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MC Test Constitution

QuestionAnswer
What are three natural rights? life, liberty, and property
What is the sole purpose of the government? and how did this contrast with traditional notions about government? The sole purpose was to protect natural rights. Certain things were beyond the realm of government contrasted with the traditional notions about the kings having absolute power and rights over their subjects.
Define the Articles of Confederation 1st US Constitution. It established a national legislature (strictly limited powers), Continental Congress. States had one vote, there was no president and no national court.
What LEVEL of government dominated this government (AoC)? State
What ONE BRANCH of government did exist on a national level? Legislative
What TWO branches of the national government did not exist? Executive and Judicial
What two economic powers did the national government lack? Levy taxes and regulate commerce
What one power did the Continental Congress have and how was even this limited? Could maintain an army and navy, however they had to go through states to get the funds since they could not tax, so they eventually voted to disband the army.
In general, what was true of the national government? It was weak
What happened in Shay's Rebellion? It was a series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by Rev. War Capt. Daniel Shays to block foreclosure proceedings.
How did Shay's Rebellion scare the economic elite? People had taken the law into their own hands and violated the property rights of others.
How did Shay's Rebellion reveal the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation? Because neither Congress nor the state could raise a militia to stop them, and the elites had to assemble a privately paid force to do it.
What did the delegates believe about human nature? They believed people were naturally self-interested and that government should play a key role in containing these impulses.
What did the delegates believe was the most important cause of political conflict? The distribution of wealth was the source of political conflict.
What did the framers think was the principal object of government? The preservation of property
What did the Connecticut (Great) Compromise create? Two houses of Congress
Describe both parts of the institution (the Connecticut (Great) Compromise). The House of Representatives, in which representation is based on a state's share of the US population; and the Senate, in which each state has two representatives.
What two compromises were made by the delegates with regards to slavery? Delegates agreed Congress could limit future importing of slaves, but they did not forbid slavery itself. Three-fifths compromise representation and taxation of slaves were to be based on the "# of free persons" plus 3/5 of the # of "all other persons"
What did the delegates decide about who could vote in national elections? Left the issue to the states. People qualified to vote in state elections could also vote in national elections.
What did "virtually all" the delegates think was necessary for economic stability? A strong national government
As a result (What did "virtually all" the delegates think was necessary for economic stability?), what did they seek to do? Strengthen the economic powers and the scope of the new national government.
What institution was to be the chief economic policymaker? Congress
What were two economic powers granted to Congress in the Constitution which were denied under the Articles? Levying taxes, regulating commerce
What were three economic powers which the Constitution specifically denied to the states? Coining money or issuing paper money, taxing imports or exports from abroad or from other states, and passing laws impairing the obligations of contract.
Who was the principal architect of the Constitution? James Madison
What one element of the federal government was under majority control? The House of Representatives
In what way did the majority control one element of the federal government? The majority had direct control through the votes of the majority.
Under the original Constitution, how were US senators elected? State legislatures were to elect senators
How did the Seventeenth Amendment change federal elections? Established direct election of senators by popular majorities.
How has the electoral college been democratized as well over time? It votes the way the popular majority in each states votes.
Define checks and balances. Features of the Constitution that limit government's power by requiring each branch to obtain the consent of the others for its actions, limiting and balancing power among the branches.
How was this meant to limit factions? If a faction seized on institution, it still could not damage the whole system.
Provide five specific examples of checks and balances. Pres. can veto congressional legislature, Senate confirms the pres. nominations (can impeach judges and remove from office), The court can declare laws unconst., and declare pres. acts unconst., and pres. nominates judges and enforces judicial opinions.
Contrast the Federalist and the Anti-Federalists with regards to preferences about the state and national government. Federalists - wanted weak state gov. and strong national gov. Anti-Federalists - wanted strong state gov. and weak national gov.
What do formal amendments do? They change the letter of the Constitution (an amendment that is in writing).
What two steps are required to amend the Constitution? Proposal and ratification
In what two ways can the first step be done? An amendment may be proposed either by a 2/3 vote in each house of Congress or by a national convention called by Congress at the request of 2/3 of the state legislatures.
In what two ways can the second step be completed? An amendment may be ratified either by the legislatures of 3/4 of the states or by special state conventions called in 3/4 of the states.
What is the role of the president in formally amending the Constitution? The president has no formal role in amending the Constitution, although he/she can influence the success of proposed amendments.
What two steps have been the most common by far? Congress proposing an amendment by a 2/3 vote in each house, and state legislatures ratifying an amendment by a vote of 3/4 of the states.
What has been the most important effect of formally amending the Constitution? Makes the Constitution more democratic and egalitarian, expanding liberty and equality in the US.
How is the Constitution changed through judicial interpretation. The SC has the power of judicial review, which gives courts the right to decide whether the actions of the legislative and executive branches of state and national gov. are in accord with the Constitution.
How do each illustrate judicial interpretation: segregation and abortion? 1869, the SC decided that the Const. allowed racial discrimination despite the 14th Amendment. 58 yrs later, it concluded that it violated the Const. 1973, SC decided the Const. protected a woman's right to an abortion during the first 2 trimesters.
How do political parties illustrate changing political practice? They weren't mentioned in the Constitution, and are now one of the most important aspects of the government.
How do the mass media and atomic weapons illustrate how technology has changed the Constitution? Mass media questions governmental policies, supports candidates, and helps shape citizens' opinions. It can reach huge audiences. Atomic weapons gives the president's role as commander and chief added significance.
Created by: Matti