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Federalist Paper #10

Written by James Madison
Factions are bad
can't prevent them but can control effects
Madison said that a republic was the best because it would cut things off at the state level.

Federalist Paper #51

Written by James Madison
Checks and Balances
Separation of Powers
these made it so no one branch could be more powerful, however he said legislative>everything.
No gov. is necessary if men were angels.
based on popular vote
judicial must be impartial.

Unitary System

all authority is given to the national


a league of independent states, a union of political organizations.

Federal System

national and state governments share power & derive authority from the people

Expressed (Enumerated) Powers

Powers specifically given to the national government in Article I, Section 8

Implied Powers

Powers derived from the "Necessary and Proper" or "Elastic" Clause; not specifically mentioned in the constitution, but are still considered laws.

Inherent Powers

Powers that exist, in essence, simply because the US exists.

Reserved Powers(Tenth Amendment)

Also known as reserved powers. Derived from the 10th amendment. States run elections. States are responsible for education.

Powers denied to the Government

Any power not delegated expressly or implicitly to the federal government is prohibited to it. States are also denied certain powers.

The Supremacy Clause

Article 6, Clause 2 of the Constitution. Makes constitution the supreme law of the land. Forbids states from using their reserved or concurrent powers to thwart national policies. National laws take precedence over conflicting state and local laws. It has been used by the national government to extend it's powers.

McCulloch V. Maryland

First case that used the supremacy clause. Ruled that federal law is the supreme law of the land.

Gibbons V. Ogden

interstate commerce may be regulated by the federal government; first example fo the elastic clause

Dual Federalism

A system of government in which both the states and the national government remain in charge in their own sections; called a "layer cake" because there are two distinct layers; started in the mid-1800s.

nullification crisis

When states tried to make it so that they could null and void laws they didn't like from the national government.

Dred Scott V. Sanford

ruled that slaves are not human beings; led to civil war. (last straw)

fifteenth amendment

gave black men voting rights.

sixteenth amendment

Allowed congress to levy income tax.

seventeenth amendment

Direct election of senators to senate.

Advantages of a federal system

Strong national government that communicates with people, fits the size of the country.

Anchor baby

A way to describe a child born to illegal immigrants in the U.S. The baby acts as an anchor for the family to the U.S because people don't like to separate mom's from new borns.

Block Grants

Tax dollars given by the national government to the states with fewer restrictions. (no string attached.)

Catergorical grants in aid

Tax dollars given by national gov. to states that are for specific designated programs and if not used for that purpose, the gov will take the money away and charge the state. (lots of strings attached)

Concurrent powers

powers shared by the state and federal government

Contract with America

proposed by Newt Gingrich, introduced 10 bills that would implement major reform of federal government. (republican)

Cooperative Federalism

state and national government cooperate in solving complex problems. (teamwork, woo!)

Devolution Revolution

An attempt in 70's and 80's to restore the states some of the powers that have been given to the national government. (during Nixon era when trust for the national government was deteriorating

Disadvantages of a federal system

Scared of too much national government, small political units are too dominated, small states are left behind.

Elastic Clause

The last clause in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, giving Congress the power to pass any laws "necessary and proper" to carry out other constitutional duties. This clause is said to be so elastic that it can stretch far in congress' liking.

Examples of Concurrent Powers

To maintain law and order, levy taxes, borrow money, take land for public use, and provide for public welfare.

Examples of Delegated Powers

to levy taxes, regulate trade, coin money, maintain armed forces, declare war, and establish post offices and courts.

Examples of Reserved Powers

Tax citizens, control education, punish criminals, protect public health and safety, conduct elections, establish local governments, and make marriage laws.

Fiscal Federalism

The pattern of spending, taxing, and providing grants in the federal system.

Fourteenth Amendment

Says all people born in the U.S are citizen and are guaranteed equal rights.


tax money given by the national government to the states

Great Society

President Johnson's democratic reform program. Social Security, civil rights legislation, federal aid to education. All worked well in the beginning but are seeming to come back to get us now.

Intergovernmental Relations

the working of the federal system. National, state, and local governments in that order.

Judicial Federalism

Idea that the courts determine the boundaries of state and national government rights.

Layer Cake Federalism

A metaphor for dual federalism; equal layers of cake but they do not interfere with each other.

Marshall Court

(1801-1835) The Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Marshall, which contributed to the growth of judicial review and supported federal power.

Marble Cake Federalism

Another term for cooperative federalism; based on a mixing of authority programs among the national states and local governments.

New Deal

Franklin Roosevelt's economic reform program designed to solve the problems of the Great Depression, didn't work.

Unfunded mandates

National laws are passed, but no money is given to the states to enforce them.

Thirteenth Amendment

abolished slavery in U.S

Taney Court

Taney gradually helped modify Marshall's nationalism.

Obama Federalism

Stimulus program, bank/car bailouts (Cash for Clunkers), health care reform.

Reform Act of 1995

Prevents Congress from passing mandates without debate on how to fund them

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