-a philosophical device, used by enlightenment thinkers such as Locker, Rousseau, and Harrington, to suggest that governments are only legitimate if created by a voluntary compact among the people.
-if government violates contract people can abolish it
-a loose association of states or territorial units without any or much power in a central authority.
-the basic framework of law that prescribes how government is to be organized, how decisions are to be made, and what powers and responsibilities government shall have.
Articles of Confederation
-the first constitution of the Untied States, adopted during the last stages of the Revolutionary War, created a system of government with most power lodged in the states and little in the central government.
-a political doctrine advocating limited government based on popular consent, protected against majority tyranny.
-the abuse of the inalienable rights of citizens by government.
-a legislative body with a single chamber.
-laws postponing the collection of taxes or mortgage payments.
-Massachusetts rebellion led by Daniel Shay; aimed at easing financial pressures on debt-ridden small farmers by closing state courts to prevent foreclosure hearings from taking place.
-showed how state gov'ts could not check disorder.
-proposal by the large states at the Constitutional Convention to create a strong central government with power in the government apportioned to the states on the basis of population.
New Jersey Plan
-proposal of the smaller states at the Constitutional Convention to create a government based on the equal representation of the states in a unicameral legislature.
Connecticut Compromise (aka the "Great Compromise")
-the compromise between the NJ Plan and VA Plan formulated by the Connecticut delegates at the Constitutional Convention; called for a lower legislative house based on population size and an upper house based on equal representation of the states.
-elected representatives of the states, a majority of whose votes formally elect the President of the United States. The number of electors in each state is equal to the total number of its senators and representatives.
-describing a system in which significant governmental powers are divided between a central government and smaller territorial units, such as states.
-the provision in Article VI of the Constitution that states that the Constitution and the laws and treaties of the United States are the supreme law of the land, taking precedence over state laws and constitutions.
-Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, also called the "necessary and proper" clause, gives Congress the authority to make whatever laws are necessary and proper to carry out its enumerated responsibilities.
Bill of Rights
-the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, concerned with the protection of basic liberties.
Separation of Powers
-the distribution of government legislative, executive, and judicial powers to separate branches of government.
Checks and Balances
-the constitutional principle that each of the separate branches of government has the power to hinder the actions of the other branches as a way to prevent tyranny.
-an economic system characterized by competitive markets and private ownership; similar to capitalism.
-proponents of the Constitution during the ratification fight; also the political party of Hamilton, Washington, and Adams.
-opponents of the Constitution during the fight over ratification.
-the power of the Supreme Court to declare the actions of the other branches and levels of government unconstitutional.
-a document sometimes issued by the president in connection with the signing of a bill from Congress that sets out the president's understanding of the new law and how executive branch officials should carry it out.
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