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30 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
changes or additions to the Constitution
those opposed to the Constitution
The Articles of Confederation
established the first federal
government for the United States
The Bill of Rights
the name given to the first 10 amendments to the Constitution
checks and balances
system that ensures that no one branch of the federal government has too much power
a set of laws and principles that determine a form of
The Constitutional Convention:
a meeting of state delegates to draft a new form of government
executive branch
the office of the president and his executive departments
a system of government in which power is shared by a central authority and
its member states
Federalist Papers
texts that argued in support of the newly written Constitution
supporters of the Constitution
The Great Compromise
act that resolved the conflict over representation between large and small states
judicial branch
judicial branch: the national
court system headed by the
Supreme Court
Land Ordinance of 1785:
Land Ordinance of 1785:
legislation enabling the sale of federal lands
legislative branch:
legislative branch: Congress,
which proposes and passes laws
Northwest Ordinance of 1787:
Northwest Ordinance of 1787:
established the rules for
organizing governments in the
Northwest Territory
Northwest Territory:
Northwest Territory: territory
including modern-day Illinois,
Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Ohio.
ratification: official approval
republic: a form of government
where the head of state is elected by the people, who are the source of power
suffrage: the right to vote
tariffs: duties on imports or
The Three-Fifths Compromise:
The Three-Fifths Compromise:
ruling that resolved the issue of counting slaves as members of the population of states when
determining House epresentation
Americans drew on the many sources for their ideas
about government, including:
1. English Common law
2. the philosophers of the Enlightenment
3. American experience as self-governing colonies
Individual state governments were based on their own
1. Each constitution guaranteed the rights of citizens
and gave them the power to elect
2. Many states had weak governors with no veto
power and no control over the courts.
3. Voting rights were generally expanded, though
not everyone could vote.
4. Some states initially gave voting rights to African
Americans, though those rights were mostly lost
in the 19th century
The Articles of Confederation provided the basis for a
1. The document created a weak federal government with no president.
2. Each state would have one representative in the
Confederation Congress.
3. Congress could make money, sign treaties, and resolve disputes between states, but not much else.
Congress made decisions regarding the western
1. Much of the land was sold to the public.
2. It established the Northwest Territory, which
allowed for some self-government and laid down
the procedure for statehood.
3. Slavery was banned in the Northwest Territory.
The Constitutional Convention met in February 1787 and
hammered out the basis for a federal government.
A. Delegates had widely different views on what their
goal should be.
1. Some wanted a new document, others simply
wanted to edit the Articles of Confederation.
2. Larger states wanted each state’s representation
in the legislature to be based on population.
3. Smaller states felt each state should have the
same representation.
4. Southern states wanted slaves to be counted
when calculating population so that they would
have more representatives.
5. Other delegates wanted to put an end to the
slave trade
Many compromises were forged to create the Constitution
1. The Great Compromise allowed for one house of
Congress to have its representatives based on
population, and the other to give each state the
same power.
2. The Three-Fifths Compromise let 60 percent of
each state’s slave population be included when
calculating representation.
3. Delegates agreed not to stop the slave trade for
20 years
One of the hallmarks of the Constitution was its reliance on checks and balances
1. The legislative branch could write laws
2. The executive branch could approve or reject laws.
3. The judicial branch could decide if a law was allowable under the Constitution.

While the federal government would have the power to enforce laws within the states, states would also
have control of some functions
Federalists and Antifederalists sparred publicly over what the government should be, with the Federalists finally
A. Federalists supported the new constitution and urged
the states to ratify it.
B. Antifederalists feared that the federal government
would have too much power, and wanted a federal bill
of rights.
C. The Federalist Papers were published nationwide,
giving the rationale for supporting the Constitution.
D. Franklin and Washington’s support had a large impact
on the public.
E. States debated ratification at special conventions attended by the public.
F. The Constitution went into effect in July 1788, after
New Hampshire ratified it.
G. After ratification, the Bill of Rights was added to
address the concerns of the Antifederalists.