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87 Cards in this Set

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What were the Articles of Confederation?
predecessor to the Constitution; informally followed until ratified in 1781, then cancelled in 1787
What is federalism?
the states and central government share governing responsibilities
What was Shay's Rebellion?
1,000+ armed farmers attacked a fed. arsenal to protest against farm foreclosures in western Massachusetts
What are some things the federal government couldn't do under the Articles of Confederation?
couldn't raise an army
couldn't tax citizens
couldn't pay off war debt
had no national currency
What are some other things the fed. government couldn't do under the Articles of Confederation?
couldn't control interstate trade; had no Supreme Court; no exec. branch; no interstate tax control
How did the Constitution come about?
Amending the Articles' weaknesses became so difficult that they were simply rewritten
What were the framers of the constitution viewed as?
elitists- out to protect the wealth of the rich people
pragmatists- protected everyone to protect themselves
Were the framers elitists or pragmatists?
today the framers are generally viewed as pragmatists
What was one of the delegates' fears?
they were fearful of corrupting influences of power which came from a strong, central government
What is the Virginia Plan?
strong gov. w/ each state represented proportionally to population
What is the New Jersey Plan?
each state would be represented equally, leading to no domineering states
What is the Great (or Connecticut) Compromise?
a bicameral legislature with one house based on population, the other house equal representation
What is the Three-Fifths Compromise?
each slave would count as three-fifths of a person when apportioning votes
Why was the Supreme Court created?
to arbitrate disputes b/w Congress and pres., b/w states, b/w states and central gov.
What was the opposition to the Constitution centered around?
opposition was centered around the fact that there was no bill of rights to protect individuals from gov.
What does the "necessary and proper" clause of the Consittion do?
it allows Congress to make all laws that are necessary to implement its' delegated powers
What is the "necessary and proper" clause also called?
it is also called the "elastic clause" b/c Congress has implemented things not mentioned in Const.
What is presidential practice?
it is the expansion of executive powers
What is the difference between a treaty and an executive agreement?
an exec. agreement b/w heads of diff. states doesn't have to have Senate agreement, but a treaty does
What is and when did judicial review come about"?
it came as a result of Marbury v. Madison, it is the power to overturn laws passed by the legislature
What is the definition of enumerated or delegated powers?
These are powers that belong to the national government exclusively
What are some enumerated or delegated powers?
printing money; regulating interstate and international trade; making treaties; declaring war; foreign policy
What is the definition of reserved powers?
These are powers that belong only to the state governments
What does the 10th Amendment have to do with reserved powers?
reserved powers include any not specifically granted to fed. gov. or denied to state governments
What are some reserved powers?
the power to issue licenses

the regulation of intrastate (w/in states) businesses
What is the definition of concurrent powers?
collect taxes
build roads
operate courts of law
borrow money
What does the constitution oblige the federal government to do?
guarantee states a republican form of gov., protect against foreign invasion and domestic rebellion
What obligation is contained in the full faith and credit clause?
states must accept the court judgments, licenses, contracts, and other civil acts of other states
What provision appears in the privileges and immunities clause?
the states may not refuse police protection or court access to a U.S. citizen b/c he lives in a diff. state
What is extradition?
the states must return fugitives to the states from which they have fled
What does the supremacy clause require?
it requires conflicts between federal law and state law to be resolved in favor of federal law
What is dual federalism? (experienced during the first part of America's history)
the fed. and state gov.s remained separate and independent, most people only had contact w/ state gov.
What are powers not granted to the federal government?
suspension of writ of habeaus corpus except in crisis times, making ex post facto or bills of attainder laws, imposition of export taxes, use of money from treasury w/out passage of appropriations bill, granting titles of nobility
What are powers not granted to the state governments?
entrance into treaties w/ foreign countries, declarations of war, maintenance of a standing army, printing money, no ex post facto laws or bills of attainder, imposition of import or export duties, no titles of nobility
What do ideological conservatives define federalism as?
a relationship in which the states retain most of the political power
What do ideological liberals define federalism as?
the federal government is supreme in all matters and ultimately in control
What are grants-in-aid?
outright gifts of money given to the states to help pay for federal government programs administered by the states
What are categorical grants? (liberals prefer these grants)
the type of aid that has federal strings attached
What are block grants? (conservatives prefer these grants)
the type of aid that gives the states broad powers to experiment and use the money as they see fit, but fed. gov. can ultimately use techniques that force states to abide by federal law
What fear did the separation of powers idea (borrowed from Charles de Montesquieu) come from?
framers were concerned that no one faction of gov. should be able to acquire too much power
What are the names of the three branches of government?
legislative branch (Congress) -makes laws
executive branch (led by pres.) -enforces laws
judicial branch -interprets laws
What is the system of checks and balances a constitutional safeguard against?
it is a safeguard to ensure that no one branch of gov. becomes dominant -the branches must work together to accomplish anything of importance
What is one example of checks and balances?
nomination of fed. judges, cabinet officials, and ambassadors -the pres. chooses nominees but these nominees must be approved by the Senate
What is another example of checks and balances?
the negotiation of treaties- the pres. has he power to make treaties but Senate must approve them by a two-thirds vote
What is yet another example of checks and balances?
the enactment of legislation -Congress passes laws but pres. may veto them, but Congress can override the veto and/or the SC can overturn a law on constitutional grounds
What are amendments to the Constitution?
amendments are the addition of provisions to the document of the Constitution
What is the start of the amendment process?
