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179 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Period of time when new ideas about govt. and people's freedom spread throughout Europe
Enlightenment thinker known for his idea on separation of powers
Separation of Powers
Idea that govt. power should be divided into branches so no one branch can become too powerful (limits govt. power)
John Locke
Enlightenment thinker known for his ideas on natural law and social contract
Locke's "Natural Rights" (Law)
Idea that all people are born equal with certain God-given rights including life, liberty, and property
Social Contract
Ideathat people agree to give up some freedom and be ruled by govt. in exchange forgovt. protecting their rights; if govt. does not then the deal is broken andthe people have the right to rebel and choose new leaders
Influence of Separation of Powers on U.S. Govt.
Three distinct branches with separate powers (L = Make Laws, E = Enforce laws, J = Interpret laws)
Influence of Social Contract on U.S. Govt.
Representatives are elected by the people; power comes from the people
Magna Carta
English document that limited the king's power by protecting basic rights; established 'limited monarchy' (idea that the king is not all powerful)
English Bill of Rights
Documentthat listed rights of English citizen's that no king could violate; inspired asimilar U.S. version
Mayflower Compact
Firstwritten agreement for self-govt. in America; Pilgrims agreed to work togetherto discuss and vote on laws (direct democracy)
Thomas Paine's Common Sense
Pamphlet that used Locke's ideas to argue for independence; convinced many colonist's to rebel against the king
Colonial Concerns that led to the Desire for Independence
Taxation without representation, limits on individual rights, violations of natural rights
Taxation without Representation
Imposing government fees without the consent of the people
Effects of English Policies
Colonist's demand political change through protests and boycotts, the colonist's grievances are ignored by the British, the Declaration of Independence is approved
Natural Rights in the DoI
Lists the rights of the citizens as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"
Role of Govt. in the DoI
Govt. gets their power from the people and exists to protect the people's rights
Grievances in the DoI
Lists the colonists' complaints against the British govt. and King George III
Specific Grievances in the DoI
Violated natural rights' including suspending of trial by jury, limiting judicial powers, quartering soldiers, and ending colonial legislatures (right to make laws)
Consent of the Governed
Approval from the people; govt. gets its power from the public
Unalienable/Inalienable Rights
Basic rights of the people that may not be taken away (as described in the DoI)
Approval or agreement
Cruel or unjust treatment or control
Not needing to be explained; obvious
Cruel and oppressive govt. or rule
Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
Legislativewith no power to tax or regulate trade, no executive branch (law enforcement& central leadership), no judicial branch (law interpreting & courts), changes required unanimous approval of all 13 states
Shays' Rebellion
Farmerled uprising that occurred after the courts threatened to take away farms topay off debts (money owed to the govt.); showed that the AoC might be too weakto maintain law and order
Constitutional Convention
Meetingwhere delegates from the states met to fix the AoC but instead ended up writingthe new Constitution
Six Goals in the Preamble
Form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty
Preamble to the Constitution
Introduction; establishes the goals and purposes of our govt.
"We the People"
Beginning of the Constitution; makes clear that power of govt. comes from the people and exists to serve them
Checks and Balances
System where each branch of govt. is able to restrain the power of the others; created to keep any one branch from becoming too powerful
Specific Examples of Checks and Balances
Congress can impeach, reject appointments, override vetoes, refuse treaties; President can veto (reject) legislation and appoint judges; Judges can declare acts unconstitutional
Wanted the ratification of the Constitution; believed in a strong national govt.
Against the ratification of the Constitution; fought for states rights & the adding of a bill of rights to protect individual liberties; thought the Constitution created a national govt. that was too strong
Federalist Papers
Series of essays written to explain and defend the proposed U.S. Constitution
Anti-Federalist Papers
Series of essays written to counter and defeat the proposed U.S. Constitution
Freedoms; rights
Rule of Law
Ideathat everyone, even those who govern (are in power), follow the laws; everyonebeing treated equally & no one being above the law; protects against tyranny
Bill of Rights
First 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution
Freedom of Assembly
Right to meet with a group of people in one place for a common purpose (1st Amendment)

