3 The Constitution – Supreme Law of the Land Popular Sovereignty – Government power resides in the peopleLimited 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 BalancesFederalism – 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 laws2. The executive - which enforces the laws or make sure the laws are carried out3. 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 VetoesRepresentatives– Borrow money• Based on population– Regulate international• 2 year Termsand 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 termsQualifications: – At least 35 years old – 14 year resident of the US – Natural born citizen • Elected by the Electoral CollegeImportant powers: – Commander-in-Chief – Grant pardons – Make treaties – Appoint federal officers – Ensure laws are executed
11 The Judicial BranchThe 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 BalancesThe 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” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFroMQlKiag Other…
15 More examplesIf 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 FederalismThe 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 SovereigntyDual 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 AmendmentsAmendments are proposed when 2/3 of House and Senate deem it necessaryAmendments are proposed when 2/3 of states deem it necessaryAmendments 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 speedyspeech, of the press, topublic trial, Notice ofassemble, and to petitionaccusations, Confronting2. Right to bear armsone's accuser, Subpoenas,3. No quartering of soldiersRight to counsel4. No unreasonable search and7. Right to trial by jury in civilseizurecases5. Indictments; Due process;8. No excessive bail & fines orSelf-incrimination; Doublecruel & unusual punishmentjeopardy, and rules for9. There are other rights notEminent Domain.written in the Constitution10. 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