Texas Government Midterm

Traditionalist Culture

emphasizes maintaining status quo, resisting attempts to change the political process or system

Moralistic Culture

the common belief that the govt should do what is best for everyone (public service)

Individualistic Culture

emphasizes the individual and a free and independent political decision-making process; politics should be an individual choice, and government should be as limited as possible

Plural Executive

the governor shares power with an elected cabinet in Texas, making the Governors office in Texas less powerful

Definition of Marriage

1 man, 1 woman; no comparable alternative

Elite Theory
(The 1%)

A theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided along class lines and that an upper-class elite will rule, regardless of the formal niceties of governmental organization.

Interest Groups

An organization of individuals who share a common political goal or interests and unite for the purpose of influencing government decisions or public policy by electioneering and lobbying.

Party Coalition

a set of groups and citizens that align themselves with/support a political party


when large groups in a party coalition switch their allegiance to the opposite party


when a voter group abandons a party to become independent or nonvoting

E.J Davis

14th Governor of Texas during the Reconstruction Era after the Civil War
-was very abusive and corrupt

1876 Texas Constitution

Current Constitution of Texas, poorly written and organized, and written as a reaction to the abuse of the Reconstruction Era governor- E.J Davis

1836 Republic of Texas

a small period of Texas independence (Texas was an independent country) following the Texas-Mexico War in 1836

1846 Texas-Mexico War

Texas becomes a state in the United States

1846 Treaty of Guadalupe

Agreement that ended the US-Mexico War and set the border at the Rio Grande River

1947 Mendez vs. Westminster Schools

9th circuit court of appeals issued the first school desegregation order in US history

1954 Hernandez vs Texas

supreme court case where the court mandated non-discrimination in all public proceedings; requires equality in all public proceedings

1965 Voting Rights Act

Suspended literacy tests, poll taxes, and other measures used to confine voting to whites-it empowered federal examiners to register qualified voters

1964 Civil Rights Act

This act prohibited Discrimination because of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin by employers or labor unions

1981-82 Plyer vs. Doe

Overturned Texas laws that prohibited the children of undocumented immigrants from attending public schools
*(unconstitutional, all citizens have the exact same rights and privileges)

1980 Estelle vs. Ruiz

Supreme Court case where the Court decided that prison conditions in Texas were "cruel and unusual" and therefore violated the 8th Amendment to the US Constitution
-Texas prison conditions were cruel and unusual
-overcrowded and unfair judgment

1989 Texas vs. Johnson

Supreme Court case where a Texas flag burning law was overturned because the Court reasoned that it is symbolic speech, and therefore protected by the First Amendment.
-symbolic speech like political speech is protected by the 1st Amendment (obscenity is

1991 Lawrence vs Texas

overturns "TX Sodomy Law" prohibiting same sex intimacy

2013 Citizens United vs F.E.C

Supreme Court allowed political action committees to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections

2014 Holder vs Shelby, Alabama

Supreme Court overturned most of the Voting Rights Act

Texas Legislature

Law making institution for the state of Texas that meets every other year for 140 days

Texas Bill of Rights

defends freedom of speech, press, and the right to assemble peacefully, and equal treatment and religion
-Article I of the Texas constitution that protects the civil liberties from infringement by the state.

Title VII

prohibits discrimination in employment and created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Outlaws discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, or national origin

Title IX

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

13th Amendment

Abolished Slavery

15th Amendment

Citizens cannot be denied the right to vote because of race, color, or precious condition of servitude

19th Amendment

women's right to vote

24th Amendment

Abolishes poll taxes

La Raza Unida

A party organized in 1970 by Jose Angel Gutierrez as a means of getting Mexican Americans to unite politically and to identify ethnically as one people.
-Proud Mexican American

Chicano Movement

The Mexican-American movement that sought political and social justice. The Chicano Movement addressed negative stereotyping of Mexicans, this stereotyping was addressed through works of literary and visual arts.

Voter Suppression

strategy to influence the outcome of an election by discouraging or preventing people from exercising their right to vote


right to vote

Primary Elections

A preliminary election in which voters nominate party candidates for office.

Party Platform

A statement of principles, values, and policy positions from a political party. A political party's statement of its goals and policies for the next four years. The platform is drafted prior to the party convention by a committee whose members are chosen


smallest area of political jurisdiction;
a voting district

Political Machines

the use of graft patronage, and corruption to maintain political control in the area; traded services for votes- headed by strong leader


the idea that group competition is a normal part of a properly functioning democracy

Access Inequality

the wealthy use of interest groups to gain an audience with elected officials

Americans with Disabilities Act

Passed by Congress in 1991, this act banned discrimination against the disabled in employment and mandated easy access to all public and commercial buildings.

Single Issue Groups

interest groups organized around a single issue.
groups that have narrow interest and don't like compromise