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Politics of the United States
Government: constitution test
Terms in this set (54)
Albany Plan of Union
Council to control trade, raise armies, build settlements, and equip fleets. Rejected due to fear of giving too much power to the crown. Unified colonies didn't sound good to the king either. Significance: Became the basis of an early draft for the first official constitution for the newly born United States; attempt to work together
Stamp Act Congress
9 colonies sent delegates in NY to craft a united response to the new tax measure. 1764 taxes to help pay the war debt> tax power should belong solely to the colonial assemblies. No taxation without representation. Significance: First attempt at forging a plan to work together (since the Albany meeting)
First continental congress
"Declaration and Resolves" demanded: A repeal of the intolerable acts, An end to British military occupation, And the power of the colonies to impose their own tax laws. Rejected by KG3. Significance: Unified again to write KG3 the declaration and resolves; "Shot heard 'round the world" and L&C 1775; first time the colonists met the British with armed resistance
Second Continental congress
Organize ragtag militia around Boston into an official continental army; Olive Branch petition was final appeal to KG3 to repeal tax measures; KG3 proclaimed colonies were in full state of rebellion. Significance: Congress assumed the role of a government
Declaration of Independence
Justify the move for independence; TJ: Change the government (recall Locke/SCT). Significance: If a government disregards the rights of its people, then the people have a legitimate right to change their government; independence requires new government formation
Each colony was encouraged to draft a plan for government. Significance: No nation in Europe had a written constitution; these states tested ideas about how to design a republican government that projected individual rights; also addressed self-government, separation of powers and limited government
Article of confederation
First plan of government for the US; confederation; Written in 1777 and ratified in 1781; confederation: strong state governments and weal national government; national govt powers included coining money, raising an army, establishing postal system, declaring war, etc. Greatest success was in NW ordinance 1787. Weakness included no executive, no court system, no power to tax, no power to prohibit states from conducting forwign affairs, major laws need the approval of 9 states, etc. Meanwhile, the economy was bad: war debts, civil unrest, uncooperative states. Significance: Need a strong national government
A small band of massachusetts farmers rebelled at the prospect of losing their land; they attacked courthouses to prevent judges from foreclosing on farm; stormed the springfield military arsenal. MA legislature asked congress for help but congress had neither money nor forced to offer. A hastily assembled state militia scattered shays and his angry mob. Significance: It showed just how feeble the confederation congress was, and it hastened moves to revise the articles of confederation, though the confederation congress chose to rewrite a new constitution
VA+NJ plans: bicameral legislature; Equal rep in Senate; Population in House; Power to regulate commerce and tax; One executive; National court system; State ratification conventions to approve constitution. Significance: A working compromise
Three-Fifths of slave population would be counted for representation. So many slaves in southern states so the compromise was to count every three out of five slaves. Significance: Delayed a needed conversation to after 1808 (A1S9 banned congressional action till 1808)
An attempt at perfection: Support, misgivings, and refusals. Significance: Sent to people who would elect representatives to a state ratifying convention (9/13 states needed) (Lead to federalists papers)
Constitution (ratification, officially)
Created "by reflection and choice" instead of by "accident and force". They met and then discussed and deliberated and compromised and decided in throwing out the articles. Federalist papers- to sell the idea of federalism (Hamilton, Jay, and Madison). Significance: Leads to debate and the Bill of rights
Wanted specific rights spelled out in the constitution. To get the bill of rights by 1791 (10 amendments in the bill of rights). Significance: Got the bill of rights by 1791
Strong national government; Believed a large republic could best protect individual liberty; Drew support from large farmers, merchants, etc. Didn't think bill of rights was necessary, Because of the whole idea of what a republic is. Significance: Got the constitution ratified by 1788.
Bill of rights
To protect individual and state rights; to appease antifederalists. Refer to the first 10 amendments. Significance: Some states would not have ratified the constitution without the promise to include a bill of rights
Relations among states
Provisions for amendment
Public debts, supremacy of national law, oaths
Ratification of the constitution
Protection of individual rights
Bill of rights
Formal changes to the constitution
Yes (article 1)
Your uncle just celebrated his 30th birthday. Can he run for the House of Representatives?
Six (article 1)
A candidate you strongly support was just elected senator. How many years must pass until this candidate can be reelected?
In the house (article 1)
The media are reporting a raise in federal income tax for the coming year. Where did the proposal for this new tax originate?
Congress (article 1)
Troops from a foreign country have invaded Oregon. Which branch of government has the power to declare war against this aggressor?
President (article 2)
The United States and another country recently agreed to a treaty on arms reductions. Who has the power to make such a treaty with a foreign country?
The senate (article 2)
The president appointed a new ambassador to Haiti. Who must approve this appointment before it can take effect?
The president with approval of the senate (article 2)
A supreme court justice has announced her retirement. Who has the power to nominate a replacement?
35 years (article 2)
The presidential candidate you favor has been called the "youngest person ever to run for president." How old must this candidate be to qualify for the presidency?
4 years (article 2)
You are disappointed the morning after election day to discover that the new president was not who you voted for. In how many years can you vote again?
House of representatives have power of impeachment and the senate has the power to try all impeachments (article 1)
If a vice president were to commit a federal offense, who has the power to impeach him or her? Who has the power to try the impeached official?
Congress (article 1)
Who has the power to regulate trade between states?
President of the senate (article 1)
What is the vice president's only constitutional responsibility?
Federal courts (article 3)
An argument has arisen between two states. Who has the power to settle this dispute?
For life (article 3)
After law school, you hope id to someday serve on the supreme court. How long would your term of service be?
Each state (article 2)
In the 2000 presidential election, George Bush won by only 5 electoral votes. Who appointed the electors who cast those votes?
The president (article 2)
Who is the commander in chief of the U.S. military forces?
Congressional law (article 6)
A law in your state was recently passed that contradicts a previous law passed by congress. Which law does the constitution say is valid?
No (article 3)
A states's govenor recently denounced the U.S. government publicly during a speech. Can this governor be tried for treason?
Congress (article 5)
There has been talk of a new amendment allowing foreign-born citizens to run for president. Who would have the power to propose this amendment?
The president (article 1)
Who has the power to approve or veto legislation?
No (12th amendment)
What prevents the president and vice president from being inhabitants of the same state?
Power to the people
Nobody above the law
Separation of powers
No branch has the same power
Checks and Balances
One branch can't have to much power
Making sure laws are constitutional
States and national government have power
Proposal of amending the constitution
Proposed by congress by a 2/3 vote in both houses or Proposed at a national convention called by congress when requested by 2/3 of the state legislatures
Ratification of amending the constitution
Ratified by the state legislature 3/4 of the states or Ratifies by conventions held in 3/4 of the states
What was the only amendment that skipped the state legislature and when to a convention?
Recommended textbook explanations
Magruder's American Government
United States Government: Our Democracy
TEKS United States Government
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