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31 Cards in this Set

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An intellectual force throughout Europe in the 1600s and 1700s. Also called the "Age of Reason" because these beliefs were that humans could improve themselves and their world through their reason. America's Founders were greatly influenced by these principles.
Belief in a Supreme Being who created the world but who didn't play an active role in day-to-day life.
The first constitution of the United States; in effect from 1781 to 1789.
Articles of Confederation
A revolt of farmers in western Massachusetts in 1786 and 1787 to protest the state legislature’s refusal to grant them relief from debt; helped lead to calls for a new national constitution.
Shay's Rebellion
The gathering in Philadelphia in 1787 that wrote the U.S. Constitution; met initially to revise the Articles of Confederation but produced a new national constitution instead.
Constitutional Convention
A system of government in which citizens elect representatives to make decisions for them; an indirect democracy.
One house of Congress, where states are represented in proportion to their population size.
House of Representatives
One house of Congress, where each state is represented by two members.
The decision of the Constitutional Convention to have a bicameral legislature in which representation in one house would be by population and in the other house, by states; also called the Connecticut Compromise.
Great Compromise
The decision of the Constitutional Convention that each slave would count as three-fifths of a person in apportioning seats in the House of Representatives.
Three-Fifths Compromise
A system of government in which citizens govern themselves directly and vote on most issues; e.g., a New England town meeting.
direct democracy
A system of government in which citizens elect representatives to make decisions for them
indirect democracy
A process that allows citizens and interest groups to collect signatures on petitions and place a proposal on the ballot.
A process that allows the legislature to place a proposal on the ballot.
A process that enables voters to remove officials from office before their terms expire.
recall elections
A system in which power is constitutionally divided between a central government and subnational or local governments.
The principle of government under which the power to make, administer, and judge the laws is split among three branches—legislative, executive, and judicial.
separation of powers
The situation when one political party controls the presidency and the other party controls one or both houses of Congress.
divided government
The principle of government that holds that the powers of the various branches should overlap to avoid power becoming overly concentrated in one branch.
checks and balances
An implied agreement between the people and their government in which the people give up part of their liberty to the government in exchange for the government protecting the remainder of their liberty.
social contract
A government that is strong enough to protect the people’s rights but not so strong as to threaten those rights; in the view of John Locke, such a government was established through a social contract.
limited government
Originally, those who supported the U.S. Constitution and favored its ratification; in the early years of the Republic, those who advocated a strong national government.
Those who opposed the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
Bill of Rights - The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
A phrase in the implied powers clause of the U.S. Constitution that gives Congress the power to make all laws needed to carry out its specific powers.
necessary and proper clause
The clause in the U.S. Constitution that gives Congress the power to make all laws “necessary and proper” for carrying out its specific powers.
implied powers clause
Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation that the slaves “shall be . . . forever free." At the time, applied only in the Confederate states, so had little practical impact, because the Union did not control them. However, it had an immense political impact, making clear that the Civil War was not just to preserve the Union but to abolish slavery.
Emancipation Proclamation
Famous 1863 speech by President Lincoln to dedicate the battlefield where many had fallen during the Civil War. Lincoln used the occasion to advance his ideal of equality and to promote the Union.
Gettysburg Address
Three amendments (13th, 14th, and 15th), adopted after the Civil War from 1865 through 1870, that eliminated slavery (13), gave blacks the right to vote (15), and guaranteed due process rights for all (14)
Reconstruction Amendments
A program of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration in the 1930s aimed at stimulating economic recovery and aiding victims of the Great Depression; led to expansion of the national government’s role
New Deal
A series of essays in support of ratification of the U.S. Constitution; written for New York newspapers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay during the debate over ratification
Federalist Papers
The attempt to break into Democratic National Committee
headquarters in 1972 that ultimately led to President Richard M. Nixon’s resignation for his role in attempting to cover up the break-in and other criminal and unethical actions.
Watergate Scandal