School Improvement in Maryland

Government Glossary

AbolitionistsAdvocates who were in favor of ending slavery during the 1800s.
Absolute MonarchyAutocracy in which a king, queen, or emperor exercises unlimited powers of government.
Affirmative ActionA plan or program to address the effects of past discrimination by providing specified groups’ access in employment, education, or other activities.
AgrarianPertaining to rural or agricultural matters such as land or land ownership issues.
Amendment (Constitutional)Changes in, or additions to, a document (e.g. U.S. Constitution). In the United States proposed by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress or by a convention called by Congress at the request of two thirds of the state legislatures. Ratified by approval of three-fourths of the states’ legislatures or special conventions called in three-fourths of the states.
AmeriCorpsA network of national service programs that engage Americans each year in intensive service to meet critical needs in education, public safety, health and the environment.
Anti-FederalistThe political leaders who were against ratification of the Constitution because they thought it gave too much power to the federal government and did not protect the rights of the people.
ApartheidA South African policy of complete legal separation of the races, including the banning of all social contacts between blacks and whites.
Appellate JurisdictionThe legal authority of a court to hear appeals from a lower court.
ArbitrationA process for resolving a dispute using an impartial individual or group. In common law, arbitration was not a favored form of settlement and agreements to arbitrate were generally declared void. In labor law, arbitration has become a major means of settling disputes.
Articles of ConfederationFirst constitution of the United States in 1781. Created a weak national government, replaced in 1789 by the Constitution of the United States.
AssimilationThe absorption of a minority ethnic group into the culture of a larger population.
AuthoritarianA form of government in which those in power hold absolute and unchangeable authority over people such as in a dictatorship.
AuthorityThe right to enforce laws, exact obedience, command, determine, or judge.
AutocracyGovernment by a single person with unlimited power.
AutonomyThe right of self-government.
Balanced BudgetA plan requiring that what the government spends will not exceed its income.
Barriers to TradeInterferences with the free exchange of resources, goods, and services between and among countries, including tariffs, quotas, standards, licenses, subsidies, and embargoes.
BarterAn exchange of goods and services.
Beyond a Reasonable DoubtIn a criminal trial, jurors are told to find the defendant guilty if they are convinced of their guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt".
BicameralA legislative body composed of two houses.
BillA proposal presented to a legislative body at the state or national level for possible enactment as a law.
Bills of AttainderA legislative act that inflicts punishment without a court trial.
Bill of RightsFirst ten amendments to the Constitution, which restrict the federal government's power to take away certain basic rights of people.
Black CodesLaws passed in the South just after the Civil War aimed at controlling freedmen and enabling plantation owners to exploit workers.
Breach of ContractFailure to do something that is required in contract.
British ConstitutionUnlike our Constitution, the British Constitution is not one written document. The British Constitution consists of many written documents, including the Magna Carta, English Petition of Rights, and the English Bill of Rights, court cases, acts of Parliament and unwritten customs and practices.
BudgetAn itemized summary of expenses and income for a given period of time.
Budget DeficitA negative balance at the end of the business year.
Budget SurplusA positive balance at the end of the business year.
BuyerAn individual or group of people who purchase resources, goods, and/or services.
CabinetSecretaries of the executive departments, the vice-president, and other top officials that help the president make decisions and policy.
CandidateAn individual who seeks a job or position in local, state, or national government.
Capitalism An economic system in which economic decisions for production are made by individuals (producers and consumers) and are based on profit motive and individual incentives (interests).
Capital ResourcesThe goods that are manufactured and constructed by people and used to produce other goods and services, including but not limited to factories, warehouses, roads, bridges, machinery, ports, dams, and tools; also called capital goods. (Money is not a capital resource.)
CharterA city's basic law or its constitution; historically it is a written grant of authority from the king.
Checks and BalancesConstitutional mechanisms that allow one branch of the government to limit the exercise of power by another branch of government. For example, the president may veto legislation passed by Congress; the Senate must confirm major executive appointments; and the courts may declare acts of Congress unconstitutional.
CitizenA member of a political society who owes allegiance to the government and is entitled to its protection and to political rights.
CitizenshipMembership in a community such as a college or a business or membership in a nation with legal rights and responsibilities as a citizen of that nation.
City-StateA politically independent community consisting of a city and its surrounding territory.
Civil DisobedienceA refusal to obey a law or to protest a government policy, usually on the grounds that it is morally unjust.
Civil LawAll law that does not involve criminal matters. Civil law deals with the relations between individuals or groups of individuals.
Civil LibertyPersonal freedoms that the government cannot abridge by law, constitution, or judicial interpretation.
Civil RightsProtections and privileges given to all United States citizens by the Constitution and Bill of Rights regardless of race, sex, national origin, or sexual orientation.
Civil Rights Act (1964)An act of Congress designed to protect the rights of individuals to fair treatment by private persons, groups, organizations, businesses, and government.
Civil War AmendmentsThe 13, 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution designed to protect the rights and liberties of the freed/former African slaves.
CivilityThe act of civil behavior and to possess the characteristics of (1) respect and (2) civil discourse. (1) Respect refers to treating others as worthy regardless of their position.
CivilizationA culture that has developed systems of specialization, arts, sciences, religion, and government.
Command EconomyAn economic system in which economic decisions to answer the basic economic questions of "what", "how", and "for whom" are made by an authority such as a feudal lord or government agency.
Common GoodThat which benefits society as a whole; health, safety, and welfare. Also known as public good.
Common LawThe body of unwritten law, which originated in England and was later applied in the United States. Based on judicial precedent rather than statutory laws, which are made through the legislative process.
CommunismA political and economic theory in which factors of production are collectively owned.
CompromiseAn agreement between opposing principles, groups, or individuals by modifying some aspect of each.
Concurrent JurisdictionAuthority of both the state and federal courts to hear certain types of cases (i.e., civil case filed in federal court that could be filed in a state court).
Concurrent PowersPowers that both the national government and the states have.
Concurring OpinionThe written explanation of the views of one or more judges who support a decision reached by a majority of the court but wish to add or emphasize a point that was not made in the majority decision.
ConfederalIndividual states closely associated for a common cause or by treaty usually referring to a system of government such as Articles of Confederation.
ConfederationA group of independent states or nations united under a weak central government that has little influence over the independent states.
Conference CommitteeA temporary joint committee called to resolve the differences when the House and Senate have passed different versions of the same bill.
