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Wilderness road

A road that traveled westward over the appalachian mountains into Kentucky.


A government in which the people elect representatives to govern.

Articles of confederation

The first government of the united states.

Land ordinance of 1785

Law that set up townships in the western lands, which became known as the northwest territory.

Northwest territory

Land that formed the modern states of Ohio, indiana, Michigan, illinois, wisconsin, and part of Minnesota.

Northwest ordinance

Law that organized the northwest territory.

Shays's rebellion

Anti-tax protest by farmers.

Constitutional convention

Meeting in philadelphia called to change the articles of confederation.

James madison

One of the leaders of the constitutional convention.

Virginia plan

Plan that called for representation in the legislature to be based on states' population or wealth.

New jersey plan

Plan that called for each state to have equal representation in the legislature.

Great compromise

Called for a two-house legislature with representation based on population in one house and equal representation in the other house.

Three-fifths compromise

Called for counting three-fifths of the slave population for representation and taxation.


A system of government in which power is shared among the federal government and the states.


People who supported ratification of the constitution.


People who opposed ratification of the constitution.

The federalist papers

Essays that explained and defended the constitution.

George mason

Influential Virginian who opposed ratification of the constitution.

Bill of rights

Set of amendments to the constitution passed to protect individual rights.

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