Articles of Confederation First government of the newly formed United States



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Standard 5 Vocabulary


  1. Articles of Confederation – First government of the newly formed United States

  2. Weaknesses - Could not tax, could not enforce laws, could not form an army

  3. Strengths – could declare war or make peace, could coin or make money

  4. Shays’ Rebellion - Rebellion following American Revo. War against tax and debt collectors; showed the weaknesses of Articles of Confederation

  5. Federalist vs. Antifederalists – Federalists: supported Articles, opposed strong national gov’t, supported state government; Antifederalists: Opposed Articles and wanted a strong national gov’t, believed upper class should govern the people

  6. TJ vs. A. Ham – TJ was Democratic-Republican and Hamilton was a Federalist Had differing views about the gov’t, constitution, people in the government, and the economy

  7. Beliefs of each side – Jefferson: Strong state government and economy based on agriculture, supported low tariffs and wanted a strict interpretation of the Constitution; Hamilton: Strong central government and economy based on industry, supported high tariffs to protect U.S. industries, wanted a loose interpretation of the Constitution

  8. Constitutional Convention – Met to discuss changes to the AOC and instead annulled it and drew up a new government

  9. James Madison – Father of the Constitution and one of the writers of The Federalist papers

  10. The Federalist Papers – Series of 85 letters written to support ratification of the Constitution

  11. Written by – John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison

  12. Roger Sherman – The Great Compromiser; author of the Great Compromise

  13. The Great Compromise – Created bi-cameral Congress where representation in the House was based on population and representation in the Senate was equal among the states

  14. 3/5 Compromise – Counted 3 of every 5 slaves for population and tax purposes

  15. Charles de Montesquieu – Philosopher attributed with the ideas of separation of powers, checks and balances and limited government

  16. Separation of Powers – Creation of different branches of government with different powers

  17. Legislative, Judicial, & Executive Branches – Legislative : makes laws; Judicial: interprets the laws; Executive: enforces the laws

  18. Checks and Balances – One branch of government has power over other branches and vice versa to balance out the power

  19. Limited Government – Power of the government is limited by laws and by the citizens

  20. Bill of Rights – First 10 amendments to the Constitution

  21. Voltaire – Influenced the writing of the Bill of Rights; Especially 1st amendment: Freedom of speech, religion, petition and press

  22. President George Washington – 1st President of the U.S.; advocated neutrality from foreign affairs; Set precedent for future presidents with his actions, including only serving two terms

  23. Whiskey Rebellion – Rebellion against the tax placed on whiskey during Washington’s presidency; resulted in Army being sent to squash the rebellion

  24. Policy of Neutrality or Nonintervention – Not interfering in foreign affairs

  25. Political Parties – Washington was against them; Federalist and Democratic-Republican

  26. Hamilton vs. Jefferson – Hamilton was a Federalist while Jefferson a Democratic-Republican

  27. President John Adams – 2nd President of the U.S. Federalist Party; Signed Alien & Sedition Acts and increased size of military to fight vs. France

  28. XYZ Affair – French officials demanded a bribe from American diplomats before negotiations could begin

  29. Alien & Sedition Acts – Increased the citizenship requirement to 14 years and allowed the president to arrest and deport aliens critical of the government

  30. Midnight Judges – John Adams appointed judges before leaving office trying to keep the Federalists in power

  31. John Marshall – Supreme Court Justice who made several landmark decisions affecting constitutional law

  32. Judiciary Act of 1789 – Created the Federal Court System; ruled unconstitutional by Marbury v. Madison

  33. Judiciary Act of 1801 – Created 16 new federal judges

  34. Marbury v. Madison – Established court’s power of judicial review over acts of congress

  35. McCulloch v. Maryland – Maryland could not tax 2nd BUS and Congress invoked necessary and proper clause

  36. Gibbons v. Ogden – Established the power of the National government over the states for commerce


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