Consent of the GovernedJohn Locke's ideas that the government gets its right to govern from the people. This principle is included in the Declaration of Independence.
ConservatismA political ideology generally characterized by a belief in individualism and minimal government intervention.
ConstituentsResidents of a district or members of a group represented by an elected official.
ConstitutionA set of customs, traditions, rules, and laws that sets forth the way a government is organized and operated.
Constitution (United States)The fundamental underlying documents ratified in 1789, which establishes the government of the United States.
ConsumerAn individual or group who uses resources, goods, and services to satisfy economic wants.
Consumer Price Index (CPI)A measure of the changes in the cost of selected consumer goods and services from a fixed base period.
ConsumptionThe use of resources, goods, and services to satisfy economic wants.
ContractA written document containing an agreement between two or more individuals or entities. There is a branch of law that deals with formal agreements between parties.
ConventionA meeting of a group of individuals for a similar purpose. In the case of political parties, conventions are held to nominate candidates for political office.
Court of AppealsA state or federal court, which hears, appeals from judgments and rulings of trial courts or lower appeals courts.
Criminal CaseA case in which a defendant is tried for committing a crime as defined by the law.
Criminal LawLaw and law proceedings that deal with the investigation and trial of those accused of crimes against society.
CrusadesA war undertaken by European Christians in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries over the Holy Land.
Cultural DiffusionCommon cultures and beliefs in one culture or way of life that evolves, shares, and borrows from surrounding cultures.
CultureA dynamic system which enables people to satisfy their wants, needs, beliefs, and values; A learned behavior of people, which includes their belief systems and languages, their social relationships, institutions or organizations, and their material goods – food, clothing, buildings, tools, and machines.
CustomsA common tradition or usage so long practiced it has become the force of law.
DamagesMoney to be paid as compensation for injury or loss as a result of a civil action.
DebtMoney owed to a person, company, or government.
Declaration of IndependenceWritten by a committee and compiled by Thomas Jefferson in 1776, it is a statement of philosophy on government, a list of colonists' grievances against the King of England and a declaration of separation.
Decision-making ProcessA process used to solve a problem in social studies including; defining a problem, identifying alternatives, evaluating the pros and cons of alternate choices, making a decision based on the choices available, and then identifying the opportunity cost of the choice made.
De Facto SegregationSegregation that happens from practice rather than legal requirement.
DefendantIn a civil suit, the person against whom the plaintiff brings a court action; in a criminal case, the person charged with the crime.
DeficitThe amount by which a sum of money falls short of the required or expected amount.
DeflationWhen the measure of overall prices (CPI) indicates that prices are falling.
DeJure SegregationSegregation by law, with legal sanction, such as Jim Crow laws.
DelegateRepresentative; lawmaker who views him or herself as the agent of those who elected him or her and votes accordingly, regardless of his or her personal opinions.
Delegated PowersPowers expressly granted to the national government by the Constitution. These powers, found in Article I, section 8, include the authority to provide for the common defense, to coin money and to regulate commerce.
DemandThe different quantities of a resource, good, or service that will be purchased at various possible prices at a given point in time; Demand is generally presented as a schedule (chart) of prices and quantities. It can also be represented graphically as a demand curve.
DemocracyA form of government in which political control is exercised by all people, either directly or through their elected representatives.
DemographicsUsing vital statistics of human populations, as size, growth, density, and distribution to make decisions or set policy, such as identifying consumers.
Denied PowersLimitations on the powers of national and state government. These appear in Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution prohibiting the power to grant titles of nobility, to pass bills of attainder, or to pass ex post facto laws.
DepressionA period of low economic activity and widespread unemployment.
DeregulationThe process of reducing government regulations.
DesegregationTo eliminate the practice of segregation including any practice or law that requires isolation of individuals due to their race, class, or ethnic group.
DictatorshipA government in which the leader has absolute power and authority.
DistributionThe movement, transfer, or disbursement of goods and services from the point of production to the point of consumption; Also the allocation of resources, goods and services among consumers.
DiffusionThe spread of people, ideas, technology, and products across space and through time.
Discount (interest) rateThe interest rate the Federal Reserve System charges member banks for overnight loans.
DiscriminationActions that treat people differently, based on factors or characteristics such as, race, religion, class, gender, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation or age.
DisenfranchiseTo deprive an individual of the right to citizenship including the right to vote.
Dissenting OpinionWritten explanation of the views of one or more judges who disagree with (dissent from) a decision reached by a majority of the court.
Domino TheoryA theory that if one nation comes under communist control, then neighboring nations will also come under communism.
Double JeopardyPart of the Fifth Amendment that says that no person can be put in jeopardy of life or limb twice; once a person has been tried for a crime, he or she cannot be tried again for the same crime.
Domestic PolicyPolicies related to a country's internal affairs rather than foreign affairs.
Due Process ClausePart of the Fourteenth Amendment that guarantees the application of the protections of the Bill of Rights to the state. Part of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment that states "no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..."
Due Process of LawThe right of every citizen to be protected against arbitrary action by the government.
Economic GrowthGrowth that occurs when increasing amounts of goods and services are produced over the long term; generally measured as GDP (gross domestic product) or GDP per capita and reported quarterly and annually. Economic growth is a goal for which economies strive in order to improve the material standard of living of the society.
Economic IncentivesFactors that motivate and influence economic behavior. Examples of positive incentives are profit and other financial or material rewards. Examples of negative incentives, also called disincentives, are fines.
Economic InstitutionsThe formal and informal structures which guide or characterize economic activity in a society, which may include but are not limited to households, families, corporations, government agencies, banks, labor unions, cooperatives, stock exchanges, the use of money, collective bargaining, traditions, controlling values and beliefs, and systems of property ownership.
Economic ResourcesThe natural, human, and capital resources that are used to produce goods and services; also called factors of production.
Economic SanctionsEconomic penalties applied by one country or group of countries on another for economic, political, or other reasons. Economic sanctions can include embargoes, tariffs, duties, quotas, and other monetarily damaging penalties.
Economic SystemThe institutions, laws, activities, controlling values, and human motivations that collectively provide a framework for economic decision-making of individuals and groups in a society; the organizing structure a society chooses to answer the basic economic questions of what to produce, how (and how much) to organize resources to produce goods and services, and for whom to produce (who gets the goods and services).
