(also called squatter sovereignty) the right of territorial inhabitants applying for statehood to determine whether or not their state would or would not sanction slavery
Notion that political power or the power to govern is derived from the people. As such, the people retain the right to rescind any grant of power to the government.
idea that government should reflect the general will of the people, or the interests that all citizens have in common. Political theorist Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) described this concept in Du contrat social (The Social Contract), published in 1762.