a proposed amendment must be introduced to both houses of Congress and approved by a two-thirds majority in each
How do the state legislatures take part in the amendment process?
three-fourths of the state legislatures must ratify the amendment for it to become part of the Constitution
How do the states decide whether they agree or not to the amendment?
the states determine the amount of votes needed to pass the amendment in thier eyes- some require a majority, seven require either three-fifths or two-thirds majorities
What is a ratifying convention?
rather than use state legislatures, a convention can be called with delegates expressly elected to vote on the proposed amendment- used once to ratify the 21st Amendment (end of Prohibition)
What are the names of the three branches of government?
legislative branch (Congress) -makes laws
executive branch (led by pres.) -enforces laws
judicial branch -interprets laws
What is the system of checks and balances a constitutional safeguard against?
it is a safeguard to ensure that no one branch of gov. becomes dominant -the branches must work together to accomplish anything of importance
What is one example of checks and balances?
nomination of fed. judges, cabinet officials, and ambassadors -the pres. chooses nominees but these nominees must be approved by the Senate
What is another example of checks and balances?
the negotiation of treaties- the pres. has he power to make treaties but Senate must approve them by a two-thirds vote
What is yet another example of checks and balances?
the enactment of legislation -Congress passes laws but pres. may veto them, but Congress can override the veto and/or the SC can overturn a law on constitutional grounds
What are amendments to the Constitution?
amendments are the addition of provisions to the document of the Constitution
What is the start of the amendment process?
a proposed amendment must be introduced to both houses of Congress and approved by a two-thirds majority in each
How do the state legislatures take part in the amendment process?
three-fourths of the state legislatures must ratify the amendment for it to become part of the Constitution
How do the states decide whether they agree or not to the amendment?
the states determine the amount of votes needed to pass the amendment in thier eyes- some require a majority, seven require either three-fifths or two-thirds majorities
What is a ratifying convention?
rather than use state legislatures, a convention can be called with delegates expressly elected to vote on the proposed amendment- used once to ratify the 21st Amendment (end of Prohibition)
What are first ten amendments called?
the Bill of Rights
What are some gurantees of the 1st Amendment?
freedom of religion (establishment clause/ separation of church and state), freedom of speech and freedom of the press (laws limiting opinion expression are not allowed except in a few cases), freedom of assembly, and freedom to petition the government (citizens may demonstrate peacefully and hold rallies and demonstrations and ask the gov. for changes in policy)
What are some examples of non-protected speech?
obscenity, child pornography, speech intended to incite violence, speech and writing to damage another's reputation (libel and slander), but, and most importantly, criticism of the government and its policies is protected
What is the Second Amendment?
it gurantees citizens' rights to own guns, but is controversial due to vague writing
What are some provisions of the Bill of Rights?
right to a trial by impartial jury, protection against self-incrimination, right to a defense attorney (free if need be), right to an indictment (know what accusations have been made against them), protection against double jeopardy
What are some other provisions of the Bill of Rights?
protection against excessive bail (large sum of money to guarantee return to court- returned if person shows up on trial date), protection against excessive punishment or fines (deemed cruel and unusual), protectioni against unreasonable search and seizures (police must obtain a warrant in most cases to search a place)
What is the Tenth Amendment called?
the reserved powers amendment because it gives all powers not delegated to fed. gov. and not denied to state. gov.s to the state gov.s
What is the Fourteenth Amendment?
the bill of rights didn't apply to state law
What is selective incorporation?
process of incorporating some of the Bill of Rights protections to state law
What is the significance of the 15th Amendment?
granted voting rights to males of all races- designed to extend voting rights to newly freed male slaves
What is the significance of the 17th Amendment?
senators were now chosen by direct election rather than by state legislatures, shifted responsibility of choosing senators to the public and away from the legislatures
What is the significance of the 19th Amendment?
granted voting rights to women
What is the significance of the 23rd Amendment?
allowed residents of D.C. to vote in presidential elections
What is the significance of the 24th Amendment?
outlawed poll taxes which had been used to prevent blacks from voting
What is the significance of the 13th Amendment?
abolished slavery
What is the significance of the 16th Amendment?
authorized Congress to impose and direct federal income taxes
What is the significance of the 18th and 21st Amendments?
began and ended Prohibition
What is the significance of the 22nd Amendment?
limited the number of years an individual may serve as president
What is the significance of the 25th Amendment?
provided for the selection of a new v.p. should the position become vacant, allowed v.p. to assume presidency temporarily when pres. is disabled
What is the significance of the 27th Amendment?
if Congress votes itself a pay increase, that increase cannot take effect until after the next election
What is judicial review?
the power of the SC to declare laws and executive actions unconstitutional- established by Cheif Justice John Marshall in 1803
What is up with the presidential term limit?
most presidents except for Franklin D. Roosevelt served only 2 terms, now required to only do 2 terms b/c of 22nd Amendment
What are some powers state governors have?
direct exec. agencies, command state National Guard, may grant pardson and reprieves, most have power to appoint judges (w/ legislative's consent), and to veto acts of state legislatures, they may use the line-item veto (reject only parts of bills)
Can legislatures overridge the governor?
Yes, legislatures can override the gubernatorial veto
What do property taxes do?
they generate a large share of state revenues
What do taxes on local businesses do?
provides state revenues, but states must be careful that they don't tax too harsh or businesses could move
What is revenue sharing?
federal money granted to the states for general purposes -it and block grants are other ways to receive federal funding