Chapter 2- The Constitution - Political Science 1113 - American Government

The above is a series of lectures on the Constitution. There is a total of 10.

Natural Rights- (Unalienable rights)- All humans possess the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Republic-  Representative democracy.

Bicameral Legislatures- Legistlatures comprising two parts, chambers. Uni- means one.

?Bill of rights-  a written list of citizens' liberties within a constitution that establishes a limited government by ensuring that both the people and the government know what freedoms the government cannot violate.

Confederation- a union of independent states in which each state retains its sovereignty, rights, and power, which is not by their agreement expressly delegated to a central governing body.

After Shay's Rebellion, with many farmers in debt and frustrated, a consensus for a strong central government was obvious.

Dual Sovereignty- a system of government in which ultimate governing authority is divided between two levels of government, a central government and regional governments, with each level having ultimate authority over different policy matters. (Federal system)

Supremacy Clause-  The Constitution and the treaties and laws creaded by the national government in compliance with the Constitution are the supreme law of the land.

Separation of Powers- so that no one groups of government officials controll all governing aspects.

Checks and Balances- a system in which each branch of government can monitor and limit the functions of the other branches.

Virginia Plan- The new governmental structure proposed by the Virginia delgation to the Constitutional Convention, which consisted of a bicameral legislature (Congress), an executive elected by the legislature, and a separate national judiciary: state representation in congress would be proportional based on state population. People elect members to the lower house, and members of the lower house would elect the members of the upper house.

New Jersey Plan- The proposal by less populous states. Called for a Unicameral national legislature in which all states would have an equal representation, an executive office composed of several people elected by congress, and a supreme court whose members would be appointed by the executive office.

Connecticut Compromise (Great Compromise)- Compromise between the New Jersey and Virginia Plan. Today's Bicameral Congress, with state representation in the House of Representatives based on state population and equal state representation in the Senate.

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