a Philosophical device, used by Enlightenment thinkers ti suggest that governments are only legitimate if the are created by a voluntary compact among the peopel
A loose association of states or territorial units without any or much power in a central authority.
the basic framerwork of law that prescribes how government is to be organized, how decisions are to be made, and what powers and responsibilites government shall have
Articles of Confederation
The first costitution of the United States, adopted during the last stages of the revolutionary war, created a system of government with most power loadege in the states and little in the central government
a political doctine advocating limited government based on popular consent, protected against majority tyranny
the abuse of the inalienable rights of citizens by government
a legislative body with a single chamber
laws postponing the collection of taxes or mortgage payments
proposla by the large states at the constitutional convention to create a strong central government with power in the government apportioned to the states on the basis of population
New Jersey Plan
proposal of the smaller states at the Constituitional convention to create a government based on the equal representation of the states in a unicameral legislature
Also called the Great Compromise; the compromise between the New Jersey and Virgina plans formulated by the Connecticut delegates at the Constitutional Convention; called for a lower legislative house based on population size and an upper house based on equal representation of the states.
Elected representatives of the states, a majority of whose votes formally elect the President of the United States. The number of electors in each state is equal to the total number of its senators and representatives.
the provision in Article VI of constitution that states that the constitution and the laws and treateies of the United States are the supreme law of the land, talking precedence over state laws and constitutions.
Article I, section 8, of the Constitution, also called the necessary and proper clause; gives Congress the authority to make what ever laws are necessart and proper to carry out its enumerated responsibilites.
Describing a system in which significant govermental powers are divided between a central government and smaller territorial units, such as states.
Bill or Rights
the first 10 amendments to the US constitution, concerned with the protectino or basic liberties.
Seperation of powers
the distribution of government legislative, executive and judical powers to seperate branches of goverment
Checks and Balances
the constitutional principle that each of the spearate branches of government has the power to hinder the actions of the other branches as a way to prevent tyranny
an economic system characterized by competitive markets and private ownership; similar to capitalism
Proponents of the Constituition during the ralificiation fight; also the political party of Hamilton, Washington and Adams
opponents of the Consitution during the fight over ratification
the power of the supreme court to declare actions of the other branches and levels of govermnet unconstituional
a document sometimes ussed by the president in connection with the signing of a bill from congress that sets out the president's understanding of the new law and how executive branch officials should carry it out.