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AP GOV Ch. 2 Vocab
Terms in this set (40)
A nation's basic law. It created political institutions, assigns or divides powers in government and often provides certain guarantees to citizens. Can be either written or unwritten
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 inherent in human beings, not dependent on governments, which include life, liberty, and property. The concept was central to English philosopher John Locke's theories about government and was widely accepted among America's Founders
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 government to protect the natural rights of citizens
Articles of confederation
The 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 with the state legislature
A series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by a Revolutionary War Captain Daniel Shays to block foreclosure proceedings
The document written in 1787 and ratified in 1788 that sets fourth the institutional structure of US government and the tasks those institutions perform. It replaced the Articles of confederation
Groups of parties or interest groups, which according to James Madison arose from the unequal distribution of property or wealth and had the potential to cause instability in government
New Jersey Plan
The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for equal representation of each state in Congress regardless of the state's population
The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for representation of each state in Congress in proportion to that state's share of the US 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 population, and the senate, in which each state has two represntatives
writ of habeas corpus
A court order requiring jailers to 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 - executive, legislative,and judicial - to be relatively independent of the others so that one cannot control the others. Power is shared among those three institutions
checks and balances
Features of the constitution that limit government's power by requiring each branch to obtain the consent of the others for its actions, limiting and balancing power among the branches
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 the states were contemplating its adoption
opponents of the U.S. Constitution at the time when the states were contemplating its adoption.
a collection of 85 articles written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison under the name "Publius" to defend the Constitution.
Bill of Rights
the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, drafted in response to some of the Anti-Federalist concerns. These amendments define such basic liberties as freedom of religion, speech, and press and guarantee defendants' rights.
Equal Rights Amendment
A constitutional amendment passed by Congress 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 necessary support from the three-fourths of the state legislatures.
Marbury v. Madison
the 1803 case in which the Supreme Court asserted its rights to determine the meaning if the U.S. Constitution. The decision established the Court's power of judicial review over acts of Congress.
the power of the courts to determine whether acts of Congress and, by implication, the executive are in accord with the U.S. Constitution. Judicial review was established by Marbury v. Madison.
political systems in which rulers fully controlled the government.
in this form of government, citizens debate and vote directly on all laws
a form of government that places ultimate political authority in the hands of the people
An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution
written by Charles Beard in 1913, it argued that the founders created a constitution that benefitted their economic interests.
holds that a "representative democracy" is not really based on the will of the people, but that there is a relatively small, cohesive elite class that makes almost all important decisions for the nation.
people selected by each legislature to formally cast their ballots for the presidency
grew out the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, a time of amazing discoveries that form the basis of modern science.
one of the Federalist papers written by James Madison that argued the separation powers and federalism check the growth of tyranny.
Formal amendment process
a 2/3 vote from each house of Congress; 2/3 vote from each house of Congress and ratified by specially called conventions in at least 3/4 of the states; may be proposed by national constitutional convention requested by at least 2/3 of state legislature and ratified by at least 3/4 of the state legislatures.
Legislature- congress has passed laws that reinterpret and expand Constitutional provisions.
Executive Branch- presidents may negotiate executive agreements with other countries.
Judicial- has the power of judicial review
seventeenth century English thinker of the 1600s who believed that in the "state of nature" people are naturally free and equal, but that freedom led inevitably to inequality, and even chaos.
the tendency for government to do what the majority of people want
the formal approval of the Constitution by the states.
a compromise between a direct democracy and an authoritarian rule
an indirect government in which people elect representatives to govern them and to make laws and set policies.
Second Treatise of Government
written by John Locke; stated that people form governments to protect these natural rights, giving up their freedom to govern themselves.
"state of nature"
naturally free and equal
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