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Origins of American Government. “It is, Sir, the people’s Constitution, the people’s government, made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people.” Daniel Webster 1830. Place in the correct chronological order. Boston Tea Party French and Indian War

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Origins of American Government

“It is, Sir, the people’s Constitution, the people’s government, made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people.”

Daniel Webster 1830

Place in the correct chronological order

  • Boston Tea Party

  • French and Indian War

  • Declaration of Independence

  • Shots fired at Lexington and Concord

Correct order

B. French and Indian War 1754-1763

E. Boston Tea Party 1773

C. Shots fired at Lexington and Concord 1775

F. Declaration of Independence 1776

Place in the correct chronological order

  • British surrender at Yorktown

  • Constitutional Convention in Philly

  • Washington inaugurated in New York as first President.

  • Bill of Rights added to Constitution

  • Articles of Confederation approved by second Continental Congress

Correct order

I. Articles of Confederation approved by Second Continental Congress 1777

A. British surrender at Yorktown –Oct. 1781

G. Constitutional Convention 1787

H. Washington Inaugurated 1789

D. Bill of Rights added to Constitution 1791

What is the foundation for the national government of this country?

  • Declaration of Independence

  • The Constitution and the 27 Amendments

Brain Storm

  • Name/list terms and phrases which are commonly used to describe the government of the United States

  • Where did these concepts/ideas come from?

Three major sources for American Democracy

  • Greece---Athenian direct democracy

  • Rome---Indirect or Representative Democracy (Republic)

    3. England---We took many of the ideas of government from the British

    A. rights that belong to citizens

    B. representative democracy

    C. limited government

American Democracy Unique

  • Our form of government---American Democracy is not like the government of any other country. What are founding fathers came up with is truly unique.

    A. We have a federal system in which we divide governmental power between a national government and state governments.

    B. We also have a Constitutional government where the powers that belong and don’t belong to the national government are clearly outlined in a written document.

Part 1---America’s concept of democracy rest on the following basic notions:

  • Fundamental worth and dignity of every person.

  • Respect for equality of all persons

  • Faith in majority rule, but respect for minority rights—(Madison worried about the Tyranny of the majority)

  • Recognition of the necessity for compromise

  • Widest possible degree of individual freedom

Question to consider---do not put this slide in notes

  • Consider the following theory: Since democracy promotes the concepts from the previous slide, nations with democratic governments do not fight wars against each other—therefore to bring about a more peaceful planet, democracy should be promoted world wide.

  • Should the United States be willing to spend “blood and treasurer” to promote the spread of democracy? Why? Why not?

Where did our system of government come from? (other than Greek and Roman influence)

  • English influences

  • Colonial practices

  • Philosophical influences

  • New ideas created at Constitutional convention

English documents

  • Magna Carta 1215

  • 1. limited power of the government (King)

  • 2. fundamental rights

  • a) trial by jury

  • b) due process of law (fair trial)

  • English Petition of Rights 1628

  • 1. early document supporting idea that men have rights and established concept of rule of law

  • 2.included basic rights

  • a) guarantee of trial by jury

  • b) protection against marshal law

  • c) protection against quartering of troops

  • d) protection of private property

  • English Bill of Rights1689

  • power of the monarch

  • A. free elections to those in Parliament (House of Commons)

  • B. right of petition

  • C. parliamentary checks on power of King

Examples of English influence on the U.S. Legislative branch of Government

  • The English Parliament had a two house legislature---The House of Commons and the House of Lords.---This is known as a bicameral legislature.

  • Today every state except Nebraska has a bicameral legislature.

  • The Congress of the United States is bicameral---The U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Colonies established practices that became a key part of nations system of government.

  • Written Constitutions in each colony—all called for a separation of powers between the Governor and state legislatures, and representative bicameral legislatures.

  • Some colonial Constitutions included a list of rights: ex. Virginia Declaration of Rights (George Mason), Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom (Thomas Jefferson).

Philosophical influences

  • John Locke (1632-1704)--develops Social Contract theory of government.

    A. Human beings enter into a contract by agreeing with one another to create a state (government). Give up some freedom for security.

    B. Government arose out of a voluntary act of free people.

    C. The state exist only to serve the people.

    D. The people are the sole source of political power and they are free to give or withhold that power as they choose.

Concepts created by Social Contract Theory included in Constitution and Declaration of Independence

  • Popular sovereignty- people hold the power to rule.

  • Limited government- government is not all powerful.

  • Individual rights- people are born with rights that were given to them by God.

