Chapter 8 US History Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 8 US History Deck (22):

Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom

A law that promoted the separation of church and state in Virginia.


Articles of Confederation

The first constitution of the United, a new confederation congress would become the central national government. Each state would have one vote in Congress. The national government did not have a president or a court system.


Land Ordinance of 1785

A document passed by Congress that set up a system for surveying and dividing the public territory. First the land was split into townships of 36 square miles. Each township was divided into 36 lots of 640 acres each. One lot was set aside for a public school, with another four lots saved for Revolutionary War veterans. The remaining lots were for sale to the public.


Northwest Ordinance of 1787

A document passed by Congress that formed a political system for the region north of Ohio River. The ordinance created the Northwest territory, which included the area that in now Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. It also created a system for bringing new states into the union.


Shay's Rebellion

An uprising in Massachusetts in Sep.1786. Daniel Shays was the main leader of the rebellion. Farmers couldn't pay high taxes that were passed by Massachusetts, when they couldn't pay, the state began to force them to sell their property. The rebellion was an effort to close courts so no property could be taken. Shay's Rebellion helped reveal the weakness of the Confederation government.


The Constitutional Convention

A convention held in May 1787 in Philadelphia to change the Articles of Confederation. Eventually the convention delegates decided to write a new constitution rather than try to make all the necessary changes to the Articles of Confederation.


James Madison

One of the most important delegates to the Constitutional Convention who took good notes and joined many talks during the Convention.


The Virginia Plan (Large-state Plan)

James Madison wrote most of this plan that offered a new federal constitution that would give sovereignty, or supreme power, to the central power, the central government. It divided the national government into three branches: executive, judicial, and legislative. The legislative would be a two house (bicaremel) legislature with representatives chosen on the basis of population.


The New Jersey Plan (Small-state Plan)

A plan written by William Paterson that proposed keeping congress as a one house legislature (unicamal). In this case each state would get an equal number of votes.


The Great Compromise

A compromise between the delegates at the Consitutional Convention to work out the problems between the small states and the large states. Every state, regardless of its size, would have an equal vote in the upper house of legislature. Lower=population


The three-fiths compromise

A compromise worked out at the CC to work out the problem of how to count slaves in population of representation and taxation.


Popular sovereignty

The idea that political authority belongs to the people.



The sharing of power between the central government and the states that make up a country.


Legislative branch (congress)

Responsible for proposing and passing laws. It is made up of two houses. The senate has two members from each state, while in the House of Representatives each state is represented according to its population.


Executive branch

Includes the president and the departments that help run the government. The executive branch makes sure laws are carried out.


Judicial branch

Makes up all the national courts. This branch is responsible for interpreting laws, punishing criminals, and settling disputes between states.


Checks and balances

The system used to keep any branch of government from becoming too powerful. For example, the framers gave congress power to propose and pass legislation, but the president has the power to veto, or reject, laws that congress passes. However, congress can override the presidents veto with a two-thirds majority vote.



People who opposed the constitution. Some thought it gave to much power to the central government. Also worried: no bill of rights



Supporters of the consitution. Need a stronger Constitution and had good balance of power.


The Federalists Papers

A series of 85 essays written under the name publics that were arguments in favor of a new constitution.



Official changes, or corrections, or additions


Bill of Rights

The first ten amendments to the constitution were passed to protect individual rights and freedoms.