1. Popular Sovereignty 2. Limited Government 3. Separation of powers 4. Checks and balances 5. Federalism 6. Judicial Review
The people hold the ultimate power A republic lets the people elect leaders to make decisions for them. Popular Sovereignty - This principle states that the source of governmental power lies with the people. If the government is not protecting the people, it should be dissolved.
Framers wanted to guard against tyranny Since the people give government its power, government itself is limited to the power given to it by them. The Constitution outlines how leaders who overstep their power can be removed In other words, the US government does not derive its power from itself. It must follow its own laws and it can only act using powers given to it by the people.
The US Government is divided into three branches so that no one branch has all the power. Each branch has its own purpose: to make the laws, execute the laws, and interpret the laws.
No branch holds “too much” power (Montesquieu) Legislative branch makes the laws Executive branch carries out the laws Judicial branch interprets the laws
In order to further protect the citizens, the constitution set up a system of checks and balances. Each branch of government has a certain number of checks it can use to ensure the other branches do not become too powerful. For example, the president can veto legislation, the Supreme Court can declare acts of Congress unconstitutional, and the Senate must approve treaties and presidential appointments.
One of the most complicated foundations of the US is the principle of federalism The division of power between state and national (federal)governments Some powers are shared The National Government has the “supreme power” States also have powers reserved to them
An example of federal delegated power is the printing of money, declaring war and having a army and navy. Print money (bills and coins) Declare war Establish an army and navy Enter into treaties with foreign governments Regulate commerce between states and international trade Establish post offices and issue postage Make laws necessary to enforce the Constitution
Powers reserved to state governments include issuing licenses, setting gun control laws. Establish local governments Issue licenses (driver, hunting, marriage, etc.) Regulate intrastate (within the state) commerce Conduct elections Ratify amendments to the U.S. Constitution Provide for public health and safety Exercise powers neither delegated to the national government or prohibited from the states by the U.S. Constitution (For example, setting legal drinking and smoking ages.)
An example of shared powers is borrowing money and building highways. Setting up courts Creating and collecting taxes Building highways Borrowing money Making and enforcing laws Chartering banks and corporations Spending money for the betterment of the general welfare Taking (condemning) private property with just compensation (eminent domain)
The power which allows the Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional, illegal, null, and void of a government action or law that violates the intent of the Constitution. This was established with Marbury v. Madison in 1803.
THE CONSTITUTION PROVIDES FOR THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT THE FOLLOWING ARE THE THREE BRANCHES AND THEIR POWERS AND DUTIES
Responsible for creating laws “Power of the Purse” First Accomplishments: Set up the governments financial system Organized government departments Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Dealt with Revolutionary war debt Wrote the Bill of Rights Picked Washington D.C. to be the capital
Congress Senate House of Representatives Makes our laws Appropriates Money Regulates Immigration Establishes Post Offices and Roads Regulates Interstate Commerce and Transportation Declares War
The President of the United States An example of the duties of president Is that he is Commander in Chief of the military. “State of the Union” Commander in Chief of the Military Concluding treaties with foreign powers (advice and consent of Senate) Convene/adjourn Congress under extraordinary circumstances Approves or veto’s all legislation from Congress Grant federal pardons
Supreme Court Preserve and protect the rights guaranteed by the Constitution Considers cases involving national laws Declares laws and acts “unconstitutional” Judges appointed for life are free from executive control