Economic WantsHuman needs and desires that can be satisfied by consuming goods and services, including but not limited to such needs as hunger, thirst, protection from the elements, and good health and such desires as entertainment and a pleasing physical appearance.
EconomicsThe study of how people, individually and in groups (families, businesses, governments, organizations) choose to use their relatively scarce productive resources to satisfy their wants.
Elastic ClauseThe clause in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution that gives Congress the right to make all laws, "necessary and proper" to carry out the powers expressed in the other clauses in Article I.
ElectorMember of a party chosen in each state to formally elect the President and the Vice-President.
Electoral CollegeRepresentatives of each state who cast the final ballot that elects the President and Vice President. Each state has as many electors as it has members of Congress. This is done differently according to a state. Most political parties select the electors and the people vote for this slate of electors.
Electoral VoteThe Constitution provides that the date Congress sets for the electors to meet "shall be the same throughout the United States." (Article II, Section 1, Clause 4).
EmbargoA prohibition by a government on certain or all trade with a foreign nation.
Emancipation ProclamationThe Emancipation Proclamation (1863) declared all slaves residing in areas in rebellion against the Union to be freed. The proclamation did not affect the status of slave-holding states that remained in the Union.
Eminent DomainThe power of the government to take private property for public use. The 5th Amendment restricts the government's use of power, by requiring that the government pay just compensation for the property.
EmpireA political unit often made up of a number of territories or nations ruled by a single supreme authority.
Enumerated PowersThe expressed powers of Congress that are itemized and numbered 1-18 in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. See expressed powers.
EntitlementsSee Social Insurance. Programs in which Congress set eligibility requirements and those individuals that meet the criteria can receive these benefits. Social Security can be claimed by individuals when they reach the eligibility age (63, 65, or 67) that is set by Congress.
EnvironmentEverything in and on earth's surface and its atmosphere within which organisms, communities, or objects exist.
EntrepreneurAn individual or group who takes the risk to start a new business, manage creatively, or introduce a new good or service into the marketplace in the hope of earning a profit.
Equilibrium PriceThe price at which the quantity supplied equals the quantity demanded for a resource, good, or service; also called the market-clearing price.
Equality of OpportunityAn equal chance for all persons to participate in such areas as education, employment, and political participation.
Equal Protection Under the LawThe idea that no individual or group may receive special privileges from nor be unjustly discriminated against by the law.
EquityMost commonly thought of as justice, however, equity was developed as a separate body of law in England in reaction to the inability of the common law courts to provide a remedy for every injury.
Establishment ClauseThe clause in the First Amendment that states "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion,"which means the government may not establish an official religion.
Ethnic PersecutionThe expulsion, imprisonment, killing or any other form of mistreatment of ethnic minorities by a dominant majority group or a party in power.
European UnionAn organization of European nations that establishes the legal European citizenship and sets economic and political policies of its member nations. The European Union also includes the free movement of goods, peoples, services, and capital between members, nations, and their citizens.
Exchange RateThe price of one country's currency in terms of another country's currency.
Exclusionary RuleEvidence gained as the result of an illegal search by police cannot be used in a criminal case against the person from whom it was seized.
Exclusive JurisdictionThe power of the court to hear a case on original jurisdiction.
Exclusive PowersThose powers that can be exercised by the national government alone.
Executive AgreementAn agreement made by the President directly with the head of a foreign state that has the force of law but which does not require Senate approval (unlike a treaty).
Executive OrderA rule issued by the President or Governor that has the force of law. This rule does not require legislative approval.
Executive PowerThe power to execute, enforce, and administer law by the executive branch of government.
ExportA good or service sold to an individual, business, or government in another country.
Ex Post Facto LawA law applied to an act committed before the law's passage. Such a law violates the Constitution of the United States that states that neither Congress nor any state shall pass an ex post facto law; these provisions have held applicable only to criminal statues.
Expressed PowersPowers directly expressed or stated in the Constitution by the Article 1, Section 8, and Paragraph 1-18. Also known as delegated or enumerated powers.
ExternalitiesThe positive or negative effects that result when the production or consumption of a good or service affects the welfare of people who are not the parties directly involved in a market exchange, such as pollution from a factory producing a good or service.
Factors of ProductionSee Economic Resources.
FederalA form of government in which a union of states recognizes the sovereignty of a central authority (government) while sharing powers with political units such as states.
Federal SystemA system in which sovereignty is shared so that in some matters the national government is supreme and on others the state, regional or provincial governments are supreme.
FederalismA form of political organization in which government power is divided between a central government and territorial subdivisions.
FederalistsSupporters of a stronger central government who advocated ratification of the Constitution. After ratification they founded a political party supporting a strong executive and Alexander Hamilton's economic policies.
Federal Reserve SystemThe nation's central bank. See monetary policy.
FelonyA term used to distinguish certain high crimes from minor offenses known as misdemeanors; these crimes can be defined by statue or as crimes by common law.
FeudalismA system for organizing and governing society based on land and service (obligation); found in Europe in the Middle Ages.
FilibusterA procedure used to delay voting in a legislative body by talking and controlling the floor. Only the U.S. Senate can use the filibuster tactic in Congress.
Fiscal PolicyA course of action that seeks to help the economy grow, keeps prices stable, and keeps employment at a high level by affecting the level of taxes and governmental expenditures in the economy. In the U.S., fiscal policy is largely the responsibility of the President and the U.S. Congress and on the state level, the Governor and the General Assembly.
Foreign PolicyPolitics of the federal government directed to matters beyond United States borders, especially relations with other countries.
Formal AmendmentChange or addition that becomes part of the written language of the Constitution itself through one of four methods set forth in Article V of the U.S. Constitution. States also have an amendment process.
Framers of the ConstitutionGroup of delegates, representing twelve of the thirteen states, who drafted the United States Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787. (Rhode Island refused to send a delegation.)
Free Enterprise SystemAn economic system characterized by private (individual and business) ownership of economic resources and goods in which investments are determined by private decision rather than by state control and are determined in a free market.
Free TradeExchange of resources, goods, and services without barriers of trade.
Full Faith and Credit ClauseConstitution's requirement that each State accept the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other State. (Article IV, Section 1)
GraftTo gain by or practice unscrupulous actions in a dishonest or questionable use of one's position.
General electionElection held to determine who will hold political office, typically, in the U.S., general elections are held in November.
General AssemblyThe legislative body in the State of Maryland consisting of the Senate and the House of Delegates.
