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Flashcards for Constitution and Government Test Chapters 6 and 7
Terms in this set (43)
Articles of Confederation
this document, the nations first constitution, was adopted by the second continental congress in 1781during 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
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.
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
The fourth President of the United States (1809-1817). A member of the Continental Congress (1780-1783) and the Constitutional Convention (1787), he strongly supported ratification of the Constitution and was a contributor to The Federalist Papers (1787-1788), which argued the effectiveness of the proposed constitution. His presidency was marked by the War of 1812.
Separation of Powers
Constitutional division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, with the legislative branch making law, the executive applying and enforcing the law, and the judiciary interpreting the law
Checks and Balances
Constitutional grant of powers that enables each of the three branches of government to check some acts of the others and therefore ensure that no branch can dominate.
The Virginia Plan was presented to the Constitutional Convention and proposed (by Virgiania Delegate James Madison) the creation of a bicameral legislature with representation in both houses proportional to population. The Virginia Plan favored the large states, which would have a much greater voice. In opposition, the small states proposed the New Jersey Plan. In the end, the two sides found common ground through the Connecticut Compromise.
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.
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. Proposed by NJ delegate William Patterson.
Compromise made by Constitutional Convention in which states would have equal representation in one house of the legislature (the Senate) and representation based on population in the other house (the House of Representatives).
The agreement at the Consitutional Convention by which the number of each state's representatives in Congress would be based on a count of all the free people plus three-fifths of the slaves
A unique American institution, created by the constitution, providing for the selection of the president by electors chosen by the state parties. The number of electors from each state is equal to the number of senators (2) plus the number of seats in the House of Representatives. although the electoral college vote usually reflects a popular majority, the winner-take-all rule gives clout to big states.
The name given to one who was in favor of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and the creation of a federal union with a strong central government.
Opposed to a strong central government; saw undemocratic tendencies in the Constitution and insisted on the inclusion of the Bill of Rights. Included Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and Patrick Henry.
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution, containing a list of individual rights and liberties, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press. , Although the Anti-Federalists failed to block the ratification of the Constitution, they did ensure that the Bill of Rights would be created to protect individuals from government interference and possible tyranny. The Bill of Rights, drafted by a group led by James Madison, consisted of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, which guaranteed the civil rights of American citizens.
formal approval, final consent to the effectiveness of a constitution, constitutional amendment, or treaty
to bring formal charges against a public official; the House of Representatives has the sole power to impeach civil officers of the United States
The legislative branch of government, as described in Article I of the US Constitution, consisting of the House of Representatives and Senate. Primarily responsible for making laws.
House of Representatives
one of the two houses of the Congress, created in Article I, Section 1 of the US Constitution. The House of Representatives has 435 members, called Representatives, who serve for 2-year terms. The number of Representatives from each state is determined by the state's population, so that states with large populations have more Representatives in Congress than states with small populations.
The idea that each state should have the same number of representatives in Congress. The number of representatives in the Senate is based on this
In the context of American government, the electoral system in which the number of representatives for a state is based on the number of people living in the state. Proportional representation is used to determine the number of each state's representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The part of the Constitution that gives Congress that broad power to pass any law that is "necessary and proper" for carrying out its delegated powers.A "loose interpretation" of this clause suggests that Congress has "implied powers" beyond those listed word for word in the Constitution, to "stretch" its power to pass laws
How a Bill becomes a law
- 1. written 2. discussed in committee + voted 3. discussed in House of Reps. and Senate + voted on in both 4. President signs it or vetoes it (which brings back to Congress, needs 2/3 vote to override veto)
The constitutional power of the president to send a bill back to Congress with reasons for rejecting it. A two-thirds vote in each house can override a veto.
The President's cabinet of advisors called Secretaries are the heads of the Executive Departments. There are currently 15 Executive Departments that advise the President on issues of National importance. Not by amendment but by unwritten custom this advisory body appointed by President and approved by Senate, as is usual case with Presidential appointments, became established as norm
The highest court in the federal government; part of the Judicial Branch; final interpreter of the U.S. Constitution.
a ruling that is used as the basis for a judicial decision in a later, similar case
the power of the Supreme Court to say whether any federal, state, or local law or government action goes against the Constitution
A system in which power is divided between the national and state governments.
Powers specifically given to the federal government by the US Constitution, for example, the authority to print money.
Powers delegated by the Constitution specifically to the states and the people because they were not delegated to the national government nor denied to the states, such as running elections.
Powers that the Constitution gives to both the national and state governments, such as the power to levy taxes.
The constitutional provision that makes the Constitution and federal laws superior to all conflicting state and local laws.
Changes to the Constitution. It can be proposed by a 2/3 vote in Congress or a national convention. The it must be ratified by 3/4 of the states
the way in which changes are added to the Constitution, 2/3 vote in congress, 3/4 of states
political party known for its support of strong state governments, founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1792 in opposition to the Federalist Party
In 1854, Northern outrage over the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act prompted several independent political factions—including the Free Soil Party, the Know-Nothings, former Whigs, and other smaller groups—to come together to form this political party. The party was formed to oppose what its members perceived as the growing political power of the South during the 1850s and to oppose the extension of slavery into newly acquired Western territories. In 1860, the party chose Abraham Lincoln, an unknown moderate and former Whig from Illinois, for the presidency. In the mid-19th century, the party was known for leading the Union war effort during the Civil War and supporting the rights of newly freed African Americans during Reconstruction.
Qualifications to be a Senator
1. be at leat 30. 2. citizen for at least 9 yrs. 3. be a resident of the state you represent. Term is 6 years.
Qualifications for House of Representatives
1. At least 25 years old 2. U.S. citizen for at least 7 years 3. Resident from the State in which you are running (2 year term)
Qualifications for President
1. Natural born citizen 2. At least 35 years old 3. 14 year resident (4 year term)
Executive Branch Powers
1) President serves as a commander & chief of armed forces
2) Conducts relations with foreign countries
3) President carries out and enforces laws
4) President can veto bills but congress can override the veto with a two-third vote
Power to execute or carry out laws, command the military, make treaties, appoint the military, make treaties, appoint federal judges and ambassadors, grant pardons and reprieves for federal crimes, veto legislation, call special sessions of congress, and report on the State of the Union
Legislative Branch Powers
Power to make laws, lay and collect taxes, impeach and remove officials, declare war, raise and support military, override vetoes, establish lower federal courts, confirm appointments, and ratify treaties
Judicial branch Powers
Power to interpret laws, declare executive and congressional acts unconstitutional, and review court decisions
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