  • Representative government- people elect others to represent their interest.

  • Ordered government- orderly regulation of relationships between citizens---opposite of anarchy.

  • Thomas Jefferson would borrow heavily from the writings of John Locke when he writes the Declaration of Independence.


  • United Streaming; American History, Foundations of American Government---Writing the Constitution segment.

Let’s take a look at the Declaration of Independence

  • Raise your hand when you see an example of the following:

  • Popular sovereignty

  • Limited Government

  • Individual rights

  • Ordered government

  • You do not have to write down the Declaration in your notes.

Declaration of Independence

  • When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation


  • We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; That when any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government , laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Review Continued

4. Name two English documents which played a large role in influencing the political ideas of most colonist?


5. List two important rights that English citizens (colonist were English citizens) received because of the above documents.


6. The English Parliament had two houses, the House of ______and the House of _________. This is known as a ______________legislature. Today the U.S. Congress has a ___________ and a ________________.

Part 1 Review

1. Which two documents are the foundation of American Government?

________________, _____________________

2. Put the following events in the proper order.

A. Declaration of Independence

B. Writing the Constitution

C. Articles of Confederation

D. Shots fired at Lexington and Concord

3. Define limited government

Review Continued

7. List two Virginia documents that would have a large influence on the United States Bill of Rights. Who wrote each?

__________________ written by________________

__________________ written by________________

8._____ Which concepts/ideas are part of the social contract theory?


Review Continued

9._____ Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?

10. From which political philosopher did the author of the Declaration borrow from extensively?


11. From what three nations/empires did we get many of the ideas that we include in our system of government?




12. In 1776 the Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal”----Why did it take so long for this goal to be reached? Has it been reached? What areas do we still need to work on? Did they really just mean that men were equal?


  • Which two documents are the foundation of the American System of Government?

  • Declaration of Independence and The Constitution.

  • List two rights that are founding fathers were familiar with as English Citizens?

  • Trial by jury----protection of private property


  • List three countries/empires who were major contributors to our system of government.

  • Roman Empire, Greek Empire, England

  • The State of Connecticut deciding to allow gay marriage while Virginia does not is an example of which Constitutional principle?

  • Federalism


  • List three English documents that had a large influence on our system of government?

  • Magna Carta, English Petition of Rights, English Bill of Rights.

  • Which English King lost his head because he would not sign the English Petition of Rights?

  • Charles I


  • Which royal family agreed to sign the English Bill of Rights before taking the throne? (hint: school in Williamsburg)

  • William and Mary

  • What are the two legislative bodies in the English Parliament?

  • House of Commons and House of Lords

  • What are the two legislative bodies in the Congress?

  • Senate and House of Representatives


  • What is the term that describes a legislature with two parts?

  • Bicameral

  • Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?

  • Thomas Jefferson

  • Who is considered the Father of the Constitution?

  • James Madison

  • From which political philosopher did the author of the Declaration of Independence borrow from extensively?

  • John Locke


  • Which document written in 1777 by the Second Continental Congress was the United States first attempt at forming a permanent national government?

  • Articles of Confederation

  • Who wrote the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom?

  • Thomas Jefferson

  • Who wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights?

  • George Mason

  • Define Limited Government

  • Government is not all powerful


  • List three concepts developed by Locke’s Social Contract theory?

  • Popular Sovereignty, Limited Government, Individual rights, Representative Government, Ordered Government

  • Madison was concerned that in a democracy the majority could take away the rights of the minority—he described this problems as---------

  • The tyranny of the majority

  • How many states sent delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787? How many delegates?

  • 12----55


  • Who was the oldest delegate at the Convention?

  • Franklin

  • Who was President of the Convention?

  • George Washington

  • What was the first major decision made at the Convention?

  • To write new Constitution

  • Which famous Virginian did not attend the Constitutional Convention?

  • Jefferson

True False

  • The articles of Confederation had a Congress with a bicameral legislature

  • The Congress created by the Articles had the power to tax exports.

  • Under the Articles the President was Commander in Chief

  • Under the Articles states could print their own money.

  • Under the Articles the Supreme Court had the power of Judicial Review.

  • Under the Articles state retained most of the power to govern.

  • Shays Rebellion demonstrated the weakness of the Articles.

  • Under the Articles the states with the largest population had more representation in Congress.

Put in Chronological order

A. Declaration of Independence

B. Washington inaugurated as President

C. Victory at Yorktown

D. Shots fired at Lexington and Concord

E. Constitutional Convention


Part 2--First National Constitution

  • The Articles of Confederation were written in 1777 by the Second Continental Congress while the Revolutionary War was still going on.

