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Politics of the United States
Terms in this set (42)
A form of government where political leaders receive authority to make and enforce laws from the citizens (consent of the governed)
Supreme or ultimate political authority. A sovereign government is one that is legally and politically independent of any other government.
Political authority (sovereignty) is divided and shared between a national government and state governments. (Remember that Article VI, the Supremacy Clause, states that the Constitution and Federal law are the supreme law of the land.)
A legislature having one chamber or house.
A legislature having two chambers or houses.
To formally approve a document, thereby making it legal.
Articles of Confederation
Written in 1777 and ratified in 1781
Blueprint for the national government - an alliance of states still guaranteeing states' sovereignty.
Included an unicameral legislature with one vote per state; weak executive and no judicial branch.
Power included the ability to borrow and coin money and conduct foreign affairs.
While the government could ask states to contribute money, it could not levy a direct tax.
Land Ordinance of 1785
Act of Congress that provided for the surveying sale of the land between the Appalachians and the Mississippi River.
Townships are created and divided in 36 sections (640 acres) each to be sold to help pay the national debt. One section was left to provide for a school.
Northwest Ordinance 1787
Congressional Act to govern Northwest Territory (area north of the Ohio River to the Great Lakes - west of Pennsylvania to the Mississippi River)
Included rules for territories becoming states, basic civil rights, and banned slavery.
Protest of 1200 Western MA farmers against the MA government which they believed to be controlled by the interests of the wealthy/merchants.
Revolted against a heavy tax on land and the foreclosure on property for those who could not pay.
Attempts to close the courts eventually was put down by a private army.
As a result, MA passed debt-relief legislation.
Left some to believe that only a stronger central government could protect their wealth.
May 1787: Delegates from 12 states were given the power to REVISE the Articles of Confederation. Instead, delegates spent 4 months writing a brand new Constitution, creating a stronger national government.
Favored ratification of the Constitution. Included wealthy merchants, planters, and lawyers who wanted to ensure a national government that could support strong currency, keep order, and protect property rights.
Opposed the ratification of the Constitution. Believed that a strong national government would destroy states' rights and violate liberty. Saw the absence of a Bill of Rights as dangerous.
The Constitution creates limited government by listing specifically the powers the government does or does not have.
Powers specifically granted to the Federal Government by the Constitution. Three types of delegated power include: expressed, implied, and inherent powers.
Powers directly expressed or stated in the Constitution.
Also referred to a enumerated powers and include the power to: levy and collect taxes; coin money; make war; raise an army and navy; and regulate commerce among states.
Mostly found in Article I, Section 8, Clauses 1-18 of the Constitution.
Not specifically stated in the Constitution, but are required to carry out the expressed powers and come from the expressed powers.
Ex: The power to create a draft system is not expressed in the Constitution, but is implied by the power given to the legislature to raise an army and navy.
Necessary and Proper Clause
The basis for implied powers is found in this clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 18) states that Congress may "make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying out" the powers it has been given in the Constitution. Also referred to as the elastic clause.
Powers the national government may exercise because it is a government.
Ex: The power to control immigration and to establish diplomatic relations with other nations.
Include those not delegated to the federal government or denied to the states. (Article I, Section 8, Clause 10) This is specifically stated in the Tenth Amendment. These powers include the power to: run local government; control elections; and oversee schools.
Powers that are held both by the State and the Federal Government including the power to: tax and borrow money; define crimes; and maintain courts.
Powers denied to all levels of government
a. Article 1, Section 9, enumerates things the national government cannot do.
b. Article 1, Section 10, enumerates the powers denied to the states.
Article VI of the Constitution states that the Federal constitution and laws override state constitutions and laws. The Federal Government is supreme.
Separation of Powers
The division of power among three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial created by the Founders to prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful.
Checks and Balances
With the Separation of Powers, the writers of the Constitution added a system whereby one branch of government can restrain the powers of the other 2.
Ex: Congress (legislature) passes a law. The president (executive) checks Congress by vetoing the bill. Congress may also check the executive by overriding the veto with a 2/3 vote of each house.
A formal charge of wrongdoing such as "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors" against a government official.
Incitement of resistance to or insurrection against a lawful authority.
Number of members required to be present for a vote to take place.
A party or groups united by a common cause.
A law enacted by the legislative government.
Branch of government responsible for making laws. In the United States, this branch of the Federal Government is Congress. Powers are outlined in Article I of the Constitution.
Branch of government responsible for executing, enforcing, or carrying out the law. Article II outlines the powers of this branch.
Branch of Government responsible for interpreting the law. In the US the highest court in the land is the US Supreme Court. Article III outlines the powers of this branch.
Seven separate and distinct parts of the Constitution that outline the powers of the Federal Government, its relationship with the states, the process of amending and the process of ratifying the Constitution.
Sets out the goals of the government as found in the Constitution.
Brought to the Convention by the Virginia Delegation and popular with the larger states. The plan included a stronger national government with 3 branches - legislative, executive, and judicial, as well as a bicameral legislative body where states would be represented on the basis of population and one house directly elected by the people.
New Jersey Plan
The counterproposal to the Virginia Plan by the smaller states. Keeping with the Articles of Confederation government, the legislature would be unicameral with one vote for each state.
Also known as the Connecticut Compromise. Took the Virginia and New Jersey Plans and created a plan for the legislative branch.
Resulted in a bicameral legislative body for the US Congress including an upper house (Senate) with an equal vote per state and a lower house (House of Representatives) directly elected by the people and voting based on population.
Settled a disagreement over how to determine how many representatives each state would have in the House, specifically whether slaves would be counted in the census to determine representation.
The North wanted slaves to count for determining taxes for each state and the South only wanted slaves to count for representation purposes. The compromise was to count 3/5 of the slave population for both purposes.
Ex Post Facto
Makes a crime of an act that was not illegal at the time it was performed.
Writ of Habeas Corpus
A person arrested or detained must be brought before a court and either arraigned (charged) or let go.
Bill of Rights
In 1791 the states ratified 10 amendments to the United States Constitution. These amendments were intended to limit the power of the federal government over individuals and states.
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