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Ex Posto Law

a law that declares criminal act that was not illegal when it was commited, increases the punishment for the crime after it was commited, or alters the rules of evidence in the particuler crime.

Bill Of Attainer

a Legislative act that inflicts punishment without a court trial

Magna Carta

Due Process of Law
Protection against arbitrary
trial by jury

Rule of Law

Concept that holds that government and its officers are always subject to the law

Bill Of Rights

1st 10 Amendments

Separation Of Powers

A system of government in which each branch has certain duties which would prevent each branch from gaining too much power.

Example of Separation of Powers

If The House and Senate pass a law, the President signs it, but the Supreme Court decides it is unconstitutional, they can strike down the law.

The President nominates Judges for the Supreme Court, the US Senate must approve the Judge nominated before he can serve.

How the Constitution is Amended

You need to get 2/3rds of both houses of congress and 3/4 of the states (either legislatures or a vote in the states) to amend the constitution.

How is the Constitution a Living Document

The constitution can be changed as of today. It could still to this day have new amendments and rights that could be given or even taken away. This is what makes it a living document.

The Federal Shutdown

a situation in which Congress fails to pass authorization for sufficient funds for government operations


Citizens who were in favor of ratifying the Constitution, they wanted a strong national government


Against the Constitution


is an appeal to the subject to follow the crowd, to join in because others are doing so as well.

Card stacking

presenting information that is positive to an idea or proposal and omitting information contrary to it.

Name Callling

language or words that carry a negative connotation when describing an enemy.

Plain Folk

to convince the public that his views reflect those of the common person


Testimonials are quotations or endorsements, in or out of context, which attempt to connect a famous or respectable person with a product or item.


Associating a person or idea with something everyone thinks is good

strength of Articles of Confederation

Strong state governments

weakness of Articles of Confederation

could not regulate trade between states

Why was the Constitution written

to limit the power of the governmnet

The Great Compromise

(also called the Connecticut Compromise) called for one house in which each state would have an equal vote (The Senate) and a second house (The House of Representatives) in which representation would be based on population.

Popular Sovereignty

Basic principle of the American system of government that asserts that the people are the source of any and all governmental power and that government can exist only with the consent of the governed.

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