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Legislation & Court

TermDefinition
U.S. Constitution Established the basic principles of the legal, political and economic systems of the new nation of America. Written in September 17, 1787 by the Constitutional Convention.
Bill of Rights The First 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution
1st Amendment Freedom of Religion, Assembly, Press, Petition, and Speech
2nd Amendment Right to bear arms
4th Amendment Protection against unreasonable search and seizure
5th Amendment Right to due process of the law
6th Amendment Right to a speedy and public trial
7th Amendment Right to a trial by jury
8th Amendment Protection against cruel and unusual punishment
10th Amendment Powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved for the States
13th Amendment Made slavery and involuntary servitude illegal
14th Amendment Defined national citizenship for ex-slaves
15th Amendment Granted African American men the right to vote
Pacific Railroad Act Authorized the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroad to build a railroad from Nebraska to California. Provided land from the public and govt. bonds to pay for the construction. Issued govt. bonds and the grants of land to railroad companies.
Homestead Act Legislation granting 160 acres to anyone who paid a $10 fee and pledged to live on and cultivate the land for 5 years.
Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 Legislation passed in 1882 that excluded Chinese immigrants for ten years and denied U.S. citizenship to Chinese nationals. 1st U.S. exclusionary law aimed at a specific race
Munn v. Illinois A watershed in the struggle for public regulation of private enterprise. Was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld the power of government to regulate private industries.
Dawes Act Legislation passed by Congress in 1887 that aimed to break up traditional Indian life by promoting individual land ownership. Divided tribal lands into small plots, provided education and eventual citizenship. Weakened tribal culture.
Interstate Commerce Act A United States federal law that was designed to regulate the railroad industry, particularly its monopolistic practices. The Act required that railroad rates be "reasonable and just," but did not empower the government to fix specific rates.
Sherman Antitrust Act (1890) First U.S. attempt to deal with the problem of the increasing size of business. It declared illegal "every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce.
16th Amendment allowed the federal (United States) government to levy (collect) an income tax from all Americans. Other taxes, such as taxes on houses or other property are considered “direct” taxes by the Constitution and would have to be divided back among the states.
17th Amendment established the popular election of United States Senators by the people of the states.
18th Amendment banned the sale and drinking of alcohol in the United States. This amendment took effect in 1919 and was a huge failure.
19th Amendment gave women the right to vote in 1920 and made it illegal for the federal or state government to deny any US citizen the right to vote. The 19th amendment unified suffrage laws across the United States.
Pendleton Act United States federal law enacted in 1883 that mandated that positions within the federal government should be awarded on the basis of merit instead of political affiliation.
Interstate Commerce Act United States federal law that was designed to regulate the railroad industry, particularly its monopolistic practices. The Act required that railroad rates be "reasonable and just," but did not empower the government to fix specific rates.
Pure Food and Drug Act An Act— For preventing the manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated or misbranded or poisonous or deleterious foods, drugs, medicines, and liquors, and for regulating traffic therein, and for other purposes.
Clayton Antitrust Act an amendment passed by U.S. Congress in 1914 that provides further clarification and substance to the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. The Act focuses on topics such as price discrimination, price fixing, and unfair business practices.
Open Door Policy a term in foreign affairs initially used to refer to the United States policy established in the late 19th century and the early 20th century that would allow for a system of trade in China open to all countries equally.
Roosevelt Corollary The United States would intervene as a last resort to ensure that nations in the Western Hemisphere fulfilled their obligations to international creditors and didn't violate the rights of the U.S. or invite “foreign aggression to the detriment of the U.S.
Executive Order 9066 President FDR signs Executive Order 9066, initiating a controversial WW II policy with lasting consequences for Japanese Americans. The document ordered the removal of resident enemy aliens from parts of the West vaguely identified as military areas.
Federal Reserve Act of 1913- U.S. legislation that created the current Federal Reserve System. Congress developed the Federal Reserve Act to establish economic stability in the United States by introducing the Central Bank to oversee monetary policy.
Selective Service Act- The Selective Service Act of 1917 or Selective Draft Act authorized the United States federal government to raise a national army for service in World War I through conscription.
Social Security Act- established on Aug. 14, 1935; a system of old-age benefits for workers, benefits for victims of industrial accidents, unemployment insurance, aid for dependent mothers and children, the blind, and the physically handicapped.
Agricultural Adjustment Act- a United States federal law of the New Deal era designed to boost agricultural prices by reducing surpluses. The Government bought livestock for slaughter and paid farmers subsidies not to plant on part of their land.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. It upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation laws for public facilities as long as the segregated facilities were equal in quality – a doctrine that came to be known as "separate but equal".
Schenck v. United States It seriously lessened the strength of the First Amendment during times of war by removing its protections of the freedom of speech when that speech could incite a criminal action (like dodging the draft).
Scopes Trial an American legal case in July 1925 in which a substitute high school teacher, John T. Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which had made it unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school
Sacco and Vanzetti Trials Despite worldwide demonstrations in support of their innocence, Italian-born anarchists Sacco & Vanzetti are executed for murder. On April 15, 1920, a paymaster for a shoe company in South Braintree, MA, was shot and killed along with his guard.
The New Deal for relief, reform, and recovery from the Great Depression. TVA= TN Valley Auth., decentralized power and control, increased living standards. WPA: Work Progress Admin., Jobs, built infrastructure. CCC: Civilian Conserv. Corps, young unmarried men, roads
Cash and Carry the "Cash and Carry" revision allowed the purchase of military arms to belligerents on the same cash-and-carry basis.
Lend-Lease the Lend-Lease Act was the principal means for providing U.S. military aid to foreign nations during World War II.
Created by: Allee Mainord