AP Government Foundational Documents
Terms in this set (9)
Declaration of Independence
Written by Thomas Jefferson and issued by the Second Continental Congress, expresses the ideals on which the United States was founded and the reasons for separation from Great Britain (July 4, 1776)
Articles of Confederation
The first constitution of the United States; created a confederate system of government with an extremely weak central government (1781-1789)
The current constitution of the United States; created a federal system of government with power shared between the federal government and the states. Consists of a Preamble, Seven Articles and 27 Amendments (including the Bill of Rights)
Federalist No. 10
An essay composed by James Madison which argues that liberty is safest in a large republic because many interests (factions) exist. Such diversity makes tyranny by the majority more difficult since ruling coalitions will always be unstable.
Brutus No. 1
This work by a prominent Anti-Federalist argued that that the new federal government would be too powerful. In particular, he pointed to the necessary-and-proper clause and the supremacy clause.
Federalist No. 51
An essay composed by James Madison which addresses means by which appropriate checks and balances can be created in government and also advocates a separation of powers within the national government. One of its most important ideas is the pithy and often quoted phrase, "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition."
Federalist No. 70
An essay written by Hamilton that argues for the necessity of a single president (rather than an executive committee). Hamilton states that Americans should not fear the president becoming a tyrant because a single person would be easier to control. Additionally, a single president could act with more energy, efficiency, and secrecy than could a committee.
Federalist No. 78
An essay by Alexander Hamilton; written to explicate and justify the structure of the judiciary under the proposed Constitution of the United States;In particular, it addresses concerns by the Anti-Federalists over the scope and power of the federal judiciary, which would be comprised of unelected, politically insulated judges that would be appointed for life.
Letter from Birmingham Jail
A letter written by Martin Luther King Jr. after he had been arrested when he took part in a nonviolent march against segregation. He was disappointed more Christians didn't speak out against racism.
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