AG – Unit 1B Vocab. AG – Unit 1B Foundations of Government Review

Term Definition
Rule of Law The idea that all people must follow the laws, and that laws are enforced fairly
Self-Government (Popular Sovereignty) The ability of people being able to make decisions on how their government should work and what type of government should be established
Due-Process The right people have to fair and reasonable laws; rules have to be followed when enforcing laws
Limited Government A government that has been limited in its power by a constitution, or written agreement
Rights A set of things that people believe they should be free to do without restrictions
Unicameral A legislative branch that has only one house or chamber
Bicameral A legislative branch that has two houses or chambers
Ratifiy To approve something by a formal vote
Magna Carta (1215) A document that was created to limit the power of the king of England and to protect the rights of the nobility
Mayflower Compact (1620) A document that was created to establish a government that would provide order and protect the colonists
English Bill of Rights (1689) A document that was created to expand the power of the English Parliament and expand the rights of the people, as well as further limit the power of the king
Enlightenment Movement (1700s) A movement that focused on establishing the social contract between people and their new governments
Sugar Act: An Act which allowed colonists who were caught smuggling cases of sugar from non-British owned colonies into North America to be tried in Britain and the sentence to be given by a judge, not a jury
Quartering Act An Act written, which forced American colonists to house and provide supplies to British troops who remained in America after the French and Indian War
Stamp Act An Act that forced American colonists to pay for an expensive stamp to be placed on all legal documents, newspapers, calendars, and almanacs to show that the tax had been paid. It was the first time the British had taxed the colonists to raise money
Declaratory Act This act stated that the colonies were dependent on the British and that all laws passed in the colonies were no longer in effect
Townshend Acts This Act placed a tax on things the British knew the colonists couldn’t make for themselves, such as paint, glass, paper, lead, and tea and allowed British gov't workers to search people’s houses and take (seize) items the homeowner hadn’t paid taxes for
Preamble An introduction explaining why the US Constitution was written
Declaration of Independence The formal statement written by Thomas Jefferson that was adopted in 1776 and declared the freedom of the 13 American colonies from Great Britain
Grievances A list of colonists' complaints about King George III and the laws that Parliament had passed without their representation
Resolution of Independence The colonists declare their independence from Britain
Articles of Confederation America's first Constitution adopted in 1777 and ratified (approved) in 1781, which provided for a weak central government and gave the states too much power
Confederate System of Government A system of government in which the states have more power than the central (national) government
Shay's Rebellion A revolt by farmers in western Massachusetts over taxes and foreclosures as they felt this new government wasn’t protecting their rights. Under Shay, these farmers were trying to overthrow and create a new government that better met their needs
Constitutional Convention of 1787 A gathering in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA, where 55 delegates from throughout all 12 states (Rhode Island did not send delegates) met for the purpose of strengthening the Articles of Confederation, but they ended up drafting a new Constitution
Virginia Plan A plan, unsuccessfully proposed at the Constitutional Convention, providing for a bicameral legislature; each house would have representation based on states' population, and executive and judicial branches would be chosen by the legislature
New Jersey Plan A plan, unsuccessfully proposed at the Constitutional Convention, providing for a single legislative house with equal representation for each state (this plan was favored by small states)
Connecticut (Great) Compromise Agreement between large and small states, which is to have a bicameral legislature with the House getting representation based on state population and Senate allowing each state to have 2 reps to vote for their state when making laws
Three-Fifths Compromise An agreement in which the North and South would count every 5 slaves as 3 free persons, which would count toward the state’s representation in Congress
Slave Trade Compromise A ban on the slave trade that could not be created by Congress until 1808
Electoral College Citizens vote for electors, who then vote for the president
Federalists Supported the new US Constitution as the plan to replace the Articles of Confederation; favored a stronger national government; and opposed the Bill of Rights, as federal power would already be limited
Anti-Federalists Opposed the new US Constitution as the plan to replace the Articles of Confederation; favored a weak national government that didn’t threaten state’s rights (confederate system); and wanted a Bill of Rights that would protect people's rights
US Bill of Rights First 10 Amendments of the US Constitution that define the rights of all US citizens
Second Continental Congress Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, where the Declaration of Independence was written
John Locke A 17th century English philosopher who held the political philosophy that a government’s power comes from the consent of the people (Social Contract Theory)
United Colonies Original name of the thirteen British colonies in North America that joined together and became the United States of America after adopting the Declaration of Independence in 1776
US Constitution A document outlining the basic laws and principles by which the US is governed. It was drafted by the Constitutional Convention and later included the Bill of Rights as well as other amendments