  • The Articles went into effect in 1781 and would last until 1787.

  • The document creates a unicameral legislature (Congress) and a very weak national/federal government.

  • Most of the power would stay in the hands of the individual states.

Weakness of Articles of Confederation.

  • One vote for each state regardless of size.

  • Congress powerless to lay and collect taxes.

  • No Executive (President)

  • No National Court System

  • Amendments could only be added with consent of all states.

  • 9 out of 13 states had to agree to pass any law.

  • Congress could not regulate trade between states (interstate commerce).

  • States could print own money.

  • States could ignore laws passed by Congress.

    (doctrine of nullification)


  • United Streaming—Understanding the Constitution: Creating a Federal Government---segments 2,3,4

Shays’ Rebellion 1786

  • Small farmers and property owners (1200 strong) rebel against government in Massachusetts.

  • In reference to Shays’ Rebellion Washington says “What a triumph for our enemies to find that we are incapable of governing ourselves.”

  • The rebellion shows the weakness of the Articles of Confederation and the need for a new government.

Constitutional Convention May 25, 1787

  • 12 out of 13 states send delegates to Philly—(Rhode Island does not).

  • 55 delegates attend convention—today we call them the “Framers”.

  • Average age of delegates was 42 (Franklin at 81 oldest)

  • The document that they would create would be described as “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.”

    English statesman William Gladstone

Early attempt to fix Articles

  • 1786-five states meet in Annapolis Maryland to discuss the problems facing the country. They ask for a second meeting to be held in Philadelphia in 1787.

Constitutional Convention

  • Elect George Washington as President of Convention.

  • Decide to conduct their meetings in secrecy.

  • First major decision made--write a new constitution and get rid of the Articles of Confederation.

  • James Madison would contribute the most to the constitution –that is why he is known as the “Father of the Constitution.”

Part 2 Review

  • The Articles of ______ was our nation’s

    first attempt at creating a national government.

    2. The Articles created a _____ legislature

    3. The Articles were written

    A. before the Revolutionary War

    B. during the Revolutionary War

    C. after the Revolutionary War

Part 2 Review

4. Which of the following was not one of the weaknesses of the Articles?

A. 9 out of 13 states needed to pass a law

B. States could print own money

C. No Congress was created

D. Congress powerless to lay and collect taxes

E. States could ignore laws passed by Congress

F. No Executive or National Court System

Part 2 Review

5. What action taken by a small group of farmers in Massachusetts showed the world that under the Articles we were incapable of governing ourselves?

6. In what year did the Constitutional Convention take place?

7. In what city did the Convention take place?

8. How many states sent delegates to the Convention?

Part 2 Review

9. Who was the oldest delegate?

10. What famous Virginian was not there?

11. Who was selected President of the Convention?

Part 2 Review

12. Which of the following was the first major decision made at the Convention?

A. Jefferson was to be President

B. Rhode Island must send a representative before they could proceed

C. They were going to rid themselves of the Articles of Confederation and write a new Constitution.

D. to meet again next year in Annapolis

13. Who contributed more than anyone else to the Constitution? (considered “Father of the Constitution”)

Part 2 Review

14. If you could add one amendment to the Constitution what would it be and why?

Remember many things can be accomplished through legislation----only major items of fundamental change should be considered through amendments.

Part 3---Major plans presented at Convention

  • Virginia Plan—(large state plan) largely the work of Madison.

  • 3 separate branches of government.

  • Legislature would be bicameral

  • Representation in each house based on population.

  • Lower house elected by people in each state.

  • Upper house chosen by Lower House.

  • Executive and Judicial branches would be selected by the Legislative branch.

Summary of Virginia Plan

  • This plan was popular among the large states, but unpopular with the small states. Why?

  • All the power in the new national government would be in the hands of the legislature. A legislature that was going to be dominated by the large states.

Major plans presented at Convention

  • New Jersey plan—(small state plan) William Paterson

  • Unicameral Congress with equal representation.

  • Federal Executive of more than one person selected by Congress.

  • Federal Judiciary (Federal Courts) appointed by Chief Executives.

Question for class

  • Based on the notes that you have taken so far and what you already know about the Federal Government, what parts of the Virginia Plan were adopted and what parts of the New Jersey Plan were adopted?

Great Compromise (Connecticut Compromise—Roger Sherman)

  • Bicameral legislature:

    lower house (House of Representatives) to be based on population.

