Constitution Vocabulary Quiz (Robbins)

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28 Terms

1

amendments

A new provision in the Constitution that has been ratified by the states.

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2

Antifederalists

Those who favor a weaker national government.

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3

Articles of Confederation

A weak constitution that governed America during the Revolutionary War.

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4

bill of attainder

A law that declares a person, without a trial, to be guilty of a crime.

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5

Bill of Rights

First ten amendments to the Constitution.

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6

checks and balances

A system that allows each branch of a government to amend or veto acts of another branch to prevent any one branch from exerting too much power.

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7

coalition

An alliance of groups.

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8

concurrent powers

Powers shared by the national and state governments.

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9

Constitutional Convention

A meeting in Philadelphia in 1787 that produced a new constitution.

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10

Electoral College

The government body which casts the votes used to elect a president. It was designed to insulate the executive from direct popular control.

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11

enumerated powers

Powers given to the national government alone.

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12

ex post facto law

A law that makes an act criminal although the act was legal when it was committed.

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13

faction

A group with a distinct political interest.

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14

federalism

Government authority shared by national and local governments.

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15

Federalists

Those who favor a stronger national government.

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16

Great Compromise

Plan to have a popularly elected House based on state population and state-selected Senate, with two members for each state.

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17

habeas corpus

An order to produce an arrested person before a judge.

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18

Importation Compromise

According to the Constitution, the importation of slaves could be banned twenty years after the document's ratification (1808). This was offered in exchange for keeping the institution of slavery legal in the nation.

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19

judicial review

The power of the courts to declare laws unconstitutional.

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20

line-item veto

An executive's ability to block a particular provision in a bill passed by the legislature.

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21

New Jersey Plan

A plan unsuccessfully proposed at the Constitutional Convention; provided for a single legislative house with equal representation for each state.

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22

republic

A government in which elected representatives make the decisions.

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23

reserved powers

Powers given to the state government alone.

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24

separation of powers

The division of government responsibilities into distinct branches to limit any one branch from exercising the core functions of another.

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25

Shays' Rebellion

A 1787 rebellion in which ex-Revolutionary War soldiers attempted to prevent foreclosures of farms as a result of high interest rates and taxes.

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26

Three-Fifths Compromise

The plan to appease both slave and non-slave states by having three-fifths of the slave population count towards representation in the House.

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27

unalienable

A human right based on nature or God.

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28

Virginia Plan

Outlined a strong national government with three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The plan called for a legislature divided into two bodies with proportional representation.

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