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The Constitution Class in Corona meets Tuesday Nights at 6:00 pm at AllStar Collision in the upstairs classroom, located at 522 Railroad Street, Corona, California. The class is free, all attendees receives a pocket constitution. Monetary gifts accepted to help with the cost of printing and transportation.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Glossary for Corona Constitution Class

GLOSSARY for the Constitution Classes taught by Douglas V. Gibbs

1559 Act of Uniformity - In Britain it was illegal not to attend Church of England services, with a fine imposed for each missed Sunday and holy day.  Penalties for having unofficial services included arrest and larger fines.

3/5s Clause - Compromise in the Constitution that disallowed the northern states, or the southern states, to dominate the House of Representatives.  3/5 of a whole for the purposes of enumeration was decided upon so that both regions had about equal representation in the House of Representatives.

Activist Judge - A public officer charged with applying the law in order to administer justice, but also interprets the law, and modifies the law according to his opinion; a judge that legislates from the bench.

Adjourn - Suspend proceedings to a later time and/or place.

Advise and Consent Powers - Treaties, appointments, and other executive functions, though executed by the President, requires the advise by, and the approval of, the Senate.

Affirmation - A solemn sworn declaration, or promise, to fulfill a pledge.

Americanism - A philosophy of freedom that actively seeks less government and more personal responsibility.

Anarchy – Zero government.  Supporters of anarchy believe that from chaos rises order.  They seek to destroy the old system so that a new political system may rise up from the rubble.  Anarchy is a transitional state of governance, transitioning whatever it destroys into oligarchy, or a similar centralized system, where the powerful few rule over the many.

Annapolis Convention - Titled by the participants: Proceedings of the Commissioners to Remedy Defects of the Federal Government, Annapolis in the State of Maryland, September 14, 1786; a regional meeting of five States originally intended to discuss ways of improving navigation on the Potomac River.  The participating delegates determined they could not deal effectively with national commercial problems without changes in the Articles of Confederation, and called for a convention of all the states to meet eight months later in Philadelphia, where the Constitution of the United States was ultimately drafted.

Anti-Federalists - Opposed to formation of a federal government, particularly by adoption of the Constitution of the United States.

Arms - Weapons, firearms; a gun that may be used for protection of property or as part of a militia.

Article V. Convention - A convention for the proposal of constitutional amendments applied for by the States and called by Congress.

Articles of Confederation - Agreement between the thirteen original states establishing the terms under which they agreed to participate in an organized, central form of government, adopted November 15, 1777, during the American Revolutionary War.

Atlantic Slave Trade - Started by the Portuguese, but soon dominated by the English, the Atlantic Slave Trade was the sale and exploitation of African slaves by Europeans that occurred in and around the Atlantic Ocean from the 15th century to the 19th century.

Bailey Bill - Income Tax introduced in April 1909 by Senator Joseph W. Bailey, a Democrat from Texas, designed to embarrass conservative Republicans when they voted against it.  The introduction of the bill was one of the factors that led to the proposal of the 16th Amendment.

Bicameral - Having two branches or chambers (regarding a legislative body).

Bill of Rights - The first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution; a formal summary of those rights and liberties considered essential to a people or group of people.

Black Codes - Laws put in place in the United States after the Civil War with the effect of limiting the basic human rights and civil liberties of blacks.

Bribery - The exchange of money, promises, or other things, with someone in office, in order to influence that person’s views or conduct.

Capital Crime - A crime for which the punishment is death.  Punishment for a Capital Crime is called Capital Punishment.

Cap and Trade - Emissions trading; a regulatory approach to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants; central control limit of amount of pollutants that can be emitted (cap), and companies are permitted to sell the unused portion of their limits to other companies that are struggling to comply (trade).

Capitalism - An economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.

Carte Blanche - Unrestricted power to act at one’s own discretion; unconditional authority; derived from “blank cheque.”

Caucuses - A meeting of the members of a legislative body who are members of a particular political party, to select candidates or decide policy.

Censure - Procedure for publicly reprimanding a public official for inappropriate behavior.  There are normally no legal consequences.  Censure is not mentioned in the Constitution, but is a procedure devised by the legislature as a tool for formal condemnation of a member of the congressional body.

