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12 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Concept that ultimate political autohrity is vested in the citizens of the nation. THe character of republican government was dependent on the civic virture of its citizens to preserve the nation from corruption and moral decay.
Benjamin Banneker
Maryland's African American astronomer and mathematician who made it increasingly difficult for white Americans to maintain credibly that African Americans could mot hold thier own in a free society. After receiving a copy of Banneker's almanac, Thomas Jefferson commented, " that nature has given to our black brethren, talents equal to those of the other colors of men."
Phillis Wheatley
Boston's African American poet whose poetry went through many editions and was commented on by French philosopher Voltaire that she "writes excellent verse in English."
Articles of Confederation
Ratified in 1781, this document was the United States' first consitution, providing a frameword for national government. The articles sharply limited central authority by denying the national government any taxation or coercive power.
Land Ordinance of 1785
Established an orderly process for laying out new townships and marketing public lands. Townships were 6 miles square, subdivided into 360 sections, each 640 acres or 1 square mile. Section 16 was set aside for education and 4 other sections were reserved for government.
Northwest Ordinance
Legislation that formulated plans for governments in America's northwestern territories, defined a procedure for the territories' admission to the Union as states, and prohibited slavery northof the Ohio River.
James Madison
The most brilliant American political thinker of his generation. Considered the Father of the Constitution and the father of the Bill of Rights (he wrote the first 10). Federalist No. 10 was his famous political essay where he expressed his views on checks and balances to limit special interests.
Shay's Rebellion
Armed insurrection of farmers in western Massachusetts led by Daniel Shays, a veteran of the COntinental Army. Inteded to prevent state courts from foreclosing on debtors unable to pay their taxes, the rebellion was put down by the state militia. Nationalists used the event to justify the calling of a constitutional convention to strengthen the national government.
Constitutional Convention
Began in Spring of 1787 to draft a new constitution. Fifty-five men representing 12 states attended. It was signed by 39 men on September 17.
Three-fifths Rule
For the purpose of determining representation in the lower house, slaves would be counted, but not as much as free persons. For every five slaves, a congressional district received credit fo three free voters, a deal that gave the South much greater power in the new government.
The Federalist
A series of essays penned by Alexander Hamilto, James Madison, and John Jay that explained and defended the stronger national government created by the Contitutional COnvention of 1787.
The Bill of Rights
The first ten ammendments to the U.S. Constitution, adopted in 1791 to preserve the rights and liberties of individuals.