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7 Principles of the Constitution

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1 7 Principles of the Constitution
Section #1 of Constitution Test

2 Popular Sovereignty

3 Popular Sovereignty This idea means that the people have the ultimate control over the government. It means literally “people authority.” The Framers wanted to be sure that no one person or group could take control of the government.

4 Republicanism

5 Republicanism Citizens elect representatives to run the government.
The Framers wanted to make sure that the will of the people could be carried out. A direct democracy (when all citizens vote on every issue) is not possible. Electing representatives is the next best thing!

6 Limited Government

7 Limited Government The government only has the powers that the Constitution gives to it. The Framers wanted to make sure that the government didn’t become so powerful that it could take power away from its citizens. “Man is not free unless government is limited” President Ronald Reagan

8 Federalism

9 Federalism The division of government between the state and federal levels. The Constitution spells out which powers belong to the state and which belong to the federal government.

10 Separation of Powers

11 Separation of Powers The Framers divided the power of the national government into 3 Branches. Legislative-makes the laws Executive-carries out the laws Judicial-interprets the laws Each branch operates separately. No branch is more powerful than the others.

12 3 Branches of Government
Legislative Power Judicial Power Executive Power To put laws into effect To interpret laws To make laws


14 Checks and Balances

15 Checks and Balances In order to make sure that no branch becomes too powerful, the Framers planned a system of checks (ways the other branches could oversee) and balances (equal but separate responsibilities). Ex. Legislative Branch makes laws but the Executive Branch can veto.


17 Individual Rights

18 Individual Rights The Constitution (Bill of Rights) protects the individual rights of citizens. The Framers wanted to make sure that people had rights that had been denied to them under King George III.

19 Question #1 Which principle says that the government can’t do anything it wants. It can do what the Constitution allows it to? LIMITED GOVERNMENT

20 Question #2 Which principle guarantees citizens have freedoms that can’t ever be taken away from them? INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS

21 Question #3 Which principle says that the states have some responsibilities and the national government have some responsibilities? FEDERALISM

22 Question #4 Which principle says that the responsibilities of the national government should be divided? SEPARATION OF POWERS

23 Question #5 Which principle says that no one part of the federal government should be more powerful than the others? Each part should be able to supervise and limit the power of the other parts. Checks and Balances

24 Question #6 Which principle says that the people should be in charge of the government? POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY

25 Question #7 Which principle says that people should elect representatives to make decisions in the government? REPUBLICANISM

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