Census - A required head count to be taken once every ten years in order to determine the enumeration for establishing the number of Representatives each state would receive.

Central Government - A nationalistic government that is more typically a characteristic of a unitary state.

Charter - A document issued by a sovereign, legislature, or other authority, creating a public or private corporation, such as a city, college, or bank, and defining its privileges and purposes; a written grant from the sovereign power of a country conferring certain rights and privileges on a person, a corporation, or a people.

Checks and Balances - An internal system in government where each part of government can counter the actions or decisions of the other parts.  This arrangement ensures transparency, and prevents domination of the government by any part.

Civic Activities - Participating in community events, donating time for society, i.e. donating blood, and charity events.

Closed Primary - A primary election in which only party members may select candidates for a general election.

Collective Right - Rights held by a group, rather than its members separately.

Collusion - Conspire together.

Commercial Center - A central location of commercial activity; an environment for commerce, or business activity.

Common Law - The part of English law that is derived from custom and judicial precedent rather than statutes, able to be changed by the whims of the governed, or their representatives.

Communism - Socialism realized; theory of social organization based on principles of common ownership, ownership and possessions being ascribed to the community as a whole, or to the state.  System in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a dominant government, administered by the ruling elite of a single, and self-perpetuating, political party.

Communitarianism - A society where the good of the community outweighs the good of the individual; a common good conception of justice; a well ordered society  without rulers that uses pluralism as the guiding principle.

Concurrent Powers - Powers that are shared by the State and the federal government.

Confederation - An association of sovereign member states that, by treaty or other agreement, have delegated some of their powers to a common institution in order to coordinate policies, without constituting a new state on top of the member states.

Congress - A legislative body granted the authority of legislative powers.  In the United States, the Congress is the only part of government granted the authority of legislative powers.

Congress of the United States - The legislative branch of the federal government which consists of two houses; a Senate and House of Representatives.  The Congress is the only part of the federal government granted the authority of legislative powers.

Constitutional Amendment - Changes made to an existing constitution.

Constitutional Republic - Government that adheres to the rule or authority of the principles of a constitution.  A representative government that operates under the rule of law.

Consultative Assembly - A legislative body that advises a ruler on matters of law, policy, and foreign affairs.  Consultative assemblies lack the lawmaking power of traditional legislatures, and often exist only to give the appearance of giving the people a voice, when in reality they provide no real check against the central government, or the head of state.  Consultative assemblies are normally just a rubber stamp for the ruling party, or head of state.  Members can be elected, or appointed.

Corruption of Blood - Punishment inherited or passed down, all inheritable qualities are destroyed.

Declaration of Independence - The unanimous formal Declaration of the thirteen united States of America declaring their freedom from Great Britain, dated July 4, 1776.

Democracy - A form of government in which all citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives.  Such a system includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law.

Direct Taxation - A government levy on the income, property, or wealth of people or companies.  A direct tax is borne entirely by the entity that pays it, and cannot be passed on to another entity.

Direct Vote - Citizens vote themselves; popular vote.

Divine Providence - The care and superintendence which God exercises over His creatures.

Double Jeopardy - The act of putting a person through a second trial for an offense for which he or she has already been prosecuted or convicted.

Dry Counties - Counties in the United States whose government forbids the sale of alcoholic beverages within the county.

Due Process - The essential elements of due process of law are notice, an opportunity to be heard, the right to defend in an orderly proceed, and an impartial judge.  It is founded upon the basic principle that every man shall have his day in court, and the benefit of the general law which proceeds only upon notice and which hears and considers before judgment is rendered.  In short, due process means fundamental fairness and substantial justice.

Duties - A tax levied by a government on the import or export of goods.

Electoral College - A body of electors chosen by the voters in each State to elect the President and Vice President of the United States.

Electors - A qualified voter in an election; a member of the Electoral College of the United States.

Eminent Domain - The power to take private property for public use by a State, municipality, or private person or corporation authorized to exercise functions of public character, following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property.

