New Vocabulary

Look here for words you need to know to read the study guides.

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A paper (or collection of papers) with written or printed information.  They are often official papers. a document


A short name for the country with the official name The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  It is made up of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Also called the United Kingdom or the U.K.

The 13 original states of the U.S. were colonies of Britain before they declared independence in 1776.


a member of the Senate (one of the two parts of the U.S. Congress).

There are 100 Senators.


to choose (a candidate) by voting.

Example:  In November of 2008, we will elect a new President.


a group of people who live in the same area and whose families are often related.  They share the same language, culture, and history.

Example:  The Sioux are an American Indian tribe who live in Minnesota and speak the Dakota language.


The supreme (or highest) law of the land.  The Constitution sets up the government of the United States and protects the basic rights of the American people.


a member of the House of Representatives (one of two parts of the U.S. Congress).  There are 435 Representatives in the House.


More generally, someone who speaks for a group of people.


to approve; to make an agreement official.

Example:  Amendments to the Constitution must be ratified by state legislatures.


A change or addition, especially to the Constitution.

There are 27 amendments to the Constitution.


a person who is competing to be elected to a government office.

Example:  There are two major candidates for President:  Barack Obama and John McCain.

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