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While signing the Constitution legend has it Ben Franklin had tears streaming down his face. GW’s chair had sun Rising or setting- rising!

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Presentation on theme: "While signing the Constitution legend has it Ben Franklin had tears streaming down his face. GW’s chair had sun Rising or setting- rising!"— Presentation transcript:

1 While signing the Constitution legend has it Ben Franklin had tears streaming down his face.
GW’s chair had sun Rising or setting- rising!

2 Preamble, or intro, to Constitution lists 6 major goals of American govt.
1. To form a more perfect union 2. To establish justice 3. To insure domestic tranquility 4. To provide for the common defense 5. To promote the general welfare 6. To secure the blessings of liberty

3 1.Form a more perfect union 2. Establish justice
Framers felt states had to agree to operate as 1 country & cooperate on major issues. 2. Establish justice Const. provides a national system of courts to: Protect peoples’ rights Hear cases about violations of federal law Settle disputes btwn. states.

4 3.Insure domestic tranquility
Constitution provides a strong central govt. to keep peace among the people. 4. Provide for the common defense Constitution gives federal govt. power to maintain armed forces & protect the citizens.

5 5. Promote the general welfare
Constitution provides ways for govt. to promote general well-being of the people. 6. Secure the blessings of liberty Constitution guarantees people’s basic rights. For current & future generations

6 Const rests on 7 major principles:
(1) popular sovereignty, (2) republicanism, (3) limited government, (4) federalism, (5) separation of powers (6) checks and balances (7) individual rights.

7 Popular sovereignty means “the authority of the people” or people rule
U.S. govt. gets its power from the people. Under republicanism people choose their govt leaders.

8 Limited govt. makes certain that govt
Limited govt. makes certain that govt. only has powers the people grant/give it. Federalism is a system in which power to govern/rule is shared btwn. national govt. & states.

9 Constitution defines 3 types of powers.
Enumerated powers belong only to federal govt. Reserved powers are powers retained by states. Concurrent powers are powers shared by state & federal govts.

10 First 3 articles of Const establish rules for 3 branches :
Executive- President Legislative- Congress Judicial- Supreme Court To keep 1 branch/person from becoming too powerful 3 branches ÷ powers/duties

11 Framers established system of checks and balances- each branch of the govt can check/limit power of other branches.

12 The Framers Were Geniuses
Smart enough to know they weren’t the smartest ever & didn’t know everything Made a process to amend or change Const. Gave Congress power to grow w/ times Only 27 amendments to Const. (counting 1st 10- Bill of Rights)

13 The amendment process discourages frequent or minor changes to Const.
An amendment can be proposed in 2 ways: by vote of 2/3 of both houses of Congress by 2/3 of state legislatures asking for a special convention on the amendment.

14 ·Principle of individual rights guaranteed by Bill of Rights (1st 10 amendments to Constitution)

15 Since 1789 more than 9,000 amendments have been proposed!
This makes it even more amazing that only 27 have been ratified Only 17 since 1791 Some of the Bill of Rights: 1st amendment- freedom of speech, press, assembly, petition & religion 2nd amendment- right to bare arms 4th amendment- no illegal searches & seizures 5th amendment- rights of the accused 6th amendment- right to trial by jury

16 Civil War Amendments Amendments 13-15
they happened right after Civil War they were created to help former slaves 13 ended slavery 14 guaranteed citizenship & Const. rights for African Americans 15 right to vote for African American men

17 Other Voting Amendments
19th amendment gave women vote in 1919! 26th amendment set voting age to 18

18 “Elastic clause” of Const
“Elastic clause” of Const. mean that Congress has certain implied powers, powers not specifically defined in Const. Power to make all “necessary and proper” laws

19 Power to regulate trade This has been necessary to change w/ the times
Congress has used the “commerce clause” of Const. to expand its powers in a number of areas. Article 1 section 8 clause 3- Commerce Clause Power to regulate trade This has been necessary to change w/ the times Examples: regulation of airline industry, radio & TV & nuclear energy.

20 Constitution describes role & powers of president in general terms.
Much of what president does is based on precedents or actions of previous presidents Washington set up 1st Cabinet – group of advisors Every prez. since has done same- now there are 15 Cabinet departments

21 Although not mentioned in Constitution, judicial review has become major power of judicial branch.
Judicial review means to judge whether acts of Congress or prez. are constitutional Phrase evolved from Article 3 section 2 which states Supreme Court has right to hear “all cases… arising under this Constitution” Marbury v. Madison- case where SC decided they had right to decide whether laws violated const.

22 Article I outlines Congress Congress has 2 houses:
House of Representatives (2 year terms) Senate (6 year terms)

23 House of Reps has: 435 voting members 5 nonvoting delegates District of Columbia (Washington DC), Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, & Virgin Islands. # of reps from ea/state is determined by state’s population.

