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a human right based on nature or God

Articles of Confederation

a weak Constitution that governed America during the Revolutionary war

Constitutional Convention

meeting in Philadelphia in 1787 that produced a new Constitution

Virginia Plan

proposal to create a strong national government

New Jersey Plan

proposal to create a weak national government

Great Connecticut Compromise

plan to have a popularly elected House based on State population and a state selected Senate, with two members for each State


a government in which elected representatives make the decisions

Judicial Review

the power of the courts to declare laws unconstitutional


government authority shared by National and State governments

Separation of Powers

constitutional authority is shared by three different branches of government


a group with a distinct political interest


those who favor a stronger National government


those who favor a weaker National government


an alliance of factions

Writ of Habeas Corpus

an order to produce an arrested person before a judge

Bill of Attainder

a law that declares a person or group of people, without a trial, to be convicted of a crime

Ex Post Facto Law

a law that makes an act criminal although the act was legal when it was committed

3/5ths Rule

in determining representation, each state was to have in the House, "three-fifths of all other persons" (slaves) are to be added to the "whole number of free persons".

Line-item Veto

an executive's ability to block a particular provision in a bill passed by the legislature

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