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Development and structure of the Constitution


group of individual state governments joined for a common purpose


written plan of government


means the legislature is divided into two parts or houses

Constitutional Convention

meeting of state delegates in 1787 leading to adoption of a new Constitution

Electoral College

this is a group of people named / selected by each state legislature to select the President or V. P.

Great Compromise

agreement (compromise) providing a dual system of congressional representation (a senate and a house)

Three-fifths Compromise

Compromise that included part of the slave population in calculating representation


Form of government where power is divided between the Federal (or National) level and the state level


Supporters of the Constitution like large landowners who wanted property protection


those who opposed the Constitution because they believed a strong central government would take away American liberties


any change in the Constitution

Bill of Rights

the first 10 amendments of the Constitution that insures our basic freedoms / rights


opening statement of the Constitution that states the goals and purposes of government

Executive Branch

the division of government that enforces the laws

Legislative Branch

this is the lawmaking body of government also called Congress

Judicial Branch

the division of government that interprets the laws and sees that they are fairly applied

Checks and balances

the ability of each government to branch to limit the power of other branches

Separation of Powers

this is the division of authority among the 3 branches of government

Popular Sovereignty

this is the idea that power lies with the people

Rule of Law

this is the idea that law applies to everyone

Expressed Powers

powers that are specifically granted to the national government also called enumerated powers

Reserve Powers

powers that can be exercised only by state governments

Concurrent Powers

powers exercised by both the national and state governments

New Hampshire

the first colony that organized as a state and developed its own constitution

Federal Arsenal

What did Daniel Shay and his supporters attack?

Shay's Rebellion

What event highlighted the weakness of the Articles to provide adequate public security?

Treaty of Paris of 1783

This ended the Revolutionary War for America

Ordinance of 1785

this helped provide for the systematic growth (expansion) of the new nation

Northwest Ordinance

one of the most significant accomplishments of the Articles of Confederation. It set up procedures to apply for statehood

Magna Carta

Where did the states get the idea get the ideas found in the 'bill of rights' that they set up in their state constitution

the Constitution

What is the highest law in the land?

Ratified by 9 of the13 states

What did it take for the constitution to become the supreme law of the land

Patrick Henry

Who was the Virginia Delegate who refused to attend the Constitutional Convention because he didn't believe in a strong National government

George Washington

Who presided over the convention?

James Madison

Who is considered the 'Father of the Constitution'?

Revise the Articles

What was the original purpose of the Second Constitutional Convention


How many states must ratify a proposed amendment before it becomes a law?

Article I

Which article sets up the legislative branch, lawmaking body?

Article II

Which article sets up the executive branch which is responsible for carrying out (enforcing) laws

Article III

Which article creates the Judicial branch the interprets the laws and sees they are fairly applied?

Article VI

Which article explains the relationship between states and the national government and the states?

Article V

Which article explains how the Constitution can be amended (changed)?

Article VI

Which article contains the "supremacy clause"?

Article VII

Which article explains how the Constitution was supposed to to take effect

Supreme Court

Who has the final authority on interpreting the Constitution?


Who is the French philosopher who developed the idea of 'separation of powers'?

The Supremacy Clause

How are conflicts between state laws and national laws resolved?

Consent of the Governed

Which principle of democracy is being exemplified when voters reject or replace representatives who serve them poorly?

Veto laws

How does the executive branch exercise 'checks and balances'?

Override Veto or Impeach President

How does the legislative branch exercise 'checks and balances'?

Declare acts unconstitutional

How does the judicial branch exercise 'checks and balances'?

Expressed Powers (National level)

What level of government has sole authority to coin money, maintain army and navy, declare war and regulate trade between states and other nations?

Reserve Powers (State level)

What level of government has authority to regulate trade within a state, protect public welfare, and establish local governments?

Concurrent Powers (Both levels)

What is the term for powers that are shared by both state and national level - like establishing courts, enforcing laws, collecting taxes and borrowing money

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