Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

35 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Numbered sections of a document. The unamended Constitution is divided into seven articles.
Basic principle that government and those who govern must obey the law; the rule of law.
rule of law
Concept that holds that government and its officers are always subject to the law.
separation of powers
Basic principle of American system of goverment, that the executive, legislative, and judicial powers are divided among three independent and coequal branches of government.
checks and balances
System of overlapping the powers of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches to permit each branch to check the actions of the others.
Cheif executive's power to reject a bill passed by a legislature; literally (Latin) "I forbid".
judicial review
The power of a court to determine the constitutionality of a governmental action.
Contrary to constitutional provision and so illegal, null and void, of no force and effect.
A system of government in which a written constitution divides power between a central, or national, government and several regional governments.
A change in, or addition to, a constitution or law.
formal amendment
Change or addition that becomes part of the written language of the Constitution itself through one of four methods set forth in the Constitution.
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments to the Constitution.
executive agreement
A pact made by the President directly with the head of a foriegn state; a binding international agreement with the force of law but which (unlike a treaty) does not require Senate consent.
A formal agreement between two or more soveriegn states.
electoral college
Group of persons chosen in each State and the District of Columbia every four years who make a formal selection of the President and Vide President.
Presidential advisory body, traditionally made up of the heads of the executive departments and other officers.
senatorial courtesy
Custom that the Senate will not approve a presidential appointment opposed by a majority party senator from the State in which the appointee would serve.
A joining of several groups for a common purpose.
Albany Plan of Union
Plan proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1754 that aimed to unite the 13 colonies for trade, military, ad other purposes; the plan was turned down by the colonists and the Crown.
Refusal to buy or sell certain products or services.
popular sovereignty
Basic principle of the American system of government which asserts that the people are the source of any and all governmental power, and government can exist only with the consent of the governed.
Articles of Confederation
Plan of government adopted by the Continental Congress after the American Revolution; established a “firm league of friendship” among the States, but allowed few important powers to the central government.
Formal approval, final consent to the effectiveness of a constitution, constitutional amendment, or treaty.
presiding officer
Group of delegates who drafted the United States Constitution at the Philadelphia convention.
Virginia Plan
Plan presented by delegates from Virginia at the Constitutional Convention; called for a three-branch government with a bicameral legislature in which each State’s membership would be determined by its population or its financial support for the government.
New Jersey Plan
Plan presented as an alternative the Virginia Plan at the Constitutional Convention; called for a unicameral legislature in which each state would be equally represented.
Connecticut Compromise
Agreement during the Constitutional Convention that congress should be composed of a Senate, in which States would be represented equally, and a House, in which representation would be based on a State’s population.
Three-Fifths Compromise
An agreement at the Constitutional Convention to count a slave as three-fifths a person when determining population of a state.
Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise
An agreement during the Constitutional Convention protecting slave holders; denied Congress the power to tax the export of goods from any state, and, for 20 years, the power to act on the slave trade.
Those persons who supported the ratification of the Constitution in 1787-1788.
Those persons who opposed the ratification of the Constitution in 1787-1788.
Least number of members who must be present for a legislative body to conduct business; majority.