U.S. History Constitution Test Study Guide

Flashcard maker : Bernice Cooper
Natural Rights
-Right to Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of happiness
-by John Locke
-Protect the rights of all people
Declaration of Independence
-written by Thomas Paine
-states the unalienable rights
-made America an independent nation
-sparked war against Britain
-stated injustices against King George and 28 grievances against him
-says that people should consent to be governed
-people should have a say in the law
-birth of a new nation
-government responsibilities
Articles of Confederation
Succesful:
-formed national government
-enables America to declare war on Britain and win war against them
Failed:
-national government was too weak
-national government could not levy taxes or trade between states
Differences to the Constitution:
-No president
-Not a strong central government
-Could not levy taxes or trade between states
-Did not have three branches of government
-written in 1776 by 2nd Continental Congress
-first Constitution proposed to guide the U.S. government
Consent to be governed
-government is based on people consenting to be governed
-government gets all of its power from the people
-people have the right to change or abolish the government if it takes away their rights
-government can only do what the people give it the rights to do
Philadelphia Convention
-purpose was to revise the Articles of Confederation
-purpose changed because the 74 delegates whom were well educated and wealthy for the most part decided to write an entirely new Constitution
-55 of the delegates wrote the Virginia and New Jersey plans that soon formed parts of the Constitution
Federalists and Anti-federalists
Federalists:
-well educated and wealthy
-wanted a strong central government because they feared not having one would be too similar to the Articles of Confederation which failed
Anti-federalists:
-farmers
-did not want a strong central government, but strong state governments because they feared the large states would dominate the smaller ones
The Great Compromise
-also known as the Connecticut Compromise
-compromise between the Virginia plan and the New Jersey plan
-written by Roger Sherman
-legislative branch would have two houses
-House of Representatives
-number of representatives per state was based on population
-House of Senate
-number of representatives per state was two
Limited Power of Government
-each branch may only do strictly what the Constitution allows it to
-three branches
-powers not given to the national government go to the state governments and to the people
-does not have absolute authority
-nobody is above the law
-to prevent tyranny
-people consent to be governed
-separation of powers
-make government effective but too powerful
-must conduct itself among constitutional principles
3/5 Compromise
-compromise between northern and southern states over slaves being counted as population
-Northerners did not want slaves to count as population for representation because they were not counted as population
-Southerners wanted slaves to count as population for representation so they would have more representatives
-3/5 of slaves would be counted for representation and taxation
-Northerners gained because not all slaves were counted but lost because some were
-Southerners gained because some slaves were counted as representation but not all were and lost because they also counted for taxes
Checks and Balances
-strengthens the separation of powers
-no branch has more power than another
-limits authority of federal government
-President can veto bills
-Congress can override a veto
-Congress can propose amendments to override judicial decisions
-President appoints Supreme Court judges
-Supreme Court can declare a law unconstitutional
-Supreme Court can declare officers unconstitutional
Branches of Government
legislative
-Job: to make laws
-Who: Congress, two houses, Senate and House of Representatives
-Terms: Senate serves 6 year terms and House of Representatives serves 2 year terms
-Elected in a direct election
executive
-Job: to carry out laws
-Who: President, Vice President, and cabinet
-Term: 4 year and can only serve 2 terms
-Elected: President in direct and cabinet by President
judicial
-Job:to interpret laws and decide their meaning
-Who: Supreme Court and Federal Courts
-Term: entire life until they die, retire, or are impeached for bad behavior
-Elected: by President
Federal System
federalism-division of powers between national and federal governments
-national government may only do what the Constitution says it can
-states have more flexibility as to what they can do
-allows states to deal with local problems and national government to deal with the national issues
-also known as the Supreme Law of the Land
Supremacy Clause
-Constitution is the primary law
-states may make laws as long as they do not conflict with the Constitution
Popular Soveriety
-stated in first words of the Constitution when it says \”We the people…\”
-includes all people of America
-makes it clear that power of government comes from the people
Bill of Rights
-first 10 amendments to the Constitution
-Virginia and New York based their ratification of the Constitution on this
-guarantees the rights of all people
-written by James Madison
Ratification
Ratify-to give formal approval
-9 of 13 states had to ratify the Constitution for it to be put into use
-document was sent to state conventions where there were elected delegates
-Virginia and New York only ratified with the understanding that the Bill of Rights would be added
-ratified in 1788
Amendment
amend-to change or add to
-27 in the Constitution
-Framers made it very hard to add an amendment to the Constitution
Process:
2/3 Legislature proposes or 2/3 Congress proposes and then 3/4 state convention or 3/4 legislature ratifies

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