Sovereignty in the American Political System: Definition & History


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This legal principle says that the states can and should refuse to enforce unconstitutional federal laws:

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1. This legal doctrine recognizes that the individual states and the federal government have sovereignty. As such, it allows prosecution at both the state and federal level without violating double jeopardy:

2. This legal doctrine, established through the U.S. Constitution, creates a separation of powers between the federal government and the individual state governments:

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Go over the details involved in sovereignty in the American political system through practice questions which test topics that include the separation of federal and state powers.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

Use this printable worksheet and quiz to review key terms, such as:

  • Federalism
  • Popular sovereignty
  • Nullification
  • Dual sovereignty

Skills Practiced

  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw the most important information from the lesson on sovereignty in the American political system
  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding the Declaration of Independence
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about the doctrine allowing both state and federal prosecution without violating double jeopardy

Additional Learning

Improve your results on the quiz and learn more about this topic with the lesson titled Sovereignty in the American Political System: Definition & History. Use this lesson to meet these objectives:

  • Identify the purpose and meaning of the Declaration of Independence
  • Recognize how the concept of popular sovereignty functions in the United States
  • Understand the key characteristics of dual sovereignty