English Bill of Rights - Enacted in 1689, the English Bill of Rights is one of the fundamental documents of English constitutional law, marking a fundamental milestone in the progression of English society from a nation of subjects to a nation of free citizens with God-given rights.  The evolution began with the Magna Carta in 1215.

Enumerated - Counted or told, number by number; reckoned or mentioned by distinct particulars.

Exceptionalism - The condition of being exceptional or unique; the theory or belief that something, especially a nation, does not conform to a pattern or norm.

Excise - Tax on the manufacture, sale, or consumption of goods, or upon licenses to pursue certain occupations, or upon corporate privileges.

Exclusive Powers - Sole authority over a particular power, be it for the States within their own territorial boundaries, or sole federal powers.  Also known as Reserved Powers.

Executive Branch - The branch of government responsible for executing, or carrying out, the laws.  An executive in government can be a president, or a governor.

Executive Order - An order issued by the President of the United States that may be a proclamation, or an order to change the processes within the Executive Branch.

Express Powers - Powers granted to the federal government by enumerated authorities expressly granted in the United States Constitution.

Extradite - The surrender of a person charged with a crime by one state or country to another state or country.

Fascism - A governmental system that regiments all industry and commerce through heavy regulatory controls.  Characteristics of fascism include the forced suppression of all opposition and criticism, aggressive nationalism, class warfare, and racial division.

Federal Government - System of government in which power is distributed between central authority and constituent territorial units.

Federal Reserve - A privately owned corporation that is owned by a secret group of international bankers.  The federal reserve holds a monopoly on the creation of money in the United States.  Whenever the U.S. Government needs money it borrows the money from the federal reserve, thus creating a national debt.

Federalism - Government in which the central government’s power and authority is limited by local government units, and where each unit is delegated a sphere of power and authority only it can exercise, while other powers must be shared.  The term federalism comes from the Latin root foedus, which means “formal agreement or covenant.”  It includes the interrelationships between the states as well as between the states and the federal government.

Federalist Papers - Series of essays written by John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton defending, and explaining the principles of, the Constitution in order to encourage the New York Ratifying Convention to decide to ratify the Constitution.

Felony - Offense of graver character than misdemeanors, especially those commonly punished in the U.S. by imprisonment for more than a year.  Felonies may include Capital Crimes and Infamous Crimes.

Fiat Money - Money that derives its value from government regulation or law, but is not backed by any tangible collateral; money that lacks any intrinsic value.

Foreign Entanglements - Unnecessary involvement with other nations.

Freeman - A person that is not a slave, indentured servant, or serf.

Free Market - Market economy in which the exchange of goods and services, and the fluctuation of prices, are free from intervention by government; an economic system governed by competition among private businesses, and the forces of supply and demand.

Full Faith and Credit - In the context of the U.S. Constitution, Article IV, the phrase is defined as requiring all States in the U.S. to recognize and give effect to the legislation, public records, and judicial decisions of other States in the United States.  Full Faith and Credit also means: An unconditional commitment to pay interest and principal in debt, usually issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury or another government entity.

General Welfare - A general sense of Welfare throughout the republic; the founders tasked the federal government with the duty of ensuring there was Welfare throughout the nation in a general manner; an atmosphere in general that is one of “Welfare,” or “all’s well.”

Grand Jury - A group of citizens convened in a criminal case to consider the prosecutor’s evidence and determine whether probable cause exists to prosecute a suspect for a felony.  At common law, a group of persons consisting of not less than twelve nor more than twenty-four who listen to evidence and determine whether or not they should charge the accused with the commission of a crime by returning an indictment.  The number of members on a grand jury varies in different States.

Granted - To confer, give, or bestow.  A gift of legal rights or privileges, or a recognition of asserted rights, as in treaty.  To legally transfer.

Great Depression - A severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II.

High Crimes - Punishable offenses that only apply to high persons, meaning “public officials,” or those who, because of their official status, are under special obligations that ordinary persons are not under.

House of Representatives - Representatives of the people, directly voted into office by voters of the district the statesman represents.  The members of the House of Representatives are divided among the States proportionally.

Impeachment - To charge with misconduct.  Formal process that may lead to removal of an official accused of unlawful activity; impeachment does not mean the removal from office, though removal from office is often the result of impeachment proceedings.

