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Challenges of Democracy

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Timeline leading up to the Declaration of Independnece
Colonists enjoyed many freedoms, Protection by Britain authorized Britain to tax policies according to Englishman, Sons of Liberty destroyed taxed items, Boston tea party, Continental Congress, Right of "life, liberty, property," Revolution
Declaration of Independence
Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the document that proclaimed the right of the colonies to separate from Great Britain.
Argued that people have "inalienable rights"
Social Contract theory
The belief that the people agree to set up rulers for certain purposes and thus have the right to resist or remove rulers who act against those purposes
Jefferson's opinion of the King
Jefferson denounced the king for participating in slavery
a government in which the citizens elect leaders to represent them.
A loose association of independent states that agree to cooperate on specified matters
Articles of confederation
The compact among the thirteen original states that established the first government of the United States
Reasons the Articles Failed
Government couldn't tax, no person could direct the government, the government couldn't regulate interstate and commerce, and they could not be amended without unanimous agreement
Shay's Rebellion
Rebellion led by Daniel Shay preventing the foreclosure of farms
Virginia Plan
A set of proposals for a new government, submitted to the constitutional convention of 1787; included separation of the Government into 3 branches, division of legislature into 2 houses, and the proportion representation of the legislature
New Jersey Plan
Submitted by the head of the New Jersey delegation to the Constitutional convention of 1787, a set of nine resolutions that would have, in effect, preserved the Articles of Confederation by amending rather than replacing them
Legislative Branch
The lawmaking branch of government
Executive Branch
The enforcing branch of government
Judicial Branch
The law-interpreting branch of government
Great Compromise
Roger Sherman's suggestion that the states with the largest populations send the most representatives to the House of Representatives but each state have the same number of representatives in the Senate.
Electoral College
A body of electors chosen by voters to cast ballots for president and vice President
Extraordinary majority
A majority greater than the minimum of 50 + 1
A form of government in which power resides in the people and is exercised by their elected representatives
The division of power between a central government and regional goverment
Separation of power
The assignment of law making, law-enforcing, and law-interpreting functions to separate branches of government
Checks and balances
A government structure that gives each branch some scrutiny of and control over the other branches
Enumerated powers
the powers explicitly granted to congress by the Constitution. 18 powers are enumerated, the first 17 are specific powers. The last clause is the necessary and proper clause
necessary and proper clause
the last clause in section 8 article 1 of the Constitution, which gives congress the means to execute its enumerated powers. This clause is the basis for Congress's implied powers. Also called the elastic clause
Implied powers
Those powers that Congress needs to execute its enumerated powers
Bill of Rights
(1689): No law could be suspended by the king; no taxes or army without Parliament's consent; no subject could be arrested or detained without legal process
Amendment process
Proposal and Ratification
2/3 vote in either house or senate or national convention summoned by congress at the request of 23 of state legislatures
Vote of legislatures of 3/4 of the states or by a vote of constitutional conventions held in 3/4 of the states. Congress chooses the method and can set a time limit for its ratification
Categories of the last 17 amendments
make public policy, correct deficiencies in government structure, promote equality
Marbury V. Madison
courts have the power to nullify government acts that conflict with the constitution. The court interprets the constitution, and have to beware of old language and it's context
What kind of Government is the U.S.A.?