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Politics of the United States
US Government Module 2
Terms in this set (82)
What contains an introduction, list of grievances, and formal statement of independence?
Declaration of Independence
What originated in the Enlightenment?
The principle of natural rights
What does the Declaration of Independence state?
It states that the king broke the social contract by denying the colonists popular sovereignty and their natural rights
According to the social contract principle, a government only exists because?
Because people consent to it
What is social contract?
People create government in order to secure their rights; the idea that people agree, or consent, to government authority and in return the government protects the people and their rights
What is popular sovereignty?
The idea that the people are the source of authority and power in government; principle that the legitimacy of the government depends on the will or consent of its people
What are natural Rights?
Rights that no government or person can take away; rights that people are born with
What is known as "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" - Jefferson?
What is the Enlightenment?
An intellectual movement in Western Europe during the 18th century that explored the subjects of science, philosophy, and government
What is direct democracy?
Citizens vote directly on political issues and laws in this form of government. Governments in ancient Greece came closest to direct democracy because all the people defined as citizens could vote on decisions.
What is republic?
Form of government in which people elect representatives to exercise power for them
What are the pros of the Articles of Confederation?
It created first central government or the US
It listed some protections for rights
It helped after the Revolutionary War
It allowed government to: borrow money, operate army and navy, ban slavery in western territory
What are the cons of the Article of Confederation?
It allowed only 1 vote in the legislative branch for each state
The government did not create laws or raise a national military separate from the states
Congress could not create laws or raise a national military separate from the states
It made each state print it owns money
Congress had no control over trade between states and with other nations
New laws needed 9 or 13 states to agree
Required unanimous agreement of the states to amend the document
Who proposed the Constitution?
The Philadelphia Convention by James Madison
Why was the Constitution created?
To be the main doctrine of the land (the supreme law of the USA)
To replace the Articles of Confederation
When was the Constitution created?
On Sept. 1787
When was the Constitution ratified?
On June 1788
What is the Preamble?
It states the goals of the government
What do the Articles explain?
They explain the set up and mechanics of government
4. Relations of states and rights of citizens
What are the 27 amendments?
Rights of the people
What are the Articles of Confederation?
They were written in 1777 and became the first plan for governing the US.
What is Confederation?
A group of loosely allied states, such as the US under the Articles of Confederation
What is Federalism?
The legal division of powers or authority among local, state, and national governments.
What is Republicanism?
The principle that government officials are elected by the people and represent their interests
Who were the key individuals for Federalists?
Alexander Hamilton & James Madison
Why did they write the Federalist papers?
They wrote it to gain support for ratification
What did the Federalists want?
They wanted a strong central government
What is the Virginia Plan?
It was a plan under James Madison, that the nation would have a powerful central government and a bicameral legislature whose members would choose the president and federal judges.
Who favored the Virginia Plan?
Federalists from states with large populations favored this plan
What did delegates from smaller states such as New Jersey, whether Federalists and Anti-Federalists, fear about the Virginia Plan?
They feared that both houses of the legislature would depend on the population in the new plan, giving greater power to larger states.
Who were the key individuals for Anti-Federalists?
Richard Henry Lee & Patrick Henry
Who favored the New Jersey plan?
The Anti-Federalists favored this plan
What is the New Jersey Plan?
It was an alternate plan proposed by delegates where the states retained the "one state, one vote" system.
Why was the New Jersey more likely supported?
Because it would have left the national government largely dependent on the states as it was before.
Why did delegates from larger states not think it was fair for the states to have equal representation in Congress?
Because some states had significantly greater numbers of people to serve.
Why did delegates from smaller states prefer equal representation?
Because they wanted their state to have a strong voice in national matters as the larger states.
What did the Anti-Federalists want?
To add a Bill of Rights
To secure states had some power
What is Ratification?
The act or process of formal approval to make official
What are delegates?
They are chosen authority given the responsibility to act on behalf of the people they are representing
What was the Philadelphia Convention?
