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Vocabulary Terms for our upcoming test...

James Madison

Father of the Constitution

Three-Fifths Compromise

Agreement to count slaves as 60% of a person when it came to representation in Congress

Great Compromise

Compromise made by Constitutional Convention in which states would have equal representation in one house of the legislature and representation based on population in the other house


a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them

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

legislative branch

the branch of government that makes the laws.

executive branch

the branch of government that carries out laws

judicial branch

The branch of government that interprets laws


supporters of the stronger central govt. who advocated the ratification of the new constitution


opponents of a strong central government who campaigned against the ratification of the Constitution in favor of a confederation of independant states

Bill of Rights

The first ten amendments to the Constitution

Land Ordinance of 1785

A law that divided much of the United States into a system of townships to facilitate the sale of land to settlers.

"The Federalist Papers"

Series of newspaper articles written by John Hay, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton which enumerated arguments in favor of the Constitution and refuted the arguments of the anti-federalists

delegated powers

Powers specifically given to the federal government by the US Constitution, for example, the authority to print money.

strict construction

way of interpreting the Constitution that allows the federal government to take only those actions the Constitution specifically says it can take

loose construction

belief that the government can do anything that the constitution does not prohibit


a group of advisors to the president

Judiciary Act of 1789

Congress passed this Act which created the federal-court system.


loyalty to one's own region of the country, rather than to the nation as a whole


the states'-rights doctrine that a state can refuse to recognize or to enforce a federal law passed by the United States Congress


a famous chief of the Shawnee who tried to unite Indian tribes against the increasing white settlement (1768-1813)

Judicial Review

the power of the Supreme Court to declare laws and actions of local, state, or national governments unconstitutional

Aaron Burr

United States politician who served as Vice President under Jefferson

Little Turtle

Chief of the Miami who led a Native American alliance that raided U.S. settlements in the Northwest Territory. He was defeated and forced to sign the Treaty of Greenville. Later, he became an advocate for peace

Treaty of Ghent

treaty that ended the war of 1812

Andrew Jackson

7th president of the US; successfully defended New Orleans from the British in 1815; expanded the power of the presidency


British practice of taking American sailors and forcing them into military service

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