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Politics of the United States
Constitution Test - Good Ol' Freddy - US History to 1920 Honors
Terms in this set (33)
This is a type of representative government where the officials are elected by voters.
Participants in this included the American Elite, where they designed the first Constitution in 1787.
What was the challenge in 1780?
This was to create a system of gov't that balanced the interests of several states and those of the whole nation.
This is a union of political units (states) for common action in relation to other units. Its primary importance is the power of the individual political units (states).
What's the main difference between a State and a Territory?
A territory has a minimum of 5,000 residents, a temporary constitution, and its own elected officials. A state has at least 60,000 residents, a permanent constitution, and it has to be approved by Congress.
These were the wealthy people who wanted to raise taxes to help the government pay off debt.
These were the farmers and poor people who hated taxes because they couldn't afford them.
What is the Great Compromise?
This was the compromise between the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan. Virginia Plan: 2 houses, both represented by population or wealth. New Jersey Plan: 1 house, each state gets one vote. Compromise: 2 houses, Senate gave equal representation, House of Representatives gave representation by population.
What was the 3/5 Compromise?
This was the compromise between the Northern states and the Southern states. North: Wanted slaves to not count as population, but counted when levying taxes. South: Wanted slaves to count as population to determine their representation in Congress, but not counted when levying taxes. Compromise: 3/5 of the state's slave would be counted towards the population. It gave Congress the ability to regulate slave trade. BUT Congress couldn't interfere with the legality of it for 20 years (prior to 1808).
This is the division of power between national government and State governments.
These people wanted there to be balance between the state and national governments. They were supported by small states who relied on a strong national government. They were also supported by businesses who thought the government would regulate trade.
These people did not like the Constitution because it weakened the states' powers. They thought a strong central government would abuse citizens' freedom.
What were the main problems with the Articles of Confederation?
The AoC did not address the following: Debt from the War of Independence, the limited trade caused by the pirates in the Mediterranean, the payment of troops, the controversy between creditors and debtors (borrowers), and the distribution of the western lands.
Why was there a need for a new Constitution?
The nonexistence of the central government caused there to be various problems. The new constitution would eventually enforce the idea of a strong central government.
What is the role of the Executive Branch?
The role of this branch is to enforce the laws.
What is the role of the Legislative Branch?
The role of this branch is to make the laws.
What is the role of the Judicial Branch?
The role of this branch is to interpret the laws.
How do the Executive and Legislative Branch check and balance?
The president has the ability to veto the laws made by Congress. Congress can impeach the president, override his/her veto, approves all of the presidential nominations, and controls the budget.
How do the Legislative and Judicial Branch check and balance?
The Supreme Court can declare Congress' laws unconstitutional. Congress confirms the president's judicial nominations, and has the ability to impeach judges.
How do the Judicial and Executive Branch check and balance?
The President nominates the judges for Supreme Court. The court can declare the president's acts unconstitutional.
Issue #1: How should members of the lower house of Congress be elected? Position A: The State Legislatures should elect members of the lower house. Position B: Citizens qualified to vote in elections for the state legislatures should elect members of the lower house. Position C: Only citizens who own land should be qualified to vote for the lower house.
It is Position B. Constitution says that the lower house should be voted on by people who are qualified to vote for their State Legislature.
Issue #2: What should be done about the slave trade? Position A: Slave trade should be abolished. Position B: The national government should not interfere with slave trade.
This was a compromise between A and B. Constitution says that slave trade shall be allowed for 20 years.
Issue #3: How should the power of the executive branch be structured? Position D: The president should be elected for a fixed length term. Position C: The executive branch should be appointed by and responsible to the national legislature. Position A: An elected president should serve for life. Position B: Executive power should be divided among several men.
This was mostly D with a little bit C. Constitution says that the president shall serve a term of 4 years, but Congress can override his veto with a 2/3 majority and the president can only make treaties with the consent of Congress.
Issue #4: How should the proposed Constitution be considered for ratification? Position A: The constitution should be ratified by the state legislatures. Position B: The Constitution should be ratified by the citizens of each state.
This is A, and B (only if you're talking about amendments). Constitution says that the Constitution of 1787 will be ratified by the state legislatures, but the amendments will be ratified by the citizens.
Issue #5: How should the states be represented in the national legislature? Position A: The votes should be proportional to the state's population. Position B: There should be one vote per state. Position C: erase boundaries and reform the 13 states with equal populations.
This is A and B. Constitution says that House of Representatives shall be proportional to the state's population, where the Senate shall be represented by two people per state (The Great Compromise).
Issue #6: What should be the National Government's role in issuing paper money? Position B: The national government should be able to issue paper currency. Position A: The national government should not be able to issue paper currency.
This is Position B. Constitution says that Congress has the ability to coin money, but that states do not.
Issue #7: (big one) How should power be divided between the national and state governments? Position A: To be most effective, the national government has to take away all power of the state governments. Position B: The power of the national government should be limited.
This is A and B. Constitution says (there are more, but here are a few examples) that Congress has the ability to levy/collect taxes, coin money, and declare war, the Judicial power extends throughout the country in all cases, and that all laws created by the national government shall apply to all of the states, where the states can not change them. Slave trade is up to the state, all states are entitled to the same laws in all of the states, ratifying and amending the Constitution is up to a vote by the states, and all voting for officials will be held within the state.
Issue #8: What should the extent of the executive veto power be? Position B: The national legislature should have the power to override an executive veto. Position A: The national legislature should not have the power to override an executive veto.
This is Position B. Constitution says that Congress has this ability, with a 2/3 majority, to override the veto.
Issue #9: Which governmental body should have the power to declare war? Position A: Congress should have the power to declare war. Position C: The President should have the power to declare war. Position B: Senate alone should be able to declare war.
This is A and C. Constitution says that Congress has the "official" power to declare war, but the president is the CEO of the military. The president also has the power to declare treaties, but only with the consent of Congress.
Issue #10: Should slaves be counted in determining representation in the national legislature? Position A: Slaves should be counted in determining representation. Position B: Slaves should not be counted in determining representation.
This is both A and B. Constitution says that representation of slaves is 3/5 of the slave population (3/5 Compromise).
This means to have the power to make laws.
This is the idea that units rely on each other to function properly.
Why is the US not a confederation anymore?
We are a union of political units (states) for common action in relation to other units, but our power is in the hands of the national government, not the states.
Recommended textbook explanations
United States Government: Our Democracy
Donald A. Ritchie, Richard C. Remy
United States Government: Our Democracy
Donald A. Ritchie, Richard C. Remy
Magruder's American Government (Texas)
Daniel M. Shea
Magruder's American Government (Florida Student Edition)
Daniel M. Shea
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