The workings of the federal system -- the entire set of interactions among national, state, and local governmentals.
Article VI of the constitution, which makes the constitution, national laws, and treaties supreme over the state laws when the national government is acting within its its constitutional limits.
The constitutional amendment stating, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."
McCulloch v. Maryland
An 1819 Supreme Court decision that established the supremacy of the national government over state governments. Chief Justice John Marshall et al held that Congress had certain implied powers in addition to enumberated powers found in Constitution.
Powers of the federal government that are specifically addressed in the Constitution; for Congress, these powers are listed in Article 1, Section 8, and include the power to coin money, regulate its value, and impose taxes.
Equal Rights Amendment
A constitutional amendment passed by Congress in 1972 stating that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." The amendment failed toacquire the necessary support from 3/4 of state leg.
Marbury v. Madison
The 1803 case where Chief Justice John Marshall and his associates first asserted the right of Supreme Court to asserted the right of Supreme Court to determine the meaning of U.S. Constitution. Decision established the Court's power of judicial review over acts of Congress.
The power of courts to determine whether acts of Congress and, by implication, the executive are in accord with the U.S. Constitution. This was established by John Marshall and his associates in Marbury v. Madison.
A way of organizing a nation so that two or more leves of government have formal authority over the same land and people. It is a system of shared power between units of government.
A way of organizing a nation so that all power resides in the central government. Most national governments today are these.
A form of government in which the people select representatives to govern them and make laws
A nation's basic law. It creates political institutions, assignes or divides powers in government, and often provides certain guarantees to citizens. Constitutions can be either written or unwritten.
Declaration of Independence
The document approved by representatives of the American colonies in 1776 that stated their grievances against the British monarch and declared their independence.
Rights inherent in human beings, not dependent on governments, which include life, liberty, and property. The concept was central to philosopher John Locke's theories about government and was widely accepted among America's founders.
Consent of the governed
The idea that government derives its authority by sanction of the people
The idea that certain restrictions should be placed on government to protect the natural rights of citizens.
Articles of Confederation
The first constitution of the United States, adopted by Congress in 1777 and enacted in 1781. These established a national legislature, the Continental Congress, but most authority rested with state legislatures.
A series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by Revolutionary War Captain Daniel Shays to block foreclosure proceedings.
The document written in 1787 and ratified in 1788 that sets forth the institutional structure of U.S. governments and the tasks these institutions perform. It replaced the Articles of Confederation.
Interest groups arising from the unequal distribution of property or wealth that James Madison attacked in Federalist Paper No. 10. Today's parties or interest groups are what Madison had in mind when he warned of the instability in government caused by these.
The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for equal representation of each state in Congress regardless of the state's population.
Supporters of the U.S. Constitution at the time the states were contemplating its adoption.
Opponents of the American Constitution at the time when the states were c
A collection of 85 articles written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison under the name "Publius" to defend the Constitution in detail
Bill of Rights
The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, drafted in response to some of the Anti-Federalist concerns. These amendments define such basic liberties as freedom of religion, speech, and press and guarantee defendants' rights.
The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for representation of each state in Congress in proportion to that state's share of the U.S. population
The compromise reached at the Constitutional Convention that established two houses of Congress: the House of Representatives, in which representation is basedon a state's share of the U.S. population, and the Senate (each state=two representatives).
Writ of Habeus Corpus
A court order requiring jailers to explain to a judge why they are holding a prisoner in custody
Separation of powers
A feature of the Constitution that requires each of the three branches of government--executive, legislative, and judicial--to be relatively independent of the others so that one cannot control the others. Power is shared among these three institutions.
Checks and balances
Features of the Constitution that limit government's power by requiring that power be balanced among the different governmental institutions. These institutions continually constrain one another's activities.
Privileges and immunities
A clause in Article IV, Section 2, of the Constitution according citizens of each state most of the privileges of citizens of other states.
A system of government in which both the states and the national government remain supreme within their own spheres, each responsible for some policies
A system of government in which powers and policy assignments are shared between states and the national government. They may also share costs, administration, and even blame for programs that work properly.
Transferring responsibility for policies from the federal government to state and local governments.
The pattern of spending, taxing and providing grants in the federal system; it is the cornerstone of the national government's relations with state and local governments.
Powers of the federal government that go beyond those enumerated in the Constitution. The Constitution states that Congress has the power to "make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution" the powers enumerated in Article I.
The final paragraph of Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, which authorizes Congress to pass all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out the enumerated powers.
Gibbons v. Ogden
A landmark case decided in 1824 in which the Supreme Court interperted very broadly the clause in Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution giving Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce, encompassing virtually every form of commercial activity.
Full faith and credit
A clause in Article IV, Section 1, of the Constitution requiring each state to recognize the official documents and civil judgments rendered by the court of other states.
A legal process wherey an alleged criminal offender is surrendered by the officials of one state to officials of the state in which the crime is alleged to have been committed.