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To set out; 2) to rage; 3) vacillation; 4) integrity; 5) to retain; 6) to adjourn; 7) to convene; 8) to envision;

a) to suspend the meeting of to a future time or to another place;

b) to come together ; assemble, meet usually for some public purpose;

c) to picture mentally , esp. some future event or events;

d) soundness of and adherence to moral principle and character; uprightness, honesty;

e) to proceed, continue, or prevail with great violence;

f) to continue to hold or have;

g) to define, to describe;

h) a state of being indecisive, irresolute, hesitant;


b) Use the above words in the following:

1) The Lucas fact situation, in which government regulation renders land entirely without economic use, will doubtless prove rare, as the Court itself … on more than one occasion.

2) The Court assumed that the State had a valid interest in preserving the flag as a national symbol, but whether that interest extended beyond protecting the physical … of the flag was left unclear.

3) On July 26, the convention … for 10 days, so a committee of five could put into some form the resolutions that had been approved in the previous month.

4) The Supreme Court held that a fundraiser who … 85 percent of gross receipts from donors, but falsely represented that ‘‘a significant amount of each dollar donated would be paid over to’’ a charitable organization, could be sued for fraud.

5) The debate … between northern states that wanted to retain New York as the capital and southern states that wanted it moved south, preferably to at least Philadelphia.

6) Although scheduled … on May 14, 1787, it was not until May 25 that enough delegates were present to proceed with the organization of the Convention.

7) The recent decisions voiding classifications have not clearly …which standard they have been using.

8) By his vigorous opinions in McCulloch v. Maryland and Gibbons v. Ogden, Marshall gave the principle a vitalitywhich survived a century of … under the doctrine of dualfederalism.

c) Translate the following, use the GLOSSARY:

1) By 1984, movement for a balanced budget amendment (BBA) at the state level found 32 states that had passed resolutions calling for a constitutional convention to debate a BBA, two shy of the required 34 states. Critics warned that, if convened, a constitutional convention could consider amendments other than a BBA, and interest in a convention dissipated. Three states – Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana – have rescinded their resolutions since 1990.

2) The vacillation of Chief Justice Marshall between the Bollman and Burr cases and the vacillation of the Court in the Cramer and Haupt cases leave the law of treason in a somewhat doubtful condition.

3) The state interest in protecting theintegrity of political parties was held to justify requiring enrollment of a person in the party up to eleven months before a primary election, Rosario v. Rockefeller (1973), but not to justify requiring one to forgo one election before changing parties.

4) The oath requirement was valid as “a reasonable regulation to protect the municipal service by establishing an employment qualification of loyalty” and as being “reasonably designed to protect theintegrity and competency of the service.”

5) The First Amendment guarantees press and public access to criminal trials, both because of the tradition of openness and because public scrutiny of a criminal trial serves the valuable functions of enhancing the quality and safeguards of the integrity of the fact-finding process, of fostering the appearance of fairness, and of permitting public participation in the judicial process.

6) Neither House, during the Session of Congress shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

7) On April 6, the Court adjourned without deciding the McCardle case. Justices Robert Cooper Grier and Stephen Johnson Field stated that the Court should have reached a decision.

8) If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honour, or shall, without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension or office of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them.

9) Just what our forefathers did envision, or would have envisioned had they foreseen modern conditions, must be divined from materials almost as enigmatic as the dreams Joseph was called upon to interpret for Pharaoh.

10) Where the tax is conditional, and may be avoided by compliance with regulations set out in the statute, the validity of the measure is determined by the power of Congress to regulate the subject matter.

TASK II.a) Combine the adjectives and the nouns; b) Use the word combinations to describe the first actions of the new government:

1) frustrating a) authority
2) formidable b) Constitution
3) complicated c) choice
4) aggressive d) problem
5) completed e) delay
6) unanimous f) affairs
7) ultimate g) tasks
8) foreign h) candidate


TASK III.Combine the verbs and the nouns; and use the word combinations to describe the elections to the national legislature or presidential elections in your country:


1. to cause

2. to form (complete the)

3. to hold

4. to keep

5. to favor

6. to enjoy

7. to choose, select, pick

8. to count

9. to enact

10. to enforce

11. to set

12. to adopt

a) records

b) a reputation

c) a resolution

d) the electoral votes

e) quorum

f) the Constitution

g) delays

h) dates for

i) electors

j) a law

k) elections

l) amendments

TASK IV.Add the following prepositions to complete the phrases below; use them to describe the formation of the government in your country:

a)into,b) againstc)outd)undere)fromf) ing)intoh)outi)for

1) to set … (tasks)

2) to turn (supporters) …

3) to call … elections

4) to sign … law

5) to work … a compromise

6) to be sworn … office

7) still … existence

8) to be far …

9) to get … way


TASK V.Match the following phrases to their definitions:

1) unanimous vote

2) plurality vote

3) ballot

4) joint ballot

5) customs duties

6) district courts

7) circuit courts

8) pro tempore (lat.)

a) first-past-the-post voting.

b) a vote in which every voter concurs.

c) A vote by legislators of both houses sitting together as one body.

d) A system of choosing officers by a recorded vote, usu. by marking a paper.

e) A tax levied on an imported or exported commodity; esp., the federal tax levied on goods shipped into the United States.

f) A court usu. having jurisdiction over several counties, districts, or states, and holding sessions in all those areas.

g) A trial court having general jurisdiction within its judicial district.

h) For the time being; appointed to occupy a position temporarily.

TASK VI.Complete the following sentences:

1. The Confederation Congress was empowered by the Constitutional Convention to … .

2. Northern and southern states could not come to an agreement … .

3. North Carolina and Rhode Island ratified the Constitution … .

4. Only two candidates … .

5. Both John Hancock and John Adams … .

6. John Adams was expected to … .

7. John Hancock's supporters turned away from him because … .

TASK VII.Reading Comprehension check:

1. Explain why North Carolina and Rhode Island are called "wayward sisters".

2. Explain how " New Hampshire became the critical ninth state to ratify the Constitution"

3. Describe how Presidential electors were elected.

4. Describe the election of Representatives.

5. Describe the election of Senators.

6. What did John Hancock and John Adams have in common?

7. Name all governmental offices mentioned in the text.

8. Describe the tactics chosen by Federalists in electing John Adams the first vice president.


TASK VIII.a) Describe the functions and powers of the following American governmental officers and departments:

1. The Supreme Court

2. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

3. Congress (the national legislature )

4. Senate (the upper house)

5. House of Representatives (the lower house)

6. a secretary of State,

7. the Treasury

8. a secretary of War

b) Name governmental bodies and officers exercising similar powers in your country:


TASK IX.Translate the following passages, use the GLOSSARY:

1. It took the better part of a year, once New Hampshire became the critical ninth state to ratify the Constitution in June 1788, before the new government began to become a reality.

2. The tasks before the Confederation Congress were made complicated by the Anti-Federalist campaign for a second constitutional convention and by the "wayward sisters," North Carolina and Rhode Island, which did not ratify the Constitution until well after the various branches of government began operating.

3. As for the elections to be held under the Constitution, the problem was complicated.

4. It was up to the state legislatures to call for elections for the House, but there was no uniformity in how they went about it. Some did it by a general at large vote, others by district voting.

5. George Washington was the unanimous choice of the electors as the first president, but he had been a far from aggressive candidate for the office.

6. But controversy did surround who would be the first vice president. Washington was a Virginian, so clearly a northerner was needed for balance.

7. But it was far from smooth sailing.

8. Alexander Hamilton and other Federalists tried to keep Adams from getting elected by too great a vote.

9. For one thing, they wanted to solidify their influence with Washington and to block Adams because he envisioned that the vice president would be a sort of "prime minister" of the Senate.

10.Adams failed to get a majority of second-place votes and his feelings were deeply hurt. However, he did win a plurality and thus became the first vice president.


