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Key Ideals and Principles in the United States Constitution.

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Presentation on theme: "Key Ideals and Principles in the United States Constitution."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Key Ideals and Principles in the United States Constitution

3 Preamble’s Basic Goals To form a more perfect union The states work together as one unified nation, not as separate nations. To establish justiceThe justice system requires that the law be applied fairly to every American. To ensure domestic tranquility The government can ensure domestic tranquility, or peace and order at home. To provide for the common defense To protect citizens against foreign attack, the national government can raise armies and navies. However, the military is under civilian, or nonmilitary, control. To promote the general welfare The national government promotes the general welfare, or the well-being of all its citizens. To secure the blessing of liberty A major goal of the Constitution is to protect the liberty, or freedom, of Americans. Preamble—opening statement

4 Basic Outline of the Constitution Article IDescribes the legislative branch. Establishes powers and limits on Congress. Article IIDescribes the executive branch. Establishes powers and limits of the President. Article IIIDescribes the judicial branch. Establishes powers and limits of the courts. Article IVExplains relations between the states. Requires states to honor one another’s laws. Sets out a system for admitting new states. Article VProvides a process for amending the Constitution. Article VISays the Constitution is the “supreme law of the land.” No state law may violate the Constitution.

5 Seven Basic Principles of Government Popular SovereigntyThe principle that government gets its authority from the people, therefore people have a right to change or abolish their government. Limited GovernmentThe principle that government has only the powers that the Constitution gives it. Everyone, no matter how important, must obey the law. Separation of PowersThe idea of limiting government power by dividing it among different branches of government. Checks and BalancesEach branch of government has power to check, or limit, actions of the other branches. FederalismThe principle of dividing power between the federal government and the states. Republicanism A form of government in which citizens elect representatives to carry out their will. Individual RightsIndividual rights include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to trial by jury.

6 Popular Sovereignty The people hold the ultimate authority A representative democracy lets the people elect leaders to make decisions for them

7 Seven Basic Principles of Government Popular SovereigntyThe principle that government gets its authority from the people, therefore people have a right to change or abolish their government. Limited GovernmentThe principle that government has only the powers that the Constitution gives it. Everyone, no matter how important, must obey the law. Separation of PowersThe idea of limiting government power by dividing it among different branches of government. Checks and BalancesEach branch of government has power to check, or limit, actions of the other branches. FederalismThe principle of dividing power between the federal government and the states. Republicanism A form of government in which citizens elect representatives to carry out their will. Individual RightsIndividual rights include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to trial by jury.

8 Limited Government Framers wanted to guard against tyranny Government is limited to the power given them in the Constitution The Constitution tells how leaders who over step their power can be removed – Impeachment

9 Seven Basic Principles of Government Popular SovereigntyThe principle that government gets its authority from the people, therefore people have a right to change or abolish their government. Limited GovernmentThe principle that government has only the powers that the Constitution gives it. Everyone, no matter how important, must obey the law. Separation of PowersThe idea of limiting government power by dividing it among different branches of government. Checks and BalancesEach branch of government has power to check, or limit, actions of the other branches. FederalismThe principle of dividing power between the federal government and the states. Republicanism A form of government in which citizens elect representatives to carry out their will. Individual RightsIndividual rights include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to trial by jury.

10 Separation of Powers No one holds “too much power” Developed by Montesquieu Legislative branch makes the laws – Senate and House of Representatives Executive branch carries out the laws – The President of the United States Judicial branch interprets the laws – Supreme Court and other Federal Courts

11 Separation of Powers

12 Seven Basic Principles of Government Popular SovereigntyThe principle that government gets its authority from the people, therefore people have a right to change or abolish their government. Limited GovernmentThe principle that government has only the powers that the Constitution gives it. Everyone, no matter how important, must obey the law. Separation of PowersThe idea of limiting government power by dividing it among different branches of government. Checks and BalancesEach branch of government has power to check, or limit, actions of the other branches. FederalismThe principle of dividing power between the federal government and the states. Republicanism A form of government in which citizens elect representatives to carry out their will. Individual RightsIndividual rights include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to trial by jury.

13 Checks and Balances Prevents the abuse of power in government Each branch can check each other branch

14 Seven Basic Principles of Government Popular SovereigntyThe principle that government gets its authority from the people, therefore people have a right to change or abolish their government. Limited GovernmentThe principle that government has only the powers that the Constitution gives it. Everyone, no matter how important, must obey the law. Separation of PowersThe idea of limiting government power by dividing it among different branches of government. Checks and BalancesEach branch of government has power to check, or limit, actions of the other branches. FederalismThe principle of dividing power between the federal government and the states. Republicanism A form of government in which citizens elect representatives to carry out their will. Individual RightsIndividual rights include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to trial by jury.

15 Federalism The division of power between State and National governments Some powers are shared The National Government has the “supreme power”

16 Federalism

17 Seven Basic Principles of Government Popular SovereigntyThe principle that government gets its authority from the people, therefore people have a right to change or abolish their government. Limited GovernmentThe principle that government has only the powers that the Constitution gives it. Everyone, no matter how important, must obey the law. Separation of PowersThe idea of limiting government power by dividing it among different branches of government. Checks and BalancesEach branch of government has power to check, or limit, actions of the other branches. FederalismThe principle of dividing power between the federal government and the states. Republicanism A form of government in which citizens elect representatives to carry out their will. Individual RightsIndividual rights include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to trial by jury.

18 Republicanism A system of government in which citizens rule themselves through elected representatives Founders looked to the Roman Republic as an example – Virtues like independence and public service appealed to Founders Threats of dictatorship

19 Seven Basic Principles of Government Popular SovereigntyThe principle that government gets its authority from the people, therefore people have a right to change or abolish their government. Limited GovernmentThe principle that government has only the powers that the Constitution gives it. Everyone, no matter how important, must obey the law. Separation of PowersThe idea of limiting government power by dividing it among different branches of government. Checks and BalancesEach branch of government has power to check, or limit, actions of the other branches. FederalismThe principle of dividing power between the federal government and the states. Republicanism A form of government in which citizens elect representatives to carry out their will. Individual RightsIndividual rights include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to trial by jury.

20 Individual Rights Magna Carta – No one is above the law including the king – Everyone has certain rights (started with nobles then extended to other groups) English Bill of Rights – Elections should be held on a regular basis – Upheld rights to trial by jury and rights to bear arms and habeas corpus

21 Individual Rights John Locke and Natural Rights – Everyone has natural rights to life, liberty, and property – Agreement between ruler and ruled Ruler must enforce laws and protect people Ruled have a right to rebel if rights are not protected


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