Objectives List and define the five basic principles on which the U.S. Constitution is based. Discuss and give examples of how the Constitution ensures the people’s authority over government. Provide examples of how the Constitution provides a system of limited government. Describe how the Constitution protects the rights of states.
Motivation Preamble of the Constitution. Benjamin Franklin’s address to the Constitutional Convention on June 28, 1787.
Republicanism This is the belief that citizens of a state have political authority, bound to a social contract to obey laws, and their rights are guaranteed by the constitution.
The Five Basic Principles on which the Constitution is based 1. popular sovereignty 2. limited government 3. separation of powers 4. checks and balances 5. federalism
Popular Sovereignty This means that government authority comes from the people. It can be found throughout the U.S. Constitution. Example: the Preamble- “We the People of the United States…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Set election rules, heredity [monarch] Republic which citizens elect others to represent them.
Limited Government The Constitution limits government by establishing guiding principles. Example: not granting nobility titles
Separation of Powers Prevent the concentration and abuse of power. In the Constitution allowed for the division of responsibilities among the three branches. The founding fathers listed the responsibilities and powers of the three branches in the first three articles of the Constitution.
Checks and Balances Prevents the concentration and abuse of power by giving each branch of government the authority to check or restrain. Executive and Legislative Checks: The branches need to consider the opinions, ideas and actions of the other branches. Veto –reject, by the president on legislation. This promotes cooperation between the executive and legislative branch. The Senate can reject presidential appointments for government jobs.
Judicial Review: is the power of the court system to decide if laws and other government actions are valid under the U.S. Constitution. Unconstitutional : law or government action that is found to violate any part of the Constitution. Judicial review is not specifically discussed in the Constitution. This was established in the Supreme Court case of Marbury vs. Madison in 1803.
Marbury v. Madison Review the case and answer the study guide questions.
Federalism The Constitution protects the rights of the states by establishing a federal system of government. The Constitution specifically prohibits states from exercising certain powers that belong to the national government, such as negotiating treaties, coining money, or engaging in war, unless the state is facing imminent danger or invasion.
Activity I will divide you into groups of four. I will assign each group one of the following topics: 1. principles of the U.S. Constitution 2. ways that the Constitution ensures the people’s authority over government 3. ways the Constitution provides checks and balances 4. ways the Constitution protects states’ rights
Each group will have the responsibility of creating a study guide for your assigned topic. Once your group is done with your study guide, copies will be made and distributed to the entire class. Then, as a class, we will review the study guides to make sure that everyone understands the topics included in the guides.