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40 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Classical Republicanism
Classical republicanism rejected monarchism in favour of rule by the people. Popular amongst the founding fathers
Magna Carta
an English 1215 charter which limited the power of English Monarchs, specifically King John, from absolute rule. Magna Carta was the result of disagreements between the Pope and King John and his barons over the rights of the king: Magna Carta required the king to renounce certain rights and respect certain legal procedures, and to accept that the will of the king could be bound by law. Magna Carta is widely considered to be the first step in a long historical process leading to the rule of constitutional law.
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a movement which emerged in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church in Western Europe.
John Locke
John Locke (August 29, 1632–October 28, 1704) was a 17th-century English philosopher. He developed the Lockean social contract, which included the ideas of a state of nature, "government with the consent of the governed," and the natural rights of life, liberty, and estate.
Salutary Neglect, Mayflower Compact
Salutary neglect is the act of intentionally ignoring the breaking or infringement of laws for purposes of improving the state of a nation. An example is a country allowing one of its colonies to infringe on certain trade laws for the purposes of promoting a smoother economy
Common Sense
Common Sense was a pamphlet first published on January 10, 1776, during the American Revolutionary War by Thomas Paine. He wrote it with editorial feedback from Benjamin Rush, who came up with the title. Its pages contained a denouncement of British rule.
Declaration of Independence
A declaration of independence is a proclamation of the independence of a newly formed or reformed independent state, usually from a part or the whole of the territory of another nation, or a document containing such a declaration.It was signed on July 4, 1776 by 55 people, which included Benjamin Franklin (Pennsylvania), Thomas Jefferson (Virginia), Richard Stockton (New Jersey).
Stamp Act
A Stamp Act is a law enacted by a government that requires tax to be paid on the transfer of certain documents such as property deeds. Those that had paid the tax received an official stamp on their documents.
Shay's Rebellion
an armed uprising in Western Massachusetts, United States, that lasted from 1786 to 1787. Many of the rebels, known as Shaysites or Regulators, were small farmers angered by high debt and tax burdens.
Articles of the Confederation
formed the first governing document of the United States of America. They combined the colonies of the American Revolutionary War into a new sovereign federal state and nation, called a confederation.
George Washington
the successful Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and later became the first President of the United States, an office to which he was elected twice
James Madison
He was co-author, with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, of the Federalist Papers, and is traditionally regarded as the Father of the United States Constitution.
Patrick Henry
Patrick Henry (May 29, 1736 – June 6, 1799) was a prominent figure in the American Revolution, known and remembered primarily for his stirring oratory. Along with Samuel Adams and Thomas Paine, he was one of the most influential (and radical) advocates of the American Revolution.
Ben Franklin
was one of the most prominent of Founders and early political figures and statesmen of the United States. Considered the earliest of the Founders, Franklin was noted for his curiosity, ingenuity and diversity of interests.
Alexander Hamilton
was an American politician, statesman, journalist, lawyer, and soldier. One of the United States' most prominent and brilliant early constitutional lawyers, he was an influential delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention and the principal author of the Federalist Papers, which successfully defended the U.S. Constitution to skeptical New Yorkers. He also put the new United States of America onto a sound economic footing as its first and most influential Secretary of the Treasury, establishing the First Bank of the United States, public credit and the foundations for American capitalism and stock and commodity exchanges. Alexander Hamilton died in a duel with fellow politician Aaron Burr.
James Wilson
James Wilson (September 14, 1742–August 21, 1798), a complex and contradictory man, has been largely lost to history. A signer of the Declaration of Independence, twice elected to the Continental Congress, a major force in the drafting of the nation's Constitution, a leading legal theoretician and one of the six original justices appointed by George Washington to the United States Supreme Court in 1789, he was also a brilliant mind short on practical sense, and a man of immense personal ambition but little personal control.
Gouverneir Morris
Gouverneur Morris (January 31, 1752 – November 8, 1816) was an American statesman who represented Pennsylvania in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and was author of large sections of the Constitution of the United States. He is widely accredited as the author of that document's Preamble: "We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union...".
Virginia Plan
The Virginia Plan was a proposal for the structure of the United States Government at the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Proposed by Edmund Randolph, but written largely by James Madison, it called for a strong central "national" government.
New Jersey Plan
The New Jersey Plan was a proposal for the structure of the United States Government proposed by William Paterson in the June of 1787. The plan was created in response to adoption of the Virginia Plan's call for two houses of Congress, both elected with proportional representation. The less populous states were adamantly opposed to giving most of the control of the national government to the larger states, and so proposed an alternate plan that would have given one vote per state for equal representation under one legislative body.
Great Compromise
The Connecticut Compromise of 1787 in the United States, later known as the Great Compromise, was struck in the creation of legislative bodies. It joined the Virginia Plan, which favored representation based on population, and the New Jersey plan, which featured each state being equal. Roger Sherman, from Connecticut, played a large role in constructing the compromise.
3/5 Compromise
The Three-Fifths Compromise (1787) was a compromise between southern and northern states during the United States Constitutional Convention in which a slave would only count as 3/5 of a person for purposes regarding both the distribution of taxes and the apportionment of the members of the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Electoral College (through a census). It was proposed by James Wilson.
Ratification Process
9 states needed
Anti-Federalist Arguments
opposed the creation of a stronger national government under the Constitution and sought to leave the government under the Articles of Confederation intact.
Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 articles arguing for the ratification of the United States Constitution. They were first published serially in New York City newspapers. A compilation, called The Federalist, was published in 1788. The Federalist Papers serve as a primary source for interpretation of the Constitution, as they outline the philosophy and motivation of the proposed system of government. The authors of the Federalist Papers were not above using the opportunity to provide their own "spin" on certain provisions of the constitution to (i) influence the vote on ratification and (ii) influence future interpretations of the provisions in question.
Constitution's Weaknesses
Electoral College
The United States Electoral College is the electoral college that chooses the President and Vice President of the United States at the conclusion of each Presidential election. The Electoral College was established by Article Two, Section One of the U.S. Constitution and meets every four years with electors from each state. The electoral process was modified in 1804 with the ratification of the 12th Amendment and again in 1961 with the ratification of the 23rd Amendment.
Senate Vs. House
Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States of America. As such, the Court provides the leadership of the Judicial Branch of the Federal Government.

