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These next couple of vocabs are the easiest you'll get all year. Don't procrastinate now!

Newburgh Conspiracy

The officers of the Continental Army had long gone without pay, and they met in Newburgh, New York to address Congress about their pay. Unfortunately, the American government had little money after the Revolutionary War. They also considered staging a coup and seizing control of the new government, but the plotting ceased when George Washington guranteed pay to the officers

Baron de Montesquieu

wrote The Spirit of the Laws : developed the idea of the separation of powers into three branches of government

James Wilson

Studied at St. Andrews in Scotland before coming to the U.S., became a member of the continental congress, Credited for coming up with the plan for the electoral college.

James Madison

Strict Constructionist, because he was the father of the Constitution. Leads nation through War of 1812 as the 4th president. Wrote the Federalist papers along with JOHN JAY and ALEXANDER HAMILTON.

Preamble to the Constitution

Expresses reasons why Constitution was written. Establishes that the power of government comes from the people.

C.C. Pinckney

The Federalist candidate versus Madison in the election of 1808.

Shays' Rebellion

was led by Daniel Shays it was a protest against the land being taken away and the taxes that they had just worked so hard to get rid of. Known as the powder keg.

Virginia Plan

Virginia delegate James Madison's plan of government, in which states got a number of representatives in Congress based on their population. Also included a bicameral Congress and a Council of Revision (Supreme Court).

New Jersey Plan

Opposite of the Virginia Plan, it proposed a single-chamber congress in which each state had one vote. This created a conflict with representation between bigger states, who wanted control befitting their population, and smaller states, who didn't want to be bullied by larger states. Brought by William Patterson

Great Compromise (Connecticut Plan)

Compromise made by Constitutional Convention in which states would have equal representation in one house of the legislature and representation based on population in the other house.

Popular Sovereignty

The concept that political power rests with the people who can create, alter, and abolish government. People express themselves through voting and free participation in government.

George Mason

American Revolutionary leader from Virginia whose objections led to the drafting of the Bill of Rights (1725-1792).


Created the Northwest Territory (area north of the Ohio River and west of Pennsylvania), established conditions for self-government and statehood, included a Bill of Rights, and permanently prohibited slavery.


A law that divided much of the United States into a system of townships to facilitate the sale of land to settlers. Explained process of creating new states and their equal footing to old states.

Southwest ordinance of 1790

legislation passed by congress that set up a government with no prohibition on slavery in the U.S. territory south of the Ohio River

Virginia Statute of Religious Liberty

1786, written by Thomas Jefferson, called for a complete separation of church and state.


To restrict property by limiting inheritance to the owners lineal descendants. To fix a person in a permanent condition.


a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them.

Property Requirements (for voting)

Voting members had to be adult males, white, Protestant, and land owners. Enough voting members could make a territory into a state.


Part of the political party or one who believe in a republic. Grew in popularity during the Revolution

Civic Virtue

People who exemplify this quality go beyond their obligations by taking an active role in improving the community and the experiences of other members of the community. I'm sure you can think of someone in your class that emulates this.

Unicameral legislature

a one house assembly whose members are chosen by voters. Used during the AoC, this was ineffective for a confederation.

Bicameral legislature

A law making body made of two houses (bi means 2). Example: Congress (our legislature) is made of two house - The House of Representatives and The Senate.

3/5's Compromise

This compromise said that slaves count both as 3/5 of a person when counting population for representatives and for taxation. This was based on saying that a slave worked only 3/5 as well as a free worker.

Slave Trade Compromise

Congress could not regulate or outlaw slavery or slave trade until 1808. After that, slaves could not be imported, but could be traded internally.

Fugitive Slave Clause

Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution, which stated that slaves who escaped must be returned to their owners. It was later abolished in the Thirteenth Amendment.


French, perhaps greatest Enlightenment thinker. Deist. Mixed glorification and reason with an appeal for better individuals and institutions. Wrote Candide. Believed enlightened despot best form of government. A factor in creating anti-slavery movements.

Jean Jacques Rousseau

French philosopher and writer born in Switzerland; believed that the natural goodness of man was warped by society; ideas influenced the French Revolution.

Popular Soverignty (2)

Ha ha, repeat. My alternate def: People decided on the issues on their separate local governments. Simple majority rules, and reflected a direct democratic idea.

Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1785)

Indians ceded Ohio territory to the Americans. Later broken due to the increased desire for land.

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