a group of people living in a definite territory who have a government with the power to make and enforce laws without having to ask permission from a higher authority
organization by which the state maintains order, provides public services and security, and enforces decisions over the people living in the territory
the theory that the earliest government developed from the family; began
the theory that the first governments were established using weapons
divine right theory
the theory that a ruler holds power because he or she is god or has been chosen by the gods to rule
social contract theory
the theory developed by John Locke that the ruler and the people who were ruled entered a contract; if the ruler failed to honor the people's rights, the people would overthrow the ruler
all governmental power is held by the national government; uses power to set up lesser governments such as states or provinces; lower levels make and enforce laws
a loose union of independent states
divides government powers between the national and state governments; each have certain powers
single person has power that was inherited or taken by force
traditional monarchs give up power; real power is in parliament/democracy
modern autocrat; controls the government and rules with absolute power
a small group of people rule with absolute power
government ruled by the people
individuals vote on issues of government in a meeting of all citizens
the people elect representatives to make decisions
the idea that government is not all powerful
a government in which people elect delegates to speak for them in the government
a written plan to form a government signed by the Pilgrims before they came ashore at Plymouth Rock
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
the first formal constitution in the colonies; granted male landowners with the right to elect governors and representatives
to refuse to have dealings with
a government that acts for all the states within a country
goods being sold to other nations
those who opposed the Constitution
those who supported ratification of the Constitution
a clause in Article VI that declares the Constitution, acts of Congress, and treaties are the "supreme law of the land"
additions to the Constitution
writers of the Constitution; 55 founding fathers
the source of the national government's power comes from the people of the nation
a system in which power is divided between the states and the national government
Separation of powers
each branch of government is given its own set of duties and responsibilities
Checks and balances
each branch of government has duties that restrain the power of the other two branches
a principle that gives the courts the power to rule on the constitutionality of a law or action of a local, state, or national government
the idea that government is not all-powerful
to reject a bill by refusing to sign it
powers that are stated directly in the Constitution
the process for people of other nations to become U.S. citizens
a clause that allows Congress to stretch the use of its powers
area of law that a court may hear cases about
informal documents made with other nations
to refrain from reading into the Constitution things that the Framers never meant
having two houses of congress
the upper house of the U.S. Congress; 100 members
House of Representatives
the lower house of the U.S. Congress; 435 members
period of time in which Congress meets
breaks for holidays or vacations
A break for more than 3 days; voted on by members of both houses
the people back home in a senator or representative's state district
the person who already holds an office
The reassignment of seats in the House after each ten year census based on gains or losses in a state's population.
when a district is redrawn because of a gain or loss of seats in the House
creating a district to favor one party over another
the party that has the most members in the senate or the house during a term
the party with the fewer number of seats in the senate or house during a term
a closed meeting of a party
a member of the house that helps the speaker and other party leaders and is the main spokesperson for his/her party in the house
the majority leader's assistant
a member of the house from the minority party who determines how his/her party will react to the majority party's programs
the minority leader's assistant
small groups of representatives who work out the details of bills
President pro tempore
meaning "president for a time," a person who chairs the daily sessions of the Senate in place of the vice president; most powerful member of the senate
to talk until the sponsor of a bill or nomination agrees to modify or withdraw the bill
limits time for debate
narrow interpretation; believes constitution lists all the powers that congress can use; government would only be allowed to use implied powers when they were absolutely necessary to fullfil expressed powers
broad interpretation; believes in necessary and proper clause (constitution gives the government whatever powers it needs to grow and change with the nation)
congress's power to tax and authorize the spending of the income from taxes
a request to fund a program
the buying and selling of goods and services
protect the rights of writers, artists, and composers to their work for a period of time
enables inventors to control how their inventions are manufactured and sold
powers needed to carry out the government
the power of Congress to oversee how laws are carried out
permanent Senate or House committee; members chosen by party leaders by their skill and knowledge
a small working group of members of a standing committee
the chair of each committee is usually the person from the majority party who has served on the committee the longest
also special committees; temporary, created to study one subject or topic only, made up of members of both houses
