Capitol Vocabulary

amphitheater - a circular or semi-circular arrangement of tiered seats or steps which face a stage

bicameral - a legislative body divided into two groups, such as the Senate and the House of Representatives

capital - (1) a city that is the official seat of government in a state; (2) the decorative top of a column

capitol - a building that houses a state legislature

chamber - a large hall or room where lawmakers meet; a group of lawmakers

Corinthian - the highest order and the most elaborate style of Grecian column, characterized by an inverted bell-shaped capital decorated with acanthus leaves

Doric - the lowest order and simplest column in Grecian architecture, characterized by a heavy column with a plain saucer-shaped capital

executive branch - branch of government responsible for executing the laws

gallery - a balcony in a large room sometimes with seats for an audience

General Assembly - a body of persons elected by the people to make laws for North Carolina; also known as the legislature

gneiss - (pronounced "nice") a granite-like metamorphic rock used to build the exterior walls of the Capitol

governor - the chief executive of North Carolina, responsible under the state constitution to "take care" that all state laws are faithfully executed

House of Representatives - the lower house of the legislature composed of 120 members who are at least eighteen years old and who have lived in the district they represent for at least one year immediately prior to election

Ionic - the middle order of Greek architecture characterized by columns that have scrolled capitals

judicial branch - branch of the government responsible for deciding what laws mean

legislative branch - branch of the government elected to make the laws for the state

lieutenant governor - elected official who would suceed the governor in his absence, incapacity, or death; he or she serves as the president of the Senate

rotunda - a large, high, and open circular room usually topped with a dome

Senate - the upper house of the legislature, composed of fifty members who are at least twenty-five years old, have been residents of North Carolina for at least two years, and have lived in the district they represent for at least one year

Speaker of the House - this person is elected by the House of Representatives from the 120 members; the Speaker presides over the House.

supreme court - the highest court in our state composed of an elected chief justice and six elected associate justices; it is not a trial court--it considers only certain cases appealed to it from lower courts.