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The quality of being free from errors, mistakes, or distortion;consistent with fact or truth.


The practice or work of farming.


To break material into its constituent parts and determine how the parts relate to one another and to an overall structure or purpose.


The skill of selecting and using information in other situations or problems.


A statement accepted or supposed as true without proof or demonstration; an unstated premise or belief.


A chronological designation meaning "before the common era". This document uses the chronological designations B.C.E. (before the common era) and C.E. (common era). These labels correspond to B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (anno Domini), which are used in some social studies instructional materials.


Monetary or non-monetary gain received because of an action taken or a decision made.

Bill Of Rights

The first ten amendments to the Constitution. Ratified in 1791, these amendments limit governmental power and protect basic rights and liberties of individuals.


The quality of addressing a range of perspectives.


A chronological designation meaning "common era." This document uses the chronological designations B.C.E. (before the common era) and C.E. (common era). These labels correspond to B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (anno Domini), which are used in some social studies instructional materials.

Checks And Balances

Constitutional mechanisms that authorize each branch of government to share powers with the other branches and thereby check their activities.


A concern for the rights, responsibilities, and tasks associated with governing; the status of being a citizen as well as membership in a community and the quality of an individual's response to membership in a community.


The quality of making something easier to understand; freeing from confusion or ambiguity, to remove obscurities.


Countries or areas controlled politically by a more powerful country. The GLE document refers on several occasions to the 13 British colonies in North America.

Common Good

Benefit or interest of a politically organized society as a whole.

Comparative Advantage

A country's ability to produce a given product relatively more efficiently than another country; production at a lower opportunity cost.


Show how things are similar or different.

Computer-Based Mapping System

Technological tools used to analyze geographic data in a variety of ways. Geographic Information Systems (G.I.S.) is one example.


An idea generalized from particular instances.


The events that happen as a result of a particular action or event.


Someone who buys and uses a good or service.


Obtaining the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (as a literary, musical, or artistic work).


An amount that must be paid or spent to buy or obtain something; the effort, loss, or sacrifice necessary to achieve or obtain something.


The ability to be believed or trusted.

Cultural Diffusion

The spreading of ideas, customs, and values from one culture to another.

Cultural Group

People who share a common history, set of values and beliefs, or ways of living.

Cultural Universal

An aspect of social life that is common to all human cultures.


The knowledge, values, and perceptions that are learned and are shared by members of a community or society, which includes their belief systems and languages, their social relationships, their institutions and organizations, and their material goods (food, clothing, buildings, tools, and machines).


The money in circulation in any country.


Ways of behaving or beliefs that have been established for a long time among a group of people.


Form of government in which political control is exercised by all the people, either directly or through their elected representatives.


The quality or state of being complete or thorough in addressing the complexities of a topic, issue, or event.


To provide characteristics and features.


Marked by thoroughness in addressing small aspects of topics, issues, or events; including specific examples.


The presence of a wide range of qualities, attributes, cultures, opinions, or groups in one population.

Due Process

The right of every citizen to be protected against arbitrary action by government.

Economic Choices

Decisions made or course of action taken when faced with a set of alternatives to meet needs and/or wants.

Economic System

The institutional framework of formal and informal rules that a society uses to determine what to produce, how to produce, and how to distribute goods and services.

Essential Questions

Questions that seek to connect a specific topic, issue, event, or era with a larger theme or purpose.


A set of moral issues or aspects.


A tendency to see one's own group as central and often characterized by an inability to see perspectives other than that of one's own group.


To make a judgment based on criteria; to determine the value of.


Items or information, which supports a conclusion or argument.


To inquire into the parts that make up the whole and to determine how the parts are related to one another.


To make the reasons for something plain and comprehensible, including supporting details.


Marked by impartiality and honesty; free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism; conforming with established rules.


Form of political organization in which governmental power is divided between a central government and territorial subdivisions; e.g., in the United States, among the national, state, and local governments.

Financial Literacy

The achievement of skills and knowledge necessary to make informed judgments and effective decisions regarding earning, spending, and the management of money and credit.

Fiscal Policy

Changes in the expenditures or tax revenues of the federal government undertaken to promote full employment, price stability, and reasonable rates of economic growth.

Foreign Policy

Policies of the federal government directed to matters beyond U.S. borders, especially relations with other countries.

Freedom Of Expression

Refers to the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and petition that are protected by the First Amendment.

Fundamental Documents

These are documents that have helped to define the core beliefs, ideals, and goals of a particular nation or society. For students in Washington, these documents would include but are not limited to the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, The Federalist Papers, landmark decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Washington State Constitution, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "A Letter from a Birmingham Jail", the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions in Seneca Falls, key treaties with Washington State's tribes, and other significant writings and speeches.

Fundamental Rights

Powers or privileges to which everyone is justly entitled and that cannot be taken away without due process. For example, the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution protect the fundamental rights to life, liberty, and property.

Global Issues

Matters that have far-reaching impacts on large numbers of people across nations and borders.


The increase of trade and other exchanges around the world, especially by large companies producing and trading goods in many different countries.


Institutions and procedures through which a territory and its people are ruled.

Human Rights

Basic rights that all humans have regardless of who they are or where they come from. They are so much a part of human nature that they cannot be taken away or given up, as opposed to rights conferred by law.


