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Chapter 1 Glossary

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Chapter 1 Glossary


Constitution: The Document which is the supreme law of the U.S. and the basis for all that exists within it. It able to be amended and adapted to fit the current era and the problems it presents.


Amendment: A article which changes the view taken by the Constitution on a matter or creates a new standpoint for one that has be, up to date, unaddressed.


Article: One of the original components of the Constitution set down by the founding fathers which defines our government and its limits.


Federalism: Constitutional arrangement in which power is distributed between a central government and subdivisional governments, called states in the United States. The national and the subdivisional governments both exercise direct authority over individuals.


Dual Federalism: Views the Constitution as giving a limited list of powers—primarily foreign policy and national defense—to the national government, leaving the rest to the sovereign states. Each level of government is dominant within its own sphere. The Supreme Court serves as the umpire between the national government and the states in disputes over which level of government has responsibility for a particular activity.


Co-Operative Federalism: A system of Federalism in which power is shared between the national and state levels but the majority is held by the federals government.


Fiscal Federalism:A system of Federalism which believes that power is held by those with financial capital. The part of government which controls the money will be able to exert its will on the other portions that need that money. I.E. Congress and the state legislators


Legislative Branch: The law making branch which consists of a Bi-cameral legislator and


Judicial Branch: The Supreme Court and all of the other courts in America they are responsible for making sure that all proceedings in the government are constitutional and settling disagreements accordingly


Executive Branch: The Branch of government which consists of the President and his subordinates.


Bi-Cameral: Referring to a Legislative body with two houses. i.e. the Congress being divided into the Senate and the House of Representatives


Checks and Balances: Constitutional division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, with the legislative branch making law, the executive applying and enforcing the law, and the judiciary interpreting the law.


Separation of Powers: Constitutional grant of powers that enables each of the three branches of government to check some acts of the others and therefore ensure that no branch can dominate.


Confederation: Constitutional arrangement in which sovereign nations or states, by compact, create a central government but carefully limit its power and do not give it direct authority over individuals.


Commerce Clause: A clause in Article I section 8 of the Constitution which gives Congress the right to regulate and create trade relations and agreements with other nations


Full Faith and Credit Clause: Clause in the Constitution (Article 4, Section 1) requiring each state to recognize the civil judgments rendered by the courts of the other states and to accept their public records and acts as valid.


Incumbency: the act of a person currently holding the office.


Necessary and Proper Clause: Clause in the Constitution that states that “Congress should have the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers. . . .” This clause is also known as the elastic clause as is a major and significant power of Congress, granting Congress the ability to interpret its lawmaking ability in a broad manner.


Enumerated Powers: The powers expressly given to Congress in the Constitution.


Implied Powers: The ability given to Congress by the elastic clause of the Constitution to create any necessary and proper laws in the future to further the functioning of the government.


State Government: The form of government that exists at the state level and regulates everything for each of the fifty states. It is subservient to the federal government.


Federal Government: The form of government that governs all of the states and interacts with other nations on the global scale.


Ratification: The conformation of validation of an act (such as the Constitution) by authoritative approval.


Federalists: Supporters of the ratification of the Constitution and a strong Central government.


Anti- Federalists: Opponents of the ratification of the Constitution and of a strong central government, generally.


Bill of Rights: A list of fundamental freedoms assumed to be central to society. It was in all of the state constitutions but was not included in the Federal Constitution. It was a major point of debate between the Feds and Anti-Feds. It now consists of the first ten amendments to the Constitution.


Work Cited 

(1) Study Notes "A.P. U.S. Government and Politics Vocab Terms" 2008<www.apstudynotes.org/us-government/>


Comments (1)

mberry said

at 2:24 pm on Dec 14, 2009


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