a committee made up of members of both houses
temporary, made up of members from both houses, work out differences in house and senate versions of a bill
serve a witness with a legal order to appear before a committee
lying under oath in a court of law
(1) rights granted to a state's citizens that other states may not deny, (2) a person will not be charged with any crime that he or she testifies about committing
when a charge is made against a person who refuses to testify
everyone who works for the government, including non elected employees
Power of the purse
a power committees hold to add money for certain programs, cutting spending on others, or completely end funding for some
people that help do work for Congress's committees and subcommittees
the refusal of the president to spend money that Congress has set aside for a program
senator or representative who introduces a bill
a bill that deals with an issue of general interest and that applies to the entire nation
a bill that deals with an issue of interest only to certain people and places
an amendment to a bill that does not have anything to do with the subject of a bill
a decision passed by both houses of Congress that deals with a special case
a decision passed by both houses of congress and is not signed by the president and is not a law
a group made up of people who share common ideas and come together to influence government policy
to not act on a bill so that it will die
a bill that is a combination of the House and Senate versions of that bill
a veto achieved when the president holds a bill for ten days and congress adjourns during those ten days
to pass over
problems constituents have with federal agencies
projects that aren't really necessary that are done to bring in money and jobs
when senators or representatives promise to support one another's pork-barrel bill
someone who believes that the deferral government should actively promote programs such as health care and equal opportunity
someone who believes that the federal government should limit its role in social and economic programs
someone who has views that are somewhere in between a conservative's and a liberal's
balance the ticket
to choose a vice-presidential running mate in order to help draw votes from all areas of the country
people that advise the president and help set policy for the nation
George's original cabinet; Departments of State, Justice, Defense, and Treasury
executive office of the president
a staff that helps the president oversee the executive branch
white house office
part of the Executive Office if the President that includes the president's key staff and personal advisers
statements by the press secretary to reporters of the president
to carry out
strong support from the people
ritual functions performed by the president
a person who represents the nation in dealings with governments of other nations
a regulation about how laws are to be carried out
follow a certain party
power to make and enforce laws without asking permission from a higher power
state of nature
complete independence and freedom, subject to no body
the power of the government to force its people to obey it
a single person holds all the power
first step toward limiting monarch's power; established rights such as trial by jury; taxes had to be approved by the barons
Petition of Right
during King Charles I's reign; limited monarch's power to tax without parliament's agreement, forbade quartering of troops, banned jailing without cause
English Bill of Rights
people gained rights such as freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, the right to a fair and speedy trial, and freedom from excessive bail; signed by William and Mary so that they could rule
House of Burgesses
first colonial legislature (Virginia)
Upper house (colonial legislature)
members were usually wealthy and appointed by the governor
lower house (colonial legislature)
members were elected
What did James Madison say was the flaw of a confederation government?
it was just a treaty of friendship between the states
What 3 things did Alexander Hamilton say were flaws of the Articles of Confederation?
Congress had no power to deal with national problems, there was no central court system, and there was no central leader that people could point to as head of the government
What were the borders of the new U.S.?
the Great Lakes and Canada (N), Florida (S), East Coast (E) and Miss. River (W)
Why was James Madison considered the father of the constitution?
he suggested many of the ideas and plans, as well as kept minutes of the meeting
Why were the Articles of Confederation a failure?
Congress could not pass taxes, force states to obey its laws, or regulate trade; laws needed the approval of 9 of the 13 states; all 13 states had to agree to changes; there was no judicial and no executive branch
What were the things that the Articles COULD do?
coin money, direct foreign affairs, make war & peace, and build navy
What is the difference between a federal system and a confederation?
in a federal system the power is divided between the national government and the states; in a confederation the states have most of the power and are only loosely united
What is the difference between a direct democracy and a representative democracy?
in a direct democracy, the people vote on laws in a meeting of all citizens; in a representative democracy, people elect officials to represent them
What kind of government did the Magna Carta give to England?
What was the purpose of the First Continental Congress?
To discuss the Intolerable Acts
Explain how the Land Ordinance of 1785 would organize the Northwest Territories
the territories would be divided into districts; once a district had 5,000 free males they could set up a legislature and elect lawmakers; with 6,000 people the district could apply for statehood
How did the U.S. gain the Northwest Territories?
