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Ch. 6 The Constitution at Work

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1 Ch. 6 The Constitution at Work

2 6.1 Goals of the Constitution

3 Preamble to the Constitution
opening statement of the Constitution 6 goals

4 “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”

5 #1 “Form a More Perfect Union”
Articles of Confederation=loose alliance of independent states E pluribus unum Latin for “Out of many, one” Goal: work together as single, united nation How is this achieved? Constitution gives broad range of powers to nat’l govt (Ex: only Congress has power to tax all people. President carries out the laws. Federal (national) courts enforce laws)

6 #2 “Establish Justice” justice=fairness Law applied fairly to every
American, regardless of race, gender, etc. Issues federal courts deal with: Cases involving the Const., natl laws, treaties, foreign ambassadors, ships at sea Disputes between people, between people & natl govt, between states

7 #2 “Establish Justice” When fed court decide cases they interpret, or explain, the law Supreme Court=highest court Can rule that laws passed by Congress or state leg is not permitted by Const. Why is nat’l court necessary? Confusion & injustice might result

8 #3 “Ensure Domestic Tranquility”
Shay’s Rebellion= 1786 Daniel Shays marched on MA courthouse w/protesters Uprising showed that nat’l govt needs power to ensure peace at home=(domestic tranquility) Const gives nat’l govt powers to allow it to keep peace State & local govt use police, FBI used when crime crosses states Riots? Floods?= National Guard keeps peace

9 #4 “Provide for the Common Defense”
After Amer. Rev. no armed forces=can’t kick British troops out, can’t keep Spain from closing Miss. River to trade Armed forces vital to nation’s survival Const. gives Congress power to “raise and support Armies” and to “provide and maintain a Navy” Today= army, navy, air force, marine corps, coast guard Pres is Commander in Chief of armed forces (even highest ranking military officer must answer to elected official)

10 #5 Promote the General Welfare
General welfare= well-being of all people Nat’l govt can collect taxes, but also can set aside $ for programs to benefit people Work=safety standards, disabled/unemployed get financial support, Social Security for retirement, Education= prepares people to be responsible citizens, training/tools for employment, pay for nutrition programs, govt scholarships Scientific research= research to fight diseases, improve crops & livestock

11 #6 Secure the Blessings of Liberty
Liberty=freedom to live as you please as long as you obey the laws & respect other’s rights Blessings of liberty extended to more Americans since Const was written: ALL Americans have same rights in voting, education, housing, employment, and other opportunities. Limit the powers of govt Bill of Rights (1st 10 amendments) lists basic rights & freedoms Right to vote: select leaders who make laws, remove leaders who abuse powers

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