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American Government and Economics: Unit 3: The US Constitution

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Presentation on theme: "American Government and Economics: Unit 3: The US Constitution"— Presentation transcript:

1 American Government and Economics: Unit 3: The US Constitution
Mr. Chortanoff Overview and Insights Chapter 3 “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” –James Madison

2 The Big Idea: The Constitution and the Bill of Rights establishes a framework for government and guarantees individual liberties Unit Essential Question: What are the different parts of the Constitution and how are your rights protected?

3 4 Concepts: E.Qs. Basic Principles
What are the basic principles of the US Constitution? What purposes do the principles of the US Constitution serve? Articles What are the Articles of the US Constitution? How do the Articles of the US Constitution establish a framework for our government? Bill of Rights/Amendments What are the amendments to the US Constitution? Amendment Process What is the formal amendment process? Why are the amendments necessary?


POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY – people are the source for government (not God, nature, or war/generals) LIMITED GOVERNMENT government only does what people/the constitution/law says it can (rule of law, not men) SEPARATION OF POWERS – 3 independent branches REPUBLICANISM Elections are held for, of, and by the people

6 Three of the Basic Principles
The principle of popular sovereignty asserts that the people are the source of any and all government power, and government can exist only with the consent of the governed. The principle of limited government states that government is restricted in what it may do, and each individual has rights that government cannot take away. Separation of powers is the principle in which the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government are three independent and coequal branches of government. Chapter 3, Section 1

can restrain other branches (vetoes, appointments, etc.) JUDICIAL REVIEW Supreme Court can declare laws unconstitutional FEDERALISM – Strong central government and division of powers INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS The Bill of Rights protects your civil liberties and choices

8 The Principles continued
Checks and balances is the system that allows the legislative, executive, and judicial branches to check, or restrain, the actions of one another. The principle of judicial review consists of the power of a court to determine the constitutionality of a governmental action. Federalism is a system of government in which the powers of government are divided between a central government and several local governments.

9 Amending the Constitution
The Constitution provides for its own amendment—that is, for changes in its written words. Article V sets out two methods for the proposal and two methods for the ratification of constitutional amendments, creating four possible methods of formal amendment.

10 Formal Amendment Process

11 Amending the Constitution
Formal: Passage of legislation by Congress Proposed by 2/3 of Congress; ratification by ¾ of state legislatures or state conventions Proposed by a national convention, called by Congress at the request of 2/3 of the state legislatures; ratification by ¾ of state legislatures Proposal by a national convention; ratification by ¾ of state conventions Informal: Actions by the President (E.Os, treaties) Key decisions of Supreme Court Activities of Political Parties Customs (president’s cabinet) Amending the Constitution

12 Informal Amendment Process: Executive Action and Court Decisions
Presidential actions have produced a number of important informal amendments, such as the use of the military under the power of commander in chief (executive orders) An executive agreement is a pact made by the President directly with the head of a foreign state. (trade, mil.) Court Decisions The nation’s courts, most importantly the United States Supreme Court, interpret and apply the Constitution in many cases they hear.

13 An Outline of the Constitution:
The Constitution sets out the basic principles upon which government in the United States was built. The Constitution is a fairly brief document. The Constitution is organized into eight sections: the Preamble and seven articles. The original document is followed by 27 amendments.

14 Articles of the Constitution
Article I – Legislature Article II – Executive Article III – Judiciary Article IV – Relations of the States to One Another Article V – Process of Amending Article VI – Federal Supremacy Article VII - Ratification Establish and empower

15 AMENDMENTS 1ST 10 Amendments to the Constitution make up the Bill of Rights There have been 27 amendments added in all 2 of these (#18 and #21- prohibition of alcohol) cancel each other out

16 Amendments

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