Social studies, Grades 9-12

Vocabulary list related to social studies (civics and economics) for students in grades 9-12.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. advice and consent
    a legal expression in the United States Constitution that allows the Senate to constrain the President's powers of appointment and treaty-making
  2. affirmative action
    a policy designed to redress past discrimination
  3. anarchy
    a state of lawlessness and disorder
  4. arbitration
    giving authoritative judgment
  5. Articles of Confederation
    a written agreement ratified in 1781 by the thirteen original states; it provided a legal symbol of their union by giving the central government no coercive power over the states or their citizens
  6. balanced budget
    a budget is balanced when current expenditures are equal to receipts
  7. body politic
    a politically organized body of people under a single government
  8. boycott
    refusal to have commercial dealings with some organization
  9. bribery
    the practice of offering something (usually money) in order to gain an illicit advantage
  10. budget deficit
    an excess of expenditures over revenues
  11. bureaucracy
    a government administered primarily by nonelective officials
  12. business deduction
    tax write-off for expenses of doing business
  13. capital stock
    the maximum number of shares authorized under the terms of a corporation's articles of incorporation
  14. capitalism
    an economic system based on private ownership of assets
  15. caste system
    social structure in which classes are determined by heredity
  16. chauvinism
    fanatical patriotism
  17. Chinese Revolution
    the republican revolution against the Manchu dynasty in China; 1911-1912
  18. citizenry
    the body of citizens of a state or country
  19. civil disobedience
    refusal to obey a law because it is believed to be immoral
  20. civil law
    the legal code of ancient Rome
  21. civility
    the act of showing regard for others
  22. Cold War
    a state of political hostility that existed from 1945 until 1990 between countries led by the Soviet Union and countries led by the United States
  23. collective bargaining
    negotiation between an employer and trade union
  24. collusion
    secret agreement
  25. common law
    a law established by following earlier judicial decisions
  26. communism
    a theory favoring collectivism in a classless society
  27. congressional district
    a territorial division of a state
  28. conservative
    resistant to change
  29. constituency
    the body of voters who elect a representative for their area
  30. constitutionalism
    advocacy of government according to founding principles
  31. consumer price index
    an index of the cost of all goods and services to a typical consumer
  32. cooperative
    involving the joint activity of two or more
  33. copyright
    the exclusive right to sell a work
  34. cruel and unusual punishment
    punishment prohibited by the 8th amendment to the U.S. Constitution; includes torture or degradation or punishment too severe for the crime committed
  35. deficit
    the property of being less than expected or required
  36. deflation
    the act of letting the air out of something
  37. demand-pull inflation
    inflation caused by an increase in demand or in the supply of money
  38. Democratic Party
    the older of two major political parties in the United States
  39. depression
    a sunken or lowered geological formation
  40. deregulation
    the act of freeing from rules
  41. discount rate
    interest on an annual basis deducted in advance on a loan
  42. disposable income
    income that is available to you for saving or spending
  43. divine law
    a law that is believed to come directly from God
  44. divine right
    the doctrine that kings derive their right to rule directly from God and are not accountable to their subjects; rebellion is the worst of political crimes
  45. double jeopardy
    the prosecution of a defendant for a criminal offense for which he has already been tried; prohibited in the fifth amendment to the United States Constitution
  46. Dow Jones
    an indicator of stock market prices
  47. durable goods
    consumer goods that are not destroyed by use
  48. economic theory
    a theory of commercial activities
  49. economics
    science dealing with the circulation of goods and services
  50. elasticity
    the tendency of a body to return to its original shape
  51. electoral system
    a legal system for making democratic choices
  52. eminent domain
    a right of the state to take private property for public use
  53. Enlightenment
    a movement in Europe from about 1650 until 1800 that advocated the use of reason and individualism instead of tradition and established doctrine
  54. estate tax
    a tax on the estate of the deceased person
  55. ethnicity
    an affiliation resulting from racial or cultural ties
  56. European Union
    an international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members
  57. excise tax
    a tax that is measured by the amount of business done
  58. exclusionary rule
    a rule that provides that otherwise admissible evidence cannot be used in a criminal trial if it was the result of illegal police conduct
  59. expenditure
    the act of spending money for goods or services
  60. Federal Communications Commission
    an independent government agency that regulates interstate and international communications by radio and television and wire and cable and satellite
  61. Federal Reserve
    the central bank of the United States
  62. Federal Reserve System
    the central bank of the United States
  63. federalism
    government divided between central and regional powers
  64. Federalist
    a member of a former political party in the United States that favored a strong centralized federal government
  65. financial institution
    an institution (public or private) that collects funds (from the public or other institutions) and invests them in financial assets
  66. fiscal policy
    a government policy for dealing with the budget
  67. Food and Drug Administration
    a federal agency in the Department of Health and Human Services established to regulate the release of new foods and health-related products
  68. Fourteenth Amendment
    an amendment to the Constitution of the United States adopted in 1868; extends the guarantees of the Bill of Rights to the states as well as to the federal government
  69. franchise
    a statutory right or privilege granted by a government
  70. free enterprise
    an economy relying on market forces to allocate resources
  71. GATT
    a United Nations agency created by a multinational treaty to promote trade by the reduction of tariffs and import quotas
  72. government security
    a security issued by United States government agencies or the Farm Credit System
  73. head start
    the advantage gained by beginning early, as in a race
  74. home office
    (usually plural) the office that serves as the administrative center of an enterprise
  75. House of Commons
    the lower house of the British parliament
  76. House of Lords
    the upper house of the British parliament
  77. ideology
    an orientation that characterizes the thinking of a group
