Chapter 2 The Constitution Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 2 The Constitution Deck (44):
1

Natural Rights

Rights of all human beings that are ordained by God, discoverable in nature and history, and essential to human progress

2

Patrick Henry

Individual who refused to attend the Constitutional Convention because he "smelled a rat"

3

Declaration of Independence

A document written in 1776 declaring the colonists' intention to throw off British rule

4

Articles of Confederation

The government charter of the states from 1776 until the Constitution of 178

5

Coalition

An alliance of factions

6

Unalienable

Based on nature or God

7

Constitutional Convention

A meeting of delegates in Philadelphia in 1787 charged with drawing up amendments to the Articles of Confederation

8

Reserved Powers

Powers that are given exclusively to the states

9

Pennsylvania Constitution

A governing document considered to be highly democratic yet with a tendency toward tyranny as a result of concentrating all powers in one set of hands

10

Massachusetts Constitution

A state constitution with clear separation of powers but considered to have produced too weak a government

11

Shay's Rebellion

An armed attempt by Revolutionary War veterans to avoid losing their property by preventing the courts in western Massachusetts from meeting

12

Concurrent Powers

Those powers that are shared by both the national and state governments

13

John Locke

A British philosopher whose ideas on civil government greatly influenced the Founders

14

Federalist papers

A series of political tracts that explained many of the ideas of the Founders

15

Virginia Plan

A constitutional proposal that the smaller states' representatives feared would give permanent supremacy to the larger states

16

New Jersey Plan

A constitutional proposal that would have given each state one vote in a new congress

17

Thomas Jefferson

Author of the Declaration of Independence

18

Great Compromise

A constitutional proposal that made membership on one house of Congress proportional to each state's population and the membership in the other equal for all states

19

Faction

A group with a distinct political interest

20

Separation of powers

A constitutional principle separating the personnel of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government

21

Federalism

A constitutional principle reserving separate powers to the national and state levels of government

22

James Madison

A principal architect of the Constitution who felt that a government powerful enough to encourage virtue in its citizens was too powerful

23

Bill of Rights

First ten amendments to the Constitution

24

Enumerated powers

Those powers that are given to the national government exclusively

25

Charles A. Beard

A historian who argued that the Founders were largely motivated by the economic advantage of their class in writing the Constitution

26

Constitutional Convention

A meeting of delegates in 1778 to revise the Articles of Confederation

27

Checks and Balances

The power of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government to block some acts by the other two branches

28

Republic

A form of democracy in which leaders and representatives are selected by means of popular competitive elections

29

Coalition

An alliance between different interest groups or parties to achieve some political goal

30

Inalienable Rights

Rights thought to be based on nature and providence rather than on the preferences of the people

31

Amendment (constitutional)

Change in, addition to, a constitution

32

Faction

A group of people sharing a common interest who seek to influence public policy for their collective benefit

33

Judicial review

The power of the courts to declare acts of the legislature and of the executive unconstitutional and therefore null and void

34

Bill of rights

The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution

35

Federalist papers

A series of eighty five essays published in New York newspapers to convince New Yorkers to adopt the newly proposed Constitution

36

Federalists

Supporters of a stronger central government who advocated ratification of the Constitution and then founded a political party

37

Line-item veto

The power of an executive to veto some provisions in an appropriations bill while approving others

38

Antifederalists

Those who opposed giving as much power to the national government as the Constitution did, favoring instead stronger states' rights

39

Bill of attainder

A law that would declare a person guilty of a crime without a trial

40

Ex post facto law

A law that would declare an act criminal after the act was committed

41

Madisonian view of human nature

A philosophy holding that accommodating individual self-interest provided a more practical solution to the problem of government than aiming to cultivate virtue

42

Confederation

An agreement among sovereign states that delegates certain powers to a national government

43

Writ of habeas corpus

A court order requiring police officials to produce an individual held in custody and show sufficient cause for that person's detention

44

Constitution

A set of principles, either written or unwritten, that makes up the fundamental law of the state