Text of the Period Two Unit
What philosophe argued in favor of a three branch government?
Who was the first to introduce the idea of natural rights that should
What document defined the first gov’t of the U.S.?
Articles of Confederation
***What were the key weaknesses of this document?
no executive, no power to tax, coin money, regulate trade, pay for a
Which plan was devised to represent the needs of the small states?
The New Jersey Plan
After the New Jersey Plan was rejected, what question deadlocked the
Whether representation should be equal for all states or determined by
***What was the name of the compromise that resolved this issue?
What did it do?
Connecticut Compromise, provided for 2 houses - the House (by
population) & the Senate (equal for all states)
***What issue was resolved by the 3/5 Compromise? How did it
resolve the issue?
How to count slaves in a state’s population, 1 slave = 3/5 of a free
man (for both representation and taxes)
What 2 groups quickly formed during the debate over ratification
Federalists (for the Cons.) and Anti Federalists (against the Cons.)
***Identify two reasons the Anti-Federalists opposed the new
Drafted in secret, the convention had overstepped it’s bounds, main
reason: had no Bill of Rights
Why did the federalists argue that a Bill of Rights was unnecessary?
because most of the states already had them in their constitutions
What did the federalists promise in order to move the Constitution
that a Bill of Rights would be the first order of business for the new
Who served as the first President and Vice President of the United
George Washington and John Adams
Which branch did the framers intend to have the most power?
The legislative branch (Congress)
What is the age requirement for serving in the House? The
25 years of age, 7 years a citizen
How many representatives currently serve in the House? How are
these reps divided between the states?
435, by population
How long is the term of office in the house?
***What organization determines the population of each state? How
often is this done?
The Census Bureau, every ten years
Who is in charge of redistricting a state after the census?
The legislature of each state
Identify the two main ways that state legislatures have traditionally
abused this power.
creating districts of unequal population and gerrymandering
What is gerrymandering?
it’s when districts are drawn to benefit a specific political party
What is the age requirement to be a senator? The citizenship
30 years of age, 9 years a citizen
How long is the term of office for a senator? What portion of the
senate is up for reelection every two years?
6 years, 1/3 is up for reelection
What is the most common profession amongst the members of Congress?
Describe the average member of congress in terms of age, ethnicity,
profession and gender.
over 50, white, lawyer and male
What percentage of incumbents won reelection between 1945-1990?
Identify two reasons why incumbents are generally more successful.
money from PACs, gerrymandering, voter recognition
Identify the three House leaders chosen by the majority party.
Speaker, majority leader, majority whip
***What are two of the main powers of the Speaker?
assigning bills to committees, presiding over House debates, playing a
key role in the calendaring of bills
What do the party leader and whip do, respectively?
leader sets the agenda and priorities, whip maintains party discipline
What is the primary role of congressional committees?
to closely evaluate proposed bills, hold hearings on them, and decide
whether they go on to the full house or senate
Which committee controls the proceedings of the house and gives final
consent to the calendar?
the Rules Committee
Who appoints Justices & Ambassadors? Who approves them?
Who has the power to declares laws/acts unconstitutional?
Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
Who has the power to tax, regulate trade and coin money?
Who is commander in Chief of the armed forces and also in charge of
federal departments (Defense, Treasury, State, etc.)
Who has the power to declare war, raise an army, and approve treaties?
What branch has used many precedents over time to add to its powers?
***What are two ways the President can try to influence Congress?
veto, call special session, make State of the Union Address
***What are two powers Congress has over the President?
approve treaties, cabinet officials, & judges, veto override,
control the budget
What percentage of bills actually become laws?