Chapter 1-3 Struggle for Democracy Study Guide

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Chapter 1 – Democracy and American Politics

I) Democracy – demos (the people) & kratein (to rule) a. Oligarchy – rule by a few and a minority group holds power over a majority as in an aristocracy or a clerical establishment b. Monarchy – rule by one where power rests in the hands of a king or queen c. Athens was known for the purest form of democracy that has ever existed. d. Direct democracy – form of political decision making in which public business is decided by all citizens meeting in small assemblies. (school, city, workplaces, etc.) e. Representative democracy – indirect democracy in which the people rule through elected representatives. f. Benchmarks of a liberal
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b. Unicameral – legislative body with a single chamber c. Stay acts – laws postponing the collection of taxes or mortgage payment like farms to forbid foreclosures. d. Shay rebellion – occurred in Massachusetts when armed men took over court houses in order to prevent judges from seizure of farms for not paying taxes and the incarceration of their owners in debtors prison. Unlike most states, MA did not take action to help their debt ridden farmers who experienced price drops for crops and an increase in state taxes to pay off revolutionary war debts.

IV) The Constitutional Convention a. By 1787, the political leaders were convinced that the nation needed change and these concerns helped leaders in states to select 73 delegates to attend the Constitution Convention in Philadelphia in hopes of creating a new government capable of providing energy and stability. b. Convention – May 25, 1787 in PA with GW presiding c. Most delegates were wealthy men. d. Virginia Plan – proposal by the large states at the convention to create a strong central government with power appointed to the states on the basis of population e. NJ Plan – proposal of the smaller states at the convention to create a government based on


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