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the study of what it means to be an American citizen

Responsibilities of US Citzens

Vote in Election
Obey laws and cooperate with Authorities
Be willing to serve in the court system or in government, if selected

US Census

every 10 years the federal government takes an official count of people in the U.S (last one 2010)


a legal process where foreigners become citizens

Strengths of the Articles of Confederation

states are given most power
first attempt at a government

Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation

central government is weak and ineffective
no president to administer & enforce legislation
no national court system


a federal system that divides a government's power between the nation government and state government.


wanted a strong national government to keep the country united
feared if the Constitution wasn't passed the 13 states would become countries


feared the constitution would defeat the purpose of the Revolutionary War

Popular Sovereignty

government by consent of the governed
appears in The Preamble


To form a more perfect union
Establish justice
Insure domestic tranquility
Provide for the common defense
Promote the general welfare
Secure the blessings of liberty

Concurrent Powers

Shared power between government and state. ex both can raise taxes and can enforce laws

Delegated Powers

Powers only of the federal government. ex. coining money and foreign trade

Reserved Powers

Powers only of the state government. ex. conduct elections


a false written statement that damages a person's reputation


spoken untruths that are harmful to someone's reputation

due process of law

one of the 5th amendment protections which states that no person can be denied life, liberty of property until the law has been fairly applied to the case

House Representative Requirements

be at least 25 years old
have been a U.S citizen for at least 7 years
be a legal resident of the state he/she represents

Senate Requirements

be at least 30 years old
have been a U.S citizen for 9 years
be a legal resident of the state

President Requirements

be a native born citizen
be at least 35 years old
haven been a U.S citizen for at least 14 years

Speaker of the House

John Boehner


A formal charge brought against a government official


a method of delaying action on a bill in the senate by making long speeches

Order of Presidential Succession

Vice President
Speaker of the House
Senate Pro Tempore
Secretary of State
Secretary of the Treasury

Supreme court justices

9 Justices
Appointed by the President
Appointed for life unless impeached

Plessy vs Ferguson

established equal segregation

Judicial Review

The Power of the U.S supreme court to determine if a law/action passed by Congress/President is in accord with the Constitution. If it's unconstitutional, it is challenged and brought to court.

Types of law in the US

Statutory - Laws passed by congress and state
Common - comes from judges' decision, mainly common sense
Administrative - laws by government agencies
Constitutional - laws based on the Constitution

7 Articles of the Constitution

1. Congress has the legislative power
2. How the House of Representatives should work / Their Powers
3. How the Senate should work / Their Powers
4. Time, Place, and manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives
5. The powers of each House
6. Privileges of the Senators and Representatives
7. Concerning passing Bills as Law

Bill of Rights (RAPPS)

Freedom of Religion
Freedom of Assembly
Freedom of Press
Freedom of Petition
Freedom of Speech

How are amendments added to the Constitution? How many are there?

Must be approved by 3/4 of the States.
27 Amendments.

Powers of the Legislative Branch

passes laws
can override presidential veto with 2/3 majority
approves federal court judges

Powers of the Executive Branch

can approve or veto laws
carries out the laws
appoints federal court judges

Powers of the Judicial Branch

interprets the meaning of law
can rule whether laws passed by congress or actions by the executive branch are unconstitutional

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