Level 318
Level 319


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Popular Sovereignty
Let the people decide on whether slavery should be allowed in territories through voting.
Limited Government
The government only has certain powers that the people give it. For example, neither the Congress nor the President, nor the Courts have "unlimited" power to do whatever they want - they are "limited…
opponents of the Constitution who favored a stronger state government, small farmers and westerners
those who supported the Constitution and a strong federal government, most numerous on Atlantic Coast
Articles of Confederation
This document was the first form of government for the United States. It set up a confederation and the federal government had very little power. All the power was in the hands of the states.
Connecticut Compromise
Compromise agreement by states at the Constitutional Convention for a bicameral legislature with a lower house in which representation would be based on population and an upper house in which each state would have two senators.
Declaration of Independence
This document stated that power came from the people (popular sovereignty) and listed the grievances (what we were mad about) and said that the United States was free from Great Britain
New Jersey Plan
Opposite of the Virginia Plan, it proposed a single-chamber congress in which each state had one vote. This created a conflict with representation between bigger states, who wanted control befitting their population, and smaller sta…
Virginia Plan
Plan that addressed congressional representation in which James Madison proposed that large states such as Virginia and Pennsylvania should have proportionally more representatives in Congress than the smaller states such as New Jersey and Delaware
Shay's Rebellion
Daniel led a group of men to shut down court in Springfield, MA
Three-Fifths Compromise
counted each slave as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of determining a state's level of taxation and representation
Bicameral legislature
A law making body made of two houses. Example: the U.S. Congress.
Checks and Balances
Not wanting any ONE branch to get too powerful, the Founding Fathers gave each branch certain ways to limit the power of the other two.
Concurrent Power
Power shared by the state and federal government, such as the power to tax.
Elastic Clause
In Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress is given the right to make all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out the powers expressed in the other clauses of Article I
Supremacy Clause
Article VI of the Constitution states that the Constitution, laws passed by Congress, and treaties of the United States are the Supreme Law of the Land.
Unwritten Constitution
Traditions, precedent, and practice incorporated into our form of government that add to the Constitution's elasticity and its viability. Political parties and national party conventions are examples.
Enumerated Powers
Powers of the federal government that are specifically addressed in the Constitution. Article I, Section 8, for instance, cites the powers of Congress to coin money, regulate its value and impose taxes.
Electoral College
The system for electing the President created by the Constitution. It grants electoral votes to each state based roughly on the size of the state's population (number of Representatives in both houses of Congress). Alth…
Ex post facto laws
A law which punishes people for a crime that was not a crime when it was committed. Congress cannot pass these laws nor can states.
Dividing the government's power between the national and state governments.
Full Faith and Credit
The first words of Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution, which requires states to respect the "public acts, records, and judicial proceedings" of all the other states.
Powers that are not actually expressed in the Constitution but are reasonably implied. "Necessary and Proper"
Inherent powers
The powers of the national government in foreign affairs that the Supreme Court has declared do not depend on constitutional grants but rather grow out of the very existence of the national government.
Separation of Powers
The sharing of the government's power; the power is divided equally between the three separate branches of the government.
Bills of Attainder
Prohibits a person or group being found guilty of a crime without a trial; forbidden by the Constitution.
This document is the outline of the government of the US. It also says that power comes from the people (popular sovereignty). The Constitution is divided into different sections - a Preamble, the Articles,…
consent of the governed
The idea that government derives its authority by sanction of the people.
Federalist Papers
Key element in the Federalist campaign for the Constitution. This was a series of highly persuasive essays written for a New York newspaper by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay. The 85 essays, l…
dissenting groups of people
Equal Rights Amendment
A proposed constitutional amendment passed by Congress in 1972 stating that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the U.S. or by any state on account of sex."…
natural rights
life, liberty, and right to own property
Bill of Rights
Recognized by William and Mary which limited the powers of the monarchy, prohibited Catholics from occupying he throne and guaranteed the role of Parliament in government
U.S. Constitution
The supreme law of the land. Written in 1787 at Philadelphia Convention to replace Articles of Confederation and create stronger central government. Outlines structure & power of 3 branches of national government. Oldest written constitu…
Marbury v Madison, 1803
The power of the courts to determine whether acts of Congress and, by implication, the executive are in accord with the U. S. Constitution. Judicial review was established by this case.
a government ruled by elected representatives instead of a monarch
Level 320