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Unit 1B: Foundations of American Government

Name: John Chung P.1

Chapter 3: The Constitution (pp. 64-82) Chapter Objective

In this chapter you will learn about the basic principles on which the Constitution was founded, how
amendments to the Constitution can be made.
Chapter 3: Read Pages 64 82 and answer the following questions and define the following terms.
1. What are the 6 basic principles of the Constitution?
- Popular Sovereignty: the people hold ultimate power in the government.
- Limited Government: No government is all powerful. Government must obey the law.
- Separation of Powers: No one component of the government holds too much power Powers are distributed
among 3 different branches.
- Checks and Balances: Designed to prevent abuse of power in the government
- Federalism: power is shared between the central/national government and the states.
- Judicial Review: the power of the courts to declare a law constitutional and unconstitutional

What is the purpose of checks and balances?

Each of the three branches of government can limit the powers of the others. This way, no one branch
becomes too powerful. Each branch checks the power of the other branches to make sure that the power is
balanced between them.

3. Explain the formal process of amending the Constitution. What has been the most common method for
adding an amendment to the constitution?
Article V creates a two-stage process for amending the Constitution: proposal and ratification.

An amendment can be proposed by two-thirds of both houses of Congress or...

By two-thirds of state legislatures requesting Congress to call a national convention to propose

An amendment can be ratified by a favorable vote in three-fourths of all state legislatures or by such a
vote in specially called ratifying conventions called in three-fourths of the states.

The most common way is: Congress proposes, State legislatures ratify
4. Identify the 5 ways the constitution can be changed other than by formal amendment.
Informal way:

By judicial interpretation (in Marbury v. Madison-1803- the Supreme Court declared that the federal
courts had the power to nullify actions of the national government if found to be in conflict with the

The informal amendment process can take place by:

the passage of basic legislation by Congress;

actions taken by the President;
Judicial Interpretation- key decisions of the Supreme Court;
the activities of political parties; and


5. Rule of law- the restriction of the arbitrary

exercise of power by subordinating it to welldefined and established laws.
6. Separation of powers- an act of vesting the
legislative, executive, and judicial powers of
government in separate bodies.
7. Checks and balances-counterbalancing
influences by which an organization or system
is regulated, typically those ensuring that
political power is not concentrated in the hands
of individuals or groups.
8. Veto- a constitutional right to reject a decision
or proposal made by a law-making body.
9. Judicial review- review by the US Supreme
Court of the constitutional validity of a
legislative act.
10. Unconstitutional- not in accordance with a
political constitution, especially the US
Constitution, or with procedural rules.
11. Amendment- a change or addition to a legal or
statutory document.

12. Formal amendment- A formal amendment to the

U.S. Constitution is one that goes through one
of the processes outlined in Article V of the
Constitution and adds to or changes the
document's wording.
13. Bill of Rights- the first ten amendments to the
US Constitution, ratified in 1791 and
guaranteeing such rights as the freedoms of
speech, assembly, and worship.
14. Executive agreement- an international
agreement, usually regarding routine
administrative matters not warranting a formal
treaty, made by the executive branch of the US
government without ratification by the Senate.
15. Treaty- a formally concluded and ratified
agreement between countries.
16. Electoral College- a body of people representing
the states of the US, who formally cast votes for
the election of the president and vice president.
17. Cabinet- a body of advisers to the president,
composed of the heads of the executive
departments of the government.

Chapter 4: Federalism (pp. 88-108)

Chapter Objective: In this chapter you will learn about the political system called federalism - why the
United States chose this system, how it operates, and how it distributes power between the National and
States Governments.
Chapter 4: Read Pages 88 108 and answer the following questions and define the following terms.

Describe the powers the Constitution gives to the National Government.

Expressed Powers- those delegated powers of the National Government that are spelled out, expressly, in
the Constitution. Implied Powers- those delegated powers of the National Government that are suggested by
the expressed powers set out in the Constitution. Inherent Powers- powers the constitution is presumed to
have delegated to the National Government because it is the government of a sovereign state within the
world community.

2. In what 3 ways does the Constitution deny powers to the national government? Give one example for each.
First, the powers to levy duties on exports; to prohibit freedom of religion; speech, press, or assembly; to
conduct illegal searches or seizures; and to deny to any person accused of a crime a speedy and public trial
or a trial by jury. Second, the powers to create a public school system for the nation, to enact uniform
marriage and divorce laws, and to set up units of local government. Third, power to take action that would
threaten the existence of the federal system.
3. What is the role of the Supreme Court in the federal system?
One of its chief duties is to apply the Supremacy Clause to the conflicts that the dual system of government
inevitably produces.
4. According to the Constitution, what are the National Governments obligations to the States?
Republican Form of Government, Invasion and Internal Disorder, and, Respect for Territorial Integrity.

5. What is cooperative federalism? Give 3 examples of cooperative federalism at work.

A political and constitutional concept that emphasizes the decentralization of power and a not necessarily
equal sharing of governmental responsibilities between federal, state and local agencies and constitutions.
6. What is a block grant? Give an example of a program that a States might funds using a block grant.
One type of federal grants-in-aid for some particular but broadly defined area of public policy. State and
local agencies use Community Services Block Grants funds to promote self sufficiency
7. Explain the purpose of the Privileges and Immunities Clause.
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the
United States.

8. Federalism- A way of organizing a nation so that

two levels(national and state) have formal
authority over the same land and people. It is a
system of shared power between units of
9. Division of powers- basic principle of
federalism; the constitutional provisions by
which governmental powers are divided on a
geographic basis
10. Delegated powers- those powers, expressed,
implied, or inherent, granted to the National
Government by the Constitution
11. Expressed powers- those delegated powers of
the National Government that are spelled out,
expressly, in the Constitution; also called the
"enumerated powers"
12. Implied powers- those delegated powers of the
National government that are suggested by the
expressed powers set out in the Constitution;
those "necessary and proper" to carry out the
expressed powers
13. Inherent powers- Powers the Constitution is
presumed to have delegated to the National
Government because it is the government of a
sovereign state within the world community
14. Reserved powers- those powers that the
Constitution does not grant to the National
Government and does not, at the same time,
deny to the States
15. Exclusive powers- those powers that can be
exercised by the National Government alone

16. Concurrent powers- those powers that both the

national Government and the States possess
and exercise
17. Grants-in-aid program- grants of federal money
or other resources to State, cities, counties, and
other local units
18. Revenue sharing- a sharing of the taxes; 'Lulu
19. Categorical grant- funds can only be used for
that particular project
20. Block grant- more broadly defined purposes,
fewer strings attached; local governments have
more in the say
21. Project grant- Federal grants given for specific
purposes and awarded on the basis of the
merits of applications. A type of categorical
grants available to states and localities.
22. Interstate compact- formal agreement entered
into the consent of Congress, between or among
States, or between a State and a foreign state
23. Full Faith and Credit Clause- Constitution's
requirement that each State accept the public
acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every
other State
24. Extradition- the legal process by which a
fugitive from justice in one State is returned to
that state

25. Privileges and Immunities Clause- states cannot

make distinctions between their own residents
and residents of another state; buy, rent, own, or
sell property from all 50 states