40 terms

American History Unit 2, Confederation, Constitution, and Compromise


Terms in this set (...)

Articles of Confederation
1st Constitution of the U.S. 1781-1788 (weaknesses-no executive, no judicial, no power to tax, no power to regulate trade)
NJ Plan
in favor of smaller states. didn't want central gov, unicameral equal representation. congress can regulate trade and tax
Va Plan
proposed by Edmund Randolph, 3 branches, senate chosen by assembly from candidates submitted by legislators, seats in both houses determined by pop., strong central gov. (William Patterson countered this plan with NJ plan)
A settlement in which each side gives up some of its demands in order to reach an agreement.
Great Compromise
1787; This compromise was between the large and small states of the colonies. The Great Compromise resolved that there would be representation by population in the House of Representatives, and equal representation would exist in the Senate. Each state, regardless of size, would have 2 senators. All tax bills and revenues would originate in the House. This compromise combined the needs of both large and small states and formed a fair and sensible resolution to their problems.
US Constitution
"The supreme law of the land." Written in 1787 at the constitutional convention in Philadelphia, ratified in 1788, amended 27 times, creates 3 branches of national government, oldest written constitution that is still in use, and it was made because the government set up by the articles of confederation was too weak.
A system in which power is divided between the national and state governments
Separation of Powers
Constitutional division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, with the legislative branch making law, the executive applying and enforcing the law, and the judiciary interpreting the law
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
Electoral College
A group of people named by each state legislature to select the president and vice president
Necessary and Proper Clause
Clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) setting forth the implied powers of Congress. It states that Congress, in addition to its express powers, has the right to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out all powers the Constitution vests in the national government
Elastic Clause
Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 of the Constitution; one of the powers of Congress that allows them to make any laws that are necessary and proper for carrying out their other powers. Also called the "Necessary and Proper Clause"
A term used to describe supporters of the Constitution during ratification debates in state legislatures.
Anti-Federalists rose up as the opponents of the Constitution during the period of ratification. They opposed the Constitution's powerful centralized government, arguing that the Constitution gave too much political, economic, and military control. They instead advocated a decentralized governmental structure that granted most power to the states
Bill of Rights
Although the Anti-Federalists failed to block the ratification of the Constitution, they did ensure that the Bill of Rights would be created to protect individuals from government interference and possible tyranny. The Bill of Rights, drafted by a group led by James Madison, consisted of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, which guaranteed the civil rights of American citizens.
Abigail Adams
Wife of John Adams. During the war she wrote letters to her husband describing life on the homefront. She urged her husband to remember America's women in the new government he was helping to create.
James Madison
(1809-1813) and (1813-1817) The War of 1812, the US declares war on Great Britain. In 1814, the British set fire to the Capitol. The Treaty of Ghent ends the war in 1814., The fourth President of the United States (1809-1817). A member of the Continental Congress (1780-1783) and the Constitutional Convention (1787), he strongly supported ratification of the Constitution and was a contributor to The Federalist Papers (1787-1788), which argued the effectiveness of the proposed constitution. Favored strict interpretation of the Constitution.
Hamilton's Financial Plan
Designed to pay off the U.S.'s war debts and stabilize the economy, he believed that the United States should become a leading international commercial power. His programs included the creation of the National Bank, the establishment of the U.S.'s credit rate, increased tariffs, and an excise tax on whiskey. Also, he insisted that the federal government assume debts incurred by the states during the war.
Led by Thomas Jefferson, believed people should have political power, favored strong STATE governments, emphasized agriculture, strict interpretation of the Constitution, pro-French, opposed National Bank
A position of not taking sides in a conflict
A decision made by a higher court such as a circuit court of appeals or the Supreme Court that is binding on all other federal courts.
