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Purpose of Government

Maintain order (state of nature), Provide Public Goods (free riders), Protect Property

Political Spectrum

Conservatives, Liberals, Libertarians, Radicals

Social Issues

Abortion, school prayer, free speech, criminal rights

Economic Issues

labor rights, environmental laws

Age (influence on public opinion)

if you're younger you'll vote more democratic

Race (infulence on public opinion)

african american-mostly liberal, caucasian-republican

Need for constitutional convention

article of confederation (limitations, motivations for creation, organization adn structure)

Shay's Rebellion

this conflict in Massachusetts caused many to criticize the Articles of Confederation and admit the weak central government was not working; uprising led by Daniel Shays in an effort to prevent courts from foreclosing on the farms of those who could not pay the taxes

Virginia Plan

Virginia delegate James Madison's plan of government, in which states got a number of representatives in Congress based on their population

New Jersey Plan

Opposite of the Virginia Plan, it proposed a single-chamber congress in which each state had one vote. This created a conflict with representation between bigger states, who wanted control befitting their population, and smaller states, who didn't want to be bullied by larger states.

Connecticut Compromise

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

3/5 Compromise

where slaves counted as 3/5's of a person

Principles of Constitutionalism

limited governemtn, popular sovereignty, checks and balances, separation of powers, judicial review, federalism

Madison's goals for the constitutional convention


Why Federalism?

combine's the 50 "countries" into one large united country. Local problems can be better solved by the states, people within the same countries can lead very different legal lives, feds adn anti-feds compromise on powers, economies localized

10th Amendment

powers not given to the United States are given to states or people

Article 1 Section 8

expressed congress powers

Supremacy clause

fedral law and state law buttheads then fed wins

commerce clause

fed can regulate trade among states

general welfare clause

can tax to provide goods to general welfare (roads, etc.)

Full Faith and Credit

judicial acts one state legalizes teh others must accept

Separation of Powers

Judicial, Executive, and Legislative


Supreme Court-interprets the law


President-enforces the law


House of Representatives and Senate-writes the law (bicameral)

Succession of the President

Pres, VP, Speaker of the House, President Pro Tempore of the Senate

Organization of Congress

Speaker, majority leader, minority leader, committees

House Seats

census, reapportionment, redistricting (gerrymandering)

President Constitutional Powers

execute laws, negotiate treaties, veto, pardons, commander in chief, chain succession, terms, limits on terms, executive agreements

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