• Alexander Hamilton: Federalist, Roman like Republic, central government can veto state laws
  • George Mason: Anti-Federalist, individual rights, weak central government
  • James Madison: architect of the US Constitution, a Federalist who distrusted men’s virtue, compromised with the Anti-Federalists (senate & house of reps for example)
  • Thomas Jefferson: contributed the 1st 10 amendments — Bill of Rights




  • Federalist: strong federal (or central) government, believed that a Democracy or Confederacy
  • Would end in chaos
  • Anti-Federalist: weak federal government, more power to state & local governments (led by Thomas Jefferson following ratification of the Constitution, calling themselves The Democratic Republican Party, later simply Democrats in 1828) believed a strong central government would be the death of liberty
  • Republic: a select few rule, possibly aristocratic leaders/representational/citizens give power to others to rule on their behalf
  • Democracy: everyone’s voice is a part of the process in the rule of government – participation in all political process (in ancient Greece someone who did not participate in the polis was called an idiot)




  • Separation of Powers: governing power divided among three branches
  • Checks & Balances: each branch has some “authority” over the other




(J) appoints Federal Judges, grants pardons

(L) Proposes laws/vetoes laws, negotiates treaties, appoints persons to Fed. Posts




(J) creates lower Fed. Courts, impeach/remove judges, propose amendments, overrule judicial decisions, approve appointments of Fed. Judges

(E) Override veto, confirms executive appointments, declare war, appropriate money, impeach/remove President




(L) can declare acts of congress unconstitutional

(E) Can declare executive actions unconstitutional



Executive: administers and enforces the law



Legislative: creates the law


Judicial: interprets law


Veto: reject a proposed law, President has 10 days to veto or it becomes law / 2/3 vote to override veto


3/5ths Law: Slaves count as 3/5ths of a person during census (removed by 14th amendment)


Electoral College: responding to the vote, each state offers its electoral votes based on popular vote (# of electors = reps + senators)


State’s Powers Include: highways, education, banks, taxes (except Federal Income Tax, amendment 16), civil & criminal codes


Senate: 2 representatives from each state / 6 year terms, 30 yr. Old, citizen for 9 years / VP casts vote if tied / cannot serve in another office while in congress


House: number of reps related to population from census / 2 year terms, 25 years old, citizen for 7 years /cannot serve in another office while in congress


President: 35 years old, citizen for 14 years


Presidential Succession: Vice President, Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, Cabinet Members


Amendments: 2/3 of states to call a constitutional convention to propose, approved by ¾ of state legislators, Congress can propose if 2/3 of both house & senate support amendment