History Alive! The United States Unit 3 Test Mr Price
Terms in this set (83)
Articles of Confederation
1776, declared independence. Needed to create a central government but afraid it would be too strong and trample on their rights. Led to the first written plan of government for the United States, the Articles of Confederation. Joined the 13 states to cooperate with each other. Created a Congress where each state had one vote. Gave Congress the power to: (1) declare war; (2) make an army and navy; (3) print money; and (4) make a postal system. But Congress could not impose taxes so it limited what they could really do.
A region designated by Congress and organized under a governor. A Territory may apply to become a state when it has a large enough population. Northwest Ordinance of 1787 created said divided Ohio Valley into territories, each run by a governor. Once the population reached 5,000 free adult males it could create its own legislature. Once it reached 60,000 it could apply to Congress to become a state. Slavery was banned in the territories.
A place where weapons and ammunition are stored.
The Virginia Plan
A strong national government with three branches: Legislative (Congress, makes laws); Executive (carry out the laws); and Judicial (court system to apply and interpret the laws). Two houses: The House of Representatives and the Senate. The number of representatives of a state in each House was based on population size; the larger states liked this as it gave them more power.
The New Jersey Plan
A government with three branches. But the Legislative branch would have just one House, and each state would have an equal vote regardless of size.
An agreement in which both sides in a dispute agree to give up something they want in order to achieve a settlement
The Great Compromise
1787; This compromise was between the large and small states of the colonies. The Great Compromise kept two houses, The House of Representatives and the Senate.
In the HOR, representation would be based on population; in the Senate, each state would have 2 representatives no matter the size of the state. This Compromise helped both large and small states and was felt to be a fair and sensible solution to their disagreement.
The Three-Fifths Compromise
An agreement made at the Constitutional Convention stating that slaves would be counted as three-fifths of a person when determining a state's population for representation in the House of Representatives.
To formally approve a plan or an agreement.
A country governed by elected representatives.
A system in which power is divided between the national and state governments.
Supporters of the Constitution that were led by Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. They firmly believed the national government should be strong enough to unite the quarreling states into a single Republic. They felt the powers given to the federal government were limited and spread among the three branches so no one branch would become too powerful. This way, it would protect people's and state's rights.
Opposed the ratification of the Constitution because it gave more power to the federal government and less to the states. They thought the Congress would ruin the country with high taxes; the President would rule like a King; and the judicial branch would take over the state courts. The plan also listed the powers of the government but not the rights of the people. They did not want to give up any state powers to the federal government. Many wanted to keep the Articles of Confederation. The Anti-federalists were instrumental in obtaining passage of the Bill of Rights as a prerequisite to ratification of the Constitution in several states. After the ratification of the Constitution, the Anti-federalists regrouped as the Democratic-Republican (or simply Republican) party.
The beginning of the Constitution.
"We the people" = power comes from the people.
"form a more perfect union" = states are stronger working together
"establish Justice" = ruled by laws, not force, laws apply to all.
"insure domestic Tranquility" = peace, if it worked well, people would not fight the government or each other.
"provide for the common defence" = would protect the people from foreign attacks.
"to promote the general Welfare" = support an economy and society where people could prosper.
"secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" = for generations to come.
The idea that the authority of the government comes from the people. Political power rests with the people who can create, alter, and abolish government. People express themselves through voting and free participation in government
To reject a proposed law or bill. Only the President can veto bills.
Congress can override (passing the bill even though the President vetoed it) by a 2/3 majority. (Over 2/3 of the congress or 67% have to vote to pass the bill.)
Having two law-making parts. Bicameral comes from the Latin word meaning "two rooms". The U.S. has two Houses in the Congress: The House of Representatives and the Senate; each can pass laws.
The three branches of government and the Article it is listed under
Article I = Legislative
Article II = Executive
Article III = Judicial
Senate term length
6 years (1/3 come up for re-election every 2 years). So they can enjoy some independence from day-to-day opinions of voters. More independent and thoughtful. Wiser and more experienced.
House of Representatives term length
2 years. Have to face voters much more often. Makes them more responsive to voters' wishes.
Number of senators per state
Number of Representatives per state
Depends on the population. There are a total of 435 Representatives divided among the states based on size. Each state has at least 1. California has the most at 53.
Qualifications to be a Senator
Must be at least 30 years old, a U.S. citizen for 9 years, and a resident of the state they represent.
Qualifications to be a Representative
Must be at least 25 years old, a U.S. citizen for 7 years, and a resident of the state they represent.
Powers of Congress
1. Make laws.
2. Create an annual budget and tax the citizens to pay for it. (Only the House can propose new taxes.)
3. Declare war.
4. Make and Borrow Money
5. Grant citizenship
6. Ratify treaties with other countries
7. Raise an army and navy
8. Confirm presidential appointments
The Elastic Clause
Gives Congress the right to make all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out its expressed powers. It has expanded Congress' powers over many years.
