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Glossary

Chapter 10: Launching the New Ship of State, 1789-1800

Assimilation

the merging of diverse cultures or peoples into one.

Assumption

the appropriation or taking on of obligations not originally one's own.

broad constructionist

a person who believes the government can exercise any implied powers within the spirit of the Constitution.

Cabinet

the body of official advisers to the head of a government; in the United States, it consists of the heads of the major executive departments.

Census

an official count of population; in the United States, the federal census occurs every ten years.

circuit court

a court that hears cases in several designated locations rather than a single place.

Compact

an agreement or covenant between states to perform some legal act.

Despotism

arbitrary or tyrannical rule.

Excise

a tax on the manufacture, sale, or consumption of certain products.

Federalist faction

political group formed during Washington's first administration; led by Alexander Hamilton, they favored an active role for government in encouraging commercial and manufacturing growth.

Fiscal

concerning public finances--expenditures and revenues.

medium of exchange

any item, paper or otherwise, used as money.

public debt

the debt of a government or nation to individual creditors, also called the national debt.

Stock

the shares of capital ownership gained from investing in a corporate enterprise; the term also refers to the certificates representing such shares.

strict constructionist

person who believes the government has only the powers specifically named in the Constitution.

Tariff

tax on imported or exported goods.


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