US Constitution Test Study Guide
Terms in this set (114)
A bicameral legislature based on population and wealth; large states supported it
New Jersey Plan
It called for equal representation in the legislature; small states supported it
Great Compromise (Connecticut Plan)
Proposed a bicameral legislature with the House
of Representatives based on state population and a Senate based on equal representation.
As a part of the Great Compromise, the Southern States wanted their slaves to count as part of the population while the Northern States did not. It was agreed that for every 5 slaves, 3 would count toward representation in the House.
Authors of the Federalist Papers [who wrote under the pen name Publius]
Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison
House of Representatives
Chamber of Congress has representation based on population
chamber of Congress is based on equal representation
powers that are left only to the states and the people (10th Amendment)
Powers that are shared by the federal and state governments (federalism)
Articles of Confederation
The first governing document of the United States, allowed only state governments to tax, coin money, and regulate trade. Left the central government with very little power
"sole and express purpose" of the meeting was to revise the Articles of Confederation
Necessary and Proper Clause
Gives Congress the power to make laws for things that are not expressly outlined in the Constitution, Allows Congress to stretch its power in times of need
Rights of the Accused
trial by jury, right to an attorney, right to remain silent, etc.
Leadership of the House of Representatives and Senate
House of Reps: Speaker of the House
Senate: Vice President, President Pro Tempore if VP is absent
Special Interest Groups
attempt to influence lawmakers to vote a certain way
Process of impeachment
The House can vote to bring impeachment charges, while the Senate holds a trial to either convict or acquit.
Made up of members from both the House and Senate to iron out differences in a bill that has been passed by each house with slight differences
How can a presidential veto be overridden?
By a 2/3rds majority vote in each house
Where must all revenue bills originate? Why?
In the House of Representatives, power of the purse is most closely tied to the people [and the House represents them]
Articles I, II, and III describe which branches of government?
Legislative, Executive, and Judicial
McCulloch v. Maryland
Decides that federal law is supreme over state law
Marbury v. Madision
Established judicial review
the right to overturn a law, action, or policy that is unconstitutional
Purpose of the Executive Branch
To carry out/enforce the law
Purpose of the Legislative Branch
To make the law
To interpret/judge the law
Type of government that has elected officials who make government decisions
Type of government in which voters meet and make their own laws, decisions, and policy
Another term for representative democracy, type of government where elected officials make government decisions
Federal System of Government
In this system of government, power is divided between nation governments and smaller local governments (states)
Free market economy
economic system where producers and consumers make the decisions; Participants in this economic system decide how much, when, and for what price, a good is offered based on supply and demand.
This economic system is define by having no government interference in economic activities. "Hands off government"
How does the government provide for the common good?
By providing resources that impact most Americans. For example, this can include various projects like highways, sidewalks, parks, etc.
First governing document in the New World, focused on self-governing
This document limited the power of the English king for the first time, guaranteed rights for the nobles, protected rights such as private property and a fair trial
Declaration of Independence
is an example of the Social Contract Theory in practice within America, advocates for the power of the people and self government while breaking away from Great Britain, proposed at the Second Continental Congress... listed the ways the English government abused power; was adopted in July 4th, 1776; written by Thomas Jefferson [+Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, John Adams, Robert R. Livingston]
Separation of Powers
Division of power between the three branches of government
Consent of the governed, rule by the people
What was the purpose of the Federalist Papers?
to argue in favor of the ratification of the new constitution
process of signing up to vote
focused on natural (unalienable) rights, life, liberty, property. Influenced the writing of the Declaration of Independence and Thomas Jefferson
The president's plans for dealing with national problems within the border of the United States
The president's plan for dealing with foreign nations
argued in favor of a strong national government and the passing of the new Constitution
argued in favor of the power of the states, feared a strong national government, only supported the passing of the new Constitution if it included a bill of rights to protect the rights of the people
Philosopher that defended the freedom of thought [and speech]. "I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it."
type of government where only a small group of people hold the power; rule by few
A system of government in which the power to rule is in the hands of a single individual; rule of law does not apply
disadvantage of republic
it can be inefficient
A government controlled by religious leaders
Direct Democracy originated in
1st Republic was in
The Cabinet departments are a part of which branch of government
Power of the Purse
Congress' authorization of the president's budget requests to fund agencies and programs of the executive branch
Chief Executive, Commander in Chief, Chief Citizen, Chief of State, Chief Diplomat, Chief Legislator, Chief of Party, etc
Major functions of governments:
keeping the population in order.
providing services for citizens.
providing security for the people.