24 Senate consists of 100 senators, 2 ea/state. Role of Congress is to
make nation’s laws control govt. spending. Congress appropriates, or sets aside, funds for govt. Govt. cannot spend any money unless Congress oks it

25 Congress monitors executive branch.
House of Representatives can impeach (bring formal charges against) any federal official it suspects of wrongdoing. Senate holds trials for those impeached Senate has some important powers that House doesn’t ratifies treaties (2/3 vote) confirms presidential appointments

26 All members of Congress must represent their constituents, people of their home states & districts.
Letters Phone calls s Petitions Reelection

27 Both houses use committees to evaluate proposed legislation (laws).
Standing committees- permanent committees (ex: agriculture, education…) sub-committees- more specific

28 Joint committees- members from both House & Senate
conference committees- works out compromise when similar bills are proposed in House & Senate Sometimes House & Senate form temporary committees to address special issues. select committees

29 1000s of bills (proposed laws) proposed each yr.
Once bill is approved by House & Senate, it goes to prez. for approval. If bill is signed, it becomes law. If prez. vetoes bill, it goes back to Congress, Congress can override president’s veto Pretty rare Needs 2/3 vote (67 in Senate/ 290 in House)


31 or Source- Kids in the House-the office of the clerk

32 Article II outlines executive branch Executive branch includes
president, vice president various executive offices, departments & agencies. President is chief executive & responsible for carrying out nation’s laws.

33 President is chief diplomat, directing foreign policy, appointing ambassadors, & negotiating treaties. w/British PM Brown w/French president Sarkozy w/German chancellor Merkel

34 President is commander in chief.
In this role, prez.can use military to intervene, or offer assistance in crises at home or around world. President cannot declare war; only Congress can declare war. appoints & removes top military officials

35 As chief of state, prez. represents all Americans.
The face world sees Greets foreign leaders Visits foreign countries President serves as legislative leader by proposing laws to Congress. suggests new laws veto

36 CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)
Independent agencies manage federal programs in many fields. CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) FCC (Federal Communications Commission) A govt. corporation is govt. agency that is run like a privately- owned business Post office Amtrak

37 15 secretaries/ executive departments
Executive Office of the President (EOP) consists of individuals & agencies that directly assist president. Cabinet consists of executive depts. responsible for ea/area of govt. 15 secretaries/ executive departments

38 Article III outlines Supreme Court & court system
Does not describe duties of Supreme Court Has developed from laws, through tradition, & as country’s needs & circumstances have changed. Federal court system is made up of: Supreme Court district courts appeals courts


40 District courts consider civil & criminal cases that come under federal, rather than state, authority. Civil- private citizen sues; claims against govt. & cases involving constitutional rights- $ is usually penalty if guilty Criminal- crime; govt. brings charges – prison time if guilty Appeals courts review district court decisions when losing side has asked for review of verdict

41 Supreme Court hears & rules on cases that have been appealed to it.
9 justices- 1 Chief & 8 associate justices hears approx. 120 of 4,000 cases/yr. majority wins, but both sides must give reasons for decision majority opinion dissenting opinion In doing so, Court is political institution because it often determines national policy.

42 Top row: (left to right): Stephen G
Top row: (left to right): Stephen G. Breyer (Clinton), Clarence Thomas (Bush 41), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Clinton), and Samuel A. Alito (Bush 43). Bottom row: (left to right): Anthony M. Kennedy (Reagan), John Paul Stevens (Ford), Chief Justice John G. Roberts (Bush 43), Antonin G. Scalia (Reagan) , and David H. Souter (Bush 41),

43 Judicial review is Supreme Court’s power to examine laws & actions of local, state, & national govts & to cancel them. Supreme Court can also review presidential policies settle disputes interpret laws protect guaranteed rights

44 Miranda v Arizona Ernesto Miranda was arrested, interrogated & confessed Later he said he didn’t know he had right to an attorney & didn’t have to speak to police Case went to Supreme Court Decided that people arrested needed to be made aware of their rights- Miranda rights


46 Rights of American citizens fall into 3 broad categories:
right to be protected from unfair actions of govt. to have = treatment under law, to have basic freedoms. Due process of law means that govt. must follow procedures established by law & guaranteed in Constitution.

47 All Americans, regardless of race, religious beliefs, or political beliefs, have right to be treated same under law. Basic freedoms include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, & right to petition (all 1st Amendment).

48 1st Amendment- allows citizens to criticize govt. , forbids govt
1st Amendment- allows citizens to criticize govt., forbids govt. from endorsing religion, & ensures citizens’ rights to practice religion they choose. 9th Amendment- rights of Americans are not limited to those mentioned in Constitution.

49 Americans must work to protect their rights.
Govt. can establish laws to restrict certain standards to protect health, safety, security, & moral standards of a community.

50 A citizen- person who owes loyalty to & is entitled to protection of state or nation.
A person of foreign birth can become citizen through process of naturalization. Citizens of US are expected to carry out certain duties & responsibilities. Duties are things citizens are required to do by law Responsibilities are things citizens should do

51 Citizens’ duties include obeying law, paying taxes, defending nation, & serving on juries.
Laws: help maintain order protect health, safety, & property of all citizens make it possible for people to live together peacefully.

52 Citizens are responsible for:
Constitution guarantees all Americans right to trial by jury of their peers. Citizens are responsible for: voicing their opinions about govt. matters keeping informed of their rights respecting diversity accepting responsibility for their actions supporting their families

53 Voting is most important responsibility of U.S. citizens.
Citizens can belong to special interest groups, who present arguments supporting or opposing bills that are up for discussion. Citizens can join a political party & help choose candidates to run for various political offices. U.S. citizens should respect rights of others w/whom they may disagree.

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