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Ch. 9: The Constitution- A More Perfect Union

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58 Terms
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Ingenious
An especially original, intelligent, or clever idea.
Popular sovereignty
The idea that the government's authority comes from the people.
Domestic
Relating to issues within a country.
Legislative branch
The lawmaking part of government, called the legislature.
Executive branch
The part of government that carries out, or executes, the laws.
Judicial branch
The part of government, consisting of the Supreme Court and lower federal courts, that interprets the laws.
Judicial review
The power of the Supreme Court to decide whether laws and acts made by the legislative and executive branches are unconstitutional.
Separation of powers
Key constitutional principle that divides the functions of government among three branchesā€”legislative, executive, and judicial to prevent any one branch from gaining too much power.
Interstate Commerce
Trade and other business dealings between two or more states.
Discriminate
To treat a person or group unfairly
Federalism
The constitutional system that shares power between the national and state governments.
Function
The use or purpose of something.
Interest group
An organization that actively promotes the view of some part of the public on specific issues in order to influence government policy.
Why has the Constitution been effective for over 200 years?
Because it combines a framework for the government with flexibility for change
Why is the Constitution considered a living document?
It has changed with time
What does the Preamble list?
The purposes of the government
Why does the Constitution begin with "We the People?"
To state that government power comes from the people
What does "establish justice" mean?
Why we need federal courts
What is tranquility?
Peace & order
What does the Preamble mean by "provide for the common defense?"
Protect Americans from foreign enemies
Who does "our posterity" represent?
Children, grandchildren, etc.
What is the main job of the Legislative Branch?
Make laws
Why are there two senators from each state?
To balance the rights of large and small states
What is the final step before a national bill become a law?
Approved by Congress and signed by the President
What is the "elastic clause" give Congress the power to do?
Pass laws needed to carry out its other powers
What are the powers of the Executive Branch?
Carry out laws, make treaties, nominate federal judges
What are the powers of the Judicial Branch?
Interpret laws & decides whether laws/actions are Constitutional
What is the purpose of checks and balances?
To prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful
How can an amendment be proposed?
-2/3 vote from both houses of Congress -National Convention called by congress request of 2/3 legislatures of all states
How can an amendment be ratified?
-Approved by the legislatures in Ā¾ of the states -Approved by the state conventions in Ā¾ of the state
What powers are shared by the state and national governments?
Raising taxes
How can the U.S. population directly participate in government?
Join interest groups, vote, belong to political parties, etc.
Who has the power to declare war?
Congress
Who has the power to print & coin money?
Congress
Who is the commander in chief of the U.S. military forces?
President
What is the length of a term of office for members of the Senate?
6 years
What is the length of a term of office for members of the House of Representatives?
2 years
What is the length of a term of office for the president?
4 years
How old must one be to hold the office of the president?
35
How many members of the Supreme Court are there?
9
What is the length of a term of office for justices of the Supreme Court?
Life
Who has the power to settle disputes between different states?
Federal Courts
Who has the power to propose a law to raise revenue (a tax law)?
House of Representatives
Who must approve judges, cabinet members, and ambassadors that the president appoints to government positions?
Senate
Who has the power to veto laws?
President
How many amendments have been made to the Constitution?
27
How many members of Congress are there?
535 (100 in Senate + 435 in House)
What is the "supreme law of the land?"
The Constitution
Who has the power to nominate ambassadors, public ministers, or other officers of the U.S. such as members of the Cabinet?
President
How old must a person be to be elected to the House of Representatives?
25
What fraction of states must approve an amendment to the Constitution?
3/4
How many branches does the American government have?
3
Why does the Constitution establish the principle of majority rule?
So decisions represent what most people want
What is the purpose of checks and balances?
To prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful
What is the main responsibility of the U.S. Supreme Court?
To review laws
What does impeach mean?
To formally accuse the President of crimes specified in the Constitution
What does the Preamble mean by "promote the general welfare?"
Support an economy and society where people can prosper
How is the Constitution organized?
Into parts called articles