Separation of powers The belief that power should not rest in the hands of one or few, but should be delegated
Checks and balances Measures designed to prevent one branch of government from becoming more powerful than the others
Liberty Freedom, the ability to make choices; not to be oppressed by the government or by any social or economic classes.
Equality The belief that all men (individuals) are equal in regards to their political rights.
Democracy An ideal of governing where the people make political decisions. This ideal has taken many forms, such as the direct democracy of Greece and the Roman Republic where elected representatives speak and vote on behalf of the people.
Popular sovereignty The concept that political power rests with the people who can create, alter, or abolish government. People express themselves through voting and free participation.
Human rights Include inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as well as freedom of speech, religion, and the press. While each government or culture determines the rights for their society, human rights tend to cross cultural barriers.
Constitutionalism The idea that the basic principles and laws of a government should be organized and administered through compliance with a written or unwritten constitution.
Nationalism Devotion to the interests or culture of ones nation; the belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively, emphasizing national rather than international goals; aspirations for national independence in a country under foreign domination