American Politics一門全英文的通識課,把我搞得七葷八素;姑且把名詞都整理一下,免得我漏掉。用書是Barack Obama的 The Audacity of Hope。對於沒看過任何與政治相關的英文書籍,平常更不關心政治的我,好累唷。但是既然都修了,就是要努力!

audacity-of-hope  歐先生請保佑我下禮拜的美國政治考試。



1. Check and Balance

The phrase "checks and balances" refers to the idea that no one branch of government can do something without any other branch of government being able to review that action and, possibly, stop it. Thus, the legislature can pass a law, but the President can veto it - that veto power is a check against the power to pass laws. However, the legislature can pass a bill over a presidential veto, so long as there are enough votes. Thus, that power is another check against the President's veto power. These checks create a balance of power, where no one branch of government has too much authority.

2. Federation

A federation is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central (federal) government. In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states is typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of the central government.

3. Separation of Power

Separation of Power is a model for the governance of a state. Under this model, the state is divided into branches, each with separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility so that no one branch has more power than the other branches. The normal division of branches is into an executive, a legislature, and a judiciary. 

4. The Great Compromise

It was an agreement between large and small states reached during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that in part defined the legislative structure and representation that each state would have under the United States Constitution.

5. Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights is the name by which the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are known. It is a series of limitations on the power of the United States Federal government, protecting the natural rights of liberty and property including freedom of speech, a free press, free assembly, and free association.

6. Seniority System

In Congress, the seniority system describes the practice of granting privileges to members of Congress (Senators and Representatives) who have served the longest. Those privileges range from choice of offices to choice of committee assignments, for example. In addition, members with a longer term of service on a committee are assumed to be "senior" and have more power in the committee. 

7. Filibuster

Legislator who gives long speeches in an effort to delay or obstruct legislation that he (or she) opposes. It is a type of parliamentary procedure. Specifically, it is a form of obstruction in a legislature or other decision-making body whereby a lone member can elect to delay or entirely prevent a vote on a proposal.   

8. Original Intent

Those founding fathers’ original meaning for establishing the constitution.

9. Cloture

In parliamentary procedure it is a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end.

10. Nuclear Option

The nuclear option allows the United States Senate to reinterpret a procedural rule by invoking the constitutional requirement that the will of the majority be effective. This option allows a simple majority to override precedent and end a filibuster or other delaying tactic. The most drastic or extreme response possible to a particular situation.



1. Freedom of Religion

Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any religion.

2. Establishment Clause

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment refers to the first of several pronouncements in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, stating that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". Together with the Free Exercise Clause ("... or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"), these two clauses make up what are commonly said as the "religion clauses" of the First Amendment. The establishment clause has generally been interpreted to prohibit 1) the establishment of a national religion by Congress, or 2) the preference of one religion over another. The first approach is called the "separation" or "no aid" interpretation, while the second approach is called the "non-preferential" or "accommodation" interpretation. The accommodation interpretation prohibits Congress from preferring one religion over another, but does not prohibit the government's entry into religious domain to make accommodations in order to achieve the purposes of the Free Exercise Clause. The clause itself was seen as a reaction to the Church of England, established as the official church of England and some of the colonies, during the colonial era.

3. Free Exercise Clause

4. Antidisestablishmentarianism

(反政教分離主義)The principles of those who oppose the with-drawal of the recognition or support of the state from an established church.

5. Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life

Pro-choice describes the political and ethical view that a woman should have control over her fertility and the choice to continue or terminate a pregnancy.

Pro-life describes the political and ethical opposition to elective abortion, and support for its legal prohibition or restriction.

6. Same-Sex Marriage and Civil Union

Same-sex marriage (also called gay marriage) is a legally or socially recognized marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender.

A civil union (民事結合)is a legally recognized union similar to marriage. Civil unions can often come under other terms such as registered partnership and civil partnership.Civil unions under one name or another have been established by law in many developed countries in order to provide same-sex couples rights, benefits, and responsibilities similar (in some countries, identical) to opposite-sex civil marriage

7. Wall of Separation

8. Separation of Church and State

(Thomas Jefferson)The concept of separation of church and state refers to the distance in the relationship between organized religion and the nation state.

9. Christian Fundamentalists

10. Evangelical Christian

Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian theological stream which began in Great Britain in the 1730s. Its key commitments are: 1)The need for personal conversion (or being "born again") 2)Actively expressing and sharing the gospel 3)A high regard for biblical authority, especially biblical inerrancy 4)An emphasis on teachings that proclaim the death and resurrection of Jesus.

11. Infallibility of the Bible


12. Religiosity

The quality of being religious or pious, especially when zealous or exaggerated.

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