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22 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Articles of Confederation

America's first written constitution; served as the basis for America's national government until 1789


A system of government in which states retain sovereign authority except for the powers expressly delegated to the national government

Virginia Plan

A framework for the Constitution, introduced by Edmund Randolph, that called by representation in the national legislature based on the population of each state

New Jersey Plan

A framework for the Constitution, introduced by William Paterson, that called for equal state representation in the national legislature regardless of population

Great Compromise

The agreement reached at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that gave each state an equal number of senators regardless of its population, but linked representation in the House of Representatives to population

Three-Fifths Compromise

The agreement reached at the Constitutional Conventional n of 1787 that stipulated that for purposes of the apportionment of congressional seats, every space would be counted as three-fifths a person

Checks and Balances

Mechanisms through which each branch of government is able to participate in and influence the activities of the other branches

Electoral College

The electors from each state who meet after the popular election to cast ballots for president and vice president

Bill of Rights

The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1791; they ensure certain rights and liberties to the people

Separation of Powers

The division of governmental power among several institutions that must cooperate in decision making


A system of goverment in which power is divided, by a constitution, between a central government and regional governments

Expressed powers

Specific powers grantedbby the Constitution to Congress and to the president

Elastic Clause

Enumeraates the poses of Congress and provides Congress with the authority to make all laws necessary and proper to carry them out


Having a legislative assembly composed of two chambers or houses; distinguished unicameral

Judicial Review

The power of the courts to review and, decor actions of the legislative and executive branches invalid or unconstitutional

supremacy Clause

Laws passed by the national government and all treaties are the supreme law of the land and superior to all laws adopted by any state or any subdivision


Those who favored a strong national government and supports the Constitution proposed in 1787


Those who favored a strong state government and a weak national government, and who were opponents of the Constitution proposed in 1787

Federalist Papers

A series of essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay supporting ratification of the Constitution


Oppressive government that employ an cruel and unjust use of power and authority

Limited Government

A government whose powers are defined and limited by a constitution


A change add to a bill, law, or constitution