    The upper house (United States Senate) to be based on equal representation.

Who should count as population?

  • If the House of Representatives was going to be based on population then that would mean that you would have to count the population of a state. The question arose who should count as population?

  • Southern states wanted to count slaves which would increase their population, thus increasing their representation in the new Congress.

  • Northern States did not want slaves counted.

Three-Fifths Compromise

  • Slaves would be counted as three-fifths of a person when determining the population of any state.

  • Compromise would be abolished in 1865 with the adoption of 13th. Amendment that abolished slavery.

House of Representatives today

  • Because the House of Representatives is based on population we must from time to time count the population---we do that through a census that is conducted by the census bureau every 10 years.

  • Today there are 435 representatives nationwide. Virginia has 11. The nation is divided into 435 Congressional Districts with one representative from each district.

  • On average, there is one representative for 600,000 people. You live in the 6th Congressional District in Virginia and your representative is Bob Goodlatte---a republican.

Congressional Districts

  • View Map

Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise

  • Congress was given the power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce.

  • Southerners were worried that the north would push through legislation that would end slavery and tax southern tobacco and cotton exports.

  • To satisfy the southern delegates Congress was forbidden the power to tax exports and to act on the slave trade for a period of 20 years. (In 1808 Congress did ban the importation of slaves).

Electoral College Compromise

  • Some at the convention wanted to elect the President by popular vote.

  • Others wanted the President to be selected by Congress.

  • The Compromise was the electoral college system which was proposed by Alexander Hamilton.

Electoral College System Summary

  • We have elected every President using the Electoral College System.

  • The number of electoral votes a state receives is determined by the number of Senators and Representatives a state has. 2+x=EV----examples Virginia 2+11=13, California 2+53=55, Wyoming 2+1=3

  • There are a total of 538 electoral votes and it takes 270 electoral votes to be elected President.

  • A candidate can win the popular vote and lose the election by losing the electoral college—just ask Al Gore, Sam Tilden, Grover Cleveland, and Andrew Jackson.

Convention completes its Work

  • September 17, 1787 39 names are placed on finished document.

  • In order for it to go into effect 9 out of 13 states had to approve it.

  • In the battle for approval (ratification) two groups emerged.

    1. Federalist –supported ratification—John Adams and Alexander Hamilton

    2. Anti-Federalist—opposed ratification

    Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and George Mason

Major criticisms by anti-federalist

  • Absence of any mention of God.

  • Denial of states the right to print money.

  • Greatly increased powers of central government.

  • Lack of list of rights (Bill of Rights)

    “I look upon that paper as the most fatal plan that could possibly be conceived to enslave a free people.” Patrick Henry

Federalist Papers

  • A collection of 85 essays written in support of ratification of the Constitution.

  • They were published in the local newspapers of the day. (Especially in the state of New York where the vote on ratification had not taken place)

  • Written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay.

  • Considered among the best political writings in the English language, they are still used today by scholars to determine the intent of the Founding Fathers.

New Government takes over

  • Eventually all 13 states ratify the Constitution.

  • The Bill of Rights (First 10 Amendments) would be added four years later in 1791.

  • The new Congress met first on March 4, 1789 in New York. On April 30, 1789 George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States.

The Constitution

  • Preamble

    Article I-Legislative Department

    Divided into 10 sections

    Article II-Executive Department

    Divided into 4 sections

    Article III-Judicial Department

    Divided into 3 sections

    Article IV-Relations among the States

    Divided into 4 sections

    Article V-Provisions for Amendment

The Constitution continued

Article VI-Public Debts, Supremacy of National law, oath

Divided into 3 Sections

Article VII-Ratification of Constitution

27 Amendments

Four methods of Amending the Constitution

1. Proposed by two thirds vote in each house. Ratified by ¾’s (38) state legislatures.—26 out of 27 done this way.

2. Proposed by two thirds vote in each house. Ratified by ¾’s (38) state conventions.

3. Proposed by a national convention, called by Congress at the request of 2/3’s (34) of the states. Ratified by ¾’s (38) state legislatures.

