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Need to know AP US Government and Politics Vocabulary.

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Presentation on theme: "Need to know AP US Government and Politics Vocabulary."— Presentation transcript:

1 Need to know AP US Government and Politics Vocabulary

2 I Constitution Underpinning Separation of Power: divisions of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches Divided Government: Governance divided between the parties, especially when one holds the presidency and one controls one or both houses of congress Democracy: a government ruled by the people, directly or indirectly Direct democracy: citizens vote on laws directly Representative democracy: also called a Republic; power in the hands of the few Federalism: support of a strong central government Constitutionalism: term applied to arguments- checks and balances and federalism

3 II Political Beliefs and Behaviors Political Culture: assumptions, attitudes, and patterns of behaviors people have toward the government and politics Natural Rights: rights of all people to dignity and worth Political Ideology: consistent pattern or belief about political values and the role of government Political Socialization: process by which we develop our political attitudes Reinforcing Cleavages: divisions within society that reinforce one another, making groups more similar Cross Cutting Cleavage: divisions within society that cut across demographic categories to produce groups that are more different

4 III Political Parties and Interest Groups Interest Group: people who share a common interest and seek to influence the government usually work within the government and use tactic such as lobbying Lobbying: engaging in activities aimed at influencing public official Iron Triangle: mutually supporting relationship among interest groups, committees and government agencies that share a common policy concern Political Action Committee (PAC): political aim of an interest group that is legally entitled to raise funds on a voluntary basis Patronage: dispensing of government jobs to persons who belong to the winning political party

5 III Political Parties and Interest Groups Continued Party Column Ballot: type of ballot that encourages voting by listing all the party’s candidates in a column under the party name Office Block Ballot: ballot which all candidates are listed under the office for which they are running Direct Primary : election which voters choose party nominees Open Primary: primary election which any voter may vote Closed Primary: primary election where only people registered in the party may vote

6 IV Institutions and Bureaucracy  Gerrymandering: drawing of legislative district boundaries to benefit a party, group, or incumbent  Incumbent: the current holder of an office  Enumerated Powers: powers explicitly given to congress in the constitution  Majority Leader: legislative leader selected by majority party  Minority Leader: legislative leader selected by minority party  Whip: party leader who is the liaison between the leadership and the rank-and-file in the legislature

7 IV Institutions and Bureaucracy Continued Filibuster: procedural practice in the Senate whereby a Senator refuses to relinquish the floor and thereby delays procedure Cloture: procedure for terminating debate, especially filibusters Standing Committee: a permanent committee established in a legislature Pocket Veto: a veto from the President Override: congress reserves president veto, requires 2/3 majority Executive Privilege: the right to keep executive communications confidential Office of Management and Budget: presidential staff agency that serves as a clearing house for budgetary requests and management improvements for government agencies Executive agreement: agreement between the president and other world leaders

8 V Public Policy Proportional Representative: an electoral district in which voters choose one representative Winner-take-all system: election system in which the candidate with the most votes wins Electoral College: electoral system used in electing president Caucus: meeting of local party members to choose party officials National Party Convention: national meeting of delegates elected in primaries etc. Soft Money: contributions to a state or local party building Issue Advocacy: promoting a position or an issue for an interest group or individual, but not a candidate

9 VI Civil Rights and Liberties Judicial Review: the act in which a court can challenge a law that they believe unconstitutional Judicial Activism: judicial ruling based on consideration and not law Stare Decisis: legal principle which judges are obligated to respect prior decisions Habeas Corpus: a prisoner can be released under unlawful detention Judicial Restraint: judges limit the exercise of their own power Amicus Curae: “friend of the court” someone who offers information to help the court


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