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UNIT REVIEW: Chapters 1, 2 and 3


government by the people, both directly and indirectly, with free and frequent elections

popular sovereignty

belief that ultimate power resides with the people


more than half


most (not necessarily more than half)

Articles of Confederation

first governing document of the confederated states, drafted 1777, ratified 1781, replaced by constitution in 1789

Shays Rebellion

led by Daniel Shay, of farmers in Western Mass inv1786-87, protested mortgage foreclosures, highlighted need for strong national government as call for constitutional convention went out

social contract

agreement where individuals voluntarily commit to establish a government that will protect the common interests of all

natural rights

inherent rights of all people to dignity and worth, aka human rights

Virginia Plan

initial proposal at the constitutional convention for a strong central govnt with bicameral legislature dominated by big states

New Jersey Plan

central govnt with single house legislature where each state would be represented equally

Connecticut Compromise/Great Compromise (bicameralism)

bicameral legisltaure with a lower house with population representation and an upper house with with 2 senators for each state

three-fifths compromise

3/5 of the slave population would be counted for determining direct taxation and representation in house of representatives

Electoral College

voters vote for lectors pledged to cast ballots for a particular party's candidate

Federalist Papers

essays promoting ratification of the constitution, published by john jay, alexander hamilton, and james madison

separation of powers

constitutional division of powers between executive, judicial, and legislative branches

checks and balances

constitutional grant of powers that allows each of the three branches to check the acts of the other so that no one branch can dominate


political parties, interest or special interest groups

writ of habeas corpus

court order requiring explanation to judge of why prisoner is being held custody "having real body"

ex post facto law

retroactive criminal law that works to disadvantage of a person

divided government

governance divided between the parties, where one party holds the presidency and another holds both houses of congress


constitutional arrangement where power is distributed between central government and subdivisional governments, called states, both national and subdivisional govnts exercise authority over individuals

dual federalism

constitution lists limited powers of the government, the rest goes to the state, each level of government is in its own sphere

marble cake federalism (cooperative federalism)

mixed responsibilities, no layer, intergovernmental relationships, co-operation between various levels of government

fiscal federalism

the pattern of spending, taxing, and providing grants in the federal system.Through different grant programs, slices up the marble cake into many different pieces, making it even more difficult to differentiate the functions of the levels of government

unitary system

what the central government delegates, it may take away


states create centrral government but limits its powers, doesnt give it direct authority

reserved powers

all powers not specifically delegated to the national government by the constitution

10th amendment

The powers that are not reserved to the federal government and are not forbidden to the states are reserved to the states or the people.

implied powers

powers inferred from the express powers that allow congress to carry out its functions

inherent powers

powers of the national govent in foreign affairs that the supreme court has determined do not depend on constitutional grants but rather grow out of the very existence of the national government

elastic clause

the authority granted to congress "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper" for the implementation of its enumerated powers

national supremacy clause

whenever conflict between the national and state government occurs, the actions of the national government prevail

commerce clause

gives congress power to regulate all business activities that cross state lines or affect more than one state or other nations

federal mandates

a requirement the national government imposes for receiving federal funds

concurrent powers

powers constitution gives to both the national and state governments, like power to levy taxes

full faith and credit

requires each state to recognize civil judgements rendered by the courts of other states and to accept their public records and acts as valid


the legal process where an alleged criminal offender is surrendered by the officials of the state in which the crime is alleged to have been committed

categorical-formula grants

distributed to states based on population, nat govnt provides grants for specific purposes, like homeland security and medicaid, tightly monitored, states often have to provide some funding

project grants

supports states for specific activities, generally restricted to certain amount of time and can only be spent within tight guidelines

block grants

broad grants with few requirements attached

cross-cutting requirements

A technique of Congress to establish federal regulations. Federal grants may establish certain conditions that extend to all activities supported by federal funds, regardless of their source. The first and most famous of these is Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which holds that in the use of federal funds, no person may be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, or national origin. More than 60 cross-cutting requirements concern such matters as the environment, historic preservation, contract wage rates, access to government information, the care of experimental animals, and the treatment of human subjects in research projects.

crossover sanctions

A technique of Congress to establish federal regulations. These sanctions permit the use of federal money in one program to influence state and local policy in another. For example, a 1984 act reduced federal highway aid by up to 15 percent for any state that failed to adopt a minimum drinking age of 21.

Pre emption

right of national law or regulation to preclude enforcement of state or local regulation

Revenue Sharing

distribution of part of the federal tax income to states and municipalities

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

requires congress to evaluate impact of unfunded mandates and imposes mild restraints on congress itself "newt federalism"

Judiciary Act of 1789

stablished the basic three-tiered structure of the federal court system.

equality of opportunity/equality of outcome

equal opportunity to participate vs equal results

why was the Bill of Rights added?

to get the smaller states to ratify the constitution

Federalists vs. Anti Federalists

supporters of ratification of constitution/strong central govnt vs opposition of that

Centralists vs. Decentralists

people who favor national action over action at the state and local levels vs people who favor state or local action

Devolution Revolution

effort to slow growth of national government by returning many functions to the states

How did Marbury v. Madison change the Constitution?

established judicial review


A state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president

judicial review

Power of the courts to review acts of other branches of government and the states.

expressed powers

powers enumerated to congress in the constitution

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