Implied Powers - Legal or governmental authority not expressly stated by the U.S. Constitution, but considered to be logical extensions or implications of the other powers delegated in the Constitution.  The concept of Implied Powers is often defended by the Necessary and Proper Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 18).

Imposts - A tax, especially an import duty; Import Duty is a tariff paid at a border or port of entry to the relevant government to allow a good to pass into that government’s territory.

Incorporation of the Bill of Rights - The process through court rulings based on the interpretation of the 14th Amendment to apply the Bill of Rights to the States.

Indentured Servants - Colonists serving under indenture contracts which paid for their passage to America and lasted for a term of years (usually seven years) generally ending with a lump sum payment in money or goods, a plot of land, and freedom.

Indirect Taxation - An indirect tax is contrasted with a direct tax which is collected directly by the government from the people.  An indirect tax, for example, may increase the price of a good so that consumers are actually paying the tax by paying more for the products.  Another example of indirect tax is for one entity to tax another entity, and then the second entity taxing the people to recoup the taxes it paid (federal government taxes the State, and the State taxes the people).

Indirect Vote - Representatives of Electors vote instead of the citizens.  The indirect vote may be based on criteria that includes the will, or portions of the will, of the citizens; before the 17th Amendment, United States Senators were chosen by an indirect vote of the people, in which State representatives who attained their office by a direct vote of the people appointed U.S. Senators to represent their State in Congress; the President is elected by an indirect vote of the people through electors that traditionally follow the popular vote of their State, but have the choice to change that vote if believed to be necessary, and a President may be elected based on an Electoral majority that does not reflect the national popular vote.

Individual Right - Rights held by individuals within a particular group.

Infamous Crime - A crime which works infamy in the person who commits it.  Infamous crimes tend to be classified as treason, felonies, and any crime involving the element of deceit.

Inflation - A sustained, rapid increase in prices, over months or years, and mirrored in the correspondingly decreasing purchasing power of the currency.

Intolerable Acts - A series of laws passed by the British Parliament against the American Colonies in March of 1774.  The British Parliament referred to these laws as the Coercive Acts.  The acts were primarily designed to punish the colony of Massachusetts for defying British policies, and more specifically, for the Boston Tea Party.  The Intolerable Acts caused outrage among the Americans, which led to the calling of the First Continental Congress in September of 1774.  Among the actions taken by this united Congress was a boycott of British goods.  The Intolerable Acts were called “impolitic, unjust, and cruel,” and included the Boston Port Act, the Massachusetts Government Act, the Quartering Act, the Quebec Act, and the Administration of Justice Act.

Joint Resolution - A joint resolution is a legislative measure requiring approval by the Senate and the House and then is presented to the President for approval or disapproval.  There is generally no legal difference between a joint resolution and a bill.  Laws enacted by virtue of a joint resolution are not distinguished from laws enacted by a bill.  Constitutional amendments are passed by joint resolutions, which are instead presented to the States for ratification.  Resolutions are often temporary in nature.

Judicial Branch - The branch of the United States Government responsible for the administration of justice; a central judiciary that is limited to federal authorities, and separated from the will of the central leadership.

Judicial Review - The unconstitutional authority of the federal courts to review law, interpret the Constitution regarding laws, and then determine the constitutionality of laws.

Jurisdiction - Full loyalty, a condition in which all foreign allegiances have been released; not owing allegiance to anybody else.

Just Compensation - The value of a property deemed to be just by the property owner.

Lame Duck Congress - A lame duck session of Congress in the United States occurs whenever one Congress meets after its successor is elected, but before the successor’s term begins.

Leftism - Progressivism; a political philosophy that advocates popular control of government, in order to ultimately establish an oligarchy.

Legislative Powers - The ability to make law, modify law, repeal law, and anything else that has to do with affecting law.

Leveling - Moving money from one group of people to another by raising and lowering taxes accordingly in an effort to achieve economic equity in society.

Limited Government - A government that acts within the limitations granted to it; a governmental system that is restrained by an enumerated list of authorities; a limited government is the essence of liberty.

