Government Vocabulary Chapters 1-2
Principles and Origins of Government
Terms in this set (41)
the institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies.
when the responsibility for the exercise of these powers rests with a majority of the people.
a body of people, living in a defined territory, organized politically, and with the power to make and enforce law without the consent of any higher authority.
to have supreme and absolute power within its own territory and can decide its own foreign and domestic policies.
the body of fundamental laws setting out the principles, structure and processes of a goverment.
government in which powers are divided between a central government and several local governments.
division of powers
basic principle of federalism; the constitutional provisions by which government powers are divided on a geographic basis.
basic principle of American government, which states that government is restricted in what it may do, and each individual has rights that government cannot take.
public policies are made by officials selected by voters.
an adj. describing a legislature body composed of 2 chambers.
an adj. describing a legislature body composed of 1 chamber.
articles of confederation
plan of government adopted by the continental congress after the American Revolution. Established a "firm league of friendship" among the states, but allows few important powers to the central government.
formal approval, final consent to the effectiveness of a constitution, treaty, etc.
group of delegates who drafted the U.S. Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787.
Plan presented by delegates from Virginia at the constitutional convention; called for a 3-branch government with bicameral legislature in which each state's membership would be determined by its population or its financial support of the central government.
New Jersey plan
Called for a unicameral legislature in which each state would be equally represented.
Agreement that Congress should be composed of a Senate, in which states would be equally represented, and a House, based on a state's population.
agreement to count a slave as 3/5 of a person.
commerce and slave trade compromise
an agreement protecting slave holders; denied congress the power to tax the export of goods from any state, and, for 20 years, the power to act on the slave trade.
those who supported the ratification of the Constitution in 1787-1788.
those who opposed the ratification of the Constitution in 1787-1788.
ex-post facto law
a law applied to act committed before its passage.
bill of attainder
a legislative act that inflicts punishment without a count trial.
writ of habeas corpus
a court order which prevents against arrests and imprisonments.
numbered sections of a document. The unamended Constitution is divided into 7 articles.
basic principle that government and those who govern must obey the law; the rule of law.
rule of law
concept that holds that government and its officials are always subject to the law.
separation of powers
basic principle of the American system of government, that the executive, legislative, and judicial powers are divided among 3 independent and coequal branches of government.
checks and balances
system of overlapping powers of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
chief executive's power to reject a bill passed by a legislature.
the power of a court to determine the constitutionality of a government action.
contrary to constitutional provision and so illegal, null and void, of no force and effect.
a system of government in which a written constitution divides power between a central, or national, government and several regional governments.
a change in, or addition to, a constitution or law.
change or addition that becomes part of the written language of the Constitution itself through one of four methods set forth in the Constitution.
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments to the Constitution.
Changing the interpretation of the constitution- not the written language. Occurs through everyday acts of government, supreme court decisions, basic legislation, and presidential actions.
Series of 85 essays used to urge the ratification of the constitution in NY. Written by Madison, Hamilton, Jay... all anonymous.
Meeting of delegates in Philadelphia in 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation.