Overview of America

  • unalienable rights: Men are endowed by their Creator with rights that include Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
  • oppression: Taxation, regulation, control, force, and tyranny relate to this term.
  • 1783: America won independence from Britain in this year.
  • 1787: Delegates from 12 of the 13 States create a Constitution in this year.
  • Constitution: This document governed the government.
  • ratification: States had to agree to accept the Constitution.
  • Bill of Rights: Bill of Limitations on Government. It limits government power.
  • Shall nots... Congress can't do this and that and this and that...and can't do that either.
  • republic: Res = Thing and Publica = Public. Public Thing = The Law. This is the type of government established in America.
  • monarchy: Rule by one. A king has a council of nobles or earls. Most governments are really ruled by a group.
  • oligarchy: rule by a group; rule by a privileged few. This is a common type of government.
  • democracy: Demos = People and Kratein = to Rule. people rule; majority rule; The Founders thought democracy was dangerous, while republics were safe.
  • anarchy: Without government; it is not a stable form of government. It often leads to an oligarchy.
  • Greeks: Greek city-states started as democracies but ended as oligarchies. Solon thought there should be a system of laws.
  • Romans: They created 12 tables of law and established a republic ruled by limited government. Over time, Romans lost freedom and the republic.
  • capitalism: This is an economic system that deals with the ownership of capital. Some countries own the capital, while others protect private ownership.
  • capital: The means of production. Tools and machinery are examples of capital.
  • capitalist: A person who owns capital. Differences deal with the ownership of capital.
  • free market: It is a self-regulating system where all parties are free to transact with one another. Ownership of private property; title, control, use, ability to dispose of property.
  • monopolistic: Often state-controlled; owned privately or controlled by state.
  • competitive: Owned and controlled privately. Competition results in excellence.
  • Communism: Karl Marx desired the destruction and abolition of private property.