Government Chapter 2 vocabulary


a legislature consisting of two parts, or houses

magna carta (1215)

the first ever attempt to limit the power of the British King, guaranteed all people certain rights

petition of right

document required monarchs to obtain Parliament's approval

english bill of rights

stated that english monarchs couldnt enact laws, raise taxes, or keep an army without parliament's consent

fundamental orders of connecticut

a set of laws that limited the power of government and gave all free men the right to choose people to serve as judges

proprietary colony

a colony based on a grant of land by the english monarch to a proprietor

royal colony

colony controlled by the english king through appointed governors who served as the colonies chief executive

charter colony

colony based on a grant of land by the british crown to a company or a group of settlers

new england confederation

defended themselves from threats posed by native americans and lay settlers from nearby dutch colonies

iroquois confederation

a powerful alliance of 6 native american nations

albany plan of union

proposal by Benjamin Franklin to create one government for the 13 colonies

stamp act

1765; law that taxed printed goods, including: playing cards, documents, newspapers, etc.

first continental congress

September 1774, delegates from twelve colonies sent representatives to Philadelphia to discuss a response to the Intolerable Acts

second continental congress

1774; organized the continental army, and appointed the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence

articles of confederation

the document that created the first central government for the United States


formally approved

northwest ordinance

1787; law that set up a government for the Northwest Territory and a plan for admitting new states to the Union

shay's rebellion (1786-1787)

the revolt led by Daniel Shays to prevent judges in Massachusetts from foreclosing on the farms or farmers who could not pay taxes the state had levied


group of delegates who drafted the United States Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787

the virginia plan

plan for government where the national government would have supreme power and a legislative branch would have two houses with representation determined by state population

new jersey plan

proposal to create a unicameral legislature with equal representation of states instead of representation by population

the great compromise

agreement where in the House of Representatives each state would be assigned a number of seats in proportion to its population and in the Senate, all states would have the same number of seats

three-fifths compromise

agreement that three-fifths of slaves in a state would be counted for their population to determine representation in the House


supporters of the Constitution and a strong national government


people who opposed the Constitution, wanted a bill of rights, and feared too-strong of a national government


the pen name that Framers Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay used when writing the Federalist Papers

federalist papers

85 essays written by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay (Publius) published in NY newspapers and used to convince readers to adopt the new constitution

bill of rights

December 1791; first 10 amendments to the Constitution that protected the basic rights of citizens