body of fundamental laws setting out the principles, structures, and processes of a government.
a document created by the English that limited the power of the king, and provided for trial by jury and due process of the law.
Articles of Confederation
this document established a "firm league of friendship," and called for strong state governments, and an extremely limited national government
the group of delegates who wrote our Constitution, and are considered the Founding Fathers of our nation
called for a government with three separate branches, a bicameral legislature wtih representation in both houses based on population or wealth, Congress would choose a national executive and judiciary
New Jersey Plan
called for an equal unicameral Congress that would be in charge of national tax and trade, more than one executive, federal judiciary chosen by the executive
also known as the "Great Compromise," an agreement that would create a bicameral Congress with one house based on population and the other equal.
provided that all "free persons" should be counted as three-fifths of a person toward the population count for the house of representatives
included James Madison and Alexander Hamiltion; this group believed in a strong national government.
included Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams; this group believed in a Bill of Rights, the mention of God, and stronger state governments.
Separation of Powers
basic principle of the American system of government that the powers of the three branches are divided throughout the government
checks and balances
system of overlapping the powers of the three branches to permit each branch to check the actions of the others
power of the coutrs to determine whether what the government does is in accord with what the Constitution provides
a formal agreement between two or more sovereign states (in the U.S. it must be approved by the Senate)
an advisory body to the President, traditional made up of the heads of the Executive Departments and other officials
writ of habeas corpus
court order directed to prevent unjust arrests and imprisonment; commands the court to rule before a person can be imprisoned for a crime
powers expressely spelled out in the Constitution (examples are veto, impeachment, declare war, etc.)
not expressely stated, but suggested by the Constitution; includes the "Necessary and Proper Clause" (examples are highways, gambling and smoking laws, etc.)
powers that belong to the National Government because it is a sovereign nation (examples include immigration, deportation, protecting the nation, etc.)
powers that are not granted to the national government by the Constitution, meaning they are granted to the States (examples include education, marriage laws, gambling laws, etc.)
powers granted to both the national and state governments (examples include taxes, establishing courts, borrowing money, etc.)
federal money given to states or other local governments with fewer-than-usual strings attached
full faith and credit clause
the constitutional idea that each state accepts the laws and court matters of other states
the constitutional idea that states will return criminals to the state where the crime occurred for trial
a country that does not have any dominate parties but is ruled by many different parties
the party meeting where both parties officially nominate a person to run for president
practice of drawing electoral district lines in order to limit the voting strength of a particular group or party
Motor Voter Law
Directs every state to allow eligible citizens to register to vote when they get their drivers license, by mail and make registration forms available at locals offices.
congressional elections held in the even-numbered years between presidential elections.