Magna Carta - The Great Charter of the Liberties of England; the first document that limited the power of government by subjecting  it to the rule of law; signed in June 1215 between the barons of Medieval England and King John.

Military Districts - Districts created in the seceded states (not including Tennessee, which had ratified the 14th Amendment and was readmitted to the Union), headed by a military official empowered to appoint and remove state officials.

Militia - An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers; a military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency; the whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service.

Mineral Rights - Federal government must purchase properties to be considered federal land, and do so with the consent of the State Legislature.  All property within a State’s boundaries belong to the State, including mineral rights.  Mineral Rights is the ownership of mineral interest in real property.   It is the right of the owner to exploit, mine, and/or produce any or all of the minerals lying below the surface of the property.  The mineral estate of the land includes all unusual organic and inorganic substances forming a part of the soil which possess a useful property giving them special value. An exception would be sand, gravel, limestone, subsurface water, etc. which are normally considered part of the surface estate.

Miranda Rights - A warning given advising the accused of their right to remain silent, their right to an attorney, and the right to an appointed attorney if they are unable to afford counsel - prior to conducting a custodial interrogation.

Misdemeanors - In the Constitution the definition is bad behavior including, but not limited to, gross incompetence, gross negligence, or outright distasteful actions which clearly show “malevolence toward this country and constitution, which is unabated”; maladministration.

Mob-Rule - A government ruled by a mob or a mass of people, or the intimidation of legitimate authorities.  The tyranny of the majority.

Monarch - A hereditary ruler, head of state, such as a king, queen, or emperor.  A monarch reigns over a kingdom, or empire.  Monarchs are sole, and absolute, rulers.

National Bank - In the United States, a bank chartered by the federal government authorized to issue notes that serve as currency; a bank owned and administered by the government, as in some European countries.

National Government - Any political organization that is put in place to maintain control of a nation.

Nationalism - Political ideology which involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms.  There are various strands of nationalism.  It can be a belief that citizenship in a state should be limited to one ethnic, cultural or identity group.  It can also include the belief that the state is of primary importance, which becomes the unhealthy love of one’s government, accompanied by the aggressive desire to build that governmental system to a point that it is above all else, and becomes the ultimate provider for the public good.

Natural Law - Unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct; observable law relating to natural existence; birthright law.

Natural Rights - Rights that exist by virtue of natural law; God-given rights; unalienable rights endowed by the Creator.  Rights that exist, according to John Locke, as a result of the Laws of Nature.  Rights, as described in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, as being of the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”

Nullification - State power to ignore unconstitutional federal law.

Oath - A solemn sworn declaration, or promise, to a deity (God), to fulfill a pledge.

Oligarchy - Government by a few powerful persons, over the many.  A state governed by a few persons.

Open Primary - A primary election in which voters, regardless of party may select candidates from any party for a general election.

Organized Crime - Transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit.

Original Authority - Principal agent holding legal authority; initial power to make or enforce laws; the root authority in government.

Original Intent - Original meaning of the United States Constitution as intended by the framers during the Federal Convention of 1787, and the subsequent State Ratification Conventions.

Original Jurisdiction - In the Constitution the United States Supreme Court has original jurisdiction on some cases, which means the case must proceed directly to the United States Supreme Court, and the high court must accept the case.

Originalist view of the Constitution - View that the Constitution as written should be interpreted in a manner consistent with what was meant by those who drafted and ratified it.

Parliament - A single legislature, or a legislature that consists of two, or more, houses.  In a parliament, the members make law, modify law, and repeal law, and through its leadership, serves as the head of state, or executive branch.  In a parliament, there is no separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches of government.

Patriotism - Wholesome, constructive love of one’s land and people.

Perjury - Lying under oath, violation of one’s oath (or affirmation).

Police State - A system where the government exercises rigid and repressive controls through strong law enforcement or military control.

Political Spectrum - A broad range of political philosophies; the level of control of government over a society.

Poll Tax - A tax levied on people rather than on property, often as a requirement for voting.

Preamble - Introduction of the U.S. Constitution, holds no legal authority; the Preamble serves to establish who is granting the authority to create a new federal government, and the reasons for the decision.

