CONSTITUTION UNIT (UNIT 2)
- Describe the Magna Carta
It was agreed to by King John of England in 1215. It gave the nobility and others greater
rights and made it clear that the nobility and monarchs (kings) must obey the law.
- Would a poor man be more likely to be a Federalist or an Anti-Federalist?
- Describe the English Bill of Rights.
It was passed by the English parliament in 1689. It further limited the rights of the king and it gave parliament (the people voted for the parliament) supreme legal power.
- What is the significance of the English Bill of Rights in relation to the U.S. Constitution?
One important purpose of the Constitution was to protect the rights of the people. This was similar to what the English Bill of Rights was trying to accomplish.
- What is the Mayflower Compact?
It was an agreement that the pilgrims would join together in a community or “body politic” and would govern themselves.
- What is the significance of the Mayflower Compact in relation to the U.S. Constitution?
It was one of the first efforts at self governance in the colonies. It also was a good example of how the people could come together to make laws that everyone must then obey.
- The plan, or first Constitution, for how to run the U.S. government during and right after the Revolutionary War was called the ________________.
Articles of Confederation
- According to the Declaration of Independence, the purpose of government is to “secure” the people’s natural rights. List three problems with the Articles of Confederation that made it difficult for the Federal government to be strong and effective enough to live up to its purpose.
- To pass a law it took 9 out of 13 votes, so it was hard to even pass a law.
- There was no president
- The federal government was not allowed to tax the people--only ask the states for money.
- A man refusing to testify himself in court- Which amendment does that statement represent?
- What improvements were made in the Constitution (as compared to the Articles of Confederation) that made it possible for the federal government to be strong enough to "secure" the citizens' natural rights?
- A simple majority of votes to pass a bill in Congress.
- There was a President
- The federal government was allowed to tax the people.
- What is the significance of the Magna Carta in relation to the U.S. Constitution?
The Magna Carta was one of the first documents to limit the rights of kings and to protect the rights of the people.
- How many branches of government were there under the new Constitution and what were they called?
Three branches--the legislative (Congress), the executive (President), the judicial (Supreme
- Describe the system of checks and balances that would make it very difficult for one branch of government to become too powerful and start taking away the people's rights.
Each branch was given some power over the other branch. Example--Congress makes laws--
the President can veto laws--the Supreme Court can declare laws unconstitutional.
- A civil Trial- Which amendment does that statement represent?
- How did the Constitution implement the section of the Declaration of Independence that said that governments derive "...their just powers from the consent of the governed..."?
The people were allowed to vote for their government.
- Describe the Constitutional Convention.
In 1787 delegates from 12 out of 13 states met at Independence Hall to change the Articles
of Confederation. They soon decided to throw it out and write a whole new constitution.
- Describe the 3/5 Compromise
It stated that three-fifths of the slaves in each state would be counted when figuring things such as representation in Congress and how much tax money the state had to send to the national government.
- Describe the Virginia Plan
Virginia had more people than other states, so they thought they should have more representatives in Congress. Therefore, they believed representation in congress should
be based on the population of the state
- Describe the New Jersey Plan
New Jersey had a small population. They believed that representation in congress should be
the same for each state.
- Describe the “Great Compromise.”
It was proposed by Roger Sherman. There would be two houses of congress. Representation
in the House of Representatives would be based on population of a state and the Senate
would have two senators from each state regardless of how many people lived in the state.
- 21. Define Federalism
A division of power between the states and the federal government
- Describe the debate and resolution on the issue of slavery
The slave trade would be allowed to continue for 20 years and then would have to end.
- Who was president of the Constitutional Convention?
- What was two arguments against ratification of the Constitution?
- It gave too much power to the federal government.
- It did not include a Bill of Rights to protect individual rights.
- What was the original goal of the representatives when they attended the Constitutional Convention?
To amend (make a few changes) to the Articles of Confederation. However, they decided
that the Articles of Confederation were beyond saving and they decided to write a whole new
- What were the “Federalist Papers?”
A series of essays written by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay that tried to convince the states to vote yes on the Constitution.
- No excessive fines or bail or cruel and unusual punishment- Which amendment does that represent?
- Supporters of the Constitution were known as _________.
- People who were against the Constitution were known as __________.
- Who were the authors of the “Federalist Papers?”
Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay
- 31. Which amendment promises speedy trials and impartial juries?
- Describe Thomas Jefferson’s “Statute for Religious Freedom.”
It was passed by the Virginia State Legislature and said that the state should in no way
infringe on the citizens’ religious liberties.
- How was Jefferson’s “Statute for Religious Freedom” used in the Federal Constitution?
The first amendment to the Constitution (part of the Bill of Rights) says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
- No unreasonable searches and seizers
- Define “Separation of Powers.”
The three branches of government each have some power
- Define “Checks and Balances.”
Each of the three branches has some power over the other two branches. No one branch has total power.
- What are the two houses of Congress?
The House of Representatives and the Senate
- A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a fee state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms should not be infringed.
- What can a president do if he does not like the bill that congress sends him?
- If a president vetoes a bill, how can a bill still become a law?
The two houses of Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives, can "override" the veto with a 2/3 vote
- What was James Madison’s contribution to the creation of the U.S. Constitution?
He is known as the "Father of the Constitution", because he provided many of the ideas for
the Constitution, was very involved in the debates, and convinced George Washington to be
- What is the Bill of Rights?
The first ten amendments to the Constitution. Its focus was on protecting individual liberties.
- The number of votes each state has in the Senate is determined by what?
Each state gets two senators
- How many members make up the Supreme Court?
- How many votes does a bill need to pass in the House of Representatives (not when overriding a veto)?
A majority (a little over 50%)
- Describe what would happen if congress believed that the president broke the law.
The House of Representatives could impeach the President. The President would then
be put on trial in the Senate. If found guilty, the president would be kicked out of office.
- What form of government do we have in the United States?
- What are some “checks” the president (executive branch) has on the power of the other two branches?
The president appoints judges. The president can veto bills. The president is the supreme
commander of the military.
- What are some “checks” the congress (legislative branch) has on the power of the other two branches?
The congress can override a veto. The congress can impeach the president and supreme
court justices. The congress approves the money for the military.
- What are some “checks” the Supreme court (judicial branch) has on the power of the other two branches?
The Supreme Court may declare the president’s actions unconstitutional. The Supreme
Court may declare laws unconstitutional.