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popular sovereignty

the notion that power lies with the people


the opening section of the constitution which explains the purposes of the new government

limited government

basic principle of American government which states that government is restricted in what it may do, and each individual has rights that government cannot take away

majority rule

a system in which the ideas and decisions supported by the most people are followed

delegated powers/enumerated powers

Powers specifically given to the federal government by the US Constitution,

reserved power

a power set aside by the Constitution for the state or for the people

concurrent powers

powers shared by the state and federal governments

separation of powers

the division of power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government

legislative branch

the branch of government that makes the laws.

executive branch

the branch of government that carries out laws

judicial branch

The branch of government that interprets laws

checks and balances

A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power


to reject a bill by refusing to sign it

judicial review

the power of the Supreme Court to declare laws and actions of local, state, or national governments unconstitutional


a change in, or addition to, a constitution or law


to cancel a law


group of officials who head government departments and advise the President

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