  78. incorporation
    consolidating two or more things
  79. interest rate
    the percentage of a sum of money charged for its use
  80. International Monetary Fund
    a United Nations agency to promote trade by increasing the exchange stability of the major currencies
  81. jingoism
    fanatical patriotism
  82. judicial review
    review by a court of law of actions of a government official or entity or of some other legally appointed person or body or the review by an appellate court of the decision of a trial court
  83. junta
    a group of officers who rule a country after seizing power
  84. jurisdiction
    the territory within which power can be exercised
  85. legislation
    the act of making or enacting laws
  86. legitimacy
    lawfulness by virtue of being authorized
  87. libel
    a false and malicious publication
  88. liberal
    showing or characterized by broad-mindedness
  89. liberalism
    a political orientation favoring social progress by reform
  90. litigation
    a legal proceeding in a court
  91. macroeconomics
    the branch of economics that studies the overall working of a national economy
  92. Magna Carta
    the royal charter of political rights given to rebellious English barons by King John in 1215
  93. marginal cost
    the increase or decrease in costs as a result of one more or one less unit of output
  94. market economy
    an economy that relies on market forces to determine prices
  95. marketplace
    an area in a town where a public mercantile establishment is set up
  96. Marshall Plan
    a United States program of economic aid for the reconstruction of Europe (1948-1952); named after George Marshall
  97. microeconomics
    the branch of economics that studies the economy of consumers or households or individual firms
  98. monarchy
    autocracy governed by a ruler who usually inherits authority
  99. money supply
    the total stock of money in the economy
  100. monopoly
    a market in which there are many buyers but only one seller
  101. Monroe Doctrine
    an American foreign policy opposing interference in the western hemisphere from outside powers
  102. moral obligation
    an obligation arising out of considerations of right and wrong
  103. NAFTA
    an agreement for free trade between the United States and Canada and Mexico; became effective in 1994 for ten years
  104. national debt
    the debt of the national government
  105. nationalism
    the doctrine that your country's interests are superior
  106. natural law
    a rule or body of rules of conduct inherent in human nature and essential to or binding upon human society
  107. oligopoly
    a market in which a few producers control a commodity
  108. Organization of American States
    an association including most countries in the western hemisphere; created in 1948 to promote military and economic and social and cultural cooperation
  109. organized crime
    underworld organizations
  110. organized labor
    employees who are represented by a labor union
  111. patent
    a document granting an inventor sole rights to an invention
  112. perjury
    criminal offense of making false statements under oath
  113. personal income
    the income received by a single individual
  114. price control
    restriction on maximum prices that is established and maintained by the government (as during periods of war or inflation)
  115. price floor
    floor below which prices are not allowed to fall
  116. primary election
    a preliminary election where delegates or nominees are chosen
  117. production cost
    combined costs of raw material and labor incurred in producing goods
  118. property tax
    a capital tax on property imposed by municipalities
  119. Protestant Reformation
    a religious movement of the 16th century that began as an attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church and resulted in the creation of Protestant churches
  120. public works
    structures constructed at government expense for public use
  121. recession
    the act of returning control
  122. referendum
    a legislative act referred for approval to a popular vote
  123. regulation
    the act of bringing to uniformity
  124. rental income
    income received from rental properties
  125. republic
    a form of government whose head of state is not a monarch
  126. Republican Party
    the younger of two major political parties in the United States; GOP is an acronym for grand old party
  127. return on investment
    (corporate finance) the amount, expressed as a percentage, that is earned on a company's total capital calculated by dividing the total capital into earnings before interest, taxes, or dividends are paid
  128. right to life
    the right to live
  129. self-determination
    determination of one's own fate or course of action without compulsion
  130. service charge
    a percentage of a bill added in payment for service
  131. sexual harassment
    unwelcome sexual behavior by a supervisor toward an employee
  132. shareholder
    someone who holds shares of stock in a corporation
  133. social contract
    an agreement that results in the organization of society
  134. social welfare
    governmental provision of economic assistance to persons in need
  135. socialism
    a political theory advocating state ownership of industry
  136. speculation
    continuous contemplation on a subject of a deep nature
  137. statute law
    law enacted by a legislative body
  138. stock
    a supply of something available for future use
  139. stock market
    an exchange where security trading is conducted by professional stockbrokers
  140. stockholder
    someone who holds shares of stock in a corporation
  141. subsidy
    a grant paid by a government to an enterprise
  142. tax revenue
    government income due to taxation
  143. telecommuting
    employment at home while communicating with the workplace by phone or fax or modem
  144. third party
    someone other than the principals who are involved in a transaction
  145. transfer payment
    a public expenditure that is not for goods and services
  146. UNICEF
    an agency of the United Nations responsible for programs to aid education and the health of children and mothers in developing countries
  147. vigilantism
    the actions of a vigilance committee in trying to enforce the laws
  148. Wall Street
    a street in lower Manhattan where the New York Stock Exchange is located; symbol of American finance
  149. warrant
    formal and explicit approval
  150. warranty
    written assurance that a product or service will be provided
  151. World Bank
    a United Nations agency created to assist developing nations by loans guaranteed by member governments
  152. World War I
    a war between the allies (Russia, France, British Empire, Italy, United States, Japan, Rumania, Serbia, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Montenegro) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria) from 1914 to 1918
  153. World War II
    a war between the Allies and the Axis from 1939 to 1945
  154. zoning
    dividing an area into zones or sections reserved for different purposes such as residence and business and manufacturing etc

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