4. Proposed by a national convention and ratified by ¾’s (38) state conventions.

Part 3 Review

  • The Virginia plan was largely the work of

    A. James Madison B. Thomas Jefferson

    C. George Mason D. Alexander Hamilton

    2. The Virginia plan called for ---branch (es) of government.

    A. one B. two C. three D. four

    3. The Virginia plan called for a -----legislature

    4. The Virginia plan favored ---states

    A. large B. small C. midsize D. southern

Quiz Continued

5. The Virginia plan called for the representation in the legislature to be based on -----

A. tax contributions B. region C. slaves D. population

6. The New Jersey Plan favored---states.

A. Southern B. Northern C. large D. small

7. The New Jersey plan called for a ----legislature.

A. unicameral B. bicameral C. trilateral D. complex

8. According to the New Jersey plan how were the federal executives to be chosen?

A. By the people B. By Congress

C. By the states D. by the Courts

9. According to the New Jersey plan representation in Congress was to be -----divided among the states.

A. fairly B. proportionally

C. equally D. randomly

Quiz Continued

10. The Great Compromise called for a ----legislature.

A. unicameral B. bicameral C. trilateral

11. The Great Compromise called for a lower house to be based on ---------.

A. square miles B. population C. tax dollars contributed

12. The Great Compromise called for a upper house to be based on ----- representation.

A. square miles B. population C. equal

13. Today the population of each state is determined every 10 years by conducting a/an ------

A. election B. census C. revolution D. convention

14. According to one of the first compromises reached at the Convention the “Framers” determined that slaves were to be counted as -------(fraction) of a person. This practice was abolished by the 13 Amendment.

A. one half B. two thirds C. three fifths D. three quarters

Quiz Continued

15. To satisfy southern delegates at the convention the Framers decided that Congress would be forbidden to tax------.

A. Cotton B. plantations

C. slaves D. exports

16. To satisfy southern delegates at the convention the Congress was forbidden to outlaw ----trade until 1808.

A. cotton B. tobacco C. slaves D. sugar

Quiz continued

17. The Electoral College was created as a response to those who worried that the common people of America were not informed enough to make a wise choice for -------.

A. President B. Supreme Court

C. Governor D. Senators

18. True or False

The Electoral College has not played a role in determining the outcome of a Presidential election in over 100 years.


19. What two groups emerged during the argument over the ratification of the Constitution?

20. According to the Constitution how many states were needed to ratify the Constitution before it went into effect?

21. How many states eventually ratified the Constitution?

22. John Adams and Alexander Hamilton were considered part of which political group during the argument over the Constitution?

23. Patrick Henry and George Mason were considered part of which political group during the argument over the Constitution?


24. Which of the following was not a major criticism of the Constitution by the anti-federalist?

A. lack of a list of individual rights.

B. greatly increased the powers of national

government at the expense of the states.

C. Absence of any mention of God.

D. greatly increased the powers of the

states at the expense of the national



25. What was the purpose of the “Federalist Papers”?

A. convince states to ratify Constitution

B. convince states to not ratify Constitution

C. convince Congress to ratify Constitution

D. convince Congress to not ratify Constitution.

26. Which of the following was not an author of the “Federalist Papers”?

A. James Madison B. Thomas Jefferson

C. John Jay C. Alexander Hamilton


27. Who was the author of the Bill of Rights?

28. How many amendments were proposed by the above author? How many passed?

29. Where did the first Congress of the United States meet under the new Constitution?

30. When were the Bill of Rights added to the Constitution?

31. The Constitution is divided into ----Articles.

32. The Constitution has ----amendments.

33. In which Articles will you find the Executive Branch organized?

34. In which Articles will you find the Judicial Branch organized?

35. In which Articles will you find the Legislative Branch organized?

36. Which Article is the longest?

Part 4---Major Principles in the Constitution

1. Popular Sovereignty—rule by the people

A. The Preamble begins with “we the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect union”

2. Federalism—power is divided between the national government and the state governments. The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution provides for a “ladder of laws”-

U.S. Constitution

Acts of Congress and Treaties

State Constitutions

State Laws (acts of state legislature)

City and County ordinances.

Major Principles continued

  • Examples of Federalism-

    1. States make up their own rules on how to conduct Presidential elections inside their own states.

    2. Some states have the death penalty and some don’t. (also radar detectors and gay marriage)

    3. When the national (federal) government declares marijuana illegal states can not make it legal.

    4. The Full Faith and Credit Clause deals with relations between the states. The Constitution says that all states must honor the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of another state. (So if you get legally married in Utah and move to Virginia, you are still married)

3. Separation of Powers

  • The three branches of government (executive, judicial, and legislative) are separate and distinct.

    A. Executive branch—enforces the law

    B. Legislative branch---makes the law

    C. Judicial branch---interprets the law

    Can the President keep his or her meetings with advisors secret from the Congress?