Treaty of Paris 1783
Why was it hard to amend the Articles of Confederation?
All 13 states had to approve any change
What are the four important characteristics of a state?
Population, territory, sovereignty, government
What are the purposes of a government?
keep the peace, provide public services, provide national security, make economic decisions
What are the three basic systems of government?
Unitary, confederation, federal
What is the difference between an absolute monarchy and a constitutional monarchy?
in an absolute monarchy, the monarch has all the power; in a constitutional monarchy, the monarch is the head of the government but the government is a democracy
Parliament's House of Lords is the same as which chamber of Congress?
Who was president of the First CC and the Second CC?
1st-Peyton Randolph; 2nd- John Hancock
Why was the Constitutional Convention held in secret?
they didn't want people listening to what they were doing and making judgements
What were some issues of the early colonial legislatures?
landownership, taxes, Native Americans
Why did Parliament pass taxes on the colonists?
to protect them
Why did the south want to include slaves in their population count?
to boost their small population
Where and when was the Second CC?
1775 and 1776 in Philadelphia (Independence Hall)
What was different about the clothing of those who supported independence and those who didn't?
supporters' clothes were plainer; loyalists' clothes were frilly
What was the original purpose of the Second Continental Congress?
To attempt to reconcile with the king
Who introduced the Virginia Resolution to debate the issue of independence? Why did he have to return to Virginia and speak to the state legislature?
Richard Henry LEE!! He was representative for Virginia and he had to get the approval of his state (and they said absolute-LEE)
What was J. Adams and Franklin's debate on this issue?
They were debating w/ Dickenson about independence; they wanted to declare independence because England was not giving them their rights as Englishmen
What was J. Dickenson's debate?
He wanted the protection and the benefits of being part of England
In order to stall time before voting, what suggestion did Adams make?
Writing the Declaration
Who was on the declaration writing committee and who was chosen to do the actual writing?
Ben Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Phillip Livingston, Thomas Jefferson; Jefferson wrote the document
National Bird suggestions:
eagle dove turkey
Objections to original draft:
take out Scottish reference; add in God; "in many cases" added to lack of trial by jury; no mention of Parliament or people; referred to king as a tyrant (nothing taken out there); 85 changes; 400 words removed
What was Rutledge's complaint about the declaration?
The declaration said no slavery
Why did the Southern Delegation return?
They took out the clause about slavery
What dramatic thing did Dickenson do?
Refused to sign but joined the army
What personal danger did the delegates face?
They committed treason
Proclamation of 1763
British government says no crossing the Appalachian Mountains
helped to pay for French and Indian War; tax on all paper documents; first time parliament levied taxes on colonies; repealed after protests and violence against tax collectors
parliament taxed the colonists on tea; maintained that they had authority over all subjects; led to Boston Tea Party
punishment of Boston Tea Party; closed Boston harbor; outlawed town meetings in Boston; quartering of troops; British officers who committed crimes in America were to be tried in England
Qualifications for House of Representatives
at least 25, citizen for 7 years, live in the state from which he/she is elected
Term of office for the House of Representatives
Duties of Members of the House
serve on Committees, help constituents in dealing with the federal government
Duties of the House of Representatives
propose revenue laws; elect president in the event of a tie; timed debate; If a member dies, resigns, or is impeached, he is replaced by a special election in their state
Qualifications for the Senate
be at least 30 years old; be a citizen for at least 14 years; live in the state from which he or she is elected
Term for the Senate
Privileges and benefits for the Senate and House
tax deduction because they keep homes in their states and in Washington, D.C., free postage on official business, free printing of speeches and newsletters, pension plan, low-cost health and life insurance
Duties of members of the Senate
Serve on committee; Help constituents in dealing with the federal government
Duties of the Senate
Confirm or reject treaties with other nations, confirm or reject presidential nominees; Untimed debates-they can have a filibuster; If a senator dies, resigns, or is impeached, the governor of that state appoints an new senator
duties of the Speaker of the House
1. Keeps order in the house as presiding officer 2. Leads the majority party in the house 3. Appoints members to certain committees 4. Schedules bills for votes in the House 5. Sends bills to the proper committees 6. Speaker is next in line to become president after the vice president
President of the Senate
VP of the US; cannot vote except to break a tie; rarely chairs daily sessions
duties of the president pro tempore
1. Keeps order in the senate as presiding officer 2. Leads the majority party in the senate 3. Appoints members to certain committees 4. Schedules bills for votes in the Senate 5. Sends bills to the proper committees 6. Next in line for president after the Speaker of the House
duties of the majority leader (House and Senate)
1. Helps the speaker/pro tem set up the party's agenda 2. Guides the party's agenda through the house or senate 3. Main spokesperson for his or her party in the house or senate
duties of the majority/minority whips (House and Senate)
1. Sees how the party members plan to vote; 2. Convinces members to vote with the party leaders; 3. Makes sure the party members are present for votes; 4. Report to party leaders what party members think about issues
duties of the minority leader (House and Senate)
1. sets up party's agenda 2. guides agenda through the house/senate 3. spokesperson for their party in the house/senate
How are the majority/minority leaders and whips selected?
