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The US Constitution: Preamble, Articles and Amendments.

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1 The US Constitution: Preamble, Articles and Amendments

2 The U.S. Constitution is one of the most important documents in history. It establishes the government of the United States, and its first 10 amendments, the Bill of Rights, assures every U.S. citizen the rights we have all come to hold dear.

3 The Preamble 'We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.'

4 Unless you are in the 4th grade, you will probably never be asked to recite this again. It is important for people to understand the stated purpose of the constitution.

5 Article I Article I of the constitution establishes the legislative branch of our government. This is the Congress. The constitution establishes two houses for the Congress: The House of Representatives and The Senate. The primary purpose of the Congress is to make laws.Senate

6 In the House, representatives are elected every 2 years and must be at least 25 years old, have been a U.S. citizen for 7 years and must reside in the state from which they are chosen. The House has the sole power of impeachment. This means that the House can put the president on trial for breaking the law.representatives

7 In the Senate, senators are elected every 6 years and must be at least 30 years old, have been a U.S. citizen for 9 years and must reside in the state from which they are chosen. The vice president of the United States is the president of the Senate, but the VP has no vote unless there is a tie that needs to be broken.

8 The Senate holds the trial if the House chooses to impeach the president. The punishment can only go as far as throwing the president out of office and barring them from holding other government offices.

9 According to Article I, it is also Congress' job to raise money (that means tax), pay U.S. debts, and it is Congress' job to provide for defense (this means maintain the military).

10 Article II Article II of the constitution establishes the executive branch of government; that means the president. The president's job is to enforce the laws established by Congress.

11 The president is elected for a 4- year term, must be a natural born U.S. citizen (that means to be eligible to become the president, a person must be born in the United States).

12 To be president, a person has to be at least 35 years old and must have been residing in the U.S. for the last 14 years.

13 The president is Commander in Chief of the military, has the power to make treaties (with the consent of the Senate), has the power to pardon and appoints ambassadors, judges and other officials, but these appointments must be ok'd by Congress.

14 Article III The judicial branch of the government is established by the 3rd article of the constitution. The job of the judicial branch of the government is to interpret the law. The judicial branch of the government is made up of the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts.

15 The Supreme Court deals with cases involving constitutional law, treaties, ambassadors and cases outside the state jurisdiction, like maritime cases, cases between states or individuals in another state. Judges appointed to the Supreme Court serve for life!

16 Review Articles I - III So, let's review Articles I-III. The first 3 articles of the constitution establish the branches of the U.S. Government: the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. This brilliant system is designed to divide the powers of the government so that each branch keeps the others in check.

17 The Congress makes laws, but the president can veto those laws, and if the president does sign those laws, the courts can find those laws unconstitutional and render them void. Congress can override a presidential veto, but the courts can still knock them down.

18 If the courts keep rendering laws void, the Congress can amend the constitution. If the proposed amendment passes by a 2/3 majority, then the courts are bound by the constitution.

19 Articles IV - VII Moving on, Article IV - this deals with the relationship of the states and admitting new states. It establishes the relationship between states and the federal government; it says that states have to honor the laws of other states.

20 As an example, if a couple is married in New York, their marriage is also recognized in Virginia. It also outlines the rules for admitting new states into the Union.

21 Article V is all about amending the Constitution. Article V establishes the amending process for the Constitution. Article V states, like I said earlier, that a 2/3 majority of both the House and the Senate have to agree in order to amend the constitution.

22 Article VI says that the constitution is the highest law of the land. This means that federal and state officers and judges must uphold the constitution.

23 Article VII is just names. It's just all the guys who signed the constitution. It just confirms the ratification of the document.

24 The Bill of Rights Next, the Bill of Rights; the Bill of Rights is very important. Every American, whether able to recite them or not, enjoys the protections laid out by the founders, and the constitution would never have been signed without these first amendments.

25 There were actually, originally, 12 amendments, but it was the right assuring list of 10 that made it into the constitution.


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