Ch. 4 (8)
Ch. 5 (8)
Ch. 6 (6)
Ch. 7 (8)

Mayflower Compact

Define: Separatist agreed to a representative government

Significance: first written framework of self-government (US)


Magna Carta

Define: King John, in 1215, gave freemen rights and due process (justice)

Significance: it later led to the creation of a parliament to make laws


English Bill of Rights

Define: limited the king’s power (trial by jury, tax powers given to parliament, etc.)

Significance: It led to the US Bill of Rights


House of Burgesses

Define: colonial Virginia’s  democratic legislature (self government)

Significance: only white, male landowners could vote though


Albany Plan of Union

Define: A plan to unite the 13 colonies into a confederation to raise taxes & an army

Significance: the plan was abandoned


Act of Religious Toleration

Define: A law in Maryland that ended discrimination between Catholics & Protestants

Significance: toleration did not include non-Christians (e.g. Jews)


Zenger Trial

Define: A trial over whether newspapers could print damaging stories against the gov’t

Significance: Zenger was found not guilty (the  principle of  free press)


Great Awakening

Define: a religious revival where ministers toured the country giving emotional sermons

Significance: it led society to questions authority & think for themselves


Declaration of Independence

Define: a list of  grievances  against King George III & a justification for independence

Significance: enlightenment ideals of equality, liberty, rights, opportunity & democracy


Stamp Act

Define: a tax imposed on the colonists to help Britain pay off the French Indian War

Significance: it was never put into effect, but it led to calls for “no taxation without representation”


Committee of Correspondence

Define: letters sent throughout the colonies to spread anti-British sentiment

Significance: it helped unite the 13 colonies


Boston Tea Party

Define: a group of protesters destroyed British tea in reaction to the Tea Act

Significance: it led to the Intolerable Acts


Intolerable Acts

Define: a group of laws to punish Boston and put them under direct British control for destroying their tea

Significance: they led to violence and anti-British sentiment


Common Sense

Define: a pamphlet  by Thomas Paine attacking the then beloved King George III

Significance: it persuaded the commoners to question Britain and move towards revolution


Battle of Saratoga

Define: An American victory against the British in NY

Significance: the victory convinced the French & Spanish to help us with troops & supplies


Battle of Yorktown

Define: American & French troops forced Cornwallis to surrender in Virginia

Significance: it was the last battle of the revolution

Articles of Confederation

Define: America’s first constitution

Significance: it was considered too weak (couldn’t tax, no judiciary or army, etc.)


Constitutional Convention

Define: it was created because of the problems under the Articles (poor economy, Shays Rebellion, etc.)
Significance: created a constitution with a stronger central gov’t


Northwest Ordinance

Define: a law that governed and divided up the western lands (WI, MI, IL, IN & OH)

Significance: the new states would be equal to the originals & couldn’t have slavery


US Constitution

Define: our plan of government

Significance: it added separation of powers & checks & balances to prevent tyranny


Great Compromise

Define:Equal Representation  in the Senate, but it is based on population in the House

Significance: it was needed to get more to accept the constitution


Electoral College

Define: A system, where each state is given a number of votes for the presidential elections

Significance: the loser of the popular vote can win the election (e.g. Bush in 2000)


Define: The opening paragraph of the Constitution

Significance: it describes the purposes of the government



Define: the legislative branch (Senate & House)

Significance: writes laws, declares war, proposes amendments & checks the other 2 branches


Elastic Clause

Define: part of constitution that gives Congress powers to do what is “necessary & proper”

Significance: increases power of Congress


Chief Executive

Define: the president carries out Congress’ laws

Significance: the president also checks other branches (signs or vetoes laws & appoints judges)


Federal Judiciary

Define: it is made up of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals & District Courts

Significance: it interprets the Constitution


Judicial Review

Define: The power of the federal judiciary to throw out laws and executive actions (checks & balances)

Significance: it was first used in Marbury v. Madison



Define: the division of power between the federal and state governments

Significance: it creates a balance b/t the British system & the Articles


Supremacy Clause

Define: part of the constitution that says that the laws of the US make up the “supreme Law of the Land”

Significance: federal law should be followed if it conflicts a with state


Here is an example of a note card.