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“Cheat Sheet”

1. Constitution created a Republic—a republic is a system where people elect

leaders to represent them in the Government. All states must create a
representative form of government.
2. Colonist wanted separation from England because they felt their inalienable
rights were being denied them.
3. Colonists were tired of high taxes without having a voice in government (“no
taxation without representation”)
4. Northern colonies made their money from shipping, while southern colonies
made their money by farming. Only white land owners were allowed to vote.
5. The ideas that were the foundations of the American way of government came
from the enlightenment and philosophers who had revolutionary ideas that
gradually became accepted by democratic societies everywhere.
6. The Articles of the Confederation were very weak (created a weak National
government) the Constitution strengthened the power of the National government
greatly. After winning their independence the thirteen states of the United States
lived under the A of C. This lasted only ten years because of the weak central
government left too much power in the hands of the states.
7. The first 10 amendments to the constitution are known as the Bill of Rights. The
purpose of the Bill of Rights is to insure that the strong National Government did
not infringe on the freedoms of those under that government.
8. The Federalist supported a strong National Government. Anti-Federalist
(Republicans; Democrats; Democratic Republicans) sought to protect the rights
of individuals and the States against abuses of the Federal government.
9. The Legislative branch makes law. Our federal legislative branch is made up of
the House and Senate. The Legislative Branch is called Congress and they make
laws for our country. The Speaker of the House will become president if the
president and the vice president both die.
10. The Executive branch enforces law. The top executive in the federal
government is the president. The top executive in the state is the governor. The
president is elected by the Electoral College, if he receives 270 votes.
11. The President appoints federal judges with the approval of the Senate
12. The Judicial branch interrupts law. The Supreme Court and other Federal
courts make up the Judicial branch.
13. The jury decides the guilt of a suspect.
14. The US Constitution can only be changed by amendment.
15. When the Constitution and State law conflict, the Constitution is the supreme law
of the US. The US Constitution holds supreme power.
16. Most significant Supreme Court cases deal with the clarification of the rights of
citizens. Judicial Review (Marbury v Madison, 1803) allows the Supreme
Court to get rid of any laws that violate citizen's rights.
17. Most things that are true about concerning the Federal government are also true
about State governments though the names may be different. Examples include:
the chief executives are the President and the Governor. They have similar
powers. State constitutions mirror the Federal Constitution but are only applied
in the state where the constitution is from.
18. One person may sue another in a civil trial. In a criminal trial the defendant is
prosecuted by the state.
19. The fourteenth amendment to the constitution extends the Bill of Rights to
protect citizens from their states.
20. State Governments make the bulk of their revenue from income tax (48% for
income, 22% for sales).
21. Revenue is money brought in by the government. Expenditures are things that
the government spends money on.
22. Political parties on the local, state and federal level work independently of one
another for the most part. A platform is a list of issues and where the party stands
on these issues.
23. Having a pluralality of votes means that you have the most votes but less than a
majority (51%).
24. The US has always had a two party system. The Republican party is generally
more conservative and the Democratic party is generally more liberal.
25. Law in America has its foundation in the legal traditions from Europe and
ancient times. This is called common law.
26. Lobbies and Special Interest Groups use money to support candidates that will
champion legislation that their group supports.
27. The four factors of production are land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurial skills
(sometimes called management).
28. Free Market, Command, Mixed, and Traditional Economies are all different
because of the different way that the factors of production are managed. The US
has a market economy (aka free market or free enterprise) that is controlled by
the buyer and his/her consumer spending. Other key elements of the market
economy and private ownership, supply and demand, profit motivated,
capitalism, and free enterprise. The government regulates some aspects of a
free market economy to prevent people from limiting competition.
29. Scarcity means that all resources are limited. Scarcity causes all consumers and
producers to make choices. The study of how those choices are made is called
30. Supply and demand of scarce goods and services affect prices. The buyer
represents demand and the seller represents supply.
31. Opporunity cost is the price of making one choice over another.
32. Market economies go through phases of growth and decline called the business
cycle. A recessionary period is a time of low economic activity and high
unemployment. An inflationary period is a time of high economic activity and
low unemployment.
33. The Federal Reserve controls the money supply by raising and lowering the
discount rate, which controls the interest rate.
34. A change or addition to the Constitution is called amendments and there 27 of
35. Police must have a search warrant before entering a suspect's house.
36. Extradition means to send a suspect back to the state where the crime was
37. Federalism finds state and federal governments working together to rule the
38. A duty is something that we have do to as citizens while a responsibility is
something that we should do.
39. Most large companies are owned by stockholders
40. Sole proprietorships make up the largest percentage of American businesses