2 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.
4 Basic PrinciplesThe principle of popular sovereignty The principle of limited government The principle of separation of powers
5 Popular Sovereignty Asserts that the people are the source of any and allgovernment powerGovernment can exist only with the consent of the governed.The people hold the ultimate authority
6 Republicanism People elect their representatives A representative democracy lets the people elect leaders to make decisions for them.
7 FederalismPower of government is divided between the national government (federal) and the state government.There is constant debate over who should have more power – the states or Washington.When federal law and state law do not agree, federal law has to be followed.
8 Limited Government Framers wanted to guard against tyranny each individual has rights that government cannot take awayGovernment is limited to the power given them in the Constitution.The Constitution tells how leaders who overstep their power can be removed
9 Separation of Powersis the principle in which the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government are three independent and coequal branches of government.No one branch holds “too much” powerLegislative branch - makes the lawsExecutive branch - carries out the lawsJudicial branch - interprets the laws
10 Checks and BalancesEach branch of government holds some control over the other two branches.There are ways for each branch of government to “check on” the other branches to make sure each branch does not take power they do not have.
11 Individual RightsBasic rights (unalienable rights) are guaranteed by our Bill of Rights (first 10 amendments to the Constitution).We have many rights like freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, and the right to a fair trial.
12 Legislative Branch Made up of Senate and House of Representatives Make our lawsAppropriate MoneyRegulate ImmigrationEstablish Post Officesand RoadsRegulate Interstate Commerce and TransportationDeclare War
13 Executive Branch The President of the United States Chief Executive Chief of StateChief LegislatorCommander in Chiefof all the military(army, navy, air force,Marines).
14 Judicial Branch Supreme Court and other Federal Courts Preserve and protect the rights guaranteed by the ConstitutionConsiders cases involving national lawsDeclares laws and acts “unconstitutional”
15 Checks and Balancesthe system that allows the legislative, executive, and judicial branches to (stop and check) check, or restrain, the actions of one another.
16 Executive Checks Propose laws to Congress Veto laws made by Congress Negotiate foreign treatiesAppoint federal judgesGrant pardons to federaloffenders
17 Legislative Checks Override president’s veto Ratify treaties Confirm executive appointmentsImpeach federal officers and judgesCreate and dissolve lower federal courts
18 Judicial Checks Declare executive acts unconstitutional Declare laws unconstitutionalDeclare acts of Congress unconstitutionalThe Supreme Court holds the final check