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Politics of the United States
Chapter 2 Terms in the textbook "Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy (AP edition)"
Terms in this set (25)
A nations basic law. It creates political institutions, assigns or decides power in government, and often provides certain guarantees to citizens.
Declaration of Independence
The document approved by representatives of the American colonies in 1776 that stated their grievances against the British monarch and declared their independence.
Rights inherent in human beings, not dependent on governments, which include life, liberty, and property. This concept was central to John Locke's theories about government.
Consent of the Governed
The idea that government derives its authority by sanction of the people.
The idea that certain restrictions should be placed on governments to protect the natural rights of citizens.
Articles of Confederation
First constitution of the United States, adopted by congress in 1777 and enacted in 1781. The Articles established a national legislature, the Continental Congress, but most authority rested within the state.
A series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by Revolutionary War Captain Daniel Shays to block foreclosure proceedings.
The document written in1787 and ratified in 1788 that sets forth the institutional structure of U.S. government and the tasks these institutions preform. It replaced the Articles of Confederation.
Interest groups arising from the unequal distribution of property or wealth that James Madison attacked in The Federalist Papers No. 10. Today 's parties or interest groups are what Madison had in mid when he warned the instability of government caused by factions.
New Jersey Plan
Proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for equal representation of each state in Congress regardless of the states population.
Proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for representation of each state in Congress in proportion to that states share of the population.
The compromise reached at the Constitutional Convention that established two houses of Congress: the House of Representatives, in which representation is based on a state's share of the population, and the Senate, in which each state has two representatives.
Writ of Habeas Corpus
A court order requiring jailers t explain to a judge why they are holding a prisoner in custody.
Separation of Powers
A feature of the constitution that requires each of the three branches of government to be relatively independent of the others so that one cannot control the others.
Checks and Balances
Features of the constitution that limit government's power by requiring that power be balanced among the different government institutions. These institutions continually constrain one another's activities.
A form of government in which the people select representatives to govern them and make laws.
Supporters of the U.S. Constitution at the time states were contemplating its adoption.
Opponents of the American Constitution at the time when states were contemplating its adoption.
Collection of 85 articles written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison under the name "Publius" to defend the Constitution on detail.
Bill of Rights
The first 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, drafted in response to some of the Anti-Federalist concerns.
Equal Rights Amendment
Constitutional amendment passed in 1972 stating that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex". The amendment failed to acquire the three-fourths of the vote required for it to get ratified.
Marbury v. Madison
The 1803 case in which the Supreme Court declared it had the right to declare the meaning of the U.S. Constitution.
The power of the courts to determine whether acts of congress and, by implication, the executive are in accord with the U.S. Constitution.
Bills of Attainder
Legislation punishing people without a judicial trial.
Ex post facto law
Laws which punish people or increase the penalties for acts that were not illegal or not punishable when the act was committed.
Recommended textbook explanations
Magruder's American Government
United States Government: Our Democracy
Donald A. Ritchie, Richard C. Remy
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