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Basic Themes of the U.S. Constitution. Popular Sovereignty * Concept focused on the idea that the authority of the government is created and sustained.

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Presentation on theme: "Basic Themes of the U.S. Constitution. Popular Sovereignty * Concept focused on the idea that the authority of the government is created and sustained."— Presentation transcript:

1 Basic Themes of the U.S. Constitution

2 Popular Sovereignty * Concept focused on the idea that the authority of the government is created and sustained by the consent of its people, or representatives! * How is this theme established in the U.S. Constitution? …by the FIRST THREE WORDS in the PREAMBLE! …by the HOUSE of REPRESENTATIVES! …by the Ninth Amendment!

3 Limited Government * Type of gov’t where the role, systems, procedures and powers of the government are given and limited by a written constitution. * How is this theme established in the U.S. Constitution? …by the U.S. CONSTITUTION itself! …U.S. Constitution lists LIMITS on the GOVERNMENT! (Art. I, Sec. 9) 1.) “Writ of Habeas Corpus” 2.) “Bill of Attainder “ 4.) “Title of Nobility” …by the Tenth Amendment! 3.) “ex post facto Law”

4 Separation of Powers * A model of government where the State is divided into branches, each with independent powers and areas of responsibility. * How is this theme established in the U.S. Constitution? * While each branch has distinct powers, all three branches must work together to carry out their powers! EXAMPLES?

5 * To prevent one branch from becoming too strong and encourage cooperation, gov’ts employ a system of “checks and balances” Checks and Balances * How is this theme established in the U.S. Constitution? * …by powers that are granted in the U.S. Constitution! EXAMPLES?

6 Federalism * System of gov’t where sovereignty, power and responsibility is divided between a national gov’t and constituent political units (such as states) * How is this theme established in the U.S. Constitution? …by the EXPRESSED powers of the Federal Government (Articles I, II, III) …by the Tenth Amendment!…by Article IV (what two clauses?)

7 Representative Republicanism * A variety of democracy founded on the principle that elected officials represent groups of people. * How is this theme established in the U.S. Constitution? * What FOUNDERS wanted: 1.) republican system 2.) limited government 3.) government “by the people” * What FOUNDERS DIDN’T want: 1.) “runaway democracy” … would lead to mob rule, anarchy! …small group of elected leaders to speak and act on behalf of public! …House of Reps? U.S. Senate? POTUS? SCOTUS?

8 Judicial Review * A legal principle under which legislative and executive actions are subject to review (and possible invalidation) by the judiciary. * How is this theme established in the U.S. Constitution? …it really isn’t – it is IMPLIED from several sections in Article III: 1.) Art. III, Sec. 1: “The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court…” 2.) Art. III, Sec. 2: “The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority…” * Marbury v. Madison (1803) ruled that the federal courts have the duty to review the constitutionality of acts of Congress and to declare them void when they are contrary to the Constitution


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