caucus of the majority/minority party
How is the Speaker of the House selected?
caucus of the majority party; whole house votes
How is the president pro tempore selected?
senior member of the majority party; whole senate votes
current speaker of the house
John Boehner, R
current vice president
Joe Biden, D
current president pro tempore
Daniel K. Inouye, D
advantages for incumbents
Raising campaign funds easier (bigger war chest=more campaigning), Name recognition (better known than challengers), Majority of voters belongs to incumbent's party (people tend to vote for a certain party depending on where they're from, Loyalty of voters; incumbents solve problems for constituents
expressed money powers
tax, borrow money, regulate bankruptcies, print and coin money, punish conterfeiters
implied money powers
punish those who do not pay taxes, use tax revenue to support programs such as education and public housing
expressed commerce powers
regulate business between states and business with other nations
implied commerce powers
outlaw discrimination in theaters, restaurants, hotels, etc., set a minimum wage, protect those with disabilities
expressed military/national defense powers
punish crimes at sea; declare war; set up, fund, and regulate the armed forces; provide for, regulate, and call into service a militia (National Guard)
implied military/national defense powers
draft Americans into the armed forces
nonlegislative powers (House of Representatives)
begin appropriations bills, begin impeachment proceedings of fed. officers, break a tie in a presidential election
nonlegislative powers (Senate)
confirm/reject pres. nominations, confirm/reject supreme court nominees, confirm/reject treaties
nonlegislative powers (Shared)
count electoral votes, select new vice presidents, approve amendments to the constitution
power to investigate
congress has to research in order to write a proper bill
other expressed powers
establish laws for naturalization, set up post offices, grant copyrights and patents, set up a system of fed. courts, govern d.c., make all laws necessary and proper for carrying out other powers
other implied powers
limit and regulate immigration
What things cause conflict between the president and Congress?
party politics, different agendas, system of checks and balances, different timetables
War Powers Act 1973
president has to tell congress if troops are sent into battle; president can only send troops 30 days w/o authorization for use of military force or a declaration of war from congress
National Emergency Act 1976 & 78
requires president to tell congress if he is going to declare a national emergency; a state of emergency can last a year
budget limitations on the president
if money is budgeted for a certain program, the president has to use all of the money for that program only; if the president wants money for something, Congress has to approve
Who can write a bill?
Who can introduce a bill on the floor?
only a member of Congress
What happens when the bill is given a House/Senate number and title?
1) bill is read for the first time; 2) bill is printed in the Congressional Record and the Journal for the House or Senate
What does the subcommittee do?
1) holds hearings on bill; can call witnesses; 2) can mark up the bill; 3) can pigeonhole it, kill it, or send the revised bill back to the standing committee
What can the standing committee do after the subcommittee gives it back?
pigeonhole it, kill it, or mark it up and send it to the floor
What are the differences between a house and senate debate?
house has a time limit for debate and can ban amendments; senate has unlimited debate, does not ban amendments, and can filibuster
Why are changes made to a bill?
either to improve it or kill it
What types of voting do the house use?
voice vote, standing vote, electronic vote
made up of members of both houses; created to solve differences between house and senate versions of a bill; after agreed changes bill is sent back to both chambers for a vote
what can the president do to a bill?
