33 terms



Terms in this set (...)

A change to a legal document.
Articles of Confederation
The first constitution establishing a national government for the United States.
- The articles created a weak government that consisted of the continental congress.
-There was no separate executive or judicial branch.
- Replaced by the constitution.
Checks and Balances
Constitution created a system in which the actions of one branch may be blocked by some degree by another.
A loose union of states or countries in which ultimate authority remains with state governments, not the union.
Supreme law of the land.
- It defines what powers our government has.
-Shortest and oldest.
Constitutional Convention
The body of delegates selected by 12 state legislatures that met in the Philadelphia in 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation.
Constitutional Democracy
The current form of government in the United States characterized by a Representative Democracy and government limited by the Constitution.
The idea that there are limits on the power of government.
Written by Jefferson. (Stole Lockes Ideas) Natural Rights which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Did not create a government. Didn't establish any laws.
A form of government in which the people rule either directly or in a New England town meeting or through their elected representatives.
Executive Branch
The branch of the government that carries out or enforces the law made by the legislative branch. (many departments)
Federalist Papers
Essays written by the Federalists in support of ratification of the proposed U.S. Constitution. ( John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton )
Great Compromise
The dispute between large and small states threatened to end the Constitutional Convention without and agreement.
Judicial Branch
The branch of government that interprets the law and settles disputes regarding the law.
Legislative Branch
The law-making branch. (House of Representatives and the Senate)
Limited Government
A government whose power is limited by a constitution that defines the lawful use of power.
Popular Sovereignty
The idea developed during the Enlightenment in Europe that the source of government's authority comes from the people, not the divine right of kind.
The official approval of a document required in order for it to take effect.
Republication form of Government
The form of government created by the U.S. Constitutional Convention involving limited government, a constitution, elected representatives, and no monarchs.
Separation of Power
The independent branches of government; legislative, executive, and judicial. Each branch has power to prevent any other branch to become to powerful.
Social Contract
The idea developed during the Enlightenment in Europe what government existed because of an implied social contract between the people and the government.
Natural Rights
Rights we're born with.
The sharing of power and authority between the federal government and the state governments.
Enumerated Powers (Delegated Powers)
The powers of the U.S. Constitution expressively lists and delegates to Congress and the Federal Government(s)
Implied Powers
The powers of the federal government to take action that are not expressively in the constitution but which are authorized by the "Necessary and Proper Clause" of the Constitution.
Reserved Powers
Powers reserved to the states under the 10th Amendment to the constitution.
Concurrent Powers
Powers Held by both State and Federal Governments
Dual Federalism
Traditional form of federalism; federal government has supreme authority in certain policy areas while state governments were sovereign in other policy areas.
Cooperative Federalism
State and Federal Governments working together.
Fiscal Federalism
The growing tendency for the federal government to establish broad national policies and guidelines in all areas of public policy through the regulations accompanying federal grants to state and local governments.
Block Grants
General grants that can be used for a variety of purposes within a broad category, such as education, health care, or public services.
Categorical Grants
Grants given for a specific purpose defined by law, such as sewage treatment facilities or local school lunch programs.
Requirements that are imposed by the national government on the state and local governments.