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Trevor Harrell

US Government Summer 2015

July 31, 2015
40 Vocab Terms

1. Bureaucracy - is a system of government in which most of the important decisions are made
by state officials rather than by elected representatives.
ex: In every country the bureaucracy is abused, with less or more reasoning.
2. Checks and Balances - counterbalancing influences by which an organization or system is
regulated, typically those ensuring that political power is not concentrated in the hands of
individuals or groups.
ex: The United States Government uses checks and balances to ensure that no single branch of
government or person has more control than another
3. Confederation - an organization that consists of a number of parties or groups united in
an alliance of league.
ex: When the South succeeded from the rest of the United States, they formed a confederation.
4. Conservative - holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or
innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion.
ex: The government tries to be very conservative with their money and how they spend it.
5. Constitutional Government - the existence of a constitution that effectively controls the
political power.
ex: Since we have our rights as humans set in stone, we live in a constitutional government.
6. Democracy - is a system of government in which an organization or group is controlled by a
majority of its members
ex: The framers of America wanted the United States Government to be based on a democracy.
7. Double Jeopardy - is the prosecution of a person twice for the same offense.
ex: The prisoner was charged with robbery twice within 3 years and is now in a double jeopardy.
8. Due Process - the legal requirement that the state must respect all legal rights that are owed
to a person.
ex: When convicted of a felony, the court is made sue that the convict has his/her fair rights
through the due process.
9. Earmarks - is a congress directive that funds will be spent on a specific project
ex: During the 1950's, conger passed an earmark when the national highway project started.

10. Electoral College - a body of people representing the states of the US, who formally cast
votes for the election of the president and vice president
ex: For the Presidential election, the electors from every state vote on who is going to be the
President and the Vice President.
11. Eminent Domain - the right of a government or its agent to expropriate private property for
public use, with payment of compensation.
ex: Many people lost their homes when the highways were being built due to eminent domain,
12. Establishment Clause - the clause in the First Amendment of the US Congress the prohibits
the establishment of religion by Congress
ex: The establishment clause prevents the very first government from establishing
a government such as christianity or catholicism.
13. Exclusionary Rule - is a law that prohibits the use of illegally obtained evidence in a criminal
ex: The evidence that was obtained by the authorities could not of been shown since the way
they obtained it was illegal under the exclusionary rule.
14. Filibuster - an action such as a prolonged speech the obstructs progress in a
legislative assembly while not technically contravening the required procedures
ex: The Senator was filibustering for days because he did not agree with the legislative that was
going on
15. Framer - any of the delegates who participated in the framing of the US Constitution
ex: To this day, Congress still is not sure what the intentions of some of the framers on
some clauses
16. Free Exercise Clause - the other statement in the First Amendment in the same clause as
the Establishment Clause, stating that the government cannot discriminate or prohibit from a
certain religion.
ex: Judaism may by outlawed in some places throughout the world, but in the US you cannot
discriminate this religion because of the Free Exercise Clause.
17. Gerrymandering - manipulate the boundaries of an electoral constituency so as far one party
or class.
ex: Gerrymandering would mean that the candidate cheated in his/her election.
18. Globalization - the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world
views, products, ideas, and other aspects of culture.
ex: The American market went through globalization when they decided to expand trade with
foreign counties.
19. Inalienable Rights - a right according to natural law, a right that cannot be taken away,
denied, or transferred.
ex: The Declaration of Independence has a wide range of inalienable rights.

20. Implied Powers - the powers exercised by congress which are not explicitly given by the
constitution itself, but necessary and proper to execute the power which are.
ex: The government uses implied powers to pass laws.
21. Indictment - formal change or accusation of a serious crime
ex: The prosecutor first charged the defendant with indictment.
22. Judicial Review - the doctrine under which legislative and executive actions are subject to
review by the judiciary.
ex: After a law is passed by the President, the executive and judicial branches are able to
review this law to make sure it qualifies with the constitution.
23. Liberal - a person of liberal views which is open to new behavior o opinions and wiling to
discard traditional values.
ex: The liberal dictator increased trade/spending and raised taxes hoping to bring change.
24. Necessary and Proper Clause - a statement in the US constitution granting congress
the pose to pass all laws necessary and proper for carrying out the enumerated list of powers
ex: The necessary and proper clause is also known as the elastic clause.
25. Parliament - an assembly of the representatives of a political nation, often the supreme
legislate authority
ex: The United States Congress is based of of the british Parliament
26. Pocket Veto - an indirect veto of a legislative bill by the president or a governor by retaining
the bill unsigned until it is too late to be handled with.
ex: The new law went through a pocket veto with the paper work sat on the President's desk for
4 months.
27. Popular Sovereignty - the principle that the authority of the government is created
and sustained by the consent of its people, and then through their representatives.
ex: the United States Government is based of the idea of popular sovereignty, even including
the most powerful people, the President.
28. Probable Cause - reasonable grounds
ex: The suspects car smelled like marijuana, the cop then had a probable cause to search the
29. Proportional Representation - characterizes electoral systems by which divisions in an
electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body.
ex: The House of Representatives is based on the proportional representation system.
30. Referendum - a general vote by the electorate on a single political question that has been
referred to them for a direct decision.
ex: There were not enough votes to pass the referendum.

31. Republic - a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected

representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.
ex: The Republic style of government has been around since the ancient greek and perisan
empires, this has also helped shape some governments today.
32. Rule of Law - is the legal principle that law should govern a nation, as opposed to being
governed by arbitrary decisions of individual government officials.
ex: As a country, we need to put into consideration of the limited governmental powers based on
the rule of law.
33. Separated Powers - an act of vesting the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of
government in separate bodies.
ex: The separated powers is what holds each branch where it is and is what keeps the power in
control throughout the three branches.
34. Social Contract Theory - is a theory that typically addresses the questions of the origin of
society and the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual.
ex: There needs to be a new social contract in which it fully respects the human as an individual
and not just what they do or produce.
35. Suffrage - the right to vote in political elections.
ex: Women's suffrage was not achieved until the passing of the nineteenth amendment.

36. Supremacy Clause - is the provision in Article Six, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution
that establishes the United States Constitution, federal statutes, and treaties as "the supreme
law of the land."
ex: All of the power that the federal government is given over the states is given to the
supremacy clause.

37. Treaty - is an agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law,
namely sovereign states and international organizations.
ex: The Treaty of Paris ended the war and formally gave the Americans their independence.
38. Veto - a constitutional right to reject a decision or proposal made by a law-making body.
ex: The President did not agree with the law so he vetoed it.
39. Writ of Certioraria common law writ issued by a superior court to one of inferior jurisdiction demanding the recor
d of a particular case.
ex: The lower court felt that their case was more important than how it was vein taken care of,
so they wrote a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court to move their case to the Supreme Court.

40. Implied Powers - are those powers authorized by a document (from the Constitution) that,
while not stated, seem to be implied by powers expressly stated.
ex: The government uses implied powers to create laws.