American Government. Unit 2 Study Guide

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1 American Government Unit 2 Study Guide Events leading up the Declaration of Independence: 1) Stamp Act- a tax placed on all printed material a. An attempt to earn money lost in the French and Indian War 2) Quartering Act- a law that said colonists had to provide supplies and shelter to redcoats (British soldiers) 3) Tea Act- a law that placed a tax on tea and set up the British East India Company as a monopoly 4) Boston Massacre- redcoats fired into a mob of colonists and killed 5 of them 5) Boston Tea Party- colonists went aboard merchant ships and threw crates of tea overboard 6) Lexington and Concord- the shot heard round the world a. 70 minutemen (colonists) vs. 700 redcoats (British soldiers) 7) Second Continental Congress- meeting of delegates in Philadelphia a. Declaration of Independence written here, mostly by Thomas Jefferson. What was the purpose of the Declaration of Independence? 1) To declare independence from Great Britain 2) Also, to give reasons why declaring independence from Britain Albany Plan 1) A plan for government that Ben Franklin had during the Revolution Articles of Confederation 1) Setup a confederation (a loose alliance of states) 2) The national government was very weak a. Had no power to tax or control trade b. Couldn t tell citizens within the states what to do 3) Articles of Confederation DID NOT WORK! 1

2 Shay s Rebellion 1) A rebellion led by Daniel Shays where farmers protested the state government 2) This was a sign of frustration with the Articles of Confederation Important Facts about the Constitutional Convention 1) May-September 1787 (dates Constitutional Convention was held) 2) 55 delegates from 12 states in attendance a. Rhode Island did not attend 3) George Washington was appointed President of the Convention 4) Met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Independence Hall 5) Debates held at the Convention where: a. Virginia Plan i. 3 branches ii. Bicameral legislature with representation based on population iii. Written by James Madison b. New Jersey Plan i. Not too different from Articles of Confederation ii. Written by Paterson iii. Unicameral legislature with representation equal for every state c. Connecticut Compromise i. Took most ideas from the Virginia Plan 1. 3 branches of government with separate and equal branches 2. Bicameral legislature a. One based on population b. The other equal for each state d. 3/5 Compromise i. Settled the debate over how to count slaves in the population ii. Would count them as 3/5 of a person 2

3 The Constitution e. Commerce and Slate Trade Compromise i. It calmed down southern fears that the slave trade was going to be stopped and that exports will be taxed ii. Said slave trade wouldn t be touched for 20 years (1808) and the federal government wouldn t tax exported goods f. Ratification i. Needed 9 out of 13 states, but wanted them all g. Debate over ratification i. Federalists-liked the Constitution as it was and pushed for ratification 1. Led by Madison ii. Anti-Federalists-did not like the Constitution because it did not guarantee rights to citizens h. Ratificationi. Constitution is ratified after the Bill of Rights is added guaranteeing citizens rights ii. All 13 states ratified the Constitution 1) Signed on September 17, ) Madison is called the father of the constitution 3) Constitution has 3 Parts a. Preamble-introduction to the Constitution, i. explains the purpose of government 1. form a more perfect union 2. establish justice 3. ensure domestic tranquility 4. provide for the common defense 5. promote general welfare 6. secure blessings of liberty b. Articles i. 7 sections of the Constitution 1. Article 1-leglative branch 2. Article 2- executive branch 3. Article 3- judicial branch c. Amendments i. 27 total amendments 3

4 ii. Amendments 1-10 called the Bill of Rights 4) Basic Principles of the Constitution a. Popular Sovereignty-people have the power, government exists by the will of the people Amendment Process b. Rule of Law-(aka Limited government)-government is not above the law and only have the power the people give them c. Separation of Powers-government is divided into three branches that are separate and equal i. Legislative Branch-makes the laws; 1. House of Representatives is based on population 2. Senate- 2 per state; 100 total ii. Executive Branch-executes/enforces the laws 1. President 2. Vice President 3. Cabinet Members iii. Judicial Branch-interprets the laws 1. Supreme Courts-there are 9 justices d. Checks and Balances-each branch can check the power of the other branches e. Judicial Review-the court can declare acts of the government unconstitutional i. This was established with the court case Marbury v Madison in 1803 f. Federalism-the power in the government is divided between national and state government 1) Formal Amendment-these changes actually become part of the Constitution a. Amendment proposed (passed) by 2/3 vote in both houses of Congress and then ratified by ¾ of state legislature i. 26 of the amendments done this way b. Amendment proposed by Congress and then ratified by conventions in ¾ of the states i. Only the 21 st amendment was done this way 4

5 c. Amendment is proposed by national convention after 2/3 of the state legislatures request it (34 states); it is then ratified by ¾ of the state legislatures d. Amendment is proposed by a national convention and ratified by the conventions in ¾ of the states 2) Informal Amendment-these do not become part of the Constitution a. Laws are created by Congress b. Actions of the President (often deals with other countries) c. Actions of the Supreme Court d. Activities of political parties e. Customs Federalism-the power is divided between national and state governments 1) Delegated powers- the powers given to the national government a. Expressed powers- clearly expressed in the Constitution b. Implied powers- implied by the necessary and proper clause c. Inherent powers- powers that have always belonged to sovereign states 2) Reserved powers- powers reserved for the state governments 3) Exclusive powers- powers that only belong to the national government 4) Concurrent powers- powers that both the national and state governments have 5) Supremacy clause- the constitution is the supreme law of the land Vocabulary to know **see Unit 2 Key Terms sheet 5

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