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Flashcards in Ch 2: The Constitution Deck (26):


An economic theory designed to increase a nation's wealth through the development of commercial industry in a favorable balance of trade


Stamp Act Congress

Meeting of representatives of nine of the 13 colonies held in New York City in 1765, during which representatives drafted a document to send the king that listed how their rights had been violated


Committees of correspondence

Organizations in each of the American colonies created to keep colonists abreast of developments with the British; served as powerful molders of public opinion against the British


First Continental Congress

Meeting held in Philadelphia from September 5 to October 26, 1774, in which 56 delegates (from every colony except Georgia) adopted a resolution in opposition to the Coercive acts


Second Continental Congress

Meeting that convened in Philadelphia on May 10, 1775, at which it was decided that an army should be raised and George Washington of Virginia was named commander-in-chief


Declaration of independence

Document drafted largely by Thomas Jefferson in 1776 that proclaimed the right of the American colonies to separate from Great Britain


Articles of Confederation

The compact between the 13 original colonies that created a loose league of friendship, with the national government drawing its powers from the states



Type of government in which the national government derives its powers from the states; a league of Independent states


Shays's rebellion

A rebellion in which an army of 1500 disgruntled and angry farmers led by Daniel Shays marched to Springfield, Massachusetts, and forcibly restrained the state court from foreclosing mortgages on their farms



A document establishing the structure, functions, and limitations of a government


Virginia plan

The first general plan for the Constitution offered in Philadelphia. It's key points were a bicameral legislature as well as an executive and judiciary branch chosen by the national legislature


New Jersey plan

A framework for the Constitution proposed a group of small states, it's key points were a one house legislature with one vote for each state, a Congress with the ability to raise revenue, and a Supreme Court with members appointed for life


Great Compromise

The final decision of the Constitutional convention to create a two house legislature with the lower house elected by the people and with powers divided between the two houses. it also made national law supreme


3/5 compromise

Agreement reached at the Constitutional convention stipulating that each slave was to be counted as 3/5 of a person for purposes of determining population for representation in the U.S. House of Representatives


Separation of powers

A way of dividing the power of government among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, each ed separately, with equality and Independence of each branch insured by the Constitution


Checks and balances

A constitutionally mandated structure that gives each of the three branches of government some degree of oversight and control over the actions of others


Federal system

System of government in which the national government and state government share power and derive all authority from the people


Enumerated powers

The powers of the national government specifically granted to Congress in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution


Necessary and proper clause

The final paragraph of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, which gives Congress the authority to pass all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out the enumerated powers specified in the Constitution; also called the elastic clause


Implied powers

The powers of the national government derived from the enumerated powers in the necessary and proper clause


Full faith and credit clause

Section of Article IV of the Constitution that ensures judicial decrees and contracts made in one state will be binding and enforceable in any other state


Supremacy clause

Portion of Article VI of the Constitution mandating that national law is supreme to all other laws passed by the states or by any other subdivision of government



Those who favored a stronger national government and supported the proposed U.S. Constitution; later became the first US political party



Those who favored strong state governments and a weak national government; opposed ratification of the U.S. Constitution


The Federalist Papers

Series of 85 political essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, in support of ratification of the U.S. Constitution


Bill of Rights

The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which largely guarantee specific rights and liberties