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Constitution and Our Government

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Presentation on theme: "Constitution and Our Government"— Presentation transcript:

1 Constitution and Our Government

2 Bellwork - 8/7/2015 Citizenship Test

3 The Constitution – Supreme Law of the Land
Popular Sovereignty – Government power resides in the people Limited government – Government is not all powerful, can only do what the people let it. Separation of Powers – Helps prevent one branch from becoming too powerful – Checks and Balances Federalism – Division of power among national and state governments

4 Preamble The introduction to the Constitution is called the Preamble.
The Preamble begins with the phrase “We the people…” This means that the government is based on the consent of the people.

5 Amendment A change in the Constitution
There have been 27 amendments to the Constitution. The first 10 amendments are called the Bill of Rights.

6 The Branches of Government
There are three branches of government: 1. The legislative - which makes the laws 2. The executive - which enforces the laws or make sure the laws are carried out 3. The judicial - which interprets the laws or explains the laws and makes sure they are fair

7 Legislative Branch Bicameral: • Important Powers: – Senate – Make laws
• 2 Senators for each state – Set taxes – Declare war • 6 year term – House of – Override Vetoes Representatives – Borrow money • Based on population – Regulate international • 2 year Terms and national trade – Print money

8 The House of Representatives
States with the largest populations have the most representatives in the House. House members must be at least 25 years old or older to serve. House members are elected to a two year term. There are 435 members in the House of Representatives.

9 The Senate The Senate is the other part of the Congress
There are two senators for each state, which means of course there are 100 Senators. Senators must be at least 30 years old. Senators are elected to a six year term.

10 The Executive Branch The executive branch is headed by the president.
The president is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. President and Vice President are elected to 4 year terms Qualifications: – At least 35 years old – 14 year resident of the US – Natural born citizen • Elected by the Electoral College Important powers: – Commander-in-Chief – Grant pardons – Make treaties – Appoint federal officers – Ensure laws are executed

11 The Judicial Branch The Judicial Branch of the federal government is headed by the Supreme Court. Supreme Court justices are nominated by the president and approved by the Senate. There are 9 Supreme Court justices, who are appointed for life. Decides cases of Constitutional Law and Federal Law

12 Checks and Balances The framers of the Constitution established a system of checks and balances to prevent any branch government from getting too powerful. Example: Congress has the right to pass bills into law, but the president can veto them, which means the bill does not become a law.


14 Videos “I’m Just a Bill”

15 More examples If the president vetoes a law, the Congress can override his veto by a 2/3 majority. The Supreme Court can say that any law is unconstitutional. The law no longer exists.

16 Federalism The power of government is also split between the states and the federal government. This is called Federalism. If the Constitution does not have a law, the states can do what they want. State law cannot contradict federal law.

17 Dual Sovereignty Dual Sovereignty means that whatever the federal government does not make a law about, the states can act however they choose. That is why there is different state laws regarding the age of drinking alcohol, driving, the death penalty, and many more.

18 Amendments Amendments are proposed when 2/3 of House and Senate deem it necessary Amendments are proposed when 2/3 of states deem it necessary Amendments must be ratified by ¾ of state legislatures or by conventions in ¾ of states

19 Bill of Rights 1. Freedom of religion, of
6. Right to a fair and speedy speech, of the press, to public trial, Notice of assemble, and to petition accusations, Confronting 2. Right to bear arms one's accuser, Subpoenas, 3. No quartering of soldiers Right to counsel 4. No unreasonable search and 7. Right to trial by jury in civil seizure cases 5. Indictments; Due process; 8. No excessive bail & fines or Self-incrimination; Double cruel & unusual punishment jeopardy, and rules for 9. There are other rights not Eminent Domain. written in the Constitution 10. All rights not given to Federal Government belong to states and people.

20 Other Important Amendments
• 13th Amendment – abolished slavery • 14th Amendment – Due process and equal protection under the law – All persons born in US are citizens • 15th Amendment – Right to vote regardless of race, color, or previous servitude Other Important Amendments: • 18th Amendment – Prohibition of alcohol • 19th Amendment: – Women’s suffrage • 21st Amendment: – Repeals prohibition • 22nd Amendment: – Presidential term limits • 24th Amendment: – Prohibits poll taxes for voting • 26th Amendment: – lowers voting age to 18


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