How a bill becomes a law
1. An idea of a law comes up with either a representative or a citizen.
2. The bill is written and then introduced in either house
3. sent to committee to be approved, rewritten, or rejected
4. sent to the floor for debate and vote
5. if it passes the first house, it is sent to the other House for the same process
6. If both houses pass the bill, it is sent to president for approval
7. president has three choices: Sign and approve; veto and reject; or do nothing (resulting in a "pocket veto" which means after 10 days it can become a law). If vetoed, it must have 2/3 vote of both houses to override.
8. bill becomes a law if all approve or if they override the veto.
Enforces the laws. Collect the taxes, etc.
Who are the members of the executive branch?
President, Vice President, Cabinet members. All members report to the President, who has the final say. There are federal agencies and departments that work for the President.
President Term length
Maximum of two 4-year terms for a total of 8 years. Elected every 4 years.
Must be 35 years older, born in the United States, and lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years.
Each state has the same number of electors as there are that state's representatives in the HOR and Senate, so the number depends on the size of the state. The electors vote for President and Vice-President every 4 years. Most states give 100% of the elector votes towards the candidate that receives the most votes in that state.
Powers of the Executive Branch
1. Carries out out and enforces laws passed by Congress.
2. Veto congressional bills.
3. Make treaties with consent of the Senate.
4. Commander in chief of the U.S. military.
5. Appoint the heads of the federal agencies and departments.
6. Grant pardons to criminals convicted of federal crimes.
7. Nominate (recommend) ambassadors and Supreme Court justices.
An action by the House of Representatives to accuse the President, Vice President, or other civil officers of the United States of committing "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
How is a President impeached?
The House of Representatives has the sole power to impeach an official, but the Senate has the sole right to try an impeachment case (sit as a jury). The U.S. Constitution requires a two-thirds majority for conviction (67 senators). When an impeachment process involves a U.S. President, the Chief Justice of the United States is required to preside during the Senate trial.
Supreme Court and lower courts. Interprets the laws. Main responsibility is to protect the Constitution. Federal Courts also resolve disputes involving federal laws, the federal government, or the states.
Structure of the Federal Court system
There are three levels of federal courts.
1. The highest court is the United States Supreme Court. Their decisions are the final say. There are 9 justices on the Supreme Court. The President nominates the justices and the Senate confirms them. They serve for life. They can only be impeached for the same reasons as the President. The Supreme Court has original juridiction over some cases and mostly appellate jurisdiction to review Circuit Court decisions.
2. The second level is the Circuit Courts. There are 12 circuits and three judges for each circuit court. They hear appeals from the District Courts. California is in the 9th Circuit. The Circuit Courts only have appellate jurisdsiction and review District Court decisions.
3. The lowest court is the District Courts. They hear the original cases and hold jury trials. They have only original jurisdiction.
The right of the Supreme Court to determine if a law violates the Constitution
What types of cases do federal courts hear?
Under the system of Federalism, both States and the Federal Government have been given the power to establish courts and punish lawbreakers. Because this is the case, states have also established courts. State courts deal with most crimes. Federal courts deal with crimes occurring on federal property, violation of federal crimes and alleged violations of the Constitution.
What are the powers of the Supreme Court?
The federal courts deal with federal laws and issues that cross state borders. The job of the courts is to interpret the laws of the Congress, including interpreting the Constitution. They do not make laws. They also only make decisions on actual cases where someone has shown that they have been harmed. The Supreme Court's decisions can create law that applies to all U.S. citizens.
Separation of Powers
Constitutional division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, with the legislative branch making law, the executive applying and enforcing the law, and the judiciary interpreting the law
Checks and Balances
A major principle of the American system of government. A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power. Keeps each branch from becoming too strong.
"Checks" = One branch blocks the actions of another branch.
"Ba;ances" = each branch has a role in the actions and powers of the other branches.
Legislative over Executive
-can override president's veto
-can impeach and remove president
-can refuse to confirm presidential appointment
-can refuse to ratify presidential treaties
The Congress can check the power of the president a number of ways. The first way is through impeachment where the Congress votes to have the president removed from office. The next way is through "advice and consent." While the president can appoint judges and other officials, the Congress must approve of them.
Legislative over Judicial
-can create lower federal courts
-can refuse to confirm judicial appointments
-can propose constitutional amendments
-can impeach and remove judges
The Congress can check the power of the courts through impeachment. It can vote to remove judges from office. Many more judges have been impeached than presidents.
Executive over Legislative
-can veto bills
-can call special sessions of congress
-can recommend laws
The president can check the Congress by vetoing a bill. When the president veto's a bill it has to go back to Congress and must be passed by a two-thirds majority in order to become a law. The Executive Branch also has some presence in the Senate as the vice-president is considered president of the Senate. The vice-president becomes the deciding vote in the case of a tie in the Senate.
