Articles of Confederation
This document, the nation's first constitution, was adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1781 during the Revolution. The document was limited because states held most of the power, and Congress lacked the power to tax, regulate trade, or control coinage.
An economic slowdown of the economy which results in rising unemployment, increased business failures, declining economic growth and higher personal bankruptcies.
money or goods or services owed by one person to another
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
Foreign Policy
a nation's overall plan for dealing with other nations
negotiation between nations
Constitutional Convention
The meeting of state delegates in 1787 in Philadelphia called to revise the Articles of Confederation. It instead designed a new plan of government, the US Constitution.
a detailed, written plan for government for our nation
Popular Sovereignty
the concept that political power rests with the people who can create, alter, and abolish government. People express themselves through voting and free participation in government
a system in which power is divided between the national and state governments
Separation of Powers
the division of power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government
the Enlighenment writer who believed in seperation of powers
Checks and Balances
A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power
the power or right to prohibit or reject a proposed or intended act (especially the power of a chief executive to reject a bill passed by the legislature)
A change to the Constitution
James Madison
Father of the Constitution
VA Plan
It favored large states and how many people in congress should be based on population by
NJ Plan
equal representation, each state had one vote, favored by small states
Great Compromise
the agreement by which Congress would have two houses, the Senate (where each state gets equal representation-two senators) and the House of Representatives (where representation is based on population).
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
Roger Sherman
He helped draft the Great Compromise that determined how states would be represented in Congress
Bicameral Legislature
A law making body made of two houses (bi means 2). Example: Congress (our legislature) is made of two house - The House of Representatives and The Senate.
3/5 Compromise
the decision at the Constitutional convention to count slaves as 3/5 of a person for the purpose of deciding the population and determining how many seats each state would have in Congress
Group of delegates who drafted the United States Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787
conflicting groups
Political Parties
groups of people who organize to help elect government officials and influence government policies
supporters of the Constitution and strong central govt
opponents of a strong central government who campaigned against the ratification of the Constitution in favor of a confederation of independant states
The Federalist Papers
This collection of essays by John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, explained the importance of a strong central government. It was published to convince New York to ratify the Constitution.
Alexander Hamilton
Delegate to the Constitutional Convention and leader of the Federalists; first secretary of the treasury.
approve formally; confirm; verify
Legislative Branch
The branch of the government that makes the nation's laws, Congress
Executive Branch
the branch of government, headed by the president, that carries out the nation's laws and policies
Judicial Branch
the branch of government, including the federal court system, that interprets the nation's laws
1st Amendment
freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition
2nd Amendment
right to bear arms
3rd Amendment
No quartering of Soldiers
4th Amendment
No unreasonable searches or siezures
5th Amendment
Due process of law
6th Amendment
Right to a fair, speedy trial
7th Amendment
Right to a trial by jury
8th Amendment
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
9th Amendment
rights not mentioned in the constitution belong to the people
10 Amendment
states retain powers not delegated under the Constitution and not prohibited by it to the states
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution.