Presentation on theme: "Basic Concepts of American Government"— Presentation transcript:
1Basic Concepts of American Government Government is designed to protect citizen’s rights while managing national interests.
2Basic Notions of Democracy Each individual has worthAll individuals are equalThe majority should rule but must respect minority rightsCompromise is necessaryEach individual must have the widest possible degree of freedomThe nation’s free enterprise economy reinforces the belief in individual freedom
3Constitutional Principles Popular SovereigntySeparation of PowersChecks and BalancesLimited GovernmentFederalism
4Popular SovereigntyPeople are the most important source of governmental powerThe government operates with the consent of the peopleThe people hold the powerInfluenced by the Declaration of Independence and RousseauFramers of Constitution valued because of their experience with a kingWhat role does popular sovereignty play today?
5Separation of PowersPrevents any one group from or individual from becoming too powerful so they divided the power:Executive branchLegislative branchJudicial branchFramers feared a powerful king
6Checks and BalancesSystem that allows each branch to exert some control over the other branches, so that no branch becomes all powerfulEach branch has specified ways to check the power of the other branches
7Legislative Checks Overrides presidential vetoes Approves presidential appointmentsApproves treatiesTaxes to provide servicesProvides for defense/declares warRegulates money and tradeImpeaches officials
8Executive Checks Can veto laws Appoints high officials Conducts foreign policyEnforces laws and treatiesCommander in chief of the militaryRecommends bills to CongressReports the state of the Union to Congress
9Judicial Checks Settles legal disputes between states Settles state and federal disputesSettles disputes between States and foreign countriesHears cases with ambassadors of foreign governmentsSettles disputes between individuals and Federal GovernmentCan rule laws passed by Congress as Unconstitutional
10Limited Government No government is all-powerful A government may only do those things that people have given it the power to doInfluenced by the Magna CartaConstitution contains many listed restraints on government powerWhat are some of the limits we have seen while studying the Constitution?
11FederalismThe division of power among a central government and several regional governmentsFederal/national government, state government, county government, school districtsLevels of government have specified powers:National powersConcurrent Powers=shared between state and nationalReserved Powers=State powers
12The Division of Power National Powers Concurrent Powers State Powers Coin MoneyRegulate interstate and foreign tradeRaise and maintain armed forcesDeclare warConduct foreign relationsLevy and collect taxesBorrow moneyEstablish courtsDefine crimes and set punishmentsClaim private property for public useRegulate trade and business within stateEstablish public schoolsPass license requirements for professionalsRegulate alcoholic beveragesConduct elections
13Premises of Government Due ProcessRule of lawEqual protection under the law
14Due ProcessGovernment can not deprive individuals of life, liberty or property without proper notice of impending actions as stated in the 14th AmendmentIn whatever it does, government must act fairly and in accord with established rules
15Rule of Law No one or thing is above the law Government and its officers are always subject to law
16Equal Protection Under the Law Everyone is treated the same under the law (14th Amendment)Can not be based on race, religion, gender, etc.
17Supremacy ClauseUS Constitution and Federal laws are the highest in the landStates can not make laws that are in defiance of a federal law
18Report CardYour Assignment: Answer the following question by creating a report card for government. Question: How is our government doing in fulfilling its purposes and guidelines?
19InstructionsOn a piece of white paper create a chart similar to this, but just pick 3 of the purposes/guidelines.Purpose/GuidelineLetter GradeExplanation (3 -5 sentence minimum with specific examples)Popular SovereigntySeparation of PowersChecks and BalancesLimited GovernmentFederalismDue ProcessRule of LawEqual Protection