AP Gov Chapter 2 Terms
Terms in this set (34)
A human right based on nature or God.
Articles of Confederation
A weak constitution that governed American during the Revolutionary War.
A meeting in Philadelphia in 1787 that produced a new constitution.
A 1787 rebellion in which ex-Revolutionary War soldiers attempted to prevent foreclosures of farms as a result of high interest rates and taxes.
Proposal to create a strong national government.
New Jersey Plan
Proposal to create a weak national government.
Plan to have a popularly elected House based on state population and a state-elected Senate, with two members for each state.
A government in which elected representatives make the decisions.
The power of the courts to declare laws unconstitutional.
Government authority shared by national and local governments.
Powers given to the national government alone
Powers given to the state government alone.
Powers shared by the national and state governments.
Checks and Balances
Authority shared by three branches of government.
Separation of Powers
Constitutional authority is shared by three different branches of government.
A group with a distinct political interest
Those who favor a stronger national government
Those who favor a weaker national government
An alliance of groups
Bill of Rights
First ten amendments to the Consitution
An order to produce an arrested person before a judge
Bill of Attainder
A law, that declares a person, without a trail, to be guilty of a crime
Ex Post Facto Law
A law that makes an act criminal although the act was legal when it was committed.
A new provision in the Constitution that has been ratified by the states.
An executive's ability to block a particular provision in a bill passed by the legislature.
Why was a Bill of Rights adopted so soon after the ratification of the Constitution?
A Bill of Rights was adopted by the First Congress because so many states had asked for amendments in exchange for their votes to ratify the Constitution. But what they got was quiet different from what they requested. James Madison, in writing the amendments, used much of the language of the Virginia Declaration of Rights.
Why did so many authors of the Constitution fear factions?
Many Framers, but especially Madison, feared factions because human nature divides people, and when they are divided they are likely to oppose one another and so threaten the chances of arriving at the common good.
Why did the Framers agree on the idea of a separation of powers?
Almost all of the Framers agreed that our government should be based on the separation of powers among its three branches because such a system would provide better checks on power than what they had experience with England.
What is the difference between a democracy and a republic?
A democracy means rule by the people; direct democracy means letting every important issue be decided by popular vote. A republic is a government in which authority has been given to elected representatives. The United States is a republic in which members of the House of Representatives are selected in democratic elections, members of the Senate (at least initially) were selected by state legislatures, and the courts were staffed by appointed judges.
How did Thomas Hobbes and John Locke differ about democracy, and which thinker did the Framers follow?
Hobbes though democracy was impossible because the self-interest of people required an all-powerful government to prevent a "war of all against all;" Locke, by contrast, believed that people, though self-interested, can get along with one another if they consent to the government and it is ruled by the majority. The Framers followed Locke.
What branch of government has the greatest power?
Initially, Congress had the most authority. As we shall see in later chapters, the president and the federal courts grew in power, but even so Congress remains the most important institution.
Does the Constitution tell us what goals the government should serve?
Not really. The preface tells us what the Founders hoped the federal government would do, but that preface has no legal authority. By and large, the government has to set its own goals.
Whose freedom does the Constitution protect?
It was intended to protect everybody's freedom, except that of slaves. To create a national government, it was necessary that the Constitution ignore slavery, but without the Constitution, there would have been no national government to challenge slavery during the Civil War. Though women are not mentioned, in fact there is nothing in the Constitution to prevent them from holding national office or from voting in federal elections. Voting rights were to be decided by each state until the passage of a constitutional amendment (the 19th, ratified in 1920) that prohibited the states from denying the vote to women.
Powers shared by the national and state governments.
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