Geographic CharacteristicsPhysical and human characteristics of a place or region.
Geographic FeaturesPhysical and human-made features, which define the dimensions of the world in the study of people, places, and the environment.
Geographic ToolsDevises used to compile, organize, manipulate, store, report, or display geographic information, including maps, globes, graphs, diagrams, aerial and other photographs, satellite-produced images, geographic information systems, and computer databases, as well as other software.
GeographyAn integrative discipline that brings together the physical and human-made dimensions of the world in the study of people, places and environments. Its subject matter is earth's surface and the processes that shape it, the relationships between people and the environment and the connections between people and places.
GerrymanderingThe dividing of a geographic area into an electoral district to give an unfair political advantage to a party or group.
GlobalizationThe act, process, or policy including the spread of the economy, worldwide trade, and the effects on the culture and geography. This Increases relationships and interdependence among regions of the world.
GoodsPhysically tangible objects that can be used to satisfy economic wants, including but not limited to food, shoes, cars, houses, books, and furniture.
Grand JuryGroup that hears charges against a suspect and decides whether there is sufficient evidence to bring the person to trial.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)The total dollar value of all final goods and services produced within a country's borders in a given time period.
Gross National Product (GNP)The total dollar value of all final goods and services produced by a country's citizens, businesses and governments, both inside and outside of the country's borders, in a given time period.
GuildA group of people united in a common interest or purpose such as craft guilds during the Middle Ages.
Human-made FeaturesA sub-category of human characteristics of places and regions that include features on the earth's surface constructed by people, including but not limited to village, town, city, building, roads, airports, canals, dams, port, bridges, and monuments.
Human CharacteristicsTraits used to describe the peoples of places, past and present; their religion, language, settlement pattern, economic activity, political system, and their modification of the environment.
Human Development Index (HDI)The Human Development Index (HDI), published annually by the UN, ranks nations according to their citizens' quality of life rather than strictly by a nation's typical economic measures. The criteria for calculating rankings include life expectancy, educational attainment, and adjusted real income.
Human ResourcesThe health, strength, talents, education, and skills that humans can use to produce goods and services: also called human capital.
ImmigrantNon-native born residents of a country.
ImpeachmentCharging a public official with a crime in office for which they can be removed from office.
Implied PowersThose delegated powers of the national government that are suggested by the "necessary and proper" clause to carry out the expressed powers listed in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution; those "necessary and proper" to carry out the expressed powers.
ImportA good or service purchased from an individual, business, or government in another country.
Incorporation DoctrineSee Process of Incorporation.
Indentured ServantAn individual who contracts to work for a specified number of years in exchange for transportation to another country, food, clothing, and shelter.
IndictmentA written, formal statement issued by a grand jury that charges the accused with one or more crimes.
Inferior CourtsThe lower federal court beneath the Supreme Court. A decision from an inferior court is subject to review by another court, which is referred to as a Superior Court.
InflationThis occurs when the measure of overall prices (CPI) shows that prices are rising.
Informal AmendmentA change made in the Constitution not by actual written amendment but by the experience of government, including (1) the passage of laws by Congress; (2) actions taken by the President; (3) Supreme Court decisions; (4) the activities of political parties; and (5) custom.
Inherent PowersPowers delegated to the national government simply because it is a government.
InitiativeThe right, power, and procedure by which citizens can propose a law by petition and submit it to the electorate.
IntegrationThe process of bringing a group into equal membership in society.
International Monetary Fund (IMF)This is an international organization of 184 countries established to promote monetary cooperation and exchange stability. The organization also fosters economic growth and high levels of employment and provides temporary financial assistance.
InstitutionA significant practice, relationship, or organization in a society, culture, or economy.
InterdependenceThe condition in which events in one part of the community, state, nation or world, or one sector of the economy affect events in another part or sector; occur as a result of the loss of self-sufficiency which accompanies specialization and, hence, the need to exchange resources, goods, and services with other producing and consuming units.
Interest GroupsAn organized body of individuals who share some goals and try to influence public policy to meet those goals.
InvasionEntrance of an army into a country to conquer or pillage.
InvestmentThe process of using savings or resources to increase an individual's or the economy's productive capacity; investment in capital goods occurs when savings are used to finance the production of new capital goods and/or new technology to increase productivity; investment in human capital or human resources occurs when the health, education, and training of the population is increased.
Involuntary ServitudeForced labor, such as, the enslavement of Africans in the Americas.
IsolationismThe views that the United States should withdraw from world affairs, limit foreign aid, and avoid involvement in foreign wars.
Jim Crow LawsLaws that separate people based on race; aimed primarily at African Americans after the Civil War.
Judicial PowerThe power to interpret laws, to determine their meanings, and to settle disputes within the society.
Judicial ReviewThe power of the courts to determine the constitutionality of the actions of the legislative and executive branches of government. The precedent for Judicial Review was established in the 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison.
Judicial SystemHeaded by the Supreme Court of the United States. Designed to interpret law and manage conflicts about the law. In the United States, this is typically referred to as a dual court system as the federal and the state courts address the interpretation of law and manage conflicts about the law.
JurisdictionThe authority of a court to rule on certain cases. See appellate and original jurisdiction.
JuryA jury of 12 persons who decide upon the facts at issue in a criminal trial. A body of individuals selected to determine a verdict using the evidence.
Just compensationThe full value of a property paid to the owner when property is taken by the government for public use, this is provided for in the 5th Amendment.
JusticeFairness, the idea that every person deserves to be treated fairly. James Madison saw justice as the end sought by government and civil society.
Laissez-FaireA government doctrine of noninterference in business practices and in the economic affairs of individuals.
Latitude (lines of)Lines on a map or globe that run east and west; also called parallels. This is used to measure the location of place in degrees north or south from the Equator.
Law of DemandThe price and quantity demanded of a resource, good or service are inversely related, other things being equal. As price increases, quantity demanded falls. As price decreases, quantity demands rises.
Law of SupplyThe price and quantity supplied of a resource, good, or service are directly related, other things being equal. As price decreases, quantity supplied decreases. As price increases, quantity supplied increases.
LegendSynonymous with map key; used to explain the symbols on a map.
Legislative PowerThe power to make a law and to frame public policies. Legislative power is typically exercised by legislative bodies such as Congress or the General Assembly.
