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57 Cards in this Set

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Articles of Confederation
the compact among the 13 original states that was the basis of their government. Written in 1776, the Articles were not ratified until 1781. Confederacy.
Great Compromise (of Connecticut)
a decision made during the Constitutional Convention to give each state the same number of representatives in the Senate; representation in the House was determined by population.
US v. Lopez
the Court invalidated a section of the Gun Free School Zones Act, ruling that regulating guns did not fall within the scope of the commerce clause, and therefore the powers of the federal government. Only states have the authority to ban guns in schools.
Federalism
the philosophy that describes the governmental system created by the Framers; government power divided between the states and the federal governments.
Federalist Papers
a series of 85 political papers written by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay in support of the ratification of the Constitution.
Judicial review
power of the courts to review acts of other branches of government and the states. Can invalidate laws and decisions that are incompatible with the Constitution.
Concurrent powers
authority possessed by both the state and national governments that may be exercised concurrently as long as that power is not exclusively within the scope of national power or in conflict with national law.
Privileges & Immunities Clause
part of Article IV of the Constitution guaranteeing that the citizens of each state are afforded the same rights as citizens of all other states.
Block grants
broad grant with few strings attached; given to states by the federal government for broadly specified activities (i.e. secondary education or health care).
Override
an action taken by Congress to reverse the presidential veto, requiring a ⅔ majority vote in each chamber.
Articles of Confederation
the compact among the 13 original states that was the basis of their government. Written in 1776, the Articles were not ratified until 1781. Confederacy.
Great Compromise (of Connecticut)
a decision made during the Constitutional Convention to give each state the same number of representatives in the Senate; representation in the House was determined by population.
US v. Lopez
the Court invalidated a section of the Gun Free School Zones Act, ruling that regulating guns did not fall within the scope of the commerce clause, and therefore the powers of the federal government. Only states have the authority to ban guns in schools.
Federalism
the philosophy that describes the governmental system created by the Framers; government power divided between the states and the federal governments.
Federalist Papers
a series of 85 political papers written by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay in support of the ratification of the Constitution.
Judicial review
power of the courts to review acts of other branches of government and the states. Can invalidate laws and decisions that are incompatible with the Constitution.
Concurrent powers
authority possessed by both the state and national governments that may be exercised concurrently as long as that power is not exclusively within the scope of national power or in conflict with national law.
Privileges & Immunities Clause
part of Article IV of the Constitution guaranteeing that the citizens of each state are afforded the same rights as citizens of all other states.
Block grants
broad grant with few strings attached; given to states by the federal government for broadly specified activities (i.e. secondary education or health care).
Override
an action taken by Congress to reverse the presidential veto, requiring a ⅔ majority vote in each chamber.
Selective incorporation
a judicial doctrine whereby most but not all of the protections found in the Bill of Rights are made applicable to the states via the 14th amendment.
Revenue sharing
A law providing for the distribution of a fixed amount or share of federal tax revenues to the states for spending on almost any government purpose. Distribution was intended to send more money to poorer, heavily taxed states and less to richer ones.
Shay’s Rebellion
a 1786 rebellion in which an army of 1500 disgruntled and angry farmers led by Daniel Shays marched to Springfield, MA and forcibly restrained the state court from foreclosing mortgages on their farms.
Informal changes to the Constitution
change in the meaning/interpretation of something in the Constitution but not a change in the actual wording.
Dual federalism
the belief that having separate and equally powerful levels of government is the best arrangement. Also known as layer cake federalism.
Bill of Rights
the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution, which largely guarantee specific rights and liberties.
Representative democracy
a government rooted in the consent of the governed. A form of government in which people elect elector to vote for them. Also known as a republic or indirect democracy.
Full faith and credit clause
portion of Article IV of the Constitution that ensures judicial decrees and contracts made in one state will be binding and enforceable in any other states
Extradition
when you send someone against his or her will to another state to face criminal charges.
Separation of powers
a way of dividing power among 3 branches of government in which members of the House of Representatives, members of the Senate, the president, and the federal courts are selected by and responsible to different constituencies.
Amendment
any change made to the Constitution or to another legal document.
Cabinet
the formal body of presidential advisers who head the 15 executive departments. Presidents often add others to this body of formal advisers.
Bicameral legislature
a legislature divided into 2 houses; the US Congress and the state legislatures (except Nebraska, which is a unicameral legislature).
Northwest Ordinance
an act of the Confederation Congress that created the Northwest Territory, the first organized territory of the United States, from lands beyond the Appalachian Mountains, between British Canada and the Great Lakes to the north, and the Ohio River to the south.
New Jersey Plan
a framework for the Constitution proposed by a group of small states; main points were a unicameral legislature with one vote for each state, the establishment of the acts of Congress as the “supreme law” of the land, and a supreme judiciary with limited power.
Three-Fifths Compromise
agreement reached at the Constitutional Convention stipulating that each slave was to be counted as ⅗ of a person for purposes of determining population for representation in the House of Reps.
Federalists
those who favored a stronger national government and supported the proposed US Constitution; later became the first political party.
Pluralist Theory
there is not a dominant class or a set of institutionally based elites who hold predominant power. The great inequalities in wealth and power are dispersed among several groups.
Delegated powers
the powers of the Congress established in Article I Section 8 of the Constitution. Also known as the enumerated powers.
Cooperative federalism
relationship between the national and the state governments that began with the New Deal.
Supremacy clause
portion of Article VI of the Constitution mandating that national law is supreme to all others laws passed by the states or any other subdivision of government.
Checks and balances
a governmental structure that gives each of the 3 branches of government some degree of oversight and control over the actions of the others.
Ratify
to sign or give formal consent to.
Governor
chief elected executive in state government.
Confederation
type of government where the national government derives its powers from the states; a league of independent states.
Virginia Plan
the first general plan for the Constitution, proposed by James Madison. Its key points were a bicameral legislature, an executive chosen by the legislature, and a judiciary also named by the legislature.
Federalist No. 10
issue of The Federalist in which the writers called the new Constitution “a republican remedy for the disease incident to republican government”.
Anti-federalists
those who favored strong state governments and a weak national government; opposed the ratification of the US Constitution.
Elite Theory
belief that American power in government is held by a relatively small and wealthy group of people.
Reserved powers
powers reserved to the states by the 10th amendment that lie at the foundation of a state’s right to legislate for the public health and welfare of its citizens.
Categorical grants
grant for which Congress appropriates funds for a specific purpose.
Veto
formal constitutional authority of the president to reject bills passed by both houses of the legislative body, thus preventing their becoming law without further congressional activity.
Establishment clause
the first clause in the First Amendment; it prohibits the national government from establishing a national religion.
Line-item veto
the authority of a chief executive to delete part of a bill passed by the legislature that involves taxing or spending. The legislature may override a veto, usually with a ⅔ majority in each chamber.
Pardon
the authority of a government to cancel someone’s conviction of a crime by a court and to eliminate all sanctions and punishments resulting from the conviction.
Implied powers
powers derived from the enumerated powers and the necessary and proper clause. These powers are not stated specifically but are considered to be reasonably implied through the exercise of delegated powers.
Federal mandates
a command, indicated by an electorate’s votes, for the elected officials to carry out their platforms (i.e. water regulations).