President pro tempore - Second highest ranking official of the United State Senate.  The Vice President is President of the Senate and the highest ranking official of the Senate despite not being a member of the body.  During the Vice President’s absence, the president pro tempore presides over its sessions or appoints another senator to do so.  The president pro tempore is elected by the Senate and is customarily the most senior senator in the majority party.

Primary Election - An election in which party members or voters select candidates for a general election.

Prime Minister - Chief servant; agent appointed to manage business under the authority of another; one to whom a king or prince entrusts the direction of the affairs of state; as minister of state; an executive officer.  In modern government, where the monarch is only a figurehead, the prime minister is the chief magistrate.  In a parliamentary system, the prime minister is also a part of the legislature, usually the head of the majority party.

Pro Forma Session - A session in either house of the United States Congress at which no formal business is expected to be conducted, so as to fulfill the obligation “that neither chamber can adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other.”  Pro forma sessions are also used to prevent the President from pocket - vetoing bills, calling the Congress into a special session, and to prevent the President from making recess appointments.

Profiteer - A person who seeks exorbitant profits.

Progressive Taxation - A tax where the tax rate increases as the taxable base amount increases.

Progressivism - Philosophy that views progress as seeking change in approaches to solving economic, social, and other problems, often through government sponsored programs.

Prohibition - Period in United States history during which the manufacture and sale of alcohol was prohibited.  Drinking alcohol itself was never illegal, and there were always exceptions for medicinal and religious uses.

Protectionist Tariffs - Heavy taxation on imports designed, in theory, to foster or develop domestic industries, protecting them from foreign competition.  Historically, these policies reduce domestic innovation and quality.

Protestant Reformation - Movement of the Church Reform begun in 1517 that was influenced by Martin Luther’s critiques of the Roman Catholic Church.  The movement led to the formation of the Protestant Christian groups.

Public Debt - National debt; the financial obligations of a national government resulting from deficit spending.

Quartering Act of 1765 - Act passed by the British Parliament in 1765 that stated that British troops in America would be housed in barracks and in public houses unless and until the number of troops overwhelmed the facilities, at which time, the troops could be housed in private commercial property, such as inns and stable, and in uninhabited homes and barns.  The quartering would be without compensation and, in fact, owners would be required to provide soldiers with certain necessities such as food, liquor, salt, and bedding, also without compensation.

Quorum - Minimum number of members of an assembly necessary to conduct the business of that group.

Recess Appointment - The appointment of a senior federal official (department head, judge, etc.) by the President while the U.S. Senate is in recess.

Regulated - To put in good order; to make regular.

Regulatory Agencies - Agencies within the Executive Branch tasked with executing the laws of the nation; the enforcement arm of the Executive Branch.

Republic - Form of government that uses the rule of law through a government system led by representatives and officials voted in by a democratic process.  The United States enjoys a Constitutional Republic.

Republic Review - Convention of the States designed to audit the federal government using the concept of amendment ratification to determine if a law or action by the federal government is constitutional.

Republicanism - Rule by law through a government system led by representatives and officials voted in by a democratic process.  The United States enjoys a Constitutional Republic.

Reserved - Kept for another or future use; retained.

Reserved Powers - Sole authority over a particular power, be it for the States within their own territorial boundaries, or sole federal powers.  Also known as Express Powers.

Saxbe Fix - Salary rollback.  A mechanism by which the President of the United States can avoid restrictions by the United States Constitution which prohibits the President from appointing a current or former member of Congress to a position that was created, or to an office position for which the pay and/or benefits were increased, during the term for which that member was elected until the term has expired.  First used in 1909, the Saxbe Fix is named for William Saxbe, a Senator appointed Attorney General by Nixon in 1973.

Search Warrant - The Search Warrant specifically requires that the government demonstrate to a judge the existence of probable cause of criminal activity on the part of the person whose property the government wishes to search.  The Fourth Amendment commands that only a judge can authorize a search warrant.

Seat of Government - The location of the government for a political entity.  The seat of government is usually located in the capital.

Separation of Church and State - Distance in the relationship between organized religion and the nation state.

Separation of Powers - A division of governmental authority into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial; division of powers between the States and federal government.