The Court consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, who are nominated by the President and confirmed with the "advice and consent" of the Senate. Appointed to serve for life, they can be removed only by resignation or impeachment. No justice has ever been removed from office, though many have retired, resigned, or died in office
Elastic Clause
The Necessary and Proper Clause (also known as the elastic clause) refers to Article One Section 8 paragraph 18 of the United States Constitution:

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.
Supremacy Clause
The Supremacy Clause establishes the Constitution, Federal Statutes, and U.S. treaties as "the supreme law of the land." The Constitution is the highest form of law in the American legal system. State judges are required to uphold it, even if state laws or Constitutions conflict with it.
Presidential powers
The President, according to the Constitution, must “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” To carry out this responsibility, the president presides over the executive branch of the federal government; a vast organization of about 4 million people, including 1 million active-duty military personnel. A President-elect will make as many as 6,000 appointments to government positions, including appointments to the federal judiciary. The Senate must consent to all judicial appointments as well as the appointments of all principal officers. The President may veto laws made by the United States Congress but cannot personally initiate laws. Congress can overturn the veto with a two-thirds majority in both houses. He is commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The President may make treaties, but the Senate must ratify them by a two-thirds supermajority. The political scientist Richard Neustadt said, “Presidential power is the power to persuade and the power to persuade is the ability to bargain”. He was commenting on the fact that the President's domestically constitutional power is limited, despite the modern expectation of Presidents to have a legislative program, and successful bargaining with Congress is usually essential to Presidential success.
General Welfare Clause
The preamble reads: “WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution refers to the “general welfare” thus: “The Congress shall have the Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States. . .”

The preamble clearly defines the two major functions of government: (1) ensuring justice, personal freedom, and a free society where individuals are protected from domestic lawbreakers and criminals, and; (2) protecting the people of the United States from foreign aggressors.
Amendment Process
Amendments to the United States Constitution are passed as joint resolutions by both houses of Congress but with a two-thirds supermajority, after which at least three-fourths of the state legislatures must ratify it. Once certified by the Archivist of the United States, the amendment takes effect according to its provisions and the other rules of the constitution.
Vice president - only constitutional role
Preside over Senate
The procedure is in two steps. The House of Representatives must first pass "articles of impeachment" by a simple majority. The articles of impeachment constitute the formal allegations. Upon their passage, the defendant has been "impeached."

Next, the Senate tries the accused. In the case of the impeachment of a President, the Chief Justice of the United States presides over the proceedings. Otherwise, the Vice President, in his capacity of President of the Senate, or the President pro tempore of the Senate presides. This would include the impeachment of the Vice President him- or herself. In order to convict the accused, a two-thirds majority of the senators present is required.
compact theory
The compact theory is a theory relating to the development of the Constitution of the United States of America. This theory claims that the formation of the nation was through a compact by all of the states individually. This idea stated that the national government was consequently a creation of the states. Because of this, states were the final judges of whether the national government had overstepped the boundaries of the "compact".
article 1
[The Legislative Branch]
article 2
[The Presidency]
article 3
The Judiciary]
Freedom of speech, assembly, religion, the press and to petition the government

The right to bear arms

No quartering of troops in homes except in time of war

No search without a warrant

Due process and protection of property

Trial by jury

Jury trial in civil cases

No cruel and unusual punishment

Rights not specifically mentioned in the constitution should not be assumed not to exist

Rights of the states

Sovereign immunity

Electoral college reform

Slavery abolished

Equal protection under law and due process of law

Right to vote shall not be abridged because of color or previous servitude

Income Tax

Election of senators


Women's suffrage

Terms of office for president and Congress

Prohibition repealed

Presidential term limits

District of Columbia suffrage

Poll taxes abolished

Presidential disability

Voting at age 18

Congressional pay raises