Colonial America and the Revolution Vocab

Note: Words in blue are not tested for students with individual education plans.

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antifederalism – The belief held by opponents to a strong central government. They campaigned against ratification of the Constitution in favor of a confederation of largely independent states.  The belief that states’ rights are of fundamental importance and that the central government’s power should be strictly limited.

confederation – A political system in which states or regional governments retain ultimate authority except for those powers that they expressly delegate to a central government.

constitutionalism – The belief that government should be limited by written, hard-to-change, and clearly-defined law.

direct democracy – A system of government in which citizens govern themselves and vote on most issues.

dissent – public disagreement with an official opinion, decision, or set of beliefs.

federalism – A political system in which ultimate authority is shared between a central government and state or regional governments.

ideal – a standard of perfection; a principle to be aimed at.

indentured servant – a person who signs and is bound by a contract to work for another for a specified time, especially in return for payment of travel expenses and basic food and housing.

indirect democracy – A system of government in which citizens elect representatives to make decisions for them.

liberty – the quality or state of being free; the power to do as one pleases; freedom from arbitrary or despotic control; the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges; the power of choice.

opportunity – a good chance for advancement or progress.

ordinance – a law or regulation made by a city or town government.

slavea person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them

The People – A hypothetical (some might say fictional) construct that implies that the population of a given State has a common will.  The sum of all of the individuals in a given State.

yeoman farmer – independent subsistence farmers who usually manage to grow some crops for market. Farmers who controlled small plots of 50-200 acres.

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