19 terms

The Constitution and United States Government (SS Alive)

US Constitutional terms
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Articles of Confederation
The document that described the first government for the US. (Confederation means "a joining together.") The Articles were approved by the states in 1781. They were replaced in 1789 by the Constitution.
Constitutional Convention
The meeting of delegates in Philadelphia in 1787 that made plans for a new and stronger government for the United States. (The convention proposed the Constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation.)
Constitution
The document that created a strong national government and still exists today.
branches
3 parts of government, each with their own powers and responsibilities.
checks and balances
In the Constitution, ways of limiting the powers of the three parts (branches) of the government. The Constitution gives one branch the ability to "check," or stop, the action of another branch. It also divides, or balances, powers so that no one branch becomes too powerful.
legislative branch
The branch of government that makes laws. (Another word for "make laws" is legislate.)
executive branch
The branch of government that carries out ("executes") laws.
judicial branch
The branch of government that interprets laws and settles disagreements about them. (Judicial is related to the word judge.)
cabinet
A group of advisers to the president, including the heads of important departments in the executive branch.
treaty
A formal agreement between two or more nations.
impeachment
The act of accusing a government official of serious crimes, as defined in the Constitution.
veto
To reject a bill and prevent it from becoming a law. Only the president has the power to veto bills.
unconstitutional
In conflict with the Constitution. Laws that do not conflict with the Constitution are called constitutional.
key figures at the Constitutional Convention
James Madison, Gouverneur Morris, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington
Members of the executive branch
1) President 2) Vice president 3) Presidential Cabinet
Members of the Legislative Branch
Senators & members of the House of Representatives
Members of Judicial Branch
(judges and chief justice)
problem with Articles of Confederation
National government was too weak.
What happened at the Constitutional Convention
many disagreements; everyone had different ideas but finally several compromises were made and US had a new government
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