chapter 2 civics vocab terms


a sovereign head of state, especially a king, queen, or emperor.


a form of government in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch


a body of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is acknowledged to be governed

human rights

a right that is believed to belong justifiably to every person


an organization which consists of a number of parties or groups united in an alliance or league


supreme power of authority


an assembly of the representatives of a political nation or people, often the supreme legislative authority


a system of government in which the same territory is controlled by two levels of government


an agreement or settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions (mutual decision)


the action of signing or giving formal consent to a treaty, contract, or agreement, making it officially valid


a person who advocates or supports a system of government in which several states unite under a central authority


a person who opposed the adoption of the US constitution

magna carta

(1215) a charter of liberties that King John of england was forced to sign; it made the king obey the same laws as the citizens of his kingdom

the mayflower compact

the first agreement for self-government in America. It was signed by the 41 men on the Mayflower and set up a government for the Plymouth colony

the english bill of rights

created a constitutional monarchy in england, meaning the king or quern acts as head of state but his or her powers are limited by law

the enlightenment

a movement of the 18th century that stressed the belief that science and logic give people more knowledge and understanding than tradition and religion

virginia statute for religious freedom

document that declared that no person could be forced to attend a particular church or be required to pay for a church with tax money


a person who is chosen or elected to vote or act for others


a government controlled by religious leaders

common law

a body of unwritten laws based on legal precedents established by the courts


a document granting certain specified rights, powers, privileges, or functions from the sorveign power of a state to an individual, corporation, city, or other unit of local organization


a decision that is the basis of reason for future decisions