Executive over Judicial
-appoints supreme court and federal judges
-can grant reprieves and pardons
The president checks the power of the courts by appointing new judges. The power of the Supreme Court can swing greatly on a single appointment. The Congress has a part in this check as well because they must approve the president's appointment.
Judicial over Legislative
-can declare laws unconstitutional
The Supreme Court can check the Congress by declaring a law unconstitutional. This check isn't actually part of the Constitution, but is considered a part of the law since the landmark ruling of Marbury v. Madison in 1803.
Judicial over Executive
-can rule that laws are unconstitutional
The Supreme Court can check the president by declaring executive orders as unconstitutional.
Key points about Federal and State Power
Federalism describes the system of shared powers between national and state governments.
The states and the federal government have both exclusive and concurrent powers, which help to explain the negotiation over the balance of power between them.
The federal government can encourage the adoption of policies at the state-level through federal aid programs.
Federal and State and Shared Powers
Only the federal government can make money, regulate the mail, declare war, or conduct foreign affairs. These powers make a lot of sense: imagine if Wyoming could declare war on Canada, or Michigan could coin the Michigan Dollar. The exclusive powers of the federal government help the nation operate as a unified whole.
The states retain a lot of power. States conduct all elections, even presidential elections, and must ratify constitutional amendments. So long as their laws do not contradict national laws, state governments can prescribe policies on commerce, taxation, healthcare, education, owning property, and many other issues within their state. States must recognize the laws and court decisions of other states and cannot discriminate unreasonably against citizens of other states.
Both the states and the federal government have the power to tax, build roads, borrow money, make and enforce laws, and charter banks.
How is the Consitution amended?
Under Article V of the Constitution, there are two ways to amend the Constitution. To propose amendments, two-thirds of both houses of Congress can vote to propose an amendment, or two-thirds of the state legislatures can ask Congress to call a national convention to propose amendments. Thus, either the states or Congress can propose an amendment.
To ratify amendments, three-fourths of the state legislatures must approve them, or ratifying conventions in three-fourths of the states must approve them.
The Supreme Court has said that ratification must be within "some reasonable time after the proposal." Beginning with the 18th amendment, Congress traditionally set a definite period for ratification. In the case of the 18th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd amendments, the period set was seven years, but there has been no determination as to just how long a "reasonable time" might be.
1 - Five basic Freedoms.
2-4 - Specify protections for ordinary citizens against government power.
5-8 - intended to guarantee fair treatment for people who are involved in legal actions.
9-10 - concern relationships among the federal government, the states, and the people.
Basic liberties and rights of all citizens are guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.
Bill of Rights
The first and most important ten amendments to the Constitution
Freedom of religion, speech, press, peaceful assembly (parades, protest marches, and political rallies), and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Congress is also prohibited from making any faith official religion of the U.S. and cannot favor any religion over any other religion. ("Separation of church and state.") "Speech" includes symbolic speech, which is expression without words (like black armbands in protest). The protections apply to all forms of media.
Protects citizen's right to bear arms.
A real or imagined wrong or other cause for complaint or protest, especially unfair treatment.
Quartering Troops in Homes. Prevents the government from placing troops in private homes. This was a real problem during the American Revolutionary War. Reminder today to respect the privacy of people's homes.
Searches and Seizues. The right to be left alone. This amendment prevents the government from unreasonable search and seizure of the property of US citizens. It requires the government to first have a warrant issued by a judge that specifies what or who can be searched or seized.
An order from a judge that authorizes police or other officials to take a certain action, such as searching someone's property or arresting someone.
The Fifth Amendment provides 5 protections: (1) Grand Jury Hearing; (2) No Double Jeopardy (cannot be tried twice for the same crime); (3) No Self-Incrimination (saying things that can be used against you in court); (4) Due Process (following clear and reasonable rules, presumed innocent until proven guilty, must prove case beyond a reasonable doubt); and (5) cannot take property without fair compensation ("eminent domain").
It is famous for people saying "I plead the Fifth". This gives people the right to choose not to make a statement if they they could incriminate themselves.
Fair Criminal Trials.
Right to (1) A speedy trial (cannot delay too much); (2) impartial jury of peers; (3) public trial; (4) to be informed of the charges including date, time and victim; (5) to hear and question all witnesses; and (6) to have an attorney to defend you (if you cannot afford it, the government will provide one).
Fair Civil Trials.
Right to a jury trial in a civil case. Also right to not have a judge reconsider a jury's decision (e.g., double jeopardy).
Prohibits excessive bail (money or property to make sure you return to court), excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments (the punishment must fit the crime).