The following issues will help you answer the exam topic THE HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION and write your essay:

1. British administration of colonies.

2. Colonial constitutions and governments.

3. Deliberations at the Constitutional Convention.

4. Ratification process.

5. Development of the Constitution.








What is American about the Constitution? Just as Americans have no monopoly on constitutional government today, the Founders cannot take credit for everything in their own constitution. Britain taught America the core tradition of constitutionalism. The ancient Greek notion of politeia, a plan for a way of life, and the Roman concept of constitutio stand as distant progenitors of the modern construction of the term. A host of medieval and Renaissance thinkers contributed to the constitutional tradition upon which Americans built, as did many writings during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in England, Scotland, and France. Still, the American synthesis was a unique blend of these intellectual influences and their own inventions.

First of all, there is the matter of form. Britain had a constitution, but the Americans put everything of constitutional status in a single written document. It is difficult to overestimate the significance of this practice. The Constitution is thus far more accessible to the average citizen as opposed to an educated elite. Although over time precise meanings will be buried in Supreme Court cases, the basic principles of the political system are readily available to the populace. This aspect of its form therefore, reflects a strong commitment to broad citizen participation then and in the future. In 1787, Americans assumed that a constitution should take this form, even though they were overwhelmingly of British descent.

Other aspects of the Constitution's form are worth noting. Separate sections define the three branches of government, and the legislative branch is discussed first, as it always is in American constitutions. There is a preamble, but it does not have constitutional status. There is a bill of rights separate from the main body of the constitution but also considered part of it. Americans had a habit of making a bill of rights part of their fundamental law, yet in various ways it was separate from the description of institutions. These and other aspects of form derive from American practice rather than from foreign theories.

A second category has to do with the institutions outlined in the national Constitution. Bicameralism was hardly an American innovation, but the American version was neither derived from nor justified by the British precedent. The explicit separation into three branches of government with coordinate powers is not British in origin. The states are mentioned throughout. In order to determine who is eligible to elect congressmen, senators, or the president, one must consult the state documents. To this day, the role and functions of state governments in America are a matter of some puzzlement to many Europeans. Americans did not invent federalism, but they adopted it with an alacrity missing in nonmigrating British. The use of different constituencies for electing various public officials departs from the British model, as does the use of different terms of office. The elaborate system of checks, the explicit enumeration of governmental powers, and the creation of an independent judiciary are some of the other elements of institutional design not found in the British model.

A third category involves theoretical principles. Although never explicitly mentioned in the United States Constitution, they underlie and tie together the entire document. These are the principles of a deliberative process, federalism, republicanism, the extended republic, consent, liberty, and a mixed regime. The British were no strangers to liberty, consent, deliberative processes, or mixed regimes. The Americans, however, pursued these principles with a vengeance that transformed them.

A fourth category has to do with assumptions at variance with those underlying the British political system as it existed in the late eighteenth century. The most dramatic involved the way Americans viewed themselves as a people. They firmly believed that on their own authority they could form themselves into a community, create or replace a government to order their community, select and replace those who hold government office, determine which values bind them as a community and thus which values should guide those in government when making decisions for the community, and replace political institutions at variance with these values.

The Americans' rather complete notion of popular sovereignty was also radical in that their concept of “the people” was a broad one. England was the envy of Europe for its liberal institutions, but the least liberal American state in the 1780s, Georgia, enfranchised four or five times the percentage of the population as held the franchise in England. England would have had to enfranchise ten times as many people as it did in the 1780s to match the average in its former colonies. There was nothing else in Europe to compare with the American practice of popular sovereignty. Nor was this a recent phenomenon in America. For all the resonance with Locke's ideas, many of the principles and assumptions of American constitutionalism were operative before Locke published his Second Treatise on Civil Government. In temporal terms, it makes more sense to call Locke an American than it does to call America Lockean.

Sorting out the influences on the origin of the form, institutions, and underlying principles and assumptions of American constitutionalism, we could take the anthropologists' approach. They have taught us that ritual precedes myth that practices develop and are then justified. Thus we should examine political practices and events out of which constitutional theorizing arises. But in a developed culture, practice will sometimes flow from theorizing based upon earlier practices, and the starting point is difficult to determine.

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