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Politics of the United States
History Unit 3 Overview/Key Terms
Terms in this set (36)
Describe the ideas that shaped the Articles of Confederation.
Rule of Law - the principle that all citizens must follow the law
Natural Rights - everyone has the right to life, liberty, and property, no one can take them away
Economic Freedom - all citizens are in charge of their own work, money, and property
Describe the powers of the government under the Articles of Confederation.
Congress claimed the following powers: to make war and peace; conduct foreign affairs; request men and money from the states; coin and borrow money; regulate Indian affairs; and settle disputes among the states.
Summarize the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.
Only one branch of gov't (congress)- it could create laws but states were responsible for carrying them out and could change them if they wanted, so laws were not equally applied
Trouble dealing with foreign countries - Independent states sometimes ignored agreements or even made their own making people question the gov't's strength
Inability to pass laws - sometimes states would disagree and they would not vote at all, attendance was a problem so few laws were passed
Articles of Confederation
The plan of government for the United States during the Revolutionary War and for a few years after the war.
The government created by the Articles of Confederation in 1781. It replaced the Second Continental Congress. The Congress was made up of representatives from the first 13 states, and each state had only one vote. The Congress lasted until 1789, when the U.S. Constitution replaced it.
A plan of government.
The principles of a government in which the people, who have power over their government, elect representatives to make decisions for them.
Rule of law
The idea that everyone must follow the law.
(1786 - 1787) An armed uprising, led by Daniel Shays, that affected the debates about the Articles of Confederation and the setup of the government of the United States.
The cruel and unfair use of power.
Identify important historical documents that influenced the Founding Fathers when they wrote the U.S. Constitution.
The Magna Carta - inspired them to create limits on the power of the federal gov't
The English Bill of Rights - inspired them to include American's rights in the constitution
Enlightenment Ideas - inspired them to state that the gov't could work to create and protect the liberty of its people
Explain the debates that occurred over the issue of slavery during the Constitutional Convention.
The Southern Delegates wanted slaves to count towards their population size so that they could have more representatives in the House. Northern delegates didn't want slave counting because it would give the south more representatives in congress.
Describe the outcome of the Great Compromise.
Because of the Great Compromise...we now have the Articles of Confederation.
Explain how civic virtue contributed to the creation of the U.S. Constitution.
George Washington had strong opinions at the convention but he still worked hard to listen to all sides of the issues and found a compromise. He demonstrated civic virtue when he focused on the greater good of the country.
(1755 - 1804) An American politician who believed that the United States should have a strong central government. He was the country's first secretary of the Treasury.
Dedication to improving one's community, especially through participation in government.
A settlement of a debate or argument in which each person involved gives something up.
A meeting of U.S. leaders that occurred May 25 to September 17, 1787. The convention was called to revise the Articles of Confederation but instead crafted a new document, the U.S. Constitution.
The central government of a country made up of smaller states.
A system that divides power between a national government and state governments.
The men who helped to create the United States. They were leaders during the American Revolution and helped to found the U.S. government.
An agreement made at the Constitutional Convention that created two houses of Congress in the U.S. government: the House of Representatives and the Senate.
(1751 - 1836) The fourth president of the United States. He was an important leader during the Constitutional Convention and became known as the "Father of the Constitution."
(1215) A document that placed some limits on the power of the king of England. It inspired the Founding Fathers when they wrote the U.S. Constitution.
New Jersey Plan
A plan introduced at the Constitutional Convention that called for one house of Congress in which every state would have the same number of representatives.
(1721 - 1793) A politician from Connecticut who helped create the Great Compromise at the Constitutional Convention.
An agreement between northern and southern states at the Constitutional Convention. According to this agreement, three-fifths of the slave population would be counted in order to determine that state's representation in Congress.
The document that set up the federal government of the United States and established its most important laws.
A plan proposed at the Constitutional Convention that called for representation in Congress to be based on state populations.
Analyze the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution.
It introduces the main ideas of the constitution and explains why the constitution was written. It summarizes the basic principles of the U.S. Government.
Describe the structure of the federal government that was created by the U.S. Constitution.
3 Branches of Government - legislative, executive, and judicial.
Legislative - make laws, senate and house approval before passed on to executive'
Executive - President is the head, passes legislative laws
Judicial - Local, state and federal courts, decided on whether a law was constitutional or legal, can also overturn laws
Checks and Balances - Mediator
Explain how the U.S. Constitution can be amended.
An amendment may be proposed by a two-thirds vote of both Houses of Congress, or, if two-thirds of the states request one, by a convention called for that purpose. The amendment must then be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures or three-fourths of conventions called in each state for ratification.
Identify examples of federalism, separation of powers, representative democracy, and checks and balances in the text of the U.S. Constitution
Federalism - the federal government became stronger
Separation of Powers - The legislative branch must be passed by the executive branch and the judicial branch must pass or overturn it
Representative Democracy - citizens are able to vote for senate and house
Compare the positions of Federalists and Anti-Federalists.
Federalists -wanted a strong national government and supported the ratification of the constitution
Anti-Federalists - hated national gov't and did not want the constitution to be ratified.
Explain the influence of Federalists and Anti-Federalists on the creation of the U.S. Constitution.
Federalists - they influenced the stronger federal government and the federal government had the power to pass taxes
Anti-Federalists - added a Bill of Rights that was added to the Constitution
Identify important rights protected by the Bill of Rights.
Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly and petition
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