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19 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Shays's Rebellion
uprising in western Mass. in 1786 led by Revolutionary War captain Daniel Shays. Members of the milita deserted when ordered to crush the rebellion and other states refused to send troops. Started because New England farmers gradually turned to violence as a way to protect their land.
social contract theory
an approach to political philosophy starting from the hypothetical assumption that there was a time before society or before government, and that people accepted such innovations as part of a contract in which they gained some sort of gaurantee as the terms of cooperating. They sacrificed some freedoms to ensure the continuation of more important ones.
natural rights
fundamental rights such as life, liberty and property to which classical liberals considered all people entitled and therefore upon which legitimate governments could not infringe
separation of powers
would allow branches of government to check each other if one tried to grab too much influence, maintaining a healthy political balance and therefore preventing the need for a revolution. Lock endorsed dividing up the legislative and executive functions of government-Montesquieu added judicial power
Common Sense
Thomas Paine's essay-popularized one method to prevent corruption which required public officials to renew their right to rule. A political system w/ frequent elections would allow citizens to replace corrupt leaders wih virtuous men from their own communities, removing the need for violent rebellion
Declaration of Independence
formal annoucment written mainly by Thomas Jefferson which denounced King George III in terms clearly borrowed from Locke
Articles of Confederation
"league of friendship" under which the american colonies operated during and immediately after the Revolutionary War until ratification of the US Constitution in 1789-
Congress limited power, could declare war but could raise an army only by requesting states to must their forces, could not tax citizens, could not promote commerce, states coined their own money
taxes on imports and exports
Virgina Plan
proposed two chambers, each with state representation determined by population.
Connecticute Compromise
allowed both small states and large states to block legislation they opposed: small states in the senate and large states in the house
three fifths compromise
in which a state's slave population would be multiplied by 3/5 when determine both taxes and House seats
necessary and proper clause
Constitutional Clause that gives Congress the power to take all actions that are "necessary and proper" to the carrying out of its delegated powers. also known as the elastic clause
judicial review
court authority to delcare null and void laws of Congress and of state legislatures on the grounds that they violate the Constitution
supremacy clause
part of the Constitution that says the Constitution is the "supreme Law ofthe Land" to which all judges are bound
electoral college
the formal name for the electors selected by each US state during presidential elections to cast the state's official "electoral votes" Presidential candidates must win a majority in the Electoral College or the election goes to the US House of Represenatives
those who campaigned on behalf of the Constitution e.g. Hamiliton, Ben Franklin, James Madison, John Jay
Federalist Papers
esays that were written in support of the Constitution's ratification and have become a classical argument for the American constitutional system
those who opposed ratification of the Constitution, e.g. Thomas Jefferson, worried that the Constitution did not protect civil liberties
Bill of Rights
the first ten amendments to the US constitution, promised by the framers to overcome resistance to the new Constitution and compiled by James Maddison, they list some of the most important civil liberties protected in the US