LegislatorThese people are elected at the state and national level by the people to make laws, check and balance the power of the Executive and judicial branches. Most states and the national government have bicameral legislatures. They represent what is considered the most democratic branch of government.
LibelFalse written or published statements intended to damage a person's reputation.
LiberalismA 19th century political philosophy, which champions individual rights, civil liberties, and private property. This ideology defends individual liberty as the purpose of government. Liberalism typically refers to a willingness to change and to respond to the current time.
LibertyThe ability to enjoy all the rights granted by the United States Constitution and a particular states' constitution, as well as other rights such as the right to earn a living, the right to acquire knowledge, the right to marry, etc.
Limited GovernmentA higher law such as a constitution which declares it necessary to limit the powers of government in order to protect individual civil liberties, political and economic freedoms. In a limited government, everyone must obey the laws (rule of law).
LitigationA judicial contest, lawsuit, or trial through which legal rights are sought and enforced.
LocationThe position of a point on the earth's surface expressed by means of a grid (absolute) or in relation (relative) to the position of other places.
LobbyistA person who represents a special interest group and tries to influence the legislators.
Local/State powersIn the Constitution, power is divided between the national government and the 50 state governments. State governments determine the authority and powers that local governments will have.
Longitude (lines of)Lines on a map or globe that run north and south. The angular distance on the earth, map, or globe, east and west of the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, England, measured in degrees.
Magna CartaA document drawn up by English nobles in 1215 that spelled out certain rights and limited the King's power.
Majority RuleA principle of democracy that asserts that the greater number of citizens in any political unit should select officials and determine policies.
MandateAn authoritative order that must be obeyed.
Manifest DestinyA mid 19th-century belief in the inevitability of the United States expansion to the Pacific Ocean.
ManufacturingMaking or processing a raw material into a finished product usually through large-scale processing.
Map ElementsEssential components of a map such as the title, author, date, compass rose, scale, legend, border, grid, source information, and index.
MarketAn arrangement wherein buyers and sellers can exchange resources, goods, and services. A market may be a physical place such as a store or an auction gallery, or it may occur through other arrangements such as a telephone and internet transactions; a market is said to exist whenever or wherever a buyer and seller enter into an exchange.
Market EconomyAn economy in which decisions of what, how, and for whom are decided in markets through the interaction of buyers and sellers.
Market Failures Markets work best when they are reasonably competitive, when buyers and sellers have access to sufficient reliable information, when resources are relatively mobile and free to move from one use to another in response to changing conditions and when market prices reflect the full costs and benefits incurred in producing and exchanging goods and services. Market "failures" occur when there are significant deviations from these conditions.
Inadequate Competition: a lack of an adequate number of buyers and sellers to help assure that scarce resources will be allocated to their most productive uses. Monopoly, oligopoly, monopolistic competition, and cartel market situations are examples of this market failure.
Inadequate Information: a lack of sufficient information about market conditions to allow consumers, workers, and business managers to make informed decisions. Lack of knowledge of available jobs by those who are unemployed and lack of knowledge about products and product alternatives by consumers are examples of this market failure.
Resource Immobility: the inability to shift productive resources from a less efficient to a more efficient use. Labor without the skills to do available jobs and obsolete machinery and equipment are examples of conditions or situations that cause resource immobility.
Market ShortageSee Shortage.
Maryland Charter of 1632George Calvert died in 1632 leaving his eldest son, Cecilius Calvert, to complete the chartering of the Maryland colony. The charter granted the land between the Potomac and the Delaware rivers as far north as the fortieth parallel, and as far west as the headwaters of the Potomac as Maryland.
Maryland General Assembly See General Assembly.
MediaThe different means of communicating information to reach large audiences.
MediationThe attempt to settle a legal dispute through active participation of a third party who works to find points of agreement.
MedicaidA social program that gives the states money to help those who cannot afford to pay for their medical expenses.
MedicareA social program that helps pay for medical care for the elderly.
Medium of ExchangeMoney or some other object of value considered available enough to others and can be used as an exchange.
MercantilismA theory that a state's power depends on its wealth.
MigrationThe act or process of people moving from one place to another with the intent of establishing residency. Voluntary migration is when people choose to move. Forced or involuntary migration is when people move at the will of other people or by the force of nature.
Minority RightsA general term used to refer to the rights of people who are under-represented, under-served, and generally have fewer numbers and less power than the majority ruling class of people.
Miranda RuleThe rule pronounced in Miranda v Arizona, that confessions are inadmissible in a criminal prosecution if the police do not advise the suspect in custody of certain rights before questioning.
MisdemeanorA class of criminal offenses consisting of those offenses less serious than felonies and are sanctioned by less severe penalties.
Mixed EconomyAn economy which relies on a combination of traditional decision-making, market decision-making, and command decision-making in order to answer the basic questions of what, how, and for whom.
Mixed Market EconomyAn economic system, which primarily relies on the forces of supply and demand to determine what is produced, how it is produced and for whom it is produced, but also uses a variety of government interventions to cope with macroeconomic stability and market failures. No real world economy is a pure form of a traditional, a command, or a decentralized market economy. Every existing economy uses a different "mix" of allocating mechanisms - - traditional, command, and market – to answer the basic economic questions; and each has somewhat different institutions, controlling values, and motivating forces at work that affect the operation of the economy.
Monetary PolicyA course of action that seeks to affect the amount of money and credit available in the economy and the cost of the credit (interest rates) in order to help the economy grow, keeps prices stable, and keeps employment at a high level. In the United States, monetary policy is the responsibility of the Federal Reserve System. Tools of monetary policy include open market operations, adjustments in reserve requirement ratios held on deposits, and influencing changes in the interest rates.
Monetary SystemThe way people in an economy choose to use money to exchange goods and services.
MoneyThat which is accepted as payment in the exchange of resources, goods, and services; also serves as a unit of account, permitting its use in pricing resources, goods, and services; serves as a store of value for purchasing in the future, serves as a standard of value to allow comparison of the actual or perceived value of resources, goods and services.
Monroe DoctrineA policy of U.S. opposition to any European interference in the affairs of the Western Hemisphere announced by President Monroe.
MovementIn geography, the interaction across earth that connects places. This interaction occurs with flows of human phenomena, such as goods, people, and ideas.
MulticulturalismRepresenting and respecting a variety of many cultures and traditions.
NAFTANorth America Free Trade Agreement. An agreement that removed trade restrictions among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico borders to increase free trade.
