Government in which the people elect those who govern and pass laws; also called a republic.
Government that enforces recognized limits on those who govern and allows the voice of the people to be heard through free, fair, and relatively frequent elections
A belief that ultimate power resides in the people.
not simply the absence of external restraint on a person (freedom from something); it is also a persons freedom and capacity to reach his or her goals (freedom to do something)
The candidate or party that wins more than half the votes cast in an election.
Candidate or party with the most votes cast in an election, not necessarily more than half.
Government by religious leaders, who claim divine guidance.
Articles of Confederation
The first governing document of the confederated states drafted in 1777, ratified in 1781, and replaced by the present Constitution in 1789.
Rebellion led by Daniel Shays of farmers in western Massachusetts in 1786-1787, protesting mortgage foreclosures. It highlighted the need for a strong national government just as the call for the Constitutional Convention went out.
The compromise agreement by states at the Constitutional Convention for a bicameral legislature with a lower house in which representation would be based on population and an upper house in which each state would have two senators.
The compromise between northern and southern states at the Constitutional Convention that three-fifths of the slave population would be counted for determining direct taxation and representation in the House of Representatives
Supporters of ratification of the Constitution and of a strong central government
The Federalist papers
Essays promoting ratification of the Constitution, published anonymously by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison in 1787 and 1788.
Opponents of ratification of the Constitution and of a strong central government generally.
Separation of powers
Constitutional division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, with the legislative branch making law, the executive applying and enforcing the law, and the judiciary interpreting the law
Checks and balances
Constitutional grant of powers that enables each of the three branches of government to check some acts of the others and therefore ensure that no branch can dominate
Procedure for submitting to popular vote measures passed by the legislature or proposed amendments to a state constitution
The power of a court to refuse to enforce a law or government regulation that in the opinion of the judges conflicts with the U.S. Constitution or, in a state court, the state constitution.
Formal accusation by the lower house of a legislature against a public official, the first step in removal from office.
The power to keep executive communications confidential, especially if they relate to national security.
The effort to slow the growth of the federal government by returning many functions to the states.
Constitutional arrangement in which power is distributed between a central government and subdivisional governments, called states in the United States. The national and the subdivisional governments both exercise direct authority over individuals.
Constitutional arrangement that concentrates power in a central government.
Constitutional arrangement in which sovereign nations or states, by compact, create a central government but carefully limit its power and do not give it direct authority over individuals.
Powers that the Constitution specifically grants to one of the branches of the national government.
Powers inferred from the express powers that allow Congress to carry out its functions
Necessary and proper clause
Clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) setting forth the implied powers of Congress. It states that Congress, in addition to its express powers, has the right to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out all powers the Constitution vests in the national government
The powers of the national government in foreign affairs that the Supreme Court has declared do not depend on constitutional grants but rather grow out of the very existence of the national government
The clause in the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 1) that gives Congress the power to regulate all business activities that cross state lines or affect more than one state or other nations.
a requirement the federal government imposes as a condition for receiving federal funds.
Powers that the Constitution gives to both the national and state governments, such as the power to levy taxes.
Full faith and credit clause
Clause in the Constitution (Article IV, Section 1) requiring each state to recognize the civil judgments rendered by the courts of the other states and to accept their public records and acts as valid
Legal process whereby an alleged criminal offender is surrendered by the officials of one state to officials of the state in which the crime is alleged to have been committed.
An agreement among two or more states. Congress must approve most such agreements.
Constitutional doctrine that whenever conflict occurs between the constitutionally authorized actions of the national government and those of a state or local government, the actions of the federal government prevail.
These are broad state grants to states for prescribed activities—welfare, child care, education, social services, preventive health care, and health services—with only a few strings attached. States have greater flexibility in deciding how to spend block grant dollars, but when the federal funds for any fiscal year are gone, there are no more matching federal dollars.
People who favor national action over action at the state and local levels
People who favor state or local action rather than national action
Russian radical group, formed from noble families and elite regiments. Hoped to persuade Constantine to assum the throne but failed.