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Chapter 8, Section 1 Goals and Principals of the Constitution.

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1 Chapter 8, Section 1 Goals and Principals of the Constitution

2 The Preamble The Constitution is split into 3 parts. The first part is called the Preamble. It has 6 goals: 1.To Form a More Perfect Union: This goal showed that the states should work together better (ex: use the same money.) 2.To Establish Justice: At the time, the people needed a better system of settling arguments and judging criminals. 3.To Insure Domestic Tranquility: To guarantee peace and order at home.

3 The Preamble 4.To Provide for the Common Defense: To protect the people from foreign attack by raising an army and navy. 5.To Promote the General Welfare: To support the well-being of our citizens. (The Preamble does not include providing welfare for the poor.) 6.To Secure the Blessings of Liberty: It was very important for people that their freedom was protected after the Revolution.

4 Articles of the Amendment The main part of the Constitution is a short document that has seven parts called Articles. The first 3 Articles describe the powers and limits of the 3 branches of Government: –Article I: Congress (Legislature) –Article II: President (Executive) –Article III: The Courts (Judicial) Soldiers swear an oath of loyalty to the Constitution, not to the President.

5 The Articles Article IV establishes laws for and between states. Article V describes how to amend (change) the Constitution. Article VI states that the Constitution is the “…supreme law of the land.” If a state makes a law that conflicts with federal law, the federal law will be followed. Article VII described how states would ratify the Constitution.

6 Seven Basic Principals The third part of the Constitution is made up of 7 basic principals. They include: 1.Popular Sovereignty 2.Limited Government 3.Separation of Powers 4.Checks and Balances 5.Federalism 6.Republicanism 7.Individual Rights

7 Basic Principals 1.Popular Sovereignty: This means that the government gets its power from the people. 2.Limited Government: Means that the government has only the powers that the Constitution gives it. 3.Separation of Powers: Dividing the power of government into 3 branches to avoid one person becoming too powerful.

8 The Preamble Sets Goals 4.Checks and Balances: are a system to prevent abuses of power. Each branch has the power to check (limit) the actions of the other two. See page Federalism: This is a way of dividing power among the federal and state governments. Powers that are not clearly stated in the Constitution are given to the states, but federal laws overrule state laws.

9 Basic Principals 6.Republicanism: The Constitution says that citizens will elect representatives to make, judge and carry out laws for them. 7.Individual Rights: The founding fathers wanted to protect rights like freedom of speech, religion and trial by jury.

10 Chapter 8, Section 2 How the Federal Government Works

11 The Constitution Congress House of Representatives (435) Senate (100) Supreme Court Of Appeals District Court President VP

12 The Legislative Branch The first and longest article of the Constitution deals with the legislative, or lawmaking, branch. Congress is made of two bodies: The House of Representatives and the Senate –The House of Representatives is the larger house because its size is determined by state population. It currently has 435 Reps.

13 The Legislative Branch Representatives serve for only 2 years. The leader of the House is called the Speaker of the House. –The Speaker regulates debates and controls agendas. –If the President and VP die, the Speaker becomes the new President.

14 The Legislative Branch The other branch of Congress is called the Senate. –The Senate is the upper house. –Each state has two Senators who serve 6 year terms. The Vice President is the President of the Senate, and can vote in tie-breaker situations.

15 Powers of Congress The most important power of Congress is the power to make the nation’s laws. Congress can also appropriate (collect) money from the public. Laws start as proposals called bills that are introduced to the House or the Senate. The bill is debated and must be approved by both houses and the President to become a law.

16 The Executive Branch Article 2 of the Constitution sets up an executive branch to carry out laws. The President heads the branch, followed by the Vice President and the Cabinet. The President and Vice President are the only officials elected by all Americans.

17 Roles of the President The President can veto (or reject) bills and make appointments. The President also directs foreign policy and makes treaties with other nations. The framers of the Constitution saw Congress as more important than the President, and were not specific about the President’s role. Many Presidents have assumed power that is not spelled out by the constitution.

18 Roles of the President The President is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, but cannot declare war. The President can suggest new laws, grant pardons and call special sessions of Congress. Most important, the President is the living symbol of our country.

19 The Judicial Branch The Constitution also establishes a Supreme Court and other federal courts. The lowest federal courts are the District Courts. Cases here are decided by a judge and a jury. The next highest court is the Appellate Court, or Court of Appeals. –If someone disagrees with the ruling of the district court case, they can appeal the decision, meaning the case will go to the next highest court. –Appellate judges review the district decision and decide if the law was correctly followed in the case.

20 The highest federal court is the Supreme Court. The court is made up of a Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices. Justices serve for life. The President chooses justices, but Congress must also approve them. The Supreme Court is the final word on federal cases that have been tried and appealed. The Judicial Branch

21 The Supreme Court hears about 100 cases a year. They vote after hearing arguments. Whichever side has more than 4 votes wins. The greatest power of the Supreme Court is to decide what the Constitution means. They may declare laws unconstitutional. The Judicial Branch

22 Checks and Balances Think of these questions as we continue… –Why did the framers of the Constitution develop a system of government with 3 branches? –How do checks and balances protect peoples rights?

23 Checks and Balances The Framers of the Constitution hoped that separation of powers between the three branches would prevent the rise of an all-powerful leader who would rob the people of their liberty. To accomplish this they set up a system of checks and balances.

24 Checks and Balances Executive Branch This system allows each branch to limit the power of the other two. The President can reject bills that Congress has approved by vetoing them.

25 Checks and Balances Legislative Branch Congress can check the President by overriding the veto. Presidential treaties must also be ratified (approved) by Congress. Congress can also remove officials (including the President) from office. To do this the House must first impeach, then convict him of serious wrongdoing.

26 Impeachment If 2/3 of the senators chose to convict the President he must leave office. Only two Presidents have been impeached and none have ever been convicted by the Senate.

27 Checks and Balances Judicial Branch The Supreme Court can check both Congress and the President by declaring a law unconstitutional.


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