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Goals of the Constitution

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Presentation on theme: "Goals of the Constitution"— Presentation transcript:

1 Goals of the Constitution
The Preamble, or opening statement of the Constitution states six goals for the Constitution.

2 1. To form a more perfect union.
The Articles of Confederation had created a loose alliance of independent states. The Constitution was written to make the union better. 2. To establish justice. Another flaw in the Articles of Confederation was the lack of a judicial branch to settle disputes. The Constitution was created to correct this flaw. 3. To insure domestic tranquility. A goal of the Constitution was to maintain peace and order in the United States.

3 4. To provide for the common defense.
The national government has the power to maintain a military force to defend all of the states. But the control of the military remains in civilian hands. 5. To promote the general welfare. The national government has the responsibility to support the well-being of citizens throughout the United States. 6. To secure the blessings of liberty. Protecting the freedoms of Americans is also a goal of the national government.

4 Articles The main body of the Constitution contains seven Articles, or sections, that establish our government.

5 Articles of the Constitution (briefly)
Establishes the legislature and lists the powers and limits on that branch. Establishes the executive and lists the powers and limits on that branch. Establishes the judicial branch and lists the powers and limits for it. Describes relationships between states. Provides a process for amending, or changing, the Constitution. Is the Supremacy Clause. Describes the process of ratifying the Constitution.

6 Seven Principles of Our Government
Principles, or main beliefs, are outlined in the Constitution. They described the relationship between the government and the people.

7 Seven Constitutional Principles
Popular sovereignty, or the idea that the government gets it’s authority from the people. Limited government means that everyone must obey the laws outlined in the Constitution. The Constitution does not give the national government unlimited power and authority. Separation of powers limits the government by establishing three branches of government and giving each branch defined powers. Checks and balances assist the concept of separation of powers by giving each branch the power to limit the actions of the other two branches.

8 Seven Constitutional Principles
Federalism means that powers are divided between the national government and state governments. Some powers are given to the national government only. Some powers are shared. And powers not clearly granted to the national government belong to the states. This further reduces the power of the national government. Republicanism creates a system in which citizens do not have direct control of the government (like direct democracy). Instead, people elect representatives who are responsible to speak and act for the people.

9 Seven Constitutional Principles
Individual rights are protected by the Constitution. Powers not granted to the state or national government belong to individual citizens of the United States.

10 Checks and Balances According to the Constitution, each branch of the government can check, or limit, the power of the other branches.

11 Checks and Balances Framers of the Constitution took the advice of the Baron de Montesquieu and created a government that would have limited power. The President can veto, or reject, a bill that Congress has passed. Congress can check the President by overriding, or overruling, the veto.

12 Checks and Balances Congress must also approve the President’s appointments to government offices, as well as treaties made by the President. The House of Representatives may impeach the President. This means the House charges the President with doing something seriously wrong. It resembles an indictment for a crime.

13 Checks and Balances If the House impeaches the President, the Senate conducts a trial. If 2/3 of the Senate votes to convict the President, then the President must leave office. The Supreme Court can check the President or Congress by declaring laws unconstitutional.

14 Adding the Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments, or changes to the Constitution, are known as the Bill of Rights.

15 Adding the Bill of Rights
The creators of the Constitution wanted it to be difficult to make changes to the document. James Madison wrote 12 amendments to the Constitution. By December of 1791, ¾ of the states had ratified 10 of the amendments.

16 Adding the Bill of Rights
James Madison said that the Bill of Rights did not create rights for the people. He said that by listing the rights, the government could not take the rights from the people. Many of the rights listed were listed because of the way that the British behaved in the American colonies.

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