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26 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
the ability to make laws, independent of the power to enfore them
government by the people, either directly or indirectly, with free and frequent elections
direct (participatory) democracy
government in which citizens vote on laws and select officials more directly
representative democracy
government that derives its powers indirectly from the people, who elect those who will govern; also called a republic
constitutional democracy
a government that enforces recognized limits on those who govern and allows the voice of the people to be heard through free, fair and relatively frequent elections
the set of arrangements (checks and balances, federalism, separation of powers, rule of law, due process, and a bill of rights) that requires leaders to listen, think, bargain and explain before they act or make laws. held politically and legally accountable for how they exercise their powers
rights of the nation trump rights of the individual
popular consent
the idea that a just government must derive its powers from the consent of the people it governs
majority rule
governance according to the expressed preferences of the majority
the candidate or party that wins more than half the votes cast in an election
candidate or party with the most votes cast in an election, not necessarily more than half (1/3 of presidents have been elected this way)
social capital
democratic and civic habits of discussion, compromise, and respect for differences, which grow out of participation in voluntary organizations
a consistent pattern of beliefs about political values and the role of government
governance by religious leaders, who claim divine guidance
Articles of Confederation
the first governing document of the confederated states, drafted in 1777, ratified in 1781, and replaced by the present Constitution in 1789
Annapolis Convention
a convention held in September 1786 to consider problems of trade and navigation, attended by 5 states, important because it issued a call for the Constitutional Convention
Constitutional Convention (C.C.)
the convention in Philadelphia, May 25 to September 17, 1787, that framed the Constitution of the US
Shay's Rebellion
rebellion by farmers (led by Daniel Shays) in western Massachusetts in 1786-1787 protesting mortgage foreclosures; important becuase it highlighted the need for a strong national government just as the call for the C.C. went out
the principle of a two-headed legislature
Virginia Plan
initial proposal at the C.C. made by the VA delegation for a strong central government with a bicameral legislature; lower house elected by voters and the upper house chosen by the lower; based on population and wealth (favored big states)
New Jersey Plan
proposal at the C.C. made by William Paterson of NJ for a central government with a single-house legislature in which each state would be represented equally
Connecticut Compromise
compromise for a bicameral legislature with a lower house in whihc representation would be based on population (and voters choices) and an upper house with each state having two senators
three-fifths compromise
each slave would be counted as three-fifths of a free person for taxation and representation purposes
supporters of ratification of Constituion whose position promoting a strong central government was later voiced in the Federalist party
opponents of ratification of the Constituion and of a strong central government generally
The Federalist Papers/Essays
series of essays promoting ratification of the Constitution, published anonymously by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison in 1787 and 1788