It was also known as the Constitutional Convention; took place in 1787 to address the problems with the Articles of Confederation and create the Constitution
What is pure democracy?
A type of democracy where the power lies directly with the people instead with elected representatives
What is Aristocracy?
Were people in a group thought to be superior to others, such as from a noble family
What was the Great Compromise?
It was where delegates agreed that the Constitution should create a bicameral legislature. Congress would have two houses- the Senate and the House of Representatives.
How many senators would each state have and who chose them?
Two senators; chosen by the state legislatures, as preferred by delegates from smaller states.
What is the House of Representatives composed of?
It's composed of a number of representatives based on population
Who elects the House of Representatives?
Elected directly by the people in each state, as preferred by delegates from larger states.
What is the main job of the Senate and House of Representatives?
To approve legislation before it becomes a law
What is a bicameral legislature?
A part of government that makes laws, consisting of two houses
What is the Three-Fifths compromise?
That each state would be able to count three-fifths of its total enslaved people as part of the state population for representation purposes.
What are the Federalists papers?
The most organized unified series of arguments in favor of ratification
Who wrote the majority of the Federalists paper
James Madison and Alexander Hamilton wrote it
What are amendments?
Changes or additions to the Constitution
What are the Bill of Rights?
The first 10 amendments to the Constitution
What are our 3 branches of government?
Judicial, executive, legislative
What is the Legislative branch?
What is the Executive branch?
What is the Judicial branch?
What is the checks and balances system?
It's used to keep the government from getting too powerful in one branch.
Why is Federalism important?
It is important because each state has different needs and we are all connected by a higher authority, so we need a national government.
What are Expressed Powers?
Also known as Delegated Powers; they are powers directly stated in the Constitution and given to the national government.
What are implied powers?
Powers not directly stated in the Constitution but interpreted as belonging to the Federal government. Things are "necessary and proper."
What are inherent powers?
Powers not listed in the Constitution but necessary for the country to run.
What are reserved powers?
Powers NOT given to the federal government and reserved for the states.
What are concurrent powers?
Shared powers between the state and federal governments.
What is cooperative federalism?
It's where the national government may grow in power in areas usually reserved for the states when people demand it
What is dual federalism?
It means that the state and national governments are confined to their separate spheres
What is Jurisdiction?
Its the authority of a court to hear certain types of cases; the authority or geographic area of authority to enforce laws or make legal judgments
What is Article 5?
It explains the amendments process, which is a direct example if federalism in practice
What is Article 6?
It contains the "supremacy clause," named so because it proclaims the Constitution, federal laws, and treaties to be the "supreme law of the land."
What is Amendment 10?
It reserves powers to the states not delegated to the national government. As a result, state governments create and maintain most of the laws and programs that affect us daily.
What is a charter?
A formal written statement describing the rights and responsibilities of a state and its citizens
What is municipality?
A city, town, or other areas that has its own local government
What are state militias?
A reserve army created and maintained by the states used for emergency
What is infrastructure and precedent?
The basic physical systems of a community's people, including roads, electric power, and water supply
What is precedent?
How similar cases have been decided in the past
Are our rights absolute?
What are absolute rights?
They are individual rights that are NOT absolute. If everyone could do what they wanted, the rights of others would be violated and lead to chaos.
What are civil liberties?
They are basic rights granted to individuals by law
What is probable cause?
A standard of proof to conduct a search, make an arrest, or find a person guilty of committing or having committed a crime.
What is double jeopardy?
Someone on trial for a crime for which she or he has already been tried before.
what is self-incrimination?
speech or action that suggests your own guilt
what is due process?
established laws and legal proceedings that are followed to protect the rights of individuals
Recommended textbook explanations
United States Government: Principles in Practice
Luis Ricardo Fraga
Magruder's American Government
William A. McClenaghan
United States Government: Democracy In Action
Richard C. Remy
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