2 Preamble (Introduction) GoalsTo form a more perfect unionTo establish justiceTo ensure domestic tranquilityWhat It Means to Us All states work together as a unified nation. Everyone should be treated equally and fairly under the law. The government has the responsibility to ensure peace and order at home.
3 Preamble (Introduction) GoalsTo provide for the common defenseTo promote the general welfareTo secure the blessings of libertyWhat It Means to Us The government has the responsibility to protect its citizens against foreign attack. The government has the responsibility to to promote the well-being of all its citizens. The government should value and protect the rights of its citizens.
4 ArticlesThe main body of the Constitution is divided into seven sections called articles.Article 1 – Powers and limits of CongressArticle 2 – Powers and limits of the PresidentArticle 3 – Powers and limits of the CourtsArticle 4 – Relations between StatesArticle 5 – Amendment ProcessArticle 6 – Federal priority in disputes “Supreme Law of the Land”Article 7 – Ratification Process
5 Amendments A formal change in the Constitution There have been 27 amendments to the Constitution.The first 10 amendments, passed in 1791, are called the Bill of Rights.
6 Proposing an Amendment Ratifying an Amendment The Amendment ProcessProposing an AmendmentTwo MethodsCongress can propose an amendment if both houses vote for a change to the Constitution.The legislatures of 34 states can call for a national convention to formally propose an amendmentRatifying an AmendmentTwo MethodsAn amendment can be ratified by the approval of 38 state legislatures.An amendment can also be ratified through the action of state conventions.
7 Principles of the Constitution Popular Sovereignty Limited Government Separation of PowersThe people are the primary source of the government’s authority.The government has only the powers that the Constitution gives it.The Constitution divides the government into three branches, and each branch has its own duties.
8 Separation of Powers Congress Passes Laws Can override President’s vetoApproves treatiesCan impeach and remove President and other high officialsPrints and coins moneyRaises and supports armed forcesCan declare warRegulates foreign and interstate trade
9 Separation of Powers The President Carries out Laws Proposes lawsCan veto lawsNegotiates foreign treatiesServes as commander in chief of armed forcesAppoints federal judges, ambassadors, and other high officialsCan grant pardons to federal offenders
10 Separation of Powers The Supreme Court Interprets Laws Can declare laws unconstitutionalCan declare executive actions unconstitutional
11 Checks and Balances Congress Passes Laws Checks on Executive BranchCan override President’s vetoConfirms executive appointmentsCan impeach and remove PresidentAppropriates moneyRatifies treatiesCan declare warChecks on Judicial BranchCreates lower federal courtsCan impeach and remove judgesCan propose amendments to overrule judicial decisionsApproves appointments of federal judges
12 Checks and Balances The President Carries out Laws Checks on Legislative BranchCan propose lawsCan veto lawsCan call special sessions of CongressMakes appointmentsNegotiates foreign treatiesChecks on Judicial BranchAppoints federal judgesCan grant pardons to federal offenders
13 Checks and Balances Supreme Court Interprets Laws Check on Executive BranchCan declare executive actions unconstitutionalCheck on Legislative BranchCan declare acts of Congress unconstitutional
14 Principles of the Constitution Federalism Republicanism Individual RightsThe division of power between the federal government and the states.Instead of direct participation in government, citizens elect representatives to carry out their will.The Constitution protects individual rights, such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to trial by jury.
15 How the Government Works Legislative Branch Senate2 per stateServe 6 yearsMust be 30 or overCitizen for 9 yearsResident of state100 MembersVice President presides and can vote if there is a tieHouse of RepresentativesAt least 1 per stateBased on populationServe 2 yearsMust be 25 or overCitizen for 7 yearsResident of state435 MembersSpeaker regulates debates and agenda
16 How the Government Works Legislative Branch The most important power of Congress is the power to make the nation’s laws.Either house of Congress may introduce a bill.After debate and changes, the bill is voted on.If both houses vote to approve the bill, it then goes to the President to be signed.If the President signs the bill, it becomes law.The President can veto the bill.Congress may override the veto with a two-thirds majority vote.Much of the work in Congress is done through committees, such as defense, transportation, education, etc.
17 How the Government Works Executive Branch Qualifications for PresidentMust be a natural born citizenMust be at least 35 years oldMust have been a resident of the United States for 14 yearsTerm LimitsA President cannot be elected to more than two terms since the ratification of the 22nd Amendment in 1951.A person who serves out the term of someone else for a period of 2 years or more cannot be elected to more than one additional term.
18 The Executive BranchThe executive branch is headed by the President and includes 15 departments, each headed by a secretary.The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.He can:Propose lawsVeto billsNegotiate treatiesGrant pardons to federal offendersAppoint federal judges, ambassadors, and other high officials
19 The Electoral CollegeThe Electoral College chooses the President based on the popular vote in each state. The number of electors in each state is determined by the number of senators and representatives. The candidate with the most popular votes “wins” the states’ electoral votes. California has 55 electors.
20 How the Government Works Judicial Branch Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court is the highest court in the U.S.A.Justices are appointed by the President and approved by the SenateThere are 9 Supreme Court justices, who are appointed for life.The court is the nation’s final court of appeal.It hears and decides fewer than 100 cases each year.The Supreme Court’s most important power is judicial review, the power to determine what the Constitution means.
21 The Judicial Branch Most federal cases begin in district courts. A party that disagrees with the court decision may appeal the decision to an appellate court.An appellate court reviews the decisions of district courts to decide whether the lower court judges interpreted and applied the law correctly.Most cases are tried under state jurisdiction because they involve state laws.
22 State and Local Governments Powers of the National GovernmentPowers Reserved to the StatesRegulate interstate and foreign tradeSet standard weights and measuresCreate and maintain armed forcesMake copyright and patent lawsEstablish postal officesEstablish foreign policyCreate federal courtsCoin moneyDeclare warAdmit new statesCreate corporation lawRegulate trade within stateMaintain schoolsEstablish local governmentsMake laws about marriage and divorceConduct electionsProvide for public safety
23 State and Local Governments Administer smaller units such as, counties, cities, and townsMost of the money is spent on schools.They are required to meet State education standards.Provide firefighters, police officers, and garbage collectors.Maintain local roads and hospitals, provide sewers and water, run libraries, oversee parks and recreation facilities, and conduct safety inspections of buildings.
24 Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship Becoming an American CitizenTo become a citizen of the United States, you must fulfill one of the following three requirements:You were born in the U.S. or have at least one parent who is a citizen of the U.S.You were naturalized.You were 18 years old or younger when your parents were naturalized.To become naturalized, a person must live legally within the U.S. for at least five years.They can then apply for citizenship.He or she must take a citizenship examination and undergo a series of interviews.Finally, the applicant takes the citizenship oath before a judge.
25 Responsibilities of Citizens A citizen must:Obey federal, state, and local laws;Pay their fair share of taxes;Serve on juries if called;Defend the nation if called.Good citizens should:Vote in federal, state, and local elections;Stay informed on important issues;Serve the community;Help to create a just society.