Allows the court to determine the constitutionality of laws
Philosophy proposing that judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect what the framers intended and what its words literally say.
Philosophy proposing that judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect current conditions and values.
Chief executive's power to reject a bill passed by a legislature
Branch with most authority over foreign policy
Constitution is the supreme law of the land; federal government overrides local governments (including states)
the part of the Constitution that permits Congress to make any laws "necessary and proper" to carrying out its powers
Powers not specifically mentioned in the constitution (inferred from the necessary & proper clause and the general welfare clause)
15th Amendment (1870)
U.S. cannot prevent a person from voting because of race, color, or creed
A formal message requesting something that is submitted to an authority; often uses signatures showing support
19th Amendment (1920)
Ratified on August 18, 1920 (drafted by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton), prohibits any United States citizen from being denied the right to vote on the basis of sex. The Constitution allows the states to determine the qualifications for voting, and until the 1910's most states disenfranchised women. The amendment was the culmination of the women's suffrage movement in the U.S.
Declares that all persons born in the U.S. are citizens and are guaranteed equal protection of the laws
13th Amendment (1865)
Abolishes and prohibits slavery
Roles of political parties
Giving citizens a voice, involving them in government, and informing voters
Presidential Elections are held
Every four years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November
A group of people named by each state legislature to select the president and vice president
electoral votes needed to win presidency
Absolute Majority; 270 out of 538
the location where voting is carried out
State Electoral Votes
Each state gets the sum of its representation in the U.S. House and Senate
An election held to choose which candidate will hold office
election in which voters decide which of the candidates within a party will represent the party in the election for the office
Powers of the Supreme Court
include the power to declare a law unconstitutional (judicial review)
Powers of the House of Representatives
accuse official for impeachment and introduce bills of taxation
Powers of the Senate
confirm presidential appointments (cabinet, justices, etc) by a majority vote, ratify (approve) treaties made by the president by a 2/3rds vote (67 senators), hold impeachment trial to remove a president
wanted a strong federal government and supported industry and trade
Cases heard by Supreme Court
1. Cases that involve diplomats from foreign countries
2. Cases between the states
3. Cases that have been appealed from lower district courts or federal regulatory agencies
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments to the Constitution
administrative decisions that are directly related to all issues and activity within a nation's borders
A nation's overall plan for dealing with other nations
When was the U.S. Constitution written?
1787 in Philadelphia
a system by which men ages 18 through 25 register with the U.S. government for military service
Who signs bills to become laws?
the President (final signer)
Number of Senators
100 (2 per state)
Number of Representatives [in HoR]
Purpose of the Declaration of Independence
to explain and announce [to foreign nations] why the colonies had chosen to separate themselves from Great Britain...
Reasons colonists came to America
religious freedom, political freedom, economic opportunity, escape persecution
13 original states
Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island
Departments of Cabinet
VP, State, Treasury, Defense, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security
We the people
The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?
a citizen of the U.S., at least 18 years old, and not a convicted felon or legally insane
Colonial plantations used
Number of justices on the Supreme Court
Number of amendments in the Constitution
Powers specifically given to Congress in the Constitution; including the power to declare war, collect taxes, coin money, regulate foreign and interstate commerce
Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition
Examples of Democratic Participation
Voting, communicating with representatives, writing a newspaper, getting involved with parties, interest groups, political campaigns, etc.
Democrats and Republicans
2 major parties since mid-1800s; inform Americans on issues
Listed in the Constitution as: LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS; rights that cannot be taken away by the government
Presidential line of succession
Vice president, Speaker of the House, President pro-tempore, and Secretary of State
Rule of Law
principle that the law applies to everyone, even those who govern; Law rules, not people
an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.
Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures
Due Process; Eminent Domain; Double Jeopardy; Protection from Self incrimination
No cruel or unusual punishment
Social Contract Theory
People form governments to protect their rights; people may have to give up certain freedoms to protect those rights
Consent of the Governed / Popular Sovereignty
The authority of a government should depend on the consent (permission) of the people. Power in the government goes to the people.
People give the government permission by voting for leaders to represent them. Sometimes people can vote directly to approve laws or changes to the constitution