Any person born or naturalized in the U.S.; described in the 14th amendment; legal member of a state and/or country

Legal process to obtain citizenship; steps include: application, interview, citizenship exam, ceremony
Naturalization Eligibility Requirements
18+ years old, live in the U.S. for 5+ years, be of good moral character, read/write/speak English, basic knowledge of U.S. history & govt
Foreign-born resident of the U.S. who has not been naturalized
An individual who moves permanently to a new country
Law of Blood
Aperson's nationality at birth is the same as that of their parents (US = bothparents are citizens OR one parent is a citizen who has lived in the U.S.)
Law of Soil
Aperson's nationality at birth is determined by the country they were born in(US = 50 states, D.C., territory, military base overseas)
An action we are required to perform; something you MUST do
An obligation that we meet of our own free will; things that are nice to do
Examples of Duties
Obey laws, pay taxes, defend the nation (selective service), serve in court (jury duty), attend school
Examples of Responsibilities
Be informed, attend civic meetings, petition the govt., run for office, vote
Common Good
Beliefs or actions that are seen as a benefit to the larger community rather than individual interests
Due Process
Thefollowing of established legal procedures; all citizens receive all legalrights (includes a trial, jury, no self-incrimination, Miranda Warning)
Civil Disobedience
Right of an individual to peacefully protest by refusing to comply with certain laws or pay taxes/fines
Right to vote
Ex Post Facto
Law that makes an act a crime AFTER the crime has been committed; means "after the fact"
Habeas Corpus
Requires a law official to bring a prisoner to court and show cause for holding the prisoner; means "bring the body"
A ruling that is used as a basis for a judicial decision in a later, similar case
Republican Party Ideas
Smaller govt. responsibilities, less govt. programs, less spending
Democratic Party Ideas
Larger govt. responsibilities, more govt. programs, more spending
Requirements for President
35+ yrs old, native-born U.S. citizen, live in U.S. for 14+ yrs
Requirements for Senators
30+ yrs old, live in state representing, U.S. citizen
Requirements for House Representatives
25+ yrs old, live in state representing, U.S. citizen
Requirements for Governor
30+ yrs old, live in state representing, be registered voter
Basis for Evaluating Candidates
Education, job experience, qualities, platforms (ideas about the issues)
Where to Find Information on Candidates
Voting record (only unbias source), debates, advertisements, websites
Mass communication (television, radio, newspaper, internet)
Interest Groups
Group of people who share a point of view about an issue and unite to promote their beliefs
Representativeof an interest group who contacts lawmakers or other govt. officials directlyto influence lawmaking
Political Action Committee (PAC)
Political organization established by a business or interest group; supports candidates by contributing money to campaigns
Role played by the media that exposes govt. wrongdoing
One sided feelings about a person or group that affects judgment
Using symbols to represent ideas or qualities (U.S. flag stands for patriotism)
Techniques of a bias nature that are used to convince someone of something
Govt.where power resides with the people
Direct Democracy
Govt. where citizens meet to discuss and vote on govt. matters/laws
Representative Democracy
Govt.where the people elect other people to make laws for them
Constitutional Monarchy
Govt.with a hereditary king/queen who shares authority with elected legislature andis limited the country's laws (aka limited monarchy)
Govt. controls all aspects of the economy (jobs, production, etc.)
Govt.that attempts to equalize the social conditions of life for all citizens byredistributing wealth based on need
Govt. where a small group of people hold power (power usually based on wealth)
Govt.where power resides with a single ruler
Absolute Monarchy
Govt. with a hereditary king/queen who rules with unlimited power
Citizens have a role in choosing the person who will be the head of the govt.
System of govt. where head of the Executive head comes from the Legislative group; Leader = Prime Minister
Systemof govt. where power is shared between the central govt. & smaller units(states); Leader = President (USA)
System of govt. where smaller units (states) agree to work together while keeping their individual powers
System of govt. in which power is delegated (given) only to the central govt.
Main Job of Legislative Branch
Makes (creates) laws
Main Job of Executive Branch
Enforces (carries out) laws
Main Job of Judicial Branch
Interprets (determines meaning of) laws
Executive Leaders
President & Vice President (elected)
Judicial Leaders
Supreme Court justices (judges who are appointed by the President & approved by Congress)
Article 1
Part of Constitution that describes the Legislative branch
Article 2
Part of Constitution that describes the Executive branch
Article 3
Part of Constitution that describes the Judicial branch
Powers of Legislative Branch
Impeachment, coin/print money, approve/reject presidential appointments, declare war, regulate trade, ratify or reject treaties
Powers of Executive Branch
Control armed forces as "commander-in-chief", deal with foreign affairs, makes treaties, grant pardons, appoints judges and ambassadors
Powers of Judicial Branch
Interpret cases brought to them; declare acts of Congress and President constitutional or unconstitutional
Concurrent Powers
Powers shared between the state and federal govt.'s
Elastic Clause
Gives Congress the power to make all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out their powers; allows Congress to 'stretch' their powers
Implied Powers
Powers Congress has that are not stated (written) in the Constitution; created with 'elastic clause'
Enumerated Powers
Powers directly granted to the national govt.; listed in the Constitution
Reserved Powers
Powers saved for the states; explained in the 10th amendment
Supremacy Clause