Shay's Rebellion
A 1787 rebellion in which ex-Revolutionary War soldiers attempted to prevent foreclosures of farms as a result of high interest rates and taxes
Constitutional Convention
1787 meeting at which the U.S. Constitution was created.
Strict Interpretation
Stick to literal word meaning of the Constitution
Loose Interpretation
broad interpretation; believes in necessary and proper clause (constitution gives the government whatever powers it needs to grow and change with the nation)
Whiskey Rebellion
In 1794, farmers in Pennsylvania rebelled against Hamilton's excise tax on whiskey, and several federal officers were killed in the riots caused by their attempts to serve arrest warrants on the offenders. In October, 1794, the army, led by Washington, put down the rebellion. The incident showed that the new government under the Constitution could react swiftly and effectively to such a problem, in contrast to the inability of the government under the Articles of Confederation to deal with Shay's Rebellion.
Jay's Treaty
1794 - It was signed in the hopes of settling the growing conflicts between the U.S. and Britain. It dealt with the Northwest posts and trade on the Mississippi River. It was unpopular with most Americans because it did not punish Britain for the attacks on neutral American ships. It was particularly unpopular with France, because the U.S. also accepted the British restrictions on the rights of neutrals.
Quasi War
- Undeclared war fought entirely at sea between the United States and France from 1798 to 1800. The French began to seize American ships trading with their British enemies and refused to receive a new United States minister when he arrived in Paris in December 1796.
Alien Act
1798, gave president authority to deport individuals whom he considered threat to US
Sedition Act
1918 law that made it illegal to criticize the government
George Washington's Presidency
setting presidency standards- Presidents should serve blank terms, Establishment of a group of advisors known as the, Farwell Address
Washington's Cabinet
Henry Knox (Secretary of War/Defense; Thomas Jefferson (Sec. of State); Alexander Hamilton (Sec. of Treasury); Edmund Randolph (Attorney General)
The Judiciary Act of 1789
Congress provided for a Supreme Court of six members and a system of lower district courts and courts of appeal, also giving the Supreme Court the power to make the final decisions in cases involving the constitution or state laws.
Marbury Vs. Madison
Case in which the supreme court first asserted th power of Judicial review in finding that the congressional statue expanding the Court's original jurisdiction was unconstitutional
National Bank
A commercial bank chartered by the federal government
Washington's Farewell Address
-Washington retired from office after his 2nd term in 1797. His Farewell Address is actually a letter. In it he reacted sharply to Republicans, by warning against international entanglements (more specifically, denouncing against the Republicans that had been conspiring with the French to frustrate the Federalist diplomatic program.and against the dangers of permanent alliances with foreign nations. (Ex. The Jay Treaty)Warned against sectionalism (Ex: put down the Whiskey Rebellion). Temporary alliances wouldn't be quite as dangerous, but they should be made only in "extraordinary emergencies". He also spoke against partisan bitterness. (Federalist and Republican parties) 1775-1825
XYZ Affair
1798 - A commission had been sent to France in 1797 to discuss the disputes that had arisen out of the U.S.'s refusal to honor the Franco-American Treaty of 1778. President Adams had also criticized the French Revolution, so France began to break off relations with the U.S. Adams sent delegates to meet with French foreign minister Talleyrand in the hopes of working things out. Talleyrand's three agents told the American delegates that they could meet with Talleyrand only in exchange for a very large bribe. The Americans did not pay the bribe, and in 1798 Adams made the incident public, substituting the letters "X, Y and Z" for the names of the three French agents in his report to Congress.
Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions
Written anonymously by Jefferson and Madison in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts, they declared that states could nullify federal laws that the states considered unconstitutional.
Hartford Convention
Meeting of Federalists near the end of the War of 1812 in which the party listed it's complaints against the ruling Republican Party. These actions were largley viewed as traitorous to the country and lost the Federalist much influence
McCulloch vs. Maryland
The state of Maryland taxed banknotes produced by the Bank of the United States, claiming that the Bank was unconstitutional. Using implied powers, Marshall countered that the Bank was constitutional and ruled that Maryland was forbidden from taxing the Bank.