Presentation on theme: "CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT. Constitutional Basics The Constitution is seen as the supreme law of the land It provides citizens with information about their."— Presentation transcript:
Constitutional Basics The Constitution is seen as the supreme law of the land It provides citizens with information about their rights and about what they may reasonably expect of their government
Parts of the Constitution The Constitution is divided into three parts – Preamble (introduction): answers the question as to why it was written – The Articles (each article covers a general topic) ARTICLE 1 establishes the LEGISLATIVE BRANCH of gov’t. – Sections 2 & 3 set forth details of both houses of Congress (House and Senate)
Parts of the Constitution ARTICLE 2 creates EXECUTIVE BRANCH to carry out laws passed by Congress ARTICLE 3 establishes Supreme Court to head JUDICIAL BRANCH – Section 1 also gives national government the power to create lower federal courts
Parts of the Constitution THE AMENDMENTS (changes) – The Constitution has been amended 27 times
MAJOR PRINCIPLES OF GOV’T. The Constitution rests on six major principles of gov’t. – Popular sovereignty (rule by the people) – Federalism (power is divided between national and state government) – Separation of Powers (Each branch of government has its own responsibilities) – Checks and balances (Each branch exercises some control over the other branches)
MAJOR PRINCIPLES OF GOV’T. Judicial Review (Supreme Court has power to declare laws of local, state, and national gov’t. invalid (“unconstitutional”) if they violate the Constitution Limited Gov’t. (Power of the gov’t. is not absolute. People have protections against too much gov’t. power)
AMENDMENTS The First Ten Amendments: The Bill of Rights The Constitution has been amended 27 times The Constitution established gov’t for approximately 4 million people in the original 13 states in 1787. Today, it is the basis of government for about 300 million people in 50 states in a highly- technological society.