States that U.S. Constitution is the highest law in the U.S.; if there is a conflict between federal and state law the federal law always wins
Changeor addition to the Constitution; 27 total; difficult to ratify
Constitutional Amendment Process
Step 1- Proposal (2/3rds vote of Congress OR 2/3rds of states at convention), Step 2- Ratification (3/4ths of state legislatures OR 3/4ths of states at convention)
To pass; approve
A law of a city or county
A law written by a legislative branch of govt.
Local Lawmakers
City/county/council commisioners (members)
State & Federal Lawmakers
Representatives and Senators (Congress)
Steps to Solve State/Local Problems
1) Research alternative solutions, 2) Contact council members with concerns, 3) Present alternative proposal at council meeting, 4) Prepare petition
Judicial Review
U.S.Supreme Court's power to interpret the constitutionality of laws and actions
Executive Order
Rule or command the president gives out that has the force of law
Group of advisers to the president (heads of 15 executive departments)
Chief Justice
Head of the U.S. Supreme Court
To accuse govt. officials of misconduct or wrongdoing in office
Steps for a Bill to Become a Law
1) Representative introduces a bill, 2) House and Senate approves the bill,3) Executive leader (President/Governor) signs the bill into law or vetoes(rejects) it
Civil Law
Involves disputes between people or groups usually over property or money
Criminal Law
Relates to the breaking of laws; seeks to protect public safety
Constitutional Law
Deals with interpretation of the Constitution
Military Law
Applies only to those serving in the armed forces
Common Law
System of law based on precedent (prior legal decisions) and custom (tradition)
Case Law
Established by judicial decisions to court cases
Juvenile Law
Deals with people under the age of 18
Trial Court
Court where judge/jury hear evidence in cases and reach a verdict (decision)
Appellate (Appeals) Court
Court in which a party who lost a case in a lower court asks judges to review that decision and reverse it
District Courts
Lowest level court in the U.S. federal system; hear trial court cases for the first time
Circuit Courts
2nd highest court in the U.S. federal system; federal 'appeals' court
U.S. Supreme Court
Highest court in the U.S. federal system; "court of last resort"; final appeals court
Marbury v. Madison
Supreme Court ruled that the Supreme Court has the power of judicial review
Plessy v. Ferguson
SupremeCourt ruled that "separate but equal" aka segregation wasconstitutional
Brown v. Board of Education
SupremeCourt ruled that "separate but equal" aka segregation isunconstitutional and school integration began; overturned Plessy v. Ferguson
Gideon v. Wainwright
Supreme Court ruled that a person accused of a major crime has the right to an attorney (counsel) during their trial; protects rights of the accused
Miranda v. Arizona
Supreme Court ruled that suspects cannot be questioned until informed of their rights; new police procedure of 'Miranda Warning'; protects rights of the accused
In re Gault
Supreme Court ruled that juveniles accused of crimes have the same due process rights as adults
Tinker v. Des Moines
Supreme Court ruled that actions similar to speech can be considered speech and are protected under the 1st amendment
Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier
Supreme Court ruled that students have freedom of press at schools but only if it meets the schools standards
U.S. v. Nixon
Supreme Court ruled that even the president is not above the law
Bush v. Gore
SupremeCourt ruled that Florida's recount of presidential votes did not treat everyvote equally; recount was stopped and Bush won the presidency
District of Columbia v. Heller
Supreme Court ruled that the 2nd amendment protects an individuals right to own a firearm for lawful purposes
Practice of keeping different races separate from each other
Purpose of the Constitution
Provides a framework for govt., limits govt. authority, protects the rights of the people
US & FL Constitution Similarities
Structure (preamble/articles/amendments & 3 branches) and protect the rights of the people (Bill of Rights; FL Declaration of Rights)
US & FL Constitution Differences
US - First and only, short and general; FL - Has had 6, long and specific
State Govt. Services
Education, state parks, state police, roads
Local Govt. Services
Police and fire protection, trash collection, drinking water, sewer system, county parks/recreation
Domestic Policy
A nation's overall plan for dealing with issues within its borders; issues at home
Foreign Policy
A nation's overall plan for dealing with other nations; issues away from home
Foreign Policy Issues
Treaties, international aid, international trade, military
Goals of U.S. Foreign Policy
Protect national security, spread democracy, promote peace, and build trade with other countries
Agreement between two or more countries to work together for a specific purpose as "allies"
An official representative of a country's govt.
Theactions a representative of a country's govt. takes when they participatein talks with representatives of other nations
A formal written agreement between the govt.'s of two or more countries
Secretary of State
Executive position responsible for foreign affairs
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
Organizations that operate independently of any govt. body, usually through volunteers/donations
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
Agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada to create the largest free trade zone in the world
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
Treaty between many North American and European nations promising to defend one another if attacked
International Red Cross
Aids victims of war/natural disaster; helps people in need on both sides of war
United Nations (UN)
Largest governmental organization; main goal of keeping peace among nations (U.S. = member)
World Court
Settles legal disputes among nations; cannot enforce its rulings
World Trade Organization (WTO)
Main goal of promoting free trade among nations
Steps to Deal with International Conflict
1) Diplomatic talks, 2) Public protests, 3) Trade ban, 4) Military operation