NationA cultural concept for a group of people bound together by a strong sense of shared values and cultural characteristics, including language, religion, and common history.
Nation-StateA country in which the territory of both one nation and the state coincide.
National DebtThe total amount of money owed by the national government plus the interest that must be paid on this borrowed money.
National BudgetThe yearly financial plan for the national government, listing anticipated revenues and expenditures.
NativismA policy of favoring native-born citizens as opposed to immigrants.
NATONorth Atlantic Treaty Organization was one of the regional organizations formed in the post-World War II era. It was created in 1949 and its members—the United States, Canada, most Western European nations—agreed to combine forces to treat any war against one as a war against all.
Natural HazardA process or event in the physical environment that has consequences harmful to humans, such as earthquake, hurricane, tornado, flood.
Natural ResourcesThe renewable, and nonrenewable gifts of nature that can be used to produce goods and services, including but not limited to land, water, animals, minerals, trees, climate, soil, fire, seeds, grain and fruits.
Natural/Physical FeaturesSee Physical Features.
NaturalizationLegal process by which a person born a citizen of one country becomes a citizen of another.
Necessary and Proper ClauseThis clause grants Congress the Implied powers, which are not set out in words in the Constitution. The clause states that Congress shall have the power "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof." (Article I, Section 8, Clause 18)
NeutralityThe state or policy of not supporting or favoring either side in a dispute or war.
NominateTo propose an individual for election to an office.
Nonviolent Civil DisobedienceA philosophy of opposing a law one considers unjust by peacefully violating it and allowing oneself to be punished as a result.
Opinion of the CourtA Supreme Court decision written by one or more justices in the majority to explain the decision in a case.
Opportunity CostThe foregone benefit of the next best alternative when an economic decision is made. If the class chooses to go to the library to work on their computer skills instead of having recess, then opportunity cost of the choice is having recess.
Out-of-Court SettlementNegotiations between parties and/or attorneys in which the parties work out a settlement agreement without the judicial system or before a decision has been reached by court.
Original JurisdictionThe legal authority of a court to be the first to hear a case.
OverrideTo declare null or void, such as overriding an executive's veto.
PardonThe official release of a person charged with a crime, at the request of a chief executive, which then excuses the individual from the consequences of an offense or crime.
ParliamentaryA form of government that gives government the authority to a legislature or parliament, which in turn selects the executive from its own members.
PetitioningA formal written application requesting government action. One may petition a court for a specific judicial action, such as an appeal or a request in a change in policy or a new policy.
PerjuryThe act of lying under oath.
Petit JuryA body of persons selected according to the law who decide upon the facts at issue in a court trial.
Physical FeaturesA subcategory of physical characteristics of places and regions derived from the physical environment, including but not limited to landforms (mountain, hill, plain, plateau, valley, beach, desert, island, peninsula and marsh) and continents and bodies of water (ocean, river, creek, bay, lake, sea).
Physical CharacteristicsTraits that are used to describe the natural environment of the place. Physical or natural characteristics may be related to climate (e.g., polar), vegetation (e.g., rainforest), soil (e.g., prairie), landform (e.g., mountain), and body of water (e.g., bay).
PlacesParts of the Earth's surface, large or small, that has been given meaning by and for humans. They include: continents, islands, countries, regions, states, cities, neighborhoods, villages, rural areas, and uninhabited areas. Places usually have names and boundaries.
PlaintiffIn civil law, the party who brings a suit or some other legal action against another (the defendant) in court.
Plea BargainingThe process in which a defendant pleads guilty to a lesser crime than the one with which the defendant was originally charged.
PluralisticA condition of society in which numerous distinct ethnic, religious, or cultural groups coexist within one nation.
Political PartyAny group, however loosely organized, that seeks to elect government officials under a given label.
PolicyA definite course or method of action selected from among alternatives in light of given conditions to guide and determine present and future decisions. Governments, non-governmental organizations or other groups may set policy.
Political Action Committees (PAC)An organization formed to collect money and provide financial support for political candidates that will further their policy goals.
PoliticsActivities associated with the control of public decisions among a given people and in a given territory, where this control may be backed up by authoritative and coercive means.
PolytheismThe belief in many gods, this was a more common belief before the Middle Ages and the unification of the Christian Church.
Popular SovereigntyThe rule by the people. Basic principle of the American system of government that asserts that the people are the source of all governmental power and that government can exist only with the consent of the governed.
Population DistributionThe number of people per unit of an area living and working in place or region.
PovertySometimes classified as a market failure - but not a failure of the market in the true sense of the market as an allocation mechanism. Poverty that results from a lack of adequate human, natural, and/or capital resources to sell in the marketplace in order to earn an income is not necessarily a failure of the market as an allocation mechanism.
PreambleA statement in a constitution that sets forth the goals and purposes of government.
PrecedentsPrevious court decisions, which are recognized as authority (guide) for the disposition of future cases. In common law, precedents were regarded as the major course of law.
PriceWhat is paid to buy a resource, good, or service, and what is received when a resource, good, or service is sold.
Primary electionAn election to choose a political party's candidates for an elective office. Its purpose is to narrow down the field of candidates for a particular office.
Primary SourceA first-hand account of an event, such as a government document, diary, or a letter.
Prime MinisterThe highest-ranking member of the executive branch of a parliamentary government as in Japan and Great Britain.
Principle (Democratic)A basic rule that guides, influences thought, or action. Democratic principles include such things as rule of law, popular soverenity, majority rule, and trial by jury.
Preponderance of EvidenceGeneral standard of proof in civil cases. To win, the evidence of one party must be more convincing than the other side's evidence.
Probable CauseA sufficient reason based upon known facts to believe a crime has been committed. It is required to obtain a search warrant.
PropagandaTo spread a doctrine or opinion by through allegations usually from a particular political party's point of view or purposes.
ProsecutorA person who prepares and conducts the prosecution of persons accused of crime. It is usually a public official but in some instances involving minor offenses, it may be a private attorney.
Presumption of InnocenceIn criminal law, the principle that a person is innocent of a crime until he is proven guilty. Its primary manifestation is the constitutional requirement that the prosecutor establishes the defendant's guilt by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Procedural Due ProcessProcedures used by the government in making, applying, interpreting, and enforcing the law are reasonable and consistent.
Procedural JusticeThe fairness of how information is gathered or decisions made; relating to a series of steps followed in a regular definite order by a court or other law-administering bodies.