    Do the powers of the President expand in time of war? (The Constitution does say that the President is the Commander in Chief)

4. Checks and Balances

  • Each branch of government exercises some control on the other branches of government.


  • Congress passes a bill and the President vetoes it.

  • Congress may override a Presidential veto.

  • The Supreme Court may declare a law unconstitutional (judicial review).

    Check handout “Checks and Balances at Work”

5. Limited Government

  • The Congress limits the power of government. Examples:

  • Congress shall not pass an Ex post Facto law.

  • Congress shall not pass a bill of attainder.

  • Congress may not take away a persons freedom of speech or press.

  • Congress shall not tax exports.

  • Congress shall not create a state from another state without the permission of that states legislature.

6. Judicial Review

  • This power, which belongs to the federal courts, is not explicitly stated in the Constitution.

  • It was first used by the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison in 1803.

    A. The Supreme Court ruled that a law which had been passed by Congress and signed by the President was unconstitutional.

    Today the Federal Courts may rule that any action of government (federal, state, or local) is Unconstitutional.

A few examples of governmental actions being ruled unconstitutional (judicial review).

  • Segregation of public schools by state and local governments.

  • Requiring students to stand for the pledge or participate in prayer before each school day.

  • Requiring a wife get her husbands permission before getting an abortion.

  • Putting someone on trial with out a lawyer if there is a possibility that they could go to jail.

  • States prohibiting bi-racial couples from getting married.


11. Immunity of states from certain lawsuits

12. Changes in electoral college system

13. Abolition of slavery

14. Citizenship, due process, equal protection.

15. No denial of vote because of race or color.

16. Power of Congress to tax incomes.

17. Popular elections of U.S. Senators.

18. Prohibition of alcohol.

19. Women given right to vote.

20. Change dates on start of Presidential and Congressional terms.

21. Repeal of 18th. Amendment

22. Limit on Presidential terms.

Amendments continued

23. District of Columbia given 3 electoral votes in Presidential election.

24. Ban on poll tax.

25. Presidential succession, vice-presidential vacancy, presidential disability.

26. Voting age changed to 18

27. Congressional pay can not be raised during the term of a Congress person.

Part 4 Review

  • The Constitution is divided into ---Articles.

  • The Constitution has ---Amendments.

  • Which of the following terms is best defined as “rule by the people”---that the power to govern a nation resides with the people of that nation?

    A. federalism B. popular sovereignty

    C. judicial review D. Checks and balances


4. Which of the following terms is best defined as a system of government that divides power between a national government and several regional (state) governments?

A. popular sovereignty

B. Federalism

C. checks and balance

D. separation of powers


5. Which of the following terms is best defined as the power possessed by the judicial branch of government that allows it to declare that an action of government is unconstitutional?

A. Federalism

B. popular sovereignty

C. Judicial Review

D. Checks and Balances


6. True/False-----States make up their own rules on how to conduct Presidential elections within their own state.

7. True/False----Some states have the death penalty and others do not.

8. True/False----The Full Faith and Credit Clause says that all states must honor the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of another state.


9. Which of the following is the “top rung” and “bottom rung” in the “ladder of laws” created by the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution?

A. Constitution---City and County ordinances

B. Constitution---State Constitutions

C. State Constitutions---State laws

D. Acts of Congress---Constitution


10. Which branch of government enforces the law?

A. executive B. judicial C. legislative

11. Which branch of government makes the law?

A. executive B. judicial C. legislative

12. Which branch of government interprets the law?

A. executive B. judicial C. legislative


14. Which Supreme Court case established that the Federal Courts had the power to determine the Constitutionality of governmental actions?

A. McCulloch v. Maryland

B. Marbury v. Madison

C. Brown v. Bd. Of Ed.

D. Nixon v. New York Times


15. Which method of amending the Constitution has been used most often (26 out of 27 times)?

A. Proposed by 2/3 vote in each house and ratified by ¾’s of the state legislatures.

B. Proposed by 2/3 vote in each house and ratified by ¾’s of conventions held

in each state.

C. Proposed by a national convention and ratified by ¾’s of state legislatures

D. Proposed by a national convention and ratified by ¾’s of conventions held in each state.


16. Which of the following topics has been most recently considered by Congress as amendments to the Constitution?

A. gay marriage and flag burning

B. reinstitution of the draft and 16 olds allowed to vote.

C. Washington D.C. to get representation in Congress and abolishment of Electoral College system

D. abolishment of income tax and legalization of marijuana


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