution

14

Bipartisanship

Close co-operation between Democrats and Republicans to pass legislation

15

Divided Government

One party controls the Executive branch whilst the other has Congressional majorities

16

Gridlock

When no legislation can be passed due to a divided government ie. Republican congress unwilling to co-operate with Democrat President

17

Federalism

A theory of government by which political power is divided between a national government and state governments

18

Decentralisation

Power not only vested in federal government, but state governments also

19

Dual Federalism

Clear line between the jurisdiction of the federal government and the powers of the state government

20

Co-operative Federalism

Federal and state governments work together to solve problems, with roughly equal influence

21

New Federalism

Return of certain powers to states in 1970s/1980s as a result of a growing federal government