1) sign it into law; 2) keep on desk for 10 days while congress is in session (automatically becomes law); 3) keep on desk 10 days and congress adjourns, pocket veto; 4) veto the bill and send it back to congress
what can congress do after the president vetoes a bill?
1) rework bill and pass new version or 2) override veto with a 2/3 vote in both chambers
what types of voting does the senate use?
voice vote, standing vote, roll call
How do congresspeople help their constituents?
solve problems with federal agencies, bring jobs and money to their state or district
How does working on casework help?
congresspeople get reelected; helps with legislative oversight (gives them an idea of how federal agencies are working so they can fix problems); helps constituents understand the federal government
Advises the president on foreign affairs
Department of State
Protects the rights of US citizens traveling in other nations
Department of State
Represents the United States at the United Nations and in other global organizations
Department of State
Maintains embassies and other agencies in foreign countries
Department of State
Prints paper money and makes coins
Department of the Treasury
Collects taxes through the Internal Revenue Service
Department of Treasury
Borrows money for the federal government
Department of the Treasury
Regulates the production and sale of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms
Department of the Treasury
Maintains the armed forces to protect the nation
Department of Defense
Advises the president on legal issues
Department of Justice
Investigates and prosecutes anyone accused of a federal crime
Department of Justice
Enforces federal laws such as civil rights laws
Department of Justice
Operates federal prisons
Department of Justice
Takes the national census (counts the nation's population every ten years)
Department of Commerce
Issues patents for inventions and registers copyrights for creative works
Department of Commerce
Sets standards, or values, for weight and measurement
Department of Commerce
Encourages the nation's economic growth by supporting business and technological development
Department of Commerce
Oversees the security of the nation's borders, transportation systems, oil and gas pipelines, electric power sources, and similar resources
Department of Homeland Security
Enforces immigration laws
Department of Homeland Security
Manages emergency preparedness and the response to emergencies
Department of Homeland Security
Protects the president, vice president, and other top-level officials through the Secret Service
Department of Homeland Security
length of term for president
benefits of presidency
400,000 in salary, travel, expense allowance, Free health care, White House, Retirement pension, Secret Service protection, Air Force One, Camp David, Other aircraft and land vehicles
if the president dies, resigns, or is impeached, the VP takes over and selects a new VP w/ consent of congress; if VP dies, resigns, or is impeached, president selects a new VP w/ consent of congress; if president is unable to carry out his duties, he writes a letter to the speaker and the senate pro tem to let them know he is putting the VP in charge temporarity (pro tempore); if president is unable to write a letter, either the cabinet or members of congress meet to make the decision
constitutional jobs of VP
Replace the president if the president is unable to fulfill his duties,break ties in the senate
unconstitutional duties of VP
Whatever the president gives him to do, Balance the ticket
Succession Act of 1947
VP, Speaker, pro tem, cabinet in order that departments were created
roles of the president
Chief official of the executive branch, Head of the nation, Commander-in-chief of armed forces, Represents the nation to the rest of the world
official qualifications to be president
native born, lived in the US for at least 14 years, 35 years old
unofficial qualifications for president
Big war chest, Middle-of-the-road beliefs, Religion, Military experience, Registered voter, Political experience, Gender
If a vice president serves 2 or more years of the dead president's term, they can only run for and serve one more term; If a vice president serves less than 2 years of the dead president's term, they can run for and serve two more terms
selecting cabinet members
experts in department field, managerial experience, interest groups (trying to meet everyone's needs), diverse group, someone who will tell him the truth about things
role of the cabinet
run their department, advise the president; inner cabinet meets with the president every day
What does the White House Office do?
