2 Popular Sovereignty Definition: A government in which the people rule. Two examples of popular sovereignty in the constitution are the ninth and tenth amendments to the constitution saying "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people" and "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Another example is back during the Civil War when states were slave states and free states, the government didn't decide or dictate which states were free or slave, they voted on it and decided for themselves. The power lay within the choice of the people.
3 RepublicanismDefinition: The people exercise their power by voting for their political representatives. For example, every four years the people of the USA vote for a president who they think can represent the country.
4 Limited GovernmentDefinition: Restricts the power of government. This means that the government has only the powers that the people give it. The government must obey the Constitution. And the people who work in government, its officials, must always obey the law.REAL LIFE EXAMPLE 1: Checks and balances REAL LIFE EXAMPLE 2: Separation of powers REAL LIFE EXAMPLE 3: Other examples of limited government can be found in our Bill of Rights, such as the government cannot arrest you without a warrant, you cannot be stopped from peacefully protesting, and your personal privacy cannot be infringed upon for no reason providing you are not suspect of terrorist activities.
5 FederalismDefinition: A system of government in which power is divided between a central government and smaller political units, such as states. REAL LIFE EXAMPLE 1: Each of the 50 states has its own state constitution, which is the law of that area. However, these state constitutions still must abide by the national (federal) constitution, which is the law for the entire country. People have to follow both the laws of their states and the United States' laws.MORE REAL LIFE EXAMPLES: Airport security is not federalism, since only the federal government does it. An example would be the freeways. They are owned and operated by the states, but the federal government sets down some basic guidelines that all states must follow and also provides funding. One example is split, that would be taxes. There are both state and federal taxes, because both the state and the head of the country need to collect money to keep things running smoothly, however federal government does not regulate state taxes.
6 Separation of PowersDefinition: Three separate parts, or branches, share the government's power. These branches are the executive (the president), the legislative (congress), and the judicial (the courts). Each branch has specific jobs.REAL LIFE EXAMPLES: The Legislative Branch makes and passes laws. In the Federal Government and most states this is the House and the Senate. The Judicial Branch interprets the laws. In the Federal Government and most states this is the Supreme Court. The Executive Branch, The President in the Federal Government , Governors in the States.
7 Checks and BalancesDefinition: Each branch checks on the other branches to make sure that they are following the Constitution and not breaking the law. This allows the government to make fair decisions.REAL LIFE EXAMPLE: The legislative branch can vote on and pass a law they feel is OK. The president, or the executive branch, can either pass the law off as well or Veto it, meaning the law won't pass. If the President says the law is Ok, but the supreme court (judiciary branch) doesn't think it's ok, they hold a court hearing to determine if the law is constitutional. If the law is deemed constitutional, it stays but if it is deemed unconstitutional, the law is taken out.
8 Individual Rights Definition: Personal liberties and privileges. The first ten amendments to the Constitution shield people from an overly powerful government. These amendments are called the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights guarantees certain individual rights. For example, government cannot control what people write or say. People also have the right to meet peacefully and to ask the government to correct a problem. Later amendments to the Constitution also advanced the cause of individual rights.