Social studies, Grades 6-8 – 116 Words


the act of binding yourself to a course of action


a diplomat of the highest rank

American Revolution

the revolution of the American Colonies against Great Britain; 1775-1783

arms control

a limitation on the size and armament of the armed forces of a country


a partiality preventing objective consideration of an issue


a storage compartment for clothes and valuables

capital punishment

putting a condemned person to death

checking account

a bank account against which the depositor can draw checks that are payable on demand

commander in chief

the officer who holds the supreme command

commercial bank

a financial institution that accepts demand deposits and makes loans and provides other services for the public

Confederate States of America

the southern states that seceded from the United States in 1861

criminal law

the body of law dealing with crimes and their punishment


an order that after a certain time activities are prohibited

death penalty

putting a condemned person to death


a discussion with reasons for and against some proposal


the spread of power away from the center to local branches or governments


a show or display


a negative motivational influence

dress code

a set of rules specifying the correct manner of dress while on the premises of the institution (or specifying what manner of dress is prohibited)

due process

administration of justice according to rules and principles

economic aid

money to support a worthy person or cause


a stable situation in which forces cancel one another


conformity with rules or standards

ex post facto

affecting things past

exchange rate

the charge for exchanging currency of one country for currency of another


sell or transfer abroad

federal court

a court establish by the authority of a federal government


the commercial activity of providing funds and capital

First Amendment

an amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing freedoms

foreign aid

aid provided to one nation by another

foreign policy

a policy governing international relations

free trade

international trade free of government interference

freedom of assembly

the right to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for redress of grievances; guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution

French Revolution

the revolution in France against the Bourbons; 1789-1799

fringe benefit

an incidental benefit awarded for certain types of employment (especially if it is regarded as a right)


financial resources provided to make some project possible

general election

a national or state election

Gettysburg Address

a three-minute address by Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War at the dedication of a national cemetery on the site of the Battle of Gettysburg (November 19, 1863)


an international organization that works for environmental conservation and the preservation of endangered species

gross domestic product

the measure of an economy adopted by the United States in 1991; the total market values of goods and services produced by workers and capital within a nation’s borders during a given period (usually 1 year)

gun control

efforts to regulate or control sales of guns

habeas corpus

a writ ordering a prisoner to be brought before a judge


movement of persons into a place


a formal document charging a public official with misconduct


bring in from abroad

income tax

a personal tax levied on annual income


the act of filling something with air

inflation rate

the rate of change of prices (as indicated by a price index) calculated on a monthly or annual basis


a sense of concern with and curiosity about something

interest group

(usually plural) a social group whose members control some field of activity and who have common aims


a negotiator who acts as a link between parties

international law

the body of laws governing relations between nations

judicial branch

branch of the United States government administering justice


of or relating to children or young people

labor force

the source of trained people from which workers can be hired

labor market

the market in which workers compete for jobs and employers compete for workers

labor movement

an organized attempt by workers to improve their status by united action (particularly via labor unions) or the leaders of this movement

labor union

an organization of employees formed to bargain with the employer

Latin America

the parts of North America and South America to the south of the United States where Romance languages are spoken

legislative branch

the branch of the United States government that makes laws


an assembly that makes, amends, or repeals laws

lower court

any court whose decisions can be appealed to a higher court

majority rule

the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group

market economy

an economy that relies on market forces to determine prices


health care for the needy


health care for the aged

minimum wage

the lowest wage that an employer is allowed to pay


an international organization created in 1949 by the North Atlantic Treaty for purposes of collective security


the proceeding whereby a foreigner is granted citizenship

Nineteenth Amendment

an amendment to the Constitution of the United States adopted in 1920; guarantees that no state can deny the right to vote on the basis of sex


the act of officially naming a candidate

nonprofit organization

an organization chartered for other than profit-making activities


an association including most countries in the western hemisphere; created in 1948 to promote military and economic and social and cultural cooperation

opportunity cost

cost in terms of foregoing alternatives


a legislative assembly in certain countries


a wooden strip forming part of a fence


a preliminary introduction to a statute or constitution

prime minister

the person who is head of state (in several countries)


a basic generalization that is accepted as true

private property

movable property (as distinguished from real estate)


the act or process of making something


the quality of yielding positive results

property tax

a capital tax on property imposed by municipalities


a formal and solemn declaration of objection

public opinion poll

an inquiry into public opinion conducted by interviewing a random sample of people


a prescribed number


the entire amount of income before any deductions are made

right to privacy

right to be free of unsanctioned intrusion

Roman Republic

the ancient Roman state from 509 BC until Augustus assumed power in 27 BC; was governed by an elected Senate but dissatisfaction with the Senate led to civil wars that culminated in a brief dictatorship by Julius Caesar

sales tax

a tax based on the cost of the item purchased and collected directly from the buyer

savings account

a bank account that accumulates interest


personal independence


the upper house of the United States Congress

side effect

a secondary and usually adverse effect of a drug or therapy


words falsely spoken that damage the reputation of another

Social Security

social welfare program in the U.S.


the authority of a state to govern another state

standard of living

a level of material comfort in terms of goods and services available to someone or some group

states’ rights

the rights conceded to the states by the United States constitution


a legal right to vote


someone whose business is to supply a particular service or commodity

Supreme Being

the supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the object of worship in monotheistic religions


an additional charge

system of weights and measures

system of measurement for length and weight and duration


a government tax on imports or exports

tax deduction

a reduction in the gross amount on which a tax is calculated

tax revenue

government income due to taxation


the use of violence against civilians for ideological goals


a crime that undermines the offender’s government


the state of not having a job

unemployment rate

the percentage of the work force that is unemployed at any given date


the state of being joined or united or linked

United Nations

an organization of independent states formed in 1945 to promote international peace and security

Virgin Islands

a group of islands in northeastern West Indies (east of Puerto Rico) discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493; owned by United States and Britain

World Council of Churches

an ecumenical organization of Protestant and eastern churches; intended to promote unity and cooperation in religious and secular matters

World Court

a court established to settle disputes between members of the United Nations

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