Separatists - Pilgrims were a group not in connection with the Church of England.  The Puritans kept their membership in the Church of England, while the Separatists though their differences with the Church of England were so severe that their worship should be organized independently.

Socialism - An economic system in which good and services are provided through a central system of cooperative and/or government ownership rather than through competition and a free market system.

Socialist – A person who supports socialism.

Standing Army - A professional permanent army composed of full-time career soldiers that is not disbanded during times of peace.

State of the Union address - A speech about the state of the union addressed to Congress by the President.

State Sovereignty - The individual autonomy of the several states; strong local government was considered the key to freedom; a limited government is the essence of liberty.

States’ Rights - The authorities of the States over local issues, and other issues, that are not directly related to the preservation of the union or are considered to be federal issues.

Statism - A system in which the concentration of economic controls and planning are consolidated in the hands of a highly centralized government.  These controls, in a system of statism, often extend to government ownership, or heavy regulation by the government, of private industry.

Statist - An advocate of statism, which is a system in which the concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government often extend to government ownership of industry.

Statists - Individuals that hold that government should control the economic and social policies of the system it serves.

Supremacy Clause - Clause in the Constitution that indicates that all federal laws, and treaties, passed under the authorities granted by the Constitution, are the Supreme Law of the Land

Temperance Movement - A social movement urging the reduced use of alcoholic beverages during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Theocracy - Form of government in which a state is as governed by religion, or by clergy who believes they are under immediate divine guidance.

Tobacco - A plant, a native of America, of the genus Nicotiana, much used for smoking and chewing and in snuff. As a medicine, it is narcotic.  Tobacco has a strong disagreeable smell, and an acrid taste.  When first used it sometimes occasions vomiting; but the practice of using it in any form, soon conquers distaste, and forms a relish for it that is strong and almost unconquerable.

Totalitarian Government - Absolute control by a highly centralized government.

Treason - Levying war against the States, or adhering to the enemies of the States, giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

Two-Party System - A form of political system where two major political parties dominate voting in nearly all elections, at every level; a political system consisting chiefly of two major parties, more or less equal in strength.

Tyranny - Arbitrary, or despotic exercise of power; the exercise of power over subjects and others with a rigor not authorized by law or justice, or not requisite for the purposes of government. Hence tyranny is often synonymous with cruelty and oppression; a cruel government.

Unalienable Rights - Incapable of being alienated, that is, sold or transferred.  You can not surrender, sell or transfer unalienable rights, they are a gift from the Creator to the individual and can not under any circumstances be surrendered or taken.  All individuals have unalienable rights.

Unitary State - A system of government governing a state as one single unit, in which all power is derived from a supreme, central government.  Any administrative divisions, or subnational units, exercise only powers the central government chooses to delegate.  A majority of states in the world are governed under a unitary system of government.

United States are - These States that are united; a group of sovereign member States in America voluntarily united into a republic.

United States Constitution - Document that establishes the United States federal system of government; written May 14 through September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The convention was called with the intention to amend the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution was the product of political compromise after long debates over issues like States’ rights, consent of the governed through representation, and slavery.

United States is - Nation of the United States containing a number of States similar to provinces ruled over by a centralized federal government.

United States Senate - The House of Congress in which each State enjoys equal suffrage of representation, with two Senators per State.  The appointment of Senators was originally by their State legislatures, creating a natural check and balance between the House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate.  The appointment of Senators was changed to the popular vote of the people by the 17th Amendment in 1913.

Veto - The power of a chief executive to reject a bill passed by the legislature and thus prevent or delay its enactment into law.

Volstead Act - Officially The National Prohibition Act; the law that was the enabling legislation for the Eighteenth Amendment which established prohibition in the United States.

War Power - Power exercised in the prosecution of war.

Women’s Suffrage - The right of women to vote and to run for office.  The expression is also used for the economic and political reform movement aimed at extending these rights to women without any restrictions or qualifications such as property ownership, payment of tax, or marital status.

Writs of Assistance - British search warrants that were very broad and general in their scope.  British agents, once obtaining these writs, could search any property they believed might contain contraband goods.




Copyright: Douglas V. Gibbs, 2014

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