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Lesson C–1: The Seven Principles of the Constitution Today we will define and discuss the seven principles of the Constitution.

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Presentation on theme: "Lesson C–1: The Seven Principles of the Constitution Today we will define and discuss the seven principles of the Constitution."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lesson C–1: The Seven Principles of the Constitution Today we will define and discuss the seven principles of the Constitution.

2 Vocabulary The Framers – those men who first wrote the Constitution sovereignty – the ability and authority to make your own decisions and control your own life check – a limitation or control of someone else’s power

3 The Framers of the Constitution constructed a new system of government based on seven principles. Together they form the foundation of the United States Constitution.

4 Popular Sovereignty The Constitution begins with these words: “We the people of the United States... establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” These words clearly spell out the source of the government’s power. The American form of government comes from a school of political thought called classical liberalism, which emphasizes freedom, democracy, and the importance of the individual. The Constitution begins with these words: “We the people of the United States... establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” These words clearly spell out the source of the government’s power. The American form of government comes from a school of political thought called classical liberalism, which emphasizes freedom, democracy, and the importance of the individual.

5 Popular Sovereignty By blending ideas from classic liberalism and civic republicanism, the Constitution formed a government that is responsible to the people and works for their benefit.

6 By blending ideas from classic liberalism and civic republicanism, the Constitution formed a government that A.can be changed very easily. B.is responsible to the people and works for their benefit. C.should be the model for the governments of other nations. D.resembles that of ancient Greece and Rome.

7 Popular Sovereignty The Constitution rests on the idea of popular sovereignty – a government in which the people rule. As the nation changed and grew, a broader range of Americans shared in the power to govern themselves. The Constitution rests on the idea of popular sovereignty – a government in which the people rule. As the nation changed and grew, a broader range of Americans shared in the power to govern themselves.

8 Popular sovereignty is the idea that the government’s authority comes from the people and reflects the people’s will. This philosophy had its roots in classical Greece and the Roman republic. It was expressed again during the Enlightenment by such political writers as John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The Framers were deeply influenced by these ideas.

9 Republicanism The Framers of the Constitution wanted the people to have a voice in government. Yet the Framers also doubted that the people would always make sound decisions. To solve this problem, they looked to republicanism as a model of government.

10 Republicanism Republicanism is the belief that the people rule by electing their political representatives. For this reason, republicanism is sometimes called representative democracy. According to the Framers, these elected lawmakers play the key role in making a republican government work. Civic Republicanism is the idea that citizens stay informed about politics and participate in the process. Republicanism is the belief that the people rule by electing their political representatives. For this reason, republicanism is sometimes called representative democracy. According to the Framers, these elected lawmakers play the key role in making a republican government work. Civic Republicanism is the idea that citizens stay informed about politics and participate in the process.

11 Federalism The Framers wanted the states and the nation to become partners in governing, so they turned to federalism. Federalism is a system of government in which power is divided between a central government and the states. In the early years of the United States, federalism was closely related to dual sovereignty, the idea that the powers of the federal government and the states were clearly defined, and each had exclusive power over their own spheres with little overlap.

12 Federalism In the early years of the United States, federalism was closely related to dual sovereignty, the idea that the powers of the federal government and the states were clearly defined, and each had exclusive power over their own spheres with little overlap.

13 A tell B Under dual sovereignty, what two groups have their powers clearly defined with little overlap? Be sure to re-state the question in your response!

14 Federalism Under federalism, the Constitution assigns certain powers to the national government. These are delegated powers. Powers kept by the states are reserved powers. Powers shared or exercised by national and state governments are known as concurrent powers.

15 Federalism

16 Separation of Powers To prevent too much power falling into the hands of a single group, the Framers built the idea of separation of powers into the Constitution. The Constitution divides the basic roles of government into branches.

17 Checks and Balances Baron de Montesquieu, a French thinker of the Enlightenment, first wrote about the principle of checks and balances. The Framers included a system of checks and balances in the Constitution to help make sure that the power of government is limited and that the branches work together fairly.

18 Checks and Balances Each branch of government can exercise checks, or controls, over the other branches. Though the branches of government are separate, they work together to perform the work of government.

19 Limited Government The Framers limited the power of govern– ment by denying specific powers to the Congress. The Constitution also forbids the states to take certain actions. These were the delegated and reserved powers discussed earlier. The Framers limited the power of govern– ment by denying specific powers to the Congress. The Constitution also forbids the states to take certain actions. These were the delegated and reserved powers discussed earlier.

20 Limited Government The principle of limited government is also closely related to the “rule of law.” In the American government, everyone must obey the law, even the president. This principle of government prevents the abuse of power by powerful people.

21 Individual Rights The first ten amendments to the Constitution protect people from an overly powerful government. These amendments are called the Bill of Rights, and they guarantee certain individual rights, or personal liberties and privileges. The first ten amendments to the Constitution protect people from an overly powerful government. These amendments are called the Bill of Rights, and they guarantee certain individual rights, or personal liberties and privileges.

22 Individual Rights For example, the government cannot control what people believe, think, write, or say. People also have the right to gather peacefully and to ask the government to correct a problem. Later amendments to the Constitution also advanced the cause of individual rights.


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