Unit 1 Vocabulary: Principles and origins of american government

Unitary Government: a centralized government in which all government powers belong to a single, central agency

Federalism: a system of government in which a written constitution divides power between a central, or national, government and served regional governments

Con-federal Government: a form of government which sovereign states delegates power to a centralized government

Democracy: a form of government in which the supreme authority rests with the people

Dictatorship: a form of government in which the leader has absolute power and authority

Autocracy: a form of government in which a single person holds unlimited political power

Oligarchy: a form of government in which the power to rule is held by a small, usually self-appointed elite

Compromise: an adjustment of opposing principles or systems modifying some aspect of each

Limited Government: basic principle of American government which states that government is restricted in what it may do, and each individual has rights that government cannot take away

Representative Government: system of government in which public policies are made by officials selected by the voters and held accountable in periodic elections

Magna Carta: Great Charter forced upon King John of England by his barons in 1215 and established that the power of the monarchy was not absolute and guaranteed trial by jury and due process of law to the nobility

English Bill of Rights: document written by Parliament and agreed on by William and Mary of England in 1689, designed to prevent abuse of power by England monarchs

Bicameral: an adjective describing a legislative body composed of two chambers

Voltaire: was a French writer and public activist who played a singular role in defining the eighteenth-century movement called the Enlightenment

Baron de Montesquieu: a French lawyer who lived through the Age of Enlightenment, brought in the idea of separation of powers

Jean-Jacques Rousseau: was one of the most influential thinkers during the Enlightenment in eighteenth century Europe; he was a philosopher

Thomas Hobbes: known for his political thought

John Locke: a seventeenth-century English philosopher; argued against the belief that human beings are born with certain ideas already in their minds

Confederation: a joining of several groups for a common purpose

Popular Sovereignty: basic principle of the American system of government which asserts that the people are the source of any and all governmental power, and government can exist only with the consent of the governed

Articles of Confederation: plan of government adopted by the Continental Congress after the American Revolution; established "a firm league of friendship" among the States, but allowed few important powers to the central government

Ratification: formal approval, final consent to the effectiveness of a constitution, constitutional amendment, or treaty

Virginia Plan: plan presented by delegates from Virginia at the Constitutional Convention: called the three-branch government with a bicameral legislature in which each State's membership would be determined by its population or its financial support for the central government

New Jersey Plan: plan presented as an alternative to the Virginia Plan at the Constitutional Convention; called for a unicameral legislature in which each State would be equally represented

Connecticut Compromise: agreement during the Constitutional Convention that Congress should be composed of a Senate, in which States would be represented equally, and a House, in which representation would be base on a State's population

Three-Fifths Compromise: an agreement at the Constitutional Convention to count a slave as three-fifths of a person when determining population of a State

Federalists: those persons who supported the ratification of the Constitution in 1787-1788

Anti-Federalists: those persons who opposed the ratification of the Constitution 1787-1788

Federalist Paper: 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution.

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