The fundamental values of society, a nation, or humanity. The fundamental values of American democracy are considered to include, but are not limited to individual rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness; the public or common good; justice; equality of opportunity; diversity; truth; and patriotism.


A possible significance.


Promises of rewards or punishments that encourage people to act.


A period when economic activity shifts away from small-scale agriculture and manufacturing toward large-scale commerce, manufacturing, technological innovation, and investment in industry.


A systematic investigation and analysis of information to address a question, often of a matter of public interest.


Giving one's own conception of; to place in the context of one's own experience, perspective, point of view, or philosophy.


Fair distribution of benefits and burdens, fair correction of wrongs and injuries, or use of fair procedures in gathering information and making decisions.


The quantity and quality of human effort available to produce goods and services.


A rule, usually made by a government, that is used to order the way in which a society behaves or the whole system of such rules.

Local Diversity

The presence of a wide range of qualities, attributes, cultures, opinions, and ethnic groups within a particular region or place.


Where something is. It can be either absolute or relative. Absolute location is the specific location of a point on Earth that is determined by an imaginary grid of lines denoting latitude and longitude. Relative location is how a place is related to other places. Location is considered to be one of the five themes of geography.


The order and coherence of reasons supporting a position, thesis or argument; the reasoning that establishes the truth or justification of any belief or set of beliefs.

Market Economy

An economy that relies on a system of interdependent market prices to allocate goods, services, and productive resources and to coordinate the diverse plans of consumers and producers, all of them pursuing their own self-interest.

Monetary Policy

Changes in the supply of money and the availability of credit initiated by a nation's central bank to promote price stability, full employment, and reasonable rates of economic growth.


The travel of people, goods, or ideas from one location to another. It is considered to be one of the five themes of geography.


People working together towards a common purpose.

Natural Resources

Materials supplied by nature that can be used to produce goods and services; for example, oceans, air, mineral deposits, virgin forests, and actual fields of land.


Love for or devotion to one's country.


A description of the characteristics that make a certain location distinct. It is considered to be one of the five themes of geography.


The act of using the ideas or words of another without crediting the source.

Planned Economy

An economic system where the questions of what to produce, how to produce, and for whom to produce are answered by means of a central plan rather than by markets.


The quality of being worthy of belief.

Point Of View

A particular position from which something is considered or evaluated; a way looking at things.

Popular Sovereignty

The doctrine that the people have the power and authority and a government is subject to the will of the people. The policy of allowing voters in a region to decide an issue.


A thesis, conclusion, or interpretation developed and supported by reasons and evidence.


The quality of being accurate, definite, and exact.


The guiding rules a community, society, or nation follows to achieve its larger goals and ideals. The fundamental principles of American democracy include, but are not limited to, the following: the people are sovereign; the power of government is limited by law; people exercise their authority directly by voting; people exercise their authority indirectly through representatives; and decisions are based on majority rule, but minority rights are protected.


People and firms that use resources to make goods and services.


Income received for entrepreneurial skills and risk taking, calculated by subtracting all of a firm's explicit and implicit costs from its total revenues.

Proximate Causal Factor

A reason for why something happens that takes place soon before the resulting event or phenomenon.


Something set up as an object or end to be attained.

Pursuit Of Happiness

One of the "unalienable rights" stated in the Declaration of Independence. It is considered a right defined individually by citizens and not the government.


Statements that support a conclusion or position.


An attempt to improve a situation, condition, or system.


Any group of places that share at least one similar characteristic.


The quality of having a close logical relationship with and importance to the matter under consideration.


The quality of being trusted or believed.

Representative Government

A government in which citizens take part through elected officials who act on their behalf.


System of government in which power is held by the voters and is exercised by elected representatives responsible for promoting the common welfare. The United States government is considered to be a Constitution-based federal republic.

Research Question

A question that helps guide inquiry on a particular topic and directs efforts to collect, critically read, and evaluate sources.


A sudden, complete, or marked change in something; a complete or drastic change of government and the rules by which government is conducted.


Something to which a person has a lawful claim. There are several categories of rights: civil rights are freedoms guaranteed to citizens; human rights are basic rights to which all people are entitled; individual rights are those belonging to each person; property rights are legal claims to land or other possessions; states' rights are the powers the U.S. Constitution grants to the states.

Rule Of Law

The principle that every member of society, even a ruler, must follow the law.

Separation Of Powers

The division of government authority among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.


The quality of being important.


A situation in which people produce a narrower range of goods and services than they consume. Specialization usually increases productivity; it also requires trade and increases interdependence.


Something that is mentioned, described, or defined in detail.

Supply And Demand

Supply refers to the availability of a specific good or service; demand refers to the level of desired consumption for a specific good or service. The relationship of supply and demand influences the prices and quantity of goods and services sold in competitive markets.


The ability of the current generation to meet its needs without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their needs. In the field of ecology, it refers to the capacity of an ecosystem to sustain interdependent forms of life by balancing the rate of resource removal with the rate of resource regeneration.


A tax on an imported good or service.


Compulsory payments to governments by households and businesses.


The exchange of goods and services for money or other goods and services.

Tribal Sovereignty

The authority that tribes in the United States have to self-govern as nations within a nation. This authority predates treaties with the U.S. government.


A group and government with rights and responsibilities toward its citizens. In the GLE document, unless otherwise noted, the word "tribe" or "tribal" refers to sovereign tribal entities recognized by the U.S. federal government.


The quality of being well-grounded or justifiable.