The Seven Principles of the United States Constitution
I. Popular Sovereignty The people hold the ultimate authority A representative democracy lets the people elect leaders to make decisions for them. Richard Durbin, Jesse Jackson, Jr., and Barack Obama are our elected officials in Congress and the White House
II. Republicanism People elect representatives and give them the responsibility to make laws and conduct government. We call that a representative democracy.
III. Limited Government Framers wanted to guard against tyranny Government is limited to the power given them in the Constitution. The Constitution tells how leaders who overstep their power can be removed.
IV. Federalism The division of power between State and National Governments. Some powers are shared. The National Government has the “supreme power”
V. Separation of Powers No one holds “too much” power. Legislative branch makes the laws. Executive branch carries out the laws. Judicial branch interprets the laws.
VI. Checks and Balances Prevents the abuse of power in government Each branch can check or limit the power of the other branches.
VII. Individual Rights The Constitution protects individual rights such as freedom of speech, freedom religion, the right to a trial by jury, etc. These are rights of citizenship and the government can not take them away.