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Government Review The plan for U.S. government is described in the Constitution of the United States of America. The Constitution was written in 1787.

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Presentation on theme: "Government Review The plan for U.S. government is described in the Constitution of the United States of America. The Constitution was written in 1787."— Presentation transcript:

1 Government Review The plan for U.S. government is described in the Constitution of the United States of America. The Constitution was written in 1787. Nine out of 13 states ratified it in June 1788. It became the law of the land in March 1789.

2