History Study Guide

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56 Terms
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The process of making collective decisions, usually by governments to enforce rules for society.
Political System
The way a society organizes and manages its politics across various levels of public authority.
Rules that determine how people make collective decisions.
Federal System
A political system with multiple levels of government, in which each level has independent authority over some important policy areas.
Collective Dilemma
A situation in which there is a conflict between group goals and individual interests Ex: roommate and dirty dishes
Public Good
A benefit provided such that everyone can enjoy without necessarily having to pay for it. Ex: clean air, water, national defense
Private Good
A benefit provided such that it's enjoyment can be limited to specific people. Ex: Freshly brewed coffee, pancakes
Free Ride
Benefiting from a public good while avoiding the costs of contributing to it
Collective Action Problem
A situation in which people would be better off if they all cooperated; however any individual has an incentive not to cooperate as long as others are cooperating Ex: Individuals often want to drive cars so as to get around faster, but driving causes more air pollution that harms the whole group.
Prisoner's Dilemma
A situation in which two actors face a dilemma: cooperate with their partner for mutual reward, or betray their partner for individual reward.
Coordination Problem
A situation in which two or more people are all better off they coordinate on a common course of action but there is more than one possible course of action to take
Unstable Coalition
An instance in which three or more people must make a collective choice from a set of alternatives, but any voting coalition in favor of an alternative can be divided by consideration of another alternative.
Principal- Agent Problem
Refers to the conflict in interests and priorities that arises when one person or entity takes actions on behalf of another person. Ex: If the president hired a spy on his behalf, he would not be able to monitor what the spy is doing 24/7.
Bureaucrat/ Bureaucracy
Any government employee who is not part of the ruling powers. An agency devoted to doing tasks for the government in a manner consistent with the law
Public Policies
Programs and decisions by the government that are enforced by the rule of law.
Path Dependence
The notion that earlier events deeply affect current and future policy outcomes.
A political system where there is no expectation that the government represents the people and the institutions of government don't give the people a direct voice in decisions.
An authoritarian political system in which sovereign power is vested in one individual.
A political system in which a ruleris chosen by being the heir of the previous ruler.
A political system in which power resides in a small section of society.
One Party State
A political system in which one party controls the government and actively seeks to prevent other parties from obtaining power.
A political system in which public officials are chosen to represent the people in an assembly that makes policy decisions.
Rule by the people; in practice today, this means popular elections of the government and basic protections of civil rights and liberties.
Articles Of Confederation
The constitution drafted by the second continental congress in 1777. It set up a weak central government consisting of a congress with limited legislative power and virtually no authority over the execution of the laws.
Electoral College
The electors appointed by each state to vote for president
Expressed Powers
Powers specifically described in the Constitution
Elastic Clause
The provision of the Constitution stating that Congress can make whatever laws are "necessary and proper" to carry out its Expressed Powers.
Bicameral Legislature
Two chambers of Congress, one with proportional representation and one that is two per state.
Separation of Powers
Refers to the division of a state's government into branches, each with separate, independent powers and responsibilities, so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with those of the other branches.
Checks and Balances
An arrangement in which no one branch of government can conduct the core of its business without the approval, tacit or expressed, of the other branches
Supremacy Clause
The section of Constitution stating that the Constitution and the laws of the United States are to be the "Supreme law of the Land"
Reserved Powers
Those Powers not granted to the National Government by the Constitution, and therefore reserved to the states
Bill of Rights
I: Freedom of Speech, Religion, the Press, and the rights of assembly or petition II: Right to Bear Arms III: Housing Soldiers IV: Search and Arrest Warrants V: Rights in Criminal cases VI: Rights to a Fair Trial VII: Rights in Civil Cases VIII: Bails, Fines & Punishments IX: Rights retained by the people X: Powers retained by the states and the people The first 10 amendments to the Constitution, which enumerate a set of liberties not to be violated by the government and a set of rights to be protected.
Commerce Clause
An enumerated power of the Constitution that grants Congress the power to "regulate commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes."
Dual Federalism
A political system in which each level of government- national and state- is sovereign in its own sphere of policy authority. Ex: Layer cake
Cooperative Federalism
A political system in which both levels of government- national and state- are active in nearly all areas of policy and share sovereign authority. Ex: Marble cake
A system in which multiple levels of government are active in a given policy area.
Grants in Aid
Money that is distributed to lower level governments with the purpose of funding special projects
Categorical Grants
Grants that narrowly define how the funds are to be spent.
Revenue Sharing
A principle whereby the national government and the lower level governments cooperate in funding a project
Block Grants
Money given to lower levels of government that, as long as the general purpose of the grant is met, they are allowed considerable freedom in deciding how the money is spent.
An election in which citizens vote directly on whether to overturn a bill or a constitutional amendment that has been passed by the legislature.
Ballot Initiative
An election in which citizens vote directly on a proposition raised by a group of fellow citizens.
Recall Election
An election during the term of an elected government official in which citizens vote directly on whether to remove the individual from office.
Home Rule
The constitutional or legal authority held by local governments that allows them to govern themselves with little or no interference from the state
Civil Rights
Rights that give you the ability: a)do citizen stuff b) Due process and equal treatment under the law c) no discrimination, no "second class" citizens
Civil Liberties
Freedoms protected from interference by the government. Such as: Freedom of speech, religion, and right to bear arms.
Jim Crow Laws
Laws passed after the Civil War to establish a system of segregation of facilities and private establishments that made African Americans second class citizens.
Civil Rights Movement
A social movement from the 1950s and 1960s focused primarily on the situation of African Americans, but also promoting the goals that all people should be treated as equals under the law and that discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, and place of origin be eliminated.
Due Process
The right to legal protections against arbitrary deprivation of life, liberty or property.
Equal Protection
The principle that laws passed and enforced by the states must apply fairly to all individuals.
The process by which rights and liberties established by the Bill of Rights are applied to state and local government through the 14th amendment.
Strict Scrutiny
The highest level standard used by the Supreme Court to determine whether a law is compatible with the Constitution.
Rational Basis Test
The lowest level standard used by the Supreme Court to determine whether a law is compatible with the Constitution.
Intermediate Scrutiny Test
An intermediate standard used by the Supreme Court to determine whether a law is compatible with the Constitution.
Affirmative Action
Efforts to redress previous disrimination against women or minorities through active measures to promote their employment and educational opportunities.