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AP Government Vocabs Chapter 2


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A nation's basic law.
The document approved by representatives of the American colonies in 1776 that stated their grievances against the British monarch and declared their independence.
Declaration of Independence
Rights inherent in human beings, not dependent on governments, which include life, liberty, and property.
Natural Rights
According to John Locke, the required basis for government.
Consent of the Governed
The idea that certain things are out of bounds for government because of the natural rights of citizens.
Limited Government
The first constitution of the United States, adopted by Congress in 1777 and enacted in 1781.
Articles of Confederation
A series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by revolutionary war Captain Daniel Shays to block foreclosure proceedings.
Shays' Rebellion
The document written in 1787 and ratified in 1788 that sets forth the insitutional structure of the U.S. government and the tasks these institutions perform.
U.S Constitution
Interest groups arising from the unequal distribution of property or wealth that James Madison attacked in Federalist Paper No. 19.
The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for equal representation of each state in Congress regardless of the state's population.
New Jersey Plan
The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for equal representation of each state in Congress in proportion to that state's share of the U.S. population.
Virginia Plan
The compromise reached at the Constitutional Convention that established two houses of Congress: the House of Representatives, in which representation is based on a state's share of the U.S. population, and the Senate, in which each state has two represe
Connecticut Compromise
A court order requiring jailers to explain to a judge why they are holding a prisoner in custody.
Writ of Habeas Corpus
An important part of the Madisonian model 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.
Separation of Powers
An important part of the Madisonian model designed to limit government's power by requiring that power be balanced amont the different governmental institutions. These institutions conitnually check one another's activities.
Checks and Balances
A form of government that derives its power, directly, or indirectly , from the people. Those chosen to govern are accountable to those whom they govern.
Supporters of the U.S. Constitution at the time the states were contemplating its adoption.
Opponents of the American Constitution at the time wen the states were contemplating its adoption.
A collection of 85 articles written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison under the name "Publius" to defend the Constitution in detail.
Federalist Papers
The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution drafted in response to some of the Anti-Federalist concerns.
Bill of Rights
A constitutional amendment originally introduced in 1923 and passed by Congress in 1978 and sent to the state legislatures for ratification, stating that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by an
Equal Rights Amendment
The 1803 case in which Chief Justice John Marshall and his associates first asserted the right of the Supreme Court to determine the meaning of the U.S. Constitution.
Marbury v. Madison
The power of the courts to determine wheather acts of Congress, and by implication the executive, are in accord with the U.S. Constitution.
Judicial Review

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