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The New Nation: The United States Constitution
Terms in this set (48)
When was the first continental congress?
In the First Continental Congress what was decided?
Further boycotts, call on colonies to form militias. There was still no declaration for independence.
Lexington and Concord
1775, there was weapons stockpiled in Concord, MA. The British found out about this and planned to seize the arms. The Colonists confront the British, and it is the first formal fight. They chase the British back to Boston. King George III announces the colonies are in a state of rebellion.
Second Continental Congress Establishes What?
Each colony sets up their own government, the continental army is set up and led by George Washington. They printed their own paper money. They started a committee for foreign affairs. Finally, they sent the olive Branch petition to the king for the last chance of finding peace. At this point the loyalists have dropped out in helping.
Declaration of Independence Signed
July 4, 1776. The men were a bit hesitant to sign the declaration because it was an act of treason.
When someone betrays their government.
1783-1790. The country had just recently become independent and they had to make sure that they set up the appropriate government to rule their country.
What is a government?
A law making and enforcing body.
When was the constitution written?
1787. It was ratified or approved in 1789.
What is a constitution?
Rules and procedures for governing.
What was the purpose of the Constitution
There was two purposes of the constitution. One was to list the powers that the government had. The other was to list the limits of the powers of the government.
What type of government was chosen?
The founding fathers chose a republic government, not a democracy.
What is a republic government?
A form of government in which the people elect the officials to run the state (country) to represent them.
What is a democratic government?
A form of government in which the people run the state directly.
When was the Articles of Confederation Written?
1776-1787. This was a group of documents that was supposed to help align the states.
What were the two levels of government?
There was the state government and the national government. The national government had a one house congress. Just the House of representatives. In the beginning, they used the Articles of Confederation and set up a weak central government because they were afraid of showing too much power in which they just escaped that type of government.
In the beginning they just had congress, which is the legislative branch, which creates laws. Later, when the constitution was written they added the executive branch, which enforces laws, and the judicial branch which judges or interprets laws.
Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
Congress could not pass tax laws or collect taxes. Congress did not have the power to oversee interstate trade or foreign trade. Each state only had one vote, regardless of the population. There was no executive branch to enforce laws. There was no national court system to settle disputes.
One success of the Articles
North West Ordinance in 1787. the Articles helped deal with bringing new territory into the country.
Who and what was the constitutional convention?
55 elite men (wealthy, rich, white men.) Took place in Philadelphia, which was the same place that the declaration of independence was written. The meeting was in 1787. Originally they met to fix the Articles of Confederation, and instead they decided to start over and make the constitution in which we have today.
What did the Declaration of Independence do?
It got rid of a government because it didn't protect the rights of individuals. (British Government.)
How is the Constitution different from the Declaration of Independence?
The Constitution uses the government o protect individual rights.
What three groups of people are discussed in the constitution?
The people, Native americans, and other persons (slaves.)
What two big fights took place between who?
The big states vs. Small states and the Northern states vs. the Southern states.
They decided to make a two house congress to settle the dispute between the Big states and the Small states. The two house congress had a senate and the house of representatives.
Senate: Great Compromise
The senate had equal reps for each state (two). Each senator served 6 years each. They were elected by the state legislatures.
House of Representatives: Great Compromise
They were determined by the population of the state. Each served two years.They were elected by the people, and the head was the speaker of the house.
The Three Slave Clauses in the Constitution include?
A clause is a part or section of a document. There is the 3/5 clause, the slave trade compromise, and the fugitive slave clause.
What does executive mean?
To carry out, or enforce the law.
What is the electoral college?
The number of people in senate plus the number of people in the house of representatives.
How many votes do you need to win?
The total amount of votes is 538 votes. To win you need at least 270.
What is the purpose of the Bill of Rights?
To help clearly outline the individual rights of the people. To ratify the document you had to have 9 out of 13 states agree to it.
They believed the constitution should be approved or ratified as is and did not need a bill of rights. They thought it was unnecessary because they thought the constitution was written in a way that limited the government power enough and would protect individual rights.
They believed a bill of rights MUST be added for the constitution to be ratified. They wanted a clear list of individual rights, and a clear list of what the government could not do to individual people.
What was the point of having three branches of government?
having "separation of powers" means that there is different branches of government. The purpose is to avoid one group or person from holding all the power. They also had checks and balances for this reason as well.
Checks and Balances
The purpose is to make sure no one branch becomes too powerful. To check the limit of power.
The distribution of power in an organization (as a government) between a central authority and the constituent units
Executive Branch: Judicial Branch
Can grant reprieves and pardons. ( to give someone less or no punishment). Appoints judges to fill the vacancies in the court
Authority to call special sessions of Congress. President is Commander-in-cheif. Power to veto laws.
Interpret laws and presidential actions. Judges appointed by the president serve for life.
Interpret laws, and determine constitutionality.
Approve presidential appointments. Authority to bring impeachment hearings. Power to override presidential vetoes. Control appropriations( Control Money). Ratify treaties, and declare war.
Power to institute new courts, and approve Judicial appointments made by the president. If the supreme court delivers an unpopular decision Congress can amend the constitution and override the decision.
Writ of Habeas Corpus
Congress cannot hold people in jail without them formally being charged with a crime. Unless there is a state of rebellion.
Bill of Attainder
Congress cannot punish a person without a fair trial.
Ex posto facto
Congress cannot convict or charge someone after the act was committed. You need a law made before the act was committed for it to be illegal.
The North and South states were in disagreement on how to handle the slave situation. They agreed that every three out of five slaves would be counted towards the general population for that state.
How did the Constitution strengthen slavery?
The Constitution states that they aren't allowed to stop slave trade until 1808. This gives slave room to buy and sell slaves freely. The 3/5 clause helped encourage slavery because the more slaves the more reps they got. Though the slave traders did not have this in mind during the process. The salve trade clause stating they cant stop slavery until 1808 helps the slave population rise over the years. Lastly, the fugitive slave clause, though it was rarely enforced, helped the slave owners have a right to property and know they could always get their property back.
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