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A Constitutional Democracy

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Presentation on theme: "A Constitutional Democracy"— Presentation transcript:

1 A Constitutional Democracy
Chapter 4 Section 2

2 Vocabulary United States Constitution – the basis for U.S. law
Limited Government – leaders don’t have all the power Unlimited Government – leaders have almost total power ie: dictatorship Constitutional Amendment – is a change or addition to the Constitution Bill of Rights – lists specific freedoms guaranteed to every U.S. citizen Federal Government – a republic headed by the President Vocabulary

3 The Law of the Land Continental Congress
Written more than 200 years ago and it is still used today! Supreme Court decides if the laws stated in the Constitution are lawful. American colonists were frustrated with how the British were ruling them. They did not like the idea of a king. Developed a government ruled by the people Founders wanted to protect people’s rights and freedoms from government interference Constitution Describes the limits of the government Defines the rights of citizens and their role in governing the country. The Law of the Land

4 The Constitution Grows and Changes
Constitution went into effect in 1789. 1791 The states adopted the first 10 amendments proposed by congress A total of 27 amendments have adapted the Constitution. The Constitution Grows and Changes

5 Limiting Powers of Government
Federal government Establish an army Waging war Raising $ with taxes Making laws State government All other powers Leaders wanted the states to be able to govern itself. They wanted to limit the powers of the federal government. Created both the federal government and state governments to allow this. Limiting Powers of Government

6 Checks and Balances
Three branches of government The executive branch The Legislative branch The judicial branch Share the powers of the government equally Checks and Balances

7 Branches of Government
Executive Branch President and Vice-President elected Enforces laws Serves as Commander in Chief of the armed forces Conducts foreign affairs Has a cabinet of trusted individuals to guide him/her Legislative Branch Congress 2 houses Senate and House of Representatives Make national laws 2 senators from each state (100) House of Representatives has 435 members (number changes based on state population Judicial Branch System of federal courts Makes sure the laws and treaties are constitutional Supreme Court (highest court) has 9 justices, or judges Nominated by the President and approved by the Senate Branches of Government

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