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Vocabulary for Chapter 2 Quiz (Magruder's American Government Text 2007)

limited government

Basic principle that government is limited in what it may do, and each individual has certain rights that government cannot take away

representative government

System of government in which public policies are made by officials who are selected by the voters and held accountable to them in periodic elections


An adjective, describing a legislative body composed of two houses

popular sovereignty

Basic principle that the people are the only source of any and all governmental power, that government must be conducted with the consent of the governed


Formal approval, final consent to the effectiveness of a constitution, constitutional amendment, or treaty


The group who came together in 1787 to draft the Constitution of the United States


Those persons who supported the adoption to the U.S. Constitution in 1787


Those persons who opposed the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in 1787


Least number of members who must be present for a legislative body to conduct business


One who owes allegiance to a state and is entitled to its protection

Magna Carta

The Great Charter establishing the principle that the power of the monarchy was not absolute in England; protecting such fundamental rights as trial by jury

English Bill of Rights

Drawn up by parliament in 1689 to prevent abuse of power by English monarchs; forms the basis for much in American government and politics

representative democracy

A system of government in which a small group of persons chosen by the people act as their representatives expresses the popular will

Articles of Confederation

Document by which the first U.S. government was established after the American Revolution; allowed few important powers to the central government

Connecticut compromise

Agreement during the Constitutional Convention that Congress should be composed of a Senate, in which the States would be represented equally, and a House, in which representation would be based upon a State's population

New Jersey plan

An alternative to the Virginia Plan offered at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, differing chiefly in the matter of how states should be represented in Congress

Virginia plan

Offered at the Constitutional Convention; called for a bicameral legislature in which representation in both houses would be based on population or financial support for the central government

Three fifths compromise

An agreement at the Constitutional Convention that slaves should be counted as three-fifths of a person for purposes of determining the population of a state

Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise

An agreement during the Constitutional Convention protecting the interests of slaveholders by forbidding Congress the power to tax the export of goods from any State, and, for 20 years, the power to act on the slave trade

Petition of Right

Challenged the idea of the divine right of kings, declaring that even a monarch must obey the law of the land

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