greatest influence on the president; filter who sees the president and which documents get passed on to him/her; appointed by the president, do not have to be confirmed by congress
Chief of Staff
manages the White House Office
makes statements for the president to reporters
White House counsel
attorney for the president; provides legal advice
Secretary of State
Secretary of Treasury
Timothy F. Geithner
Secretary of Defense
Leon E. Panetta
president as Head of State
represents the United States to the world and to the nation and performs ceremonial duties
examples of Head of State duties
lays wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetary; welcomes leaders from other nations to the White House
president as Chief Executive
executes laws and court decisions
Chief Executive description
proposes executive orders; appoints executive department heads, federal judges, and other top-level officials; removes executive department heads, top-level officials, and members of the EOP and white house office
president as Chief Legislator
proposes the annual budget and other legislation to Congress
Chief Legislator description
grants political favors to gain congressional support for policies; has veto power and can threaten the veto of a bill so that congress will revise it
president as Chief Diplomat
represents the nation in dealing with governments of other nations
Chief Diplomat description
Makes treaties which are rejected or approved by Congress; makes executive agreements
president as Commander-in-chief
uses the military to support foreign policy goals
decides when and if the nation should go to war; approves or rejects requests from the armed forces for funding
unofficial roles of the president
power of influence, economic planner, political party leader
president as economic planner
sends report to Congress; sends annual federal budget to Congress
president as political party leader
goes to fundraisers; campaigns for other candidates; supposed to avoid partisan politics
qualities of good leadership
public support, communication, timing, flexible, compromise, political courage
Accomplishments of 1st CC
asked colonies to boycott British goods; wrote Declaration and Resolve
Declaration and Resolve
defended colonists' right to pass laws for themselves; those accused of crimes should be tried in american courts; parliament does not have the right to tax the colonies
Declaration of Independence
explained why the colonies were rejecting British rule; preamble; list of grievances; declaration of separation from GB
describes the legislative branch, its duties and its powers, and qualifications for its members
describes the duties and powers of the executive branch, the qualifications for president and vice president, and the process for electing the president and vice president
creates the Supreme Court as head of the judicial branch
explains the relationship among the states and the states' relationship to the national government
describes the process for amending the Constitution
declares that the Constitution, acts of Congress, and treaties are the "supreme law of the land" (supremacy clause)
sets out the process for ratifying the Constitution
Columbian Exchange (old to new)
coffee beans, onions, bananas, grapes, sugar cane, citrus fruits, livestock, diseases
Columbian Exchange (new to old)
sweet potato, pumpkin, squash, peppers, corn, potato, tomato, tobacco, turkey
Where did Spain explore?
southern part of North America; Gulf Coast, Southwest North America, Central and S America, Carribean Islands
What were Spain's goals in America?
saving souls and looking for gold
Why did Spain fail?
did not bring their families and did not intend to settle; purpose was to find gold and take it back to spain
Where did France explore?
northern parts of north america (Canada and Washington and Oregon) and along the Mississippi
What were France's goals in America?
land conquest, natural resources (furs)
Why did France lose influence in America?
lost lands in French and Indian War; brought no families and did not settle the land
Where did Great Britain settle and why was it the best place?
east coast of North America; good coastline for trade, best climate, fertile soil, good river network
What were Great Britain's goals?
settle and populate; mercantilism; families looking for land
colonists can only trade with the mother country
New England Colonies
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island; Puritans sought religious freedom but were intolerant of other faiths; growth of merchants and a strong middle class; Ivy League schools
New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania; Netherlands set up fur trade posts; financial and art centers in New York; varied economy and growth of middle class
Virginia, NC, SC, Maryland, Georgia; plant english life in the new world; set up plantations for cotton, tobacco, indigo; one-crop economy; rural, little education, no middle class
Age of Enlightenment
intellectual movement; inventions and education; John Locke
English philosopher; Doctrine of Natural Rights (inalienable rights- life, liberty, and property); social contract theory
How did Ben Franklin reflect the Age of Enlightenment?
invented a huge number of things; was a well-rounded individual
questioning role of church in personal salvation; rise of independent churches
Effect of Great Awakening and Enlightenment on America
both stressed importance of the individual; enlightenment emphasized human reason; great awakening de-emphasized the role of the church authority; faith in higher laws; led to the colonists' questioning britain's authority over their lives
What are the two basic principles of government the English brought to the colonies?
limited government and representative government
King John I
killed his father and nephew; refused to pay ransom for his brother; signed the Magna Carta to end the civil war
William and Mary
William helped overthrow Mary's father James II; William and Mary ruled together but first had to sign the English Bill of Rights
House of Lords
house of Parliament comprised of the English nobility
House of Commons
house of Parliament comprised of members elected by the people of their home districts
Proclamation of 1763
British government banned the colonists from crossing the Appalachian Mountains
What event happened that caused the Second CC to meet?
