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Politics of the United States
8th Grade Final
Vocabulary and Key Concepts
Terms in this set (44)
The exchange of plants, animals, diseases, ideas, and technologies between the Americas and the rest of the world following Columbus's voyages.
The document written in 1787 and ratified in 1788 that sets forth the institutional structure of the U.S. government and the tasks these institutions perform. It replaced the Articles of Confederation.
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)
Head of the Executive Branch
Democratic Rights & Freedoms
Voting, speech, sovereignty, property, jobs, etc.
A principle of constitutional government; a government whose powers are defined and limited by a constitution.
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
A belief that ultimate power resides in the people.
A system in which power is divided between the national and state governments
Rule of Law
Principle that the law applies to everyone, even those who govern
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
Constitutional powers granted solely to the federal government.
Powers shared by the state and federal governments
Powers given to the state government alone
Opponents of the American Constitution at the time when the states were contemplating its adoption.
Alien and Sedition Acts
Series of four laws enacted in 1798 to reduce the political power of recent immigrants
1803 purchase of the Louisiana territory from France. Made by Jefferson, this doubled the size of the US.
Rip Van Winkle State
North Carolina's nickname in the early 1800s, so called because the state supposedly feel asleep and made little social and economic progress
A period when people settled the Great Plains and the remaining frontier
1800s belief that Americans had the right to spread across the continent.
New Jersey Plan
A constitutional proposal that would have given each state one vote in a new congress
Proposal to create a strong national government
Connecticut Plan; Great Compromise
Plan which provided for a two house Congress; the Senate with two representatives per state and the House of Representatives with representatives based on population
Belonging to a period before a war especially the American Civil War
"Compromise of 1820" over the issue of slavery in Missouri. It was decided Missouri entered as a slave state and Maine entered as a free state and all states North of the 36th parallel were free states and all South were slave states.
Fugitive Slave Act
A law that made it a crime to help runaway slaves; allowed for the arrest of escaped slaves in areas where slavery was illegal and required their return to slaveholders
1854 - Created Nebraska and Kansas as states and gave the people in those territories the right to chose to be a free or slave state through popular sovereignty.
Loyalty to one's own region of the country, rather than to the nation as a whole
Plessy v. Ferguson
a 1896 Supreme Court decision which legalized state ordered segregation so long as the facilities for blacks and whites were separate but equal
the right to vote
an early 20th century reform movement seeking to return control of the government to the people, to restore economic opportunities, and to correct injustices in American life
(v.) to make calm, soothe; to relieve, satisfy; to yield to
Movement of people from one place to another
Migration to a new location
Rebellion or resistance against the government
a flowing or pouring in; arrival in massive numbers
The campaign against slavery and the slave trade
The branch of government that makes the laws
The branch of government that carries out laws
Branch of government that decides if laws are carried out fairly.
The power of the courts to declare laws unconstitutional
Formal withdrawal of states or regions from a nation
Sign or give formal consent to (a treaty, contract, or agreement), making it officially valid.
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