65 terms



Terms in this set (...)

consisting of two houses in a legislature.
a system in which power is divided between the national and state governments
Checks and Balances
the system in which each branch of government has a check on the other two branches so that no one branch becomes too powerful
agreement between two or more sides in which each side gives up some of what it wants
popular sovereignty
people hold the final authority in all matters of government
Separation of Powers
The division of a government into 3 separate branches, each having its own responsibilities and powers.
concurrent powers
powers that are shared by both the federal and state governments
reserved powers
powers that belong strictly to the states
delegated powers
powers given to the federal government.
Introduction to the Constitution
"form a more perfect union"
have the states work together to support a stronger form of government for our country.
"ensure domestic tranquility"
keep peace within the home country
"establish justice"
Make laws and set up courts that are fair
"provide for the common defense"
Protecting the nation against threats from other nations or outside aggression.
"promote the general welfare"
contribute to the happiness and well being of all the people
"secure the blessings of liberty"
protect the basic rights and freedoms of citizens
Shay's Rebellion
This tax conflict in Massachusetts caused many to criticize the Articles of Confederation and admit the weak central government was not working.
Articles of Confederation
the document that created the first central government for the United States; it was replaced by the Constitution in 1789
Great Compromise
Compromise made at Constitutional Convention that established the Congress. It combined the New Jersey Plan in which states would have equal representation in one house of the legislature(Senate), and the Virginia Plan where representation would be based on population in the other house( House of Representatives).
Land Ordinance of 1785
A major success of the Articles of Confederation. Provided for the orderly surveying and distribution of land belonging to the U.S.
Northwest Ordinance
Enacted in 1787, it is considered one of the most significant achievements of the Articles of Confederation. It established a system for setting up governments in the western territories.
Virginia Plan
Also known as the Large State Plan, it called for a two-house Congress with each state's representation based on state population.
New Jersey Plan
Small State proposal that calledfor a legislature in which each state would have one vote.
Constitutional Convention
The meeting of state delegates in 1787 in Philadelphia called to revise the Articles of Confederation. It instead designed a new plan of government, the US Constitution.
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
chief legislative body of the United States federal government. It is a bicameral legislature, made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate. It is responsible for making all federal laws.
head of the Executive Branch
Three-Fifths Compromise
agreement providing that enslaved persons would count as three-fifths of other persons in determining representation in congress
the amount of states that were needed to pass laws under the Articles of Confederation.
The amount of states that were needed to amend the Articles of Confederation.
levy taxes
The US government couldn't_____ ______under the Articles of Confederation.
the upper house of the U.S. Congress with 2 members for each state.
House of Representatives
lower house of congress with representation based on state population
to reject
to formally approve.
An action taken by Congress to reverse a presidential veto, requiring a two-thirds majority in each chamber.
elastic clause
the part of the Constitution that permits Congress to make any laws "necessary and proper" to carrying out its powers
implied powers
powers not specifically mentioned in the constitution
supporters of the stronger central govt. who advocated the ratification of the new constitution
those who opposed ratification of the Constitution
A form of government in which citizens choose their leaders by voting
Magna Carta
A legal document written by English lords in 1215 that stated certain rights and limited the power of the king.
movement during the 1700's that spread the idea that knowledge, reason, and science could improve society
Electoral College
the body of electors who formally elect the United States president and vice-president
natural rights
the idea that all humans are born with rights, which include the right to life, liberty, and property
Federalist Papers
Written by Hamilton, Jay, & Madison to support ratification of the U.S. Constituiton
Bill of Rights
the first 10 amendments to the constitution
A grant of legal freedom to an individual slave
proportional representation
Representation is based on population as in the House of Represntatives.
equal representation
Every state gets the same number of votes as in the Senate.
John Locke
This English philosophe argued that all men were born with natural rights and that a government's purpose was to protect these rights
James Madison
father of the consitution; took care of recording; proposed virginia plan
Ben Franklin
oldest delegate at the Constitutional Convention. He proposed the 3/5 Compromise.
Alexander Hamilton
Supported a strong federal government. The Federalist Party was founded on his conservative ideals.
Roger Sherman
proposed the Great Compromise.
George Washington
President of the constitutional Convention
William Paterson
presented the New Jersey Plan
electoral vote
The official vote for president and vice-president by electors in each state.
popular vote
vote of the people in a "General Election"
Supreme Court
the highest federal court in the United States
Article I
This article of the Constitution establishes the Legislative branch.
Article II
This article of the Constitution establishes the Executive Branch.
Article III
Constitutional Article that establishes the Judicial Branch.