Social Studies Book Vocab

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Natural Right - Those rights that no government can justly take away, such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press.

Freedom of the Press - The right guaranteed in the First Amendment to freely publish books, newspapers, magazines, and other written materials.

Bill of Rights - The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.

Executive Power - The power to carry out or manage government affairs. The President of the United States has executive power in the federal government.

Universal Manhood Suffrage - Voting rights for all male citizens.

National - Of a nation; belonging to a nation.

Confederation Government - An association of independent states with a weak national government; the type of government established for the United States under the Articles of Confederation in 1777.

Ratification - Adoption; formal approval.

Sovereignty - Supreme power or authority; complete control by a state over its own affairs without outside interference.

Land Ordinance of 1785 - A law passed by the Confederation government that established an orderly process of laying out townships and selling public lands.

Northwest Ordinance of 1787 - An act of Congress under the Articles of Confederation providing for the governing of the Northwest Territory-the land north and west of the Ohio River-and providing for the eventual admission to the Union of three to five states.

Unfavorable Balance of Trade - A condition in which the value of a country's imports exceeds that of its exports.

Tariff - A tax placed on imports.

Nationalist - Prior to the emergence of the Federalist party, a person who favored a strong national government.

Quorum - The number of members of an assembly that must be present if the business done is to be legal or binding.

Unicameral - Made up of one legislative body, or house.

Bicameral - Made up of two legislative parts, or houses.

Compromise - The settlement of a dispute in which each side gives up some of its demands in order to reach an agreement.

Great Compromise - The agreement between small states and large states during the Constitutional Convention that allowed for representation according to population in the House of Representatives and equal representation for all states in the Senate.

Electoral College - A group of people called electors, who are chosen by each state to meet and elect the President and Vice-President of the United States.

Veto - The right to reject bills proposed by a lawmaking body.

Three-Fifths Compromise - The agreement reached by the Constitutional Convention to count each slave as three fifths of a person when figuring both representation and taxation.

Amendment - A change that is made or added to a constitution, law, bill, or motion.

Federalist - A person who favored strong central government and the adoption of the United States Constitution.

Anti-Federalist - A person who favored states' rights and opposed the adoption of the United States Constitution.

Federalist Papers - Essays written in 1787-1788 by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay answering criticisms of the proposed new government and making powerful arguments for adopting the United States Constitution.

Bill of Rights - The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.

Federalism - A system of government in which the individual units, such as states, retain some powers, but the central government is supreme.

Implied Powers - The authority for Congress to make laws in areas other than those enumerated in the Constitution.

Supremacy Clause - Article 6, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, which states that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

Separation of Powers - In the United States, the division of authority among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.

Checks and Balances - A system in which each branch of government can, to some degree, prevent or control the actions of other branches.

Judicial Review - The power of the judiciary to review laws and determine whether they are constitutional.

Impeach - To accuse a public official of wrong conduct during office before a competent tribunal.

Pardon - To excuse an offense without punishment.

Civil Liberty - The freedom of a person to enjoy the rights guaranteed by the laws or constitution of a state or country without any undue restraint by the government.

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