The Shot Heard Round the World; Lexington and Concord; first attack of the British
Olive Branch Petition
asked George III to protect colonies from Parliament; he declared colonies in rebellion
Accomplishments of the Second CC
wrote Olive Branch Petition; organized an army and navy; appointed George as commander; tried to fund the war but the money was useless; wrote Declaration of Independence; wrote Articles of Confederation
Big fears of the delegates of the Second CC
feared a strong parliament that would take power from the individual states; feared another king; feared a court system that would make legal decisions only for the good of the country and not for the individual states; feared a government that would mimic the British government
Accomplishments of the Confederation
signed Treaty of Paris 1783 with GB; GB recognized US; Northwest Ordinance
Rules/decisions made at the Constitutional Convention
each state had one vote; 7 of the 12 states had to approve proposals; public would be informed only after the convention was over; the articles would be replaced by a new government which would be a representative government, be a limited government that protected the rights of the people, and be divided into 3 branches
issue was how many reps from each state; compromise was to have two houses of Congress, one with 2 members from each state, one based on population
proposed that representation in Congress should be based on population
New Jersey Plan
proposed that there should be the same number of representatives from each state
issue was whether slaves should be counted in population; compromise was that 3/5 of slave population would be counted in the census for representation
Why did the Northern states oppose slaves being counted in the population?
slaves were not citizens
Southern States and Slave Trade Compromise
southern states did not want the national gov't to tax exports or ban slavery; compromise agreed not to tax exports but allowed the national gov't to regulate trade between states and between states and foreign countries; slave trade could not be banned until 1808
after national elections by citizens, each state would choose electors who would select the candidate based on state votes (chart p. 34)
ratifying the constitution
9/13 states had to approve; bill of rights added to ensure the people's rights would be honored; Federalists Papers written to convince people to accept the constitution
overall goal of the constitution:
to describe how the national government should be set up and to describe the relationship between the national government and the states
purpose of the preamble of the Constitution
explains what the constitution is about
What were the principles of government formed by the constitution?
popular sovereignty, federalism, separation of powers, checks and balances, judicial review, limited government
main duty of congress
to make laws
main duty of the executive branch
to enforce laws
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
challenges to laws passed by congress, cases involving the constitution, ships and shipping within the country, cases involving other nations, cases involving the states; appellate jurisdiction (a case that comes from an appeal from a lower court)
how can an amendment be proposed?
amendment can be introduced in Congress (2/3 of house and senate must approve); 2/3 of 50 states petition Congress to call a constitutional convention
how can an amendment be ratified?
3/4 of the state legislatures of all 50 states must approve OR 38 of 50 state constitutional conventions must ratify; Congress decides which method
What are informal changes and why would they be made?
they do not revise the constitution; develop as the government is run; traditions change; the Framers left much of governing the nation to the government
informal changes through legislation
some duties given to congress are vague and it is up to Congress to decide their meanings as time progresses
informal changes through practice
how things are done changes
informal changes through presidential action
more aggressive presidents have more power; presidents propose laws, threaten vetoes, use police action instead of declaring war, make executive agreements instead of treaties
How does the legislative branch check the executive branch?
Senate rejects/approves treaties/nominations; House controls federal budget; overrides vetoes; impeaches president
How does the executive branch check the legislative branch?
How does the executive branch check the judicial branch?
appoints judges; enforces court orders
How does the judicial branch check the executive branch?
judges constitutionality of president's actions
How does the legislative branch check the judicial branch?
approves/rejects pres. nominations to supreme ct.; impeach judges
rule by law
No one is above the law
parts of the constitution
preamble, articles, amendments
What part of the constitution sets up a system of government?