The Constitution of the United States:Chapter 4

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Mayflower Compact
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The forerunner of the written constitution in America.
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Articles of Confederation
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America’s first national constitution
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Confedaracy
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The central government is subordinate to state governments and has only the powers which they grant.
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Shays’ Rebellion
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An attempt to stop governmental foreclosure on debt-ridden farms bu disrupting court proceedings.
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Great Decision
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The decision to put aside the Articles of Confederation and draft a brand new constitution for the United States.
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Three-Fifths Compromise
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It was agreed that three-fifths of a state’s slave population would be counted in determining both taxation ans representation.
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Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise
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By this compromise it was agreed that Congress could regulate interstate and foreign commerce and the trade with the Indians but could not export levy taxes.
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federalism
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A division of the power of government and the state governments.
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separation of powers
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Political power is separated among three political institutions.
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checks and balances
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A system whereby each branch of government exercises a measure of control over the other branches in an effort to balance the power within the national government.
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Independence Hall
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The Pennsylvania State House; place where the Declaration of Independence was signed.
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George Washington
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One of the most famous Americans to attend the Constitutional convention; the first president.
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Benjamin Franklin
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The oldest delagate to attend the convention.
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James Madison
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“Father of the Constitution”
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Land Ordinance
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Provided for the surveying of western lands in the Northwest Territory.
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Charles de Montesquieu
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Thought of the idea of Separation of Powers in his book “The Spirit of the Laws”
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Describes the federal relationship between the states and the national government.
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Article IV (4)
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Established the executive branch
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Article II (2)
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Describes the Constitution as the “supreme law of the land”
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Article VI (6)
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Established the legislative branch
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Article I (1)
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Provides for amendments to the Constitution
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Article V (5)
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Set guidelines for the ratification of the Constitution
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Article VII (7)
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Established the judicial branch
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Article III (3)
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The documents that laid the foundation for many state constitutions.
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royal charters
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The body that served as the national government for the War for Independence.
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Second Continental Congress
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Accomplishments of the national government under the Articles of Confederation.
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Conclusion of the Treaty of Paris with the Great Britain wise disposition of western lands through the Land Ordinance of 1785 and provision for a plan of territory with the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.
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Three weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
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(1) At least nine states had to approve any measure before it could pass by Congress. (2) The Articles provided for no executive or judicial branches of government. (3) The Articles did not grant Congress the power to tax.
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Locations of the two preliminary meetings that led to the Constitutional Convention.
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Mount Vernon, Virginia and Annapolis, Maryland
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When the Constitutional Convention was held.
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1787
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Number of men who signed the Constitution
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39
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Three words that describe James Madison’s political thought.
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Constitutionalism, republilcanism, and federalism
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Three branches of gevernment established by the Constitution and explain the purpose of each.
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(1) The Legislative branch, which makes laws, imposes taxs, appropriates money, approves treaties, and appointments. (2) The executive branch, which carries out, or executes the laws. (3) The judical branch, which interprets the laws according to the Constitution.
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The form of government all states in the Union have according to Article IV (4).
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A Republican Form of Government
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What precedents for constitutional government were set by the compact and the charter?
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When the men of the Mayflower signed the Mayflower Compact, they limited themselves and their behavior to the rule of custom and law and agreed to show submission to colonial authority. The colonial charters were basically Constitutions; these charters became the “higher law” in many colonies, and all colonies legislation had to be in harmony with the charter. By the time the Constitution was written, the colonists were already accustomed to living under constitutional government.
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Give two reasons why the writing and ratifying of the state constitutions were important to the national Constitution.
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The fifty-five men who were at the Constitutional Convention had experience in writing constitutions for their own states. Once the states constitutions were enacted, the American people had opportunity to observe these constitutions in practice. Almost all of the features in the U.S. Constitution could be found in existing state constitutions.
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How did the Federalists differ in opinion from the Anti-Federalists?
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The Federalists wanted a new Constitution. The Anti-Federalists opposed the new Constitution.
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List and discuss the six purposes of the Constitution according to the Preamble.
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(1) To form a more perfect union (2) To establish justice (3) To ensure domestic tranquility (4) To provide for the common defense (5) To promote the general welfare (6) To secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

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