Process of Incorporation (Incorporation Doctrine)The process of incorporating, or including, most of the guarantees in the Bill of Rights to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause which states that, "No state…shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;..."
ProducerAn individual or group who combines economic resources to make goods and/or services.
ProductionThe act of creating goods and services by combining economic resources.
ProductivityThe amount of output that is produced per unit of input, usually expressed in terms of output per unit of time.
ProprietorshipsGrants from a mother country for ownership of land to a colonial group of people or business with the prerogative of establishing a government and distributing land to others legally.
ProtectionismA policy of using barriers to trade that may limit the free flow of goods, services, and resources.
Public GoodsGoods that cannot be withheld from would-be consumers who do not pay and whose consumption by one consumer does not reduce their usefulness to others. National defense, streetlights, flood control, and mosquito abatement are examples of public goods. The people typically ask government to provide public goods and pay for them with taxes because private businesses are not likely to provide goods that cannot be withheld from would-be consumers who refuse to pay for them. Some goods that only partially meet these two criteria are also considered appropriate goods for government to provide, such as education, libraries, roads, bridges, police, and fire protection.
Public OpinionThe collective opinion on a particular issue or group of related issues that is held by a large segment of society.
Public PolicyGovernment responses to public issues; all of the goals a government sets.
Quality of Life (See Standard of Living)A subjective assessment of how "satisfying" or "happy" one's life is. Quality of life tends to rise with standard of living as people move out of subsistence and acquire more (better food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, transportation, and other life amenities.) However, having a higher standard of living does not always result in improved quality of life. For example, a retired person may have a lower standard of living but a better quality of life because the stress associated with working full time has disappeared.
Quota The limit on the quantity of a product that may be imported. A limit on the number of immigrants that may enter a country.
A preferred number of spaces set aside in the work place or education institutions for minorities. Explicit racial quotas are used to remedy past discrimination and were ruled unconstitutional as a violation of the equal protection clause in Regents of University of California v. Bakke.
RacismThe practice of prejudice or discrimination against someone because of his or her race and the belief that one race is superior to others.
RatificationFormal approval; final consent to the effectiveness of a constitution, constitutional amendment, or treaty.
Reasonable DoubtThis refers to the degree of legal certainty required for a juror to find a criminal defendant guilty. Reasonable doubt refers to failure to meet the required degree of certainty in criminal cases. These words are used in instructions to juries to indicate that innocence is to be presumed unless the guilt is very clear.
RecessionA slowdown in economic activity for a least two consecutive quarters (6 months).
ReconstructionThe process for returning the Southern states back into the Union following the Civil War.
RedistrictingThe state's responsibility to set up new election district lines after reapportionment is complete.
ReferendumProcess in which a measure passed by a legislature is submitted to the voters for final approval or rejection.
RegionAn area with one or more common characteristics of features, which give it a measure of homogeneity and make it different from surrounding areas.
Regulatory AgenciesGovernmental jurisdictions or departments that issue laws, ordinances, and other regulations that organizations, businesses, groups, and governments must comply with, such as the, Federal Communications Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency, which has responsibility for monitoring and regulating ongoing economic activities.
Regulatory PolicyA course of action that seeks to correct for certain market failures and to achieve certain socioeconomic goals directly through legislation and indirectly through the actions of regulatory agencies or the creation of new regulatory agencies that address particular failures or goals.
Relative DistanceThe amount of separation between two places. When using a map, relative distance is found by measuring the length of a line between two places.
ReapportionmentRedistribution of political representation of the basis of population changes, usually after a census.
RepealRemoval or reversal of an authoritative action such as a law.
Representative DemocracyA type of government in which the people choose representatives to vote and make laws for them.
RepublicA government in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers that exercise authority for them and that are responsible to them (voters).
ReservationPublic land set aside by a government for use by Native American tribes.
Reserved PowersThose powers that belong to the states, which the Constitution does not grant to the national government and does not, at the same time, deny to the states.
RevenueThe total income of a business or a unit of government.
Revenue SharingForm of federal monetary aid under which Congress gave a share of federal tax revenue, with virtually no restrictions, to the states, cities, counties, and townships.
Reverse DiscriminationDiscrimination against the dominant or majority group.
Right of AssociationThe right to associate with others to promote political, economic, and other social causes.
Rule of LawThe principle in which the law applies to government officials as much as to ordinary citizens.
SavingThe practice of individuals spending less than their income, and putting the difference in savings accounts and other investments.
ScaleThe measure of distance on a map as it compares to actual distance on the earth's surface. (See map elements).
ScarcityThe condition that results from the imbalance between relatively unlimited economic wants and the relatively limited resources, goods, and services available to satisfy those wants.
Search WarrantA court order signed by a judge describing a specific place to be searched for specific items.
SectionalismThe practice of having regional and specific political, social, and economic preferences and alliances with a section of a country, i.e. during the American Civil War, sectionalism created differences too great for the union to survive.
SeditionThe crime of attempting to overthrow the government by force or to interrupt its lawful activities by violent acts.
SegregationThe separation of or isolation of a race, class, or ethnic group from the rest of society.
SellerAn individual or group who exchanges resources, goods, or services for monetary or non-monetary gain.
Seniority RuleAn unwritten custom dating back to the 1800s that provides those members with the longest service in Congress will hold the most important jobs such as committee assignments. The practice is still used today.
Separate-but-equal DoctrineDoctrine that laws that separate were constitutional as long as the opportunity or treatment was the same for both groups. This doctrine was established on the precedent of the Plessey v. Ferguson ruling.
Separation of PowersThe division of governmental power among several institutions such as the branches of government that must cooperate in decision-making.
ServicesPhysically intangible actions that can be performed to satisfy economic wants, including but not limited to medical care, dental care, haircuts, education, police protection, fire protection, and national defense.
Settlement PatternsThe spatial distribution and arrangement of human habitations (such as residences), including rural and urban centers.
Shortage (Market Shortage)In economics a market situation in which the price is set below the equilibrium price, thus causing the quantity demanded to exceed the quantity supplied.
SlanderFalse and malicious use of spoken words to injury a reputation.
SlaveryA system of ownership of humans, by humans varying by society and time period.
Smart Growth (Priority Places)Government policy in Maryland to address the issues of urban sprawl, urban decay, and environmental concerns such as the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
Social ContractThis is the theory that a nation exists due to the will of the people and that the power stays with the people, which the nation protects.
