1. Constitution
    Th fundamental principles of a government and the basic structures and procedures by which the government operates to fulfill those principles; may be written or unwritten
  2. Natural (unalienable) Rights
    The rights possessed by all humans as a gift from nature, or God, including the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
  3. Republic
    A government that derives its authority from the people and in which citizens elect goernment officials to represent them in the processes by which laws are made; a representative democracy
  4. Bicameral Legislature
    Legislature comprising two parts, called chambers
  5. Bill of Rights
    A written list of citizen's liberties within a constitution that establishes a limited government by ensuring that both the people and the government know what freedoms the government cannot violate.
  6. Confederation
    A union of independent states in which each state retains its sovereignty, rights, and power, which is not by their agreement expressly delegated to a central governing body
  7. Unicameral Legislation
    A legislative body with a single chamber
  8. Dual Sovereignty
    A system of government in which ultimate governing authority is divided between two levels of government, a central government and regional governments, with each level having ultimate authority over different policy matters
  9. Supremacy Clause
    A clause in Article VI (6) of the Constitution that states that the Constitution and the treaties and laws created by the national government in compliance with the Constitiution are the supreme law of the land
  10. Separation of Powers
    The Constitution's delegation of authority for the primary governing functions among three brances of government so that no one group of goernment officials controls all the governing functions
  11. Checks and Balances
    A system in which each branch of government can monitor and limit the functions of other branches
  12. Virginia Plan
    • New governmental structure proposed by the Virginia delegation at the Constitutional Convention.
    • Bicameral Legislation
    • Executive elected by Legislature
    • Separate national judiciary
    • State representation in Congress would be proportional based on sate population
    • Citizens would elected members to the lower house
    • Lower house elect members for upper house
  13. New Jersey Plan
    • Proposal presented in response to the Virginia Plan by the less populous states.
    • Unicameral Legislation (all states had equal votes)
    • Executive office composed of several people elected by congress
    • Supreme court whose members would be appointed by executive office
  14. Great (Connecticut) Compromise
    • Compromise between Virginia and New Jersey Plans.
    • Bicameral Legislature
    • House of Representatives (based on population)
    • Senate (2 senators per state)
  15. Electoral College
    The name given to he body of Representaties elected by voters in each state to elect the president and vice president
  16. Three-Fifths Compromise
    The negotiated agreement by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention to count each slave as 3/5 a free man for the purpouse of representation and taxes
  17. Veto
    The president's rejection of a bill, which is sent back to congree with the president's objections noted
  18. Advice and Consent
    The senate's autority to approve or reject the president's appointments
  19. Marbury v. Madison
    1803 Supreme Court case that established the power of judicial review, which allows courts to determine that an action taken by any government official or governing body violates the Constitution
  20. Judicial Review
    Court authority to determine that an action taken by any government official or governing body violates the Constitution
  21. Federalists
    Individuals who supported the new Constitution as presented by the Consitiutional Convention in 1787
  22. Anti-Federalists
    Individuals who opposed ratification of the Constitution because they were deeply suspicious of the powers it gave to the national government and of the impact those powers would have on states' authority and individual freedoms
  23. The Federalist Paters
    A series of essays, written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, that argued for the ratification of the Constitution.
  24. Bill of Rights
    • The first ten amendments to the Constitution which was ratified in 1791
    • 1. freedom of speech
    • 2. right to bear arms, regulated militia
    • 3. protection from quartering troops
    • 4. protection from unreasonable search and seizure
    • 5. due process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, eminent domain
    • 6. trial by jury, right to counsel, speedy and public trial
    • 7. civil trial by jury
    • 8. protection from cruel and unusual punishment
    • 9. Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution
    • 10. Powers of States and people
Card Set
American Government vocab Ch 2