Freedom of Press

Right to circulate opinions in print without censorship by the govt. (1st Amendment)

Freedom to Petition

Right to make a complaint or seek the assistance of the govt. without fear of punishment (1st Amendment)

Right to Bear Arms

Freedom to own a gun (2nd Amendment)

No Quartering of Soldiers

Troopscannot live in your home without your consent (3rd Amendment)

No Unreasonable Searches & Seizures

Police need probable cause (strong reason to believe) and a warrant (permission from a judge) to go through your home and belongings (4th Amendment)

No Double Jeopardy

Aperson cannot be tried two times for the same exact crime (5th Amendment)

No Self-Incrimination

Aperson cannot be forced to speak against one self (5th Amendment)

Right to Counsel

The guarantee of a lawyer to aid the accused in their defense (6th Amendment)

Right to Jury Trial

The guarantee of a verdict (decision) in a legal case to be decided by a group (typically twelve) of your peers (6th Amendment: criminal & 7th Amendment: civil)

No excessive bail

No unreasonable fee for the accused to be temporarily released from jail while awaiting trial (8th Amendment)

Unenumerated Rights

Rights not listed in the Constitution that belong to the people (9th Amendment)
Reserved Powers
Powers not listed in the Constitution that belong to the states (10th Amendment)
No Poll Taxes
No having to pay a fee to vote (24th Amendment)