Social InsuranceGovernment programs designed to help elderly, ill, and unemployed citizens as in Social Security or Medicare.
Social Security (Act)A law requiring workers and employers to pay a tax for benefits to be received in the future; the money provides a monthly stipend for retired people.
Socioeconomic GoalsBroad social goals that relate to economics and guide government, individuals, and society in making decisions. Social economic goals will vary in priority from one country to another and from one time period to another, depending on the nature of the political, social, and economic goals of the society and the political, social, and economic conditions, which exist at the time.
Sovereign NationA nation that is independent of all others.
SovereigntySupreme and absolute authority within territorial boundaries.
Spatial DistributionThe distribution of phenomena on the earth's surface.
SpecializationThe production of a narrower range of goods and services than is consumed by an individual or group.
Special Interest Groups\An organized body of individuals who share some goals and try to influence public policy to meet those goals.
StagflationSluggish economic growth coupled with a high rate of inflation and unemployment.
Standard Burdens of ProofThis includes, "beyond a reasonable doubt" in criminal and in civil law, "preponderance of the evidence."
Standard of Living (See Quality of Life)The quantity of goods and services, such as health care, clean water, education, houses, apartments, telephones, food, clothing, paved roads and technology available in an economy.
StateA body of people living in a defined territory; neither subordinate nor responsible to any other authority.
State of NatureThe basis of natural right philosophy; the hypothetical condition of people living together in a society.
Statutory LawLaw made by a legislative body, which are enacted to prescribe conduct, define crimes, create inferior governmental bodies, appropriate public monies, and in general to promote the public good and welfare.
SubpoenaA legal document that orders a person appears and/or produces documents or other requested materials for a trial.
SubsidiesFinancial assistance granted by a government to an individual or a private business.
Substantive Due ProcessThe substance and the policies of governmental action. Courts examine whether or not a government action has violated a basic freedom or liberty.
SueTo bring legal proceedings against an individual or corporation.
Supply and DemandThe different quantities of a resource or product that will be offered for sale for different prices during a specific time and the different quantities of a resource or product that will be bought for different prices during a specific time. It is usually represented as a graph of two intersecting lines that reflects market equilibrium price where the lines intersect.
Supreme CourtHighest court in the land created and described by the Constitution in Article III.
Surplus (Market Surplus) A market situation in which the price is set above the equilibrium price causing the quantity to be demanded less.
Sustainable DevelopmentDevelopment that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Symbolic SpeechExpression or communication of ideas; through conduct, facial expressions, body language, such as carrying a sign or wearing an armband.
TariffA list or system of duties imposed by a government on imported or exported goods.
TaxMandatory payment to the government, imposed on individuals, groups, and businesses to enable government to provide services.
TechnologyThe body of knowledge available to a civilization that is of use in fashioning implements and practicing manual arts and skills.
Thematic MapA map representing a specific theme or topic; for example: population density, climate, growing season, grain production, and transportation routes, oil production.
Title IXA part of the 1972 Education Act stating that no person may be denied the benefits of a federally funded educational program or activity based on his or her gender.
TortA wrongful act, other than breach of contract, for which an injured party has the right to sue.
TotalitarianExercising dictatorial (authoritarian) power by government for nearly every aspect of human life.
Trade BarriersSee Barriers to Trade.
Trade-offA situation that occurs when choices or decisions involve giving up (trading off) some of one thing to get more of something else.
TradeTo engage in the exchange, purchase, or sale of resources, goods, or services.
TraditionCustoms and practices handed down from generation to generation to children in a society.
Traditional EconomyA system wherein economic decisions that people and groups make to answer the basic economic questions of "what"," for whom" and "how" generally repeat the decisions made at an earlier time or by an earlier generation.
TreasonBetrayal of one's country; in the Constitution, by levying war against the United States or offering comfort or aid to its enemies.
TreatyA formal agreement between two or more sovereign states.
TyrannyA type of government in which all the power is held in the hands of one ruler, usually a military leader.
UnconstitutionalContrary to constitutional provision and therefore illegal, null and void, and of no constitutional or legal force or effort.
Unitary GovernmentA centralized system in which all powers of government belongs to a single, central agency.
United Nations (UN)After World War II, an international organization was formed to replace the League of Nations that hoped to settle disputes between nations and prevent any future wars. Its goals have expanded today to include humanitarian efforts, social and economic development, protecting human rights.
Unlimited GovernmentA government in which there are no effective controls over the powers of its rulers who cannot be easily removed from office by peaceful and legal means.
UrbanizationThe conversion of open space (rural land) into built-up, developed land over time.
Urban SprawlSprawl is the spreading out of a city and its suburbs over more and more rural land at the periphery of an urban area. This involves the conversion of open space (rural land) into built-up, developed land over time.
USAIDThe United States Agency for International Development carries out U.S. foreign-aid programs. The agency concentrates on five areas of foreign policy; promoting economic growth, advancing democracy, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting public health, and protecting the environment.
VetoChief executive's power to reject a bill passed by a legislature; literally (Latin), "I forbid"
VolunteerismThe principle of dependence on voluntary contributions from individuals, groups or organizations.
Voting Rights Act (1965)The federal law passed in 1965 to require that the states protect the rights of each citizen to vote under the 15th Amendment to the United States Constriction. The law eliminated the use of literacy tests as a voting requirement nationwide.
WantsSee Economic Wants.
War Powers ActIn 1973, Congress passed this resolution, that requires that the President consult with and seek Congressional approval for deploying U.S. troops in hostile situations. The President may deploy troops for 60 days upon which Congress can order that the troops be removed from hostile situations.
WitnessSomeone who is called to give evidence and testifies in front of a court.
World BankOne of the world's largest sources of development assistance with helping the poorest people and the poorest countries.
World Health Organization (WHO)An United Nations agency committed to assisting under-developed nations combat health related issues including simple childhood diseases and epidemics.
World Trade Organization (WTO)An international organization based in Geneva that monitors and enforces rules governing global trade.
Writ of AssistanceBlanket search warrant with which British custom officials invaded private homes to search for smuggled goods before 1776.
Writ of CertiorariAn order by a higher court directing a lower court to send up the record in a given case for review; from the Latin, meaning, "to be more certain."
Writ of Habeas CorpusA court order to require that an individual accused of a crime to appear in court to determine whether he or she has been legally detained.