Presentation on theme: "Basic Principles of the U.S. Constitution"— Presentation transcript:
1 Basic Principles of the U.S. Constitution School House Rock!Basic Principles of the U.S. Constitution
2 6 Basic Principles of the Constitution Popular SovereigntyLimited GovernmentSeparation of PowersChecks & BalancesFederalismIndividual RightsThese principles reflect the framers’ desire to establish a national government that serves the people, prevents the concentration & abuse of power, and respects the rights of the states.
3 Popular SovereigntyPopular sovereignty – government’s authority to rule comes from the people.Sovereignty – power or authority.This principle can be found throughout the Constitution.It’s expressed in the opening phrase of the Constitution “We the people…”It is also found in the articles of the Constitution:“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.” – Article IV, Section 4
4 Limited GovernmentLimited Government – A system in which government powers are carefully spelled out to prevent government from becoming too powerful.The Constitution establishes limited government:Article I Section 9 lists the powers that the national government does not have.The Bill of Rights limits our government by giving citizens certain rights.Click for a video
5 Separation of PowersSeparation of Powers – the distribution of political power among the branches of government, giving each branch a particular job.This idea came from what Enlightenment thinker?Separation of powers makes sure that no one branch has too much power.The writers of the Constitution wanted a strong national government, but it wanted to prevent the abuse of power.
6 Checks and BalancesChecks & Balances – a system in which the powers of government are balanced among different branches so that each branch can limit the power of the other branches.Examples of Checks:The power of commander in chiefThe power to declare a law unconstitutional (Judicial Review)The power to impeach federal judges & Supreme Court JusticesThe power to approve all treaties with foreign countriesThe power to veto billsThe power to declare warThe power to appoint federal judges and Supreme Court justicesThe power to impeach the President
7 Federalism FEDERAL + SYSTEM = FEDERALISM Federalism – a system of government in which the powers to rule is divided among the national, state, and local levels of governmentIn creating a federal system of government, the Constitution also established 3 types of powers: delegated, reserved and concurrent.
8 Delegated powersDelegated powers – those powers granted to the national government.Ex: Regulating immigration, making treaties, declaring warDelegated powers may be either enumerated or implied in the Constitution.Delegated powers are found in articles of the Constitution:The Congress shall have Power…To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes. -- Article I, Section 8, Clause 3
9 Reserved Powers Reserved powers – are those powers kept by the states. Ex: Marriage/divorce laws, driver’s licenses, public schoolsAmendment 10 reserves for the states any powers that are not given to the federal governmentThe powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, not prohibited to it by the States, are reserved to the States respectively… Amendment 10
10 Concurrent PowersConcurrent powers – are those that are shared by the federal and state governments.Ex: Taxes and Law EnforcementThe amendment process is an example of concurrent powers.The Congress … shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or on the Application of the Legislatures of 2/3’s of the several states… --Article 10
11 Independent Judiciary Framers’ created an independent judiciary to protect against abuses of the system by self-interested partiesArticle III which establishes the Supreme Court and other federal courts, the term limit for justices, and compensationLife sentence and secure salary to prevent public pressure
12 Individual RightsAnti-Federalists felt the Constitution didn’t protect individual rights, thus the Bill of Rights was addedExamples:1st AmendmentTrial by Jury (III, 2)Treason (III, 3)
13 Rule of Law No one is above the law Examples No states can discriminate against residents of another state (Article IV, Section 2)Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Section 2)