A2 Key Terms Government & Politics Unit 4a, Topic 1 (The US Constitution) AQA

I apologise for the occasional use of short-hand.

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Constitution
Body of fundamental laws according to which a state is acknowledged to be governed
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Philadelphia Convention
1787 - presided over by George Washington, framed the Constitution. Original purpose was merely to revise the Articles of Confederation, but the delegates instead decided to draft an entirely new document
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Codified Constitution
Constitution that consists of a full and authoritative set of rules written down in one single text
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Uncodified Constitution
Constitution without a single authoritative document delineating the division of powers amongst the various branches of gov't
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Limited Gov't
Principle that size and scope of federal gov't should be limited to that which is necessary only for the common good of the people -- supported by Republicans
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Checks and Balances
System of gov't in which each branch exercise control over the other branches
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Separation of Powers
Theory of gov't political power is distributed among 3 branches of gov't - acting both independently and interdependently. Applied to US gov't, theory is better understood as 'shared powers'. Powers are shared through elaborate checks and balances
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Constitutional Rights
Fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. Principally in the Bill of Rights - first ten amendments, but also in subsequent amendments
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Bill of Rights
Collective name for first ten amendments made to US Constitution (Ratified 1791)
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Federalism
Theory of gov't by which political power is divided between national gov't and state gov'ts, each having own area of substantive jurisdiction
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Decentralisation
Gov't and political power is vested not only in fed gov't but also in state gov'ts.
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State's Rights
Rights, powers and duties of the state gov'ts. Used as a term to denote opposition to increasing national gov't's power. Reserved powers of the states can be called upon regarding this
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Dual Federalism 'Layer-cake' Federalism
Model of the relationship between the federal state gov'ts in which the powers of the different levels of gov't are clearly delineated and distinct (c. 1868-1920s)
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Co-operative Federalism 'Marble Cake' Federalism
Different levels of gov't interact co-operatively and collectively to solve common problems rahter than making policies separately (c. 1920s-1964)
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Centralised Federalism 'Pineapple Upside-Down Cake'
(c. 1964-c.1980) - Federal gov't at the centre, 'Imperial' Presidency, Thomas Dye 1990 - US became a centralised gov't, state + local gov'ts seen as administrative instruments of the national gov't
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

1787 - presided over by George Washington, framed the Constitution. Original purpose was merely to revise the Articles of Confederation, but the delegates instead decided to draft an entirely new document

Back

Philadelphia Convention

Card 3

Front

Constitution that consists of a full and authoritative set of rules written down in one single text

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Constitution without a single authoritative document delineating the division of powers amongst the various branches of gov't

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Principle that size and scope of federal gov't should be limited to that which is necessary only for the common good of the people -- supported by Republicans

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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