Vocabulary terms and definitions

Chapter 2

These are student definitions. Use with caution.

1) Limited Government:  system in which government actions are limited to help ensure individual liberties and equality under the law representative government- government where the reps are elected or have received their position by inheritance and make laws 

2)  individual liberty- principal of personal freedom

3)  rule by law- system in which the law applies to government officials as much as to ordinary citizens and public officials must make decisions based on the law not on personal opinions or wishes

4. Petition of Right: demand by Parliament in 1628 that King Charles agree to further limitations on the monarchy such as the king could not put citizens in jail without a legal reason and impose taxes without the approval of the House of Commons

5. The English Bill of Rights: document in which Queen Mary II and King William III recognized certain basic rights Such as,  the right of British subjects to petition the monarch to answer their grievances and the right of British subjects to be protected from excessive bail and from cruel and unusual punishment.

6.) Social Contract- an agreement among the members of a society to create a state and obey its government.

7)Common Law- a body of law base on custom tradition, and post judicial decisions rather than on specific laws and statutes.

10. charter- a legal document issued by the monarch to trading companies or to a group of settlers.

11. proprietors-  an individual to whom a colony and a charter were granted and authority to organize the colony.

45. The Federalists-a series of 85 essays written by Hamilton,Madison,and John Jay defending the Constitution.  It was used to persuade New Yorkers to ratify the Constitution
12. Assemblies - a group or body of law makers in some state; governments of the U.S. and in many foreign cities

13. Burgesses - legislative representatives

41. The three fifths comprise - Three- fifths of the slave population would be counted in determining representation, but they also were to be counted in direct taxes.

42. Slavery and the Constitution - The three provisions were: 1. the slave trade was not to be prohibited for twenty years 2. congress could not compose duties on exports 3. treaties must be approved by two thirds of the Senate.

14. Mayflower Compact- The agreement in which New England settlers established their own government in 1620. The signers agreed to live under a government that would make "just and equal laws... for the good of the colony."

15. The Fundamental Order of Connecticut- the first written constitution in America which formed a colony from Connecticut's early towns. This document called for "an orderly and decent government" and made the freedom of the towns the colony's highest authority.

39. New Jersey Plan- A proposal of government designed by William Patterson which favored an unicameral legislature and a plural executive branch.

40. The Great Compromise- A plan providing for a bicameral legislature in which the people would be represented in the House of Representatives and the states in the senate.

16)  Salutary Neglect- Britain's "hands-off" policy toward the American colonies' internal affairs in order to increase the colonies' productivity and value.

17) Albany Plan of Union- Ben Franklin's plan in 1754 to unite the colonies under a confederation to levy taxes, regulate Indian affairs, and establish an army and navy.  This was a result to the French rg
jk-and Indian War.

18) Stamp Act- Occurred in 1765, this law placed a tax on all papered material, including newspapers, merchants bills, legal documents, and even playing cards and calendars, it required to have an official mark on all printed materials.

19) Townshend Act-was passed 1767 taxed everyday items such as paper, window glass, paint, and tea. Later all of these taxes were dropped expect for the tax on tea.

44.Anti-Federalists - group of people who opposed the new federal System of government; led by Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock.

20) Tea Act- a tax on tea passed in 1773 by Britain, that was not liked by the colonists.  This was the only remaining tax left by the Townshend Act.

21) Boston Tea Party- in December of 1773 60 colonists disguised themselves as Indians and boarded the three East India Ships dumping 300 crates of tea into the Boston Harbor.

43 Federalist those who favored the creation of the new federal government.

22. Intolerable Acts: colonist terms for a set of four British acts. One was the closing of the Port of Boston, the other was a limitation on the self-government of Mass. (Until Tea was paid for).

23. First Continental Congress. First gathering of state delegates who discussed allegiance to Britain. They drew up the "Declaration of Rights" saying that colonists should be treated like people in Britain, and that Parliament violated such rights. Included George Washington, John Adams, Samuel Adams. and more...

24) Lexington and Concord- On the date in April 1775, British soldiers were sent to Massachusetts.. Their mission was to destroy the colonist's supply of weapons and to arrest John Hancock and Samuel Adams for treason. "The colonial militia resisted, and marked the start of the American Revolution.

25) Second Continental Congress- This congress met in Philadelphia three weeks after the battle of Lexington and Concord. John Hancock was elected the President of the Continental Congress. The decisions and policies were carried out by executive committees. "The congress was forced to take on the powers of a government and organize the colony's defense."


26)  Common Sense-  popular and widely read pamphlet written by Thomas Paine.  It included the most persuasive arguments for independence and that the U.S. should cut our ties with royal tyranny
 27. The first function was when they explained ideas and philosophy that justified Americas break with Great Britain. The second function was to rally world sentiment in favor of the American colonists and the third was that the declaration helped unify American public opinion.

28.     The first part of the Declaration of Independence is the preamble which is an explanation of why it was being written and the basic principles on which is was based.  The middle part of the Declaration consists of a detailed list of grievances against King George the III.  These were intended to show exactly how the British government had violated basic rights that the colonists, as British subjects, possessed.  The final part of the Declaration explains the colonists' efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement, the British government stubbornness, and the Americans resolve to be free.

29) Bicameral- the legislatures with only 2 houses

30) Unicameral- Georgia and Pennsylvania only have 1 house

31)  Bill Of Rights-  seven states included a bill of rights in their constitution which listed the basic civil liberties of citizens

32.  Ratification- the final approval of a plan

33.  Confederation- states joined together to meet a certain common goal
34) Treaty of  Paris of 1783-    ended the American Revolution

35)  Northwest Ordinance-     outlined a government structure for the Northwest territory

36) Annapolis Convention-  a meeting to revise the Articles of Confederation    only 5 people attended

37.Quorum- minimum number of people  needed to conduct business.

38.Virginia Plan- a plan that involved 3 separate branches of government, legislative, executive, judicial. Also with a  bicameral legislature and national legislature would have authority to cancel conflicting state laws and make the states comply with national laws. (favors national laws.)

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