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government by the people for the people


government in which political leaders receive their authority and make laws from the citizens

Virginia House of Burgesses

first example of an established government by the people

Mayflower Compact

an agreement between men on the Mayflower established a self-governing colony based on the majority rule of the male church members


economic policy under which a nation accumulates wealth by exporting more goods than it imports, a nation's power is a product of wealth (gold and silver)

Common Sense

a very popular book written to express the feelings of independence in the American colonies. written by Thomas Paine

Declaration of Independence

influenced by enlightenment writers John Locke and Montesque, establishes natural rights and is a statement of people saying "this is what we want!"

Articles of Confederation

original federal constitution drafted by the continental congress; created an alliance of states, each state gains independence

Shay's Rebellion

farmers take arms and demand a greater voice in politics, caused by depression and inflation, protested against high taxes

Constitutional Convention

well- educated merchants and lawyers came together in Philadelphia to draft and ratify the constitution

Great Compromise

granted a two- house legislature, one with equal representation and one with representation based on government

Three-Fifths Compromise

agreement that 3/5's of the slave population would be counted in determining state population for representation

Slave Trade Compromise

Congress forbids blocking the importation of slaves until the year 1808

Consent of the Governed

the idea that government derives its authority by the sanction of the people

Commerce Compromise

allowed government to tax imports but not exports

Presidential Compromise

decision that a president has a four year term, but an unlimited reelection, and aristocrats serve for life


advocated a strong central government that would ensure a stable currency, protect property rights, and provide security against unrest


opposed ratification of the constitution because they believed in the states' rights, thought the new system of government resembled a monarchy

The Federalist Papers

a series of 85 pseudonymous essays in support of ratification

US Constitution

established popular sovereignty, a limited government, a separation of powers, checks and balances, judicial review, and federalism


describes the purpose of the government as set up by the Constitution. States that americans expect their government to defend justice and liberty and provide peace and safety from foreign enemies

Limited Government

the government has as much power as the people do. therefore, the government must be restricted.

Representative Government

instead of creating a direct democracy in which all citizens vote on every matter, the writers of the constitution decided to create and indirect democracy in which voters elect representatives to govern.


division of powers between a strong central government and the state governments

Delegated Powers

powers of the national government, which include declaring war, maintaining armed forces, and establish foreign policy

Reserved Powers

powers of the state governments, which include maintaining schools, establishing local governments, and providing public safety

Concurrent Powers

powers shared between national and state governments, which include providing for public welfare, administering criminal justice, and levying and collecting taxes

Forbidden powers

powers denied by both state and national governments

Checks and Balances

each branch of government has the power to limit the actions of the other two


the ability to change in order to fulfill the needs of society without a revolution


A change to the Constitution

Elastic Clause

stretches the power of the central government

Implied Powers

powers that are granted by the Elastic Clause

Judicial Review

power of the Supreme Court to decide whether the acts of a president or laws passed by Congress are constitutional

Unwritten Constitution

Political practices that are followed, but are not part of the actual Constitution. Examples include political parties, judicial review, and the Presidential Cabinet.

House of Representatives

makes up congress, starts impeachment proceedings, and elect president if the electoral college can't


makes up congress, holds the impeachment proceedings, elects the vice president, approves all treaties, and approves all presidential appointments


a tactic to keep from voting on a bill

Standing committees

any permanent committee in the House or the Senate

Conference Committee

when the House of Representatives and the Senate pass different versions of the same bill


when special groups present good information that will persuade Congress to pass the bill.

electoral college

party that directly elects the president and vice president.

12th amendment

each elector will choose one candidate for president and one candidate for vice president. if no candidate receives a majority, the house of representatives will choose the president.

22nd amendment

no president can serve more than two terms in office

25th amendment

if the president dies or resigns, the vice president will become president.

presidential cabinet

group of federal leaders who headed the major departments of the executive branch and advised the president


vote against


a formal document charging a public official with misconduct in office

supreme court

judicial branch, has power to make policies, interpret the constitution or law, and to extend the reach of existing law

john marshall

became chief justice of the supreme court. a strong federalist, who practiced judicial review, federal laws were superior to state laws, loose construction of the constitution, and "sanctity contracts"

Marbury v. Madison

Jefferson rejects John Adams' appointment of midnight justices. court had to decide whether Marbury could keep his job. the court ruled that it conflicted with the constitution, so judicial review was established

Brown v. Board of Education

African american children could not go to school for white children. the court decided that they were deprived of a proper education and that the separate but equal policy was bad.

Bill of Rights

first 10 amendments to the Constitution; written list of freedoms guaranteed to citizens by the government

1st amendment

guarantees the freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition

5th amendment

guarantees due process for accused persons

6th amendment

guarantees the right to a speedy and public trial in the state where the offense was committed


not taking sides in a dispute

national bank

founded by hamilton, regulated state banks, kept an eye on business, and could make loans

federalist party

led by hamilton, supported a loose construction of constitution, favored strong central government, wanted industry based economy

loose construction

broad interpretation of constitution, relies on "implied" powers to enact laws for "general welfare"

strict construction

limiting the federal government to powers explicitly granted by the Constitution

democratic-republican party

led by Jefferson, supported a strict construction of the Constitution, thought states should have more power, wanted farming based economy

Louisiana Purchase

obtained a vast portion of the country, Jefferson admits that this act was beyond the constitution. it was only 15 million $$

Monroe Doctrine

foreign policy document that discouraged European intervention in the Western Hemisphere

Market Revolution

during the industrial revolution, inventions were created, the speed of industry increased, and people began buying more merchandise.

Transportation Revolution

during the industrial revolution, the steamboat was invented, the roads were improved, and the Erie Canal was built

Internal improvements

federal projects, such as canals and roads, to develop the nation's transportation system

Manifest destiny

the belief that the U.S. should extend all the way to the pacific ocean


loyalty to one's own region of the country, rather than to the nation as a whole

-congress could not collect or levy taxes
-congress was powerless to regulate interstate commerce and foreign trade
-each state only had one vote in congress, regardless of its size
-no separate executive brance to enforce acts of Congress

weaknesses of the articles of confederation

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