Constitution and the Convention

Articals of confederation

the nation's first constitution, was adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1781 during the Revolution war. It was a weak central government; ultimately it was a failure because the states had too much power.

Consitutional Convention

Convention that met in Philadelphia in 1787 to draft the Constitution of the United States.

Great Compromise

The great comprise was between the large and small states of the colonies. The great comprise resolved that there would be representation by population in the House of Representatives, and equal representation would exist in the Senate.

James Madison

Father of the Constitution," Federalist leader, and fourth President of the United States. He recorded 600 pages of notes at the convention and was the lead author of the Bill of Rights.

Legislative Branch (Congress)

2 House in Legislative Branch, main job is to make the laws

How many Senator total & per state

Each state, regardless of population or size, has two senators. Currently, there are 100 senators representing the 50 states.

The Executive Branch (Title & job)

The executive branch of the U.S. government is responsible for enforcing laws; its power is vested in the President.

The Judicial Branch (name, job)

This branch of government includes criminal and civil courts and helps interpret the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court's role is to interpret the Constitution and limit the powers of the other branches of government.


the population is counted every 10 years; representation in the House of representatives is adjusted based on the census.


to approve

Electoral College

This is the system we use to elect the president. There are a total of 538 electoral votes; a candidate needs 270 electoral votes to be elected president.

How many amendments are there?

27 total amendments

Federalist Papers

A series of papers published (by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison) to persuade and convince the American public that the Constitution was a good plan and the system of federalism and checks and balances would prevent government abuses of po


Congress is considered this because the legislature has 2 houses (chambers)

Anti Federalists

Anti-Federalists rose up as the opponents of the Constitution during the period of ratification. They opposed the Constitution's powerful centralized government, arguing that the Constitution gave too much political, economic, and military control. They i


Supporters of the U.S. Constitution at the time the states were contemplating its adoption.

Bill Of Rights

The first ten amendments to the Constitution

Elastic Clause (Necessary and Proper Clause)

a statement in the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8) granting Congress the power to pass all laws necessary and proper for carrying out the Federal (national gov.) list of powers.

First Amendment

5 freedoms: speech, press, religion, assembly, petition

Peter Zenger

a newspaper publisher who was charged with false word because he published criticism of governor, acquitted by jury, established the basic idea of freedom of the press

Federalism (federal system)

Sharing power between the federal and state governments. This system is outlined in the Tenth Amendment.

Three Branches of Government

Separation of powers between the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches

Checks and Balances

A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent any branch from becoming too powerful.