Should the Death Penalty be banned under this Amendment?
States that the list of rights described in the Constitution is not exhaustive, and that the people still have all the rights that are not listed. This includes the right to privacy.
Gives all powers not specifically given to the United States government in the Constitution, to either the states or to the people. But when state and national power conflict, the national power wins.
This amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude.
No discrimination based on gender, color, race, etc. "Equal Proteection." It prohibits states from reducing the privileges of citizens and ensures each citizen the 'right to due process and the equal protection of the law'.
Gave all men the right to vote regardless of race or color or whether they had been slaves.
The Prohibition. Prohibited the manufacture, sale, and distribution of alcoholic beverages.
Gave women the right to vote.
Amendment which ended the Prohibition of alcohol in the US, repealing the 18th amendment.
Amendment that created a 2-term limit (8 years) on presidents.
Provided that Washington, DC be allowed representatives in the Electoral College. This way the citizens of Washington DC would have a vote for the president even though they are not officially part of a state. (DC still has no representation in Congress).
Lowered the national voting age from 21 to 18.
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 U.S. Constitution.
History of the creation of the Consitution.
Articles of Confederation
The first plan of government was called the Articles of Confederation, which was ratified in 1781. The Articles of Confederation had issues. The main issue was that the government had no money or way to get money under the Articles. The army wasn't being paid and was deserting. Debts to foreign countries weren't being paid. The government became too weak and a new constitution was needed. Shay's Rebellion (farmers could not pay debts, fought their land being taken) showed something needed to be done.
In May of 1787 the Constitutional Convention gathered to discuss changes to the Articles of the Confederation. However, after much debate, it was decided to throw out the AOC and instead create an entirely new Constitution.
George Washington was elected to be the president of the constitution. 55 delegates from 12 sattes attended. Rhode Island protested a strong federal government and boycotted the meeting. A lot of the debate was held in secret so that the delegates would feel free to speak their minds. v
A primary goal of the Constitutional Convention was to create a strong central government that would be powerful enough to run the country, but would not harm people's or state's rights. To avoid too much power being held by one person or group, they created the Balance of Power between the three branches of government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.
Primary issue was whether power should come from the states or the people. There were two primary competing plans for the Constitution:
1. Virginia Plan - The Virginia plan was written by James Madison. It represented the desires of the larger states and said that the number of representatives to Congress should be based on the state's population. Strong national government with three branches of government. Congress would have two houses - HOR and Senate. Power would come from the people, not the states. More people in a state = more power in Congress.
2. New Jersey Plan - The New Jersey plan was written by William Paterson from New Jersey. It also had a government with three branches. Only one house in Legislative branch. Each state would have an equal vote. The smaller states preferred this option. Power was in the states, each state had equal power in Congress.
In the end, an agreement was reached called The Great Compromise. The Compromise kept two houses in Congress. The HOR would represent the people; the number of representatives for each state would be based on popultion. The Senate would represent the states; each state would have two senators. The vote was close but it was approved.
Another issue was how to treat slaves in the population count. Southerners wanted slaves to be counted as a whole person = greater representation/power in the HOR. Northerners thought slaves should be counted as property and taxed. They compromised that a slave would be 3/5 of a person.
Another compromise reached was that Congress could control trade but could not tax exports and could not interfere with the slave trade for 20 years. After 20 years, importing slaves would be forbidden.
Another issue was how to elect the chief executive (president). 3 people or 1? Decided on 1, but limited term to 4 years. Compromise neither people nor Congress choose president/vice-president. Created the Electoral College to vote. Each state has # of electors (representatives) as the number of senators and Representatives in Congress.
The Constitution was approved after all the compromises then had to be ratified by the states. 9 of 13 states needed to approve. 38 of the 55 delegates voted to approve the Constitution.
Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)
Students in an Iowa school were suspended for wearing black armbands to protest the Vietnam war. Ruled that this suspension was unconstitutional, and that public school students do not "shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse door."
Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier (1988)
Supreme Court decision which held that public school curricular student newspapers that have not been established as forums for student expression are subject to a lower level of First Amendment protection. The U.S Supreme Court held for the first time that public schools can limit what appears in school-sponsored student publications. Teen Pregnancy article.
Wallace v. Jaffree (1985)
Strikes down an Alabama law that allowed teachers to conduct religious prayer services and activities during the school day.
New Jersey v. TLO (1985)
Addresses the constitutionality of a search of a public high school student for contraband after she was caught smoking. A subsequent search of her purse revealed drug paraphernalia, marijuana, and documentation of drug sales. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 ruling, held that the search was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE...
American Government - Your Voice, Your Future | Matthew Kerbel
Topic 1B: The U.S. Constitution
Governing the New Nation
OTHER SETS BY THIS CREATOR
Spanish Class Vocabulary
American History Final Review