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The United States Constitution

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1 The United States Constitution
The Constitution is an agreement between the citizens of the United States and the government that the people will grant powers to the government. In return, the government is to carry out the goals of the Constitution. The Constitution is made up of different parts, which often get talked about as separate documents: the Preamble, the Articles, the Bill of Rights, and the Amendments. To keep the new government from becoming too powerful, the framers created a Limited Government. The Constitution sets limits so that citizens know what their government is allowed to do and not allowed to do. It spreads the powers out!

2 (Delegated/Expressed)
Principle #1 1. Federalism - the system where some powers of government belong only to the federal government, while others belong only to the state. government, and powers shared directly by both levels of government. The Constitution recognizes governments at TWO different levels Federal Powers (Delegated/Expressed) State Powers (Reserved) Declare War Maintain Armed Forces Admit New States Coin $$$$ Trade w/ other nations Shared Powers (Concurrent) Establish and maintain schools Establish local government Regulate business w/in states Make marriage laws Maintain Law & order Borrow $$$ Establish courts

3 Principle #2 2. Separation of Powers - The powers of the government are divided among THREE branches Executive Legislative Judicial Enforce Laws Make Laws Interpret Laws President Vice President Executive Depts Congress House Senate Supreme Courts Lower Courts

4 Principle #3 3. Checks and Balances – Each of the three branches of government has ways to check, or limit the powers of the other branches What checks does the executive branch have over the other two? Veto acts of Congress Suggesting laws What checks does the judicial branch have over the other two? Declare laws constitutional or unconstitutional Judicial review What checks does the legislative branch have over the other two? Impeach and remove president or officials Override presidential veto Power declare war



7 Four Main Parts of the Constitution
1. Preamble – Short (52 words long) introduction Explains goals of the new government

8 Four Main Parts of the Constitution
2. Articles – 7 articles First 3 deal with 3 branches of government Outlines powers of government

9 Four Main Parts of the Constitution
3. Bill of Rights – 1st 10 amendments to the Constitution Ensures that basic rights can’t be take away by the government

10 Four Main Parts of the Constitution
4. Amendments– Helps the structure of the govt. change along with people and time Only been amended 27 times

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