45 terms

Chapter 2


Terms in this set (...)

limited government
basic principle of American government which states that government is restricted in what it may do, and each individual has rights that government cannot take away
representative government
system of government in which public policies are made by officials selected by the voters and held accountable in periodic elections
Magna Carta
Great Charter forced upon King John of England by his barons in 1215; established that the power of the monarchy was not absolute and guaranteed trial by jury and due process of law to the nobility
Petition of Right
Document prepared by Parliament and signed by King Charles I of England in 1628; challenged the idea of the divine right of kings and declared that even the monarch was subject to the laws of the land
English Bill of Rights
Document written by Parliament and agreed on by william and mary of England in 1689, designed to prevent abuse of power by english monarchs; forms the basis for much in american government and politics today
a city's basic law, its constitution; a written grant of authority from the king
an adjective describing a legislative body composed of two chambers
organized by a propietor
an adjective describing a legislative body with one chamber
a joining of several groups for a common purpose
Albany Plan of Union
plan proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1754 that aimed to unite the 13 colonies for trade, military, and other purposes; the plan was turned down by the colonies and the Crown
a person appointed or elected to represent others
a group's refusal to have commercial dealings with some organization in protest against its policies
the act of abrogating
popular sovereignty
people hold the final authority in all matters of government
Articles of Confederation
a written agreement ratified in 1781 by the thirteen original states
making something valid by formally confirming it
presiding officer
the leader of a group meeting
Group of delegates who drafted the United States Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787
Virginia Plan
Virginia delegate James Madison's plan of government, in which states got a number of representatives in Congress based on their population
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.
Connecticut Compromise
Compromise agreement by states at the Constitutional Convention for a bicameral legislature with a lower house in which representation would be based on population and an upper house in which each state would have two senators
Three-Fifths Compromise
An agreement at the Constitutional Convention to count a slave as three-fifths of a person when determining the population of a State.
Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise
an agreement during the Constitutional Convention protecting slave holders; denied Congress the power to tax the export of goods from any State, and, for 20 years, the power to act on the slave trade
supporters of the constitution
People who opposed the constitution
a preliminary introduction to a statute or constitution (usually explaining its purpose)
one of seven main divisions of the body of the constitution
basic principle that government and those who govern must obey the law; the rule of law
rule of law
principle that the law applies to everyone, even those who govern
separation of powers
the division of power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government
checks and balances
A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power
the power or right to prohibit or reject a proposed or intended act (especially the power of a chief executive to reject a bill passed by the legislature)
judicial review
The power of a court to determine the constitutionality of a governmental action
not consistent with or according to a constitution
A system of government in which a written constitution divides power between a central, or national, government and several regional governments
a change in, or addition to, a constitution or law
formal amendment
change or addition that becomes part of the written language of the Constitution itself through one of four methods set forth in the Constitution
Bill of Rights
a statement of fundamental rights and privileges (especially the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution)
executive agreement
an agreement between the President and the leader of another country
a written agreement between two states or sovereigns
electoral college
the body of electors who formally elect the United States president and vice-president
a group of advisors to the president
senatorial courtesy
custom that the Senate will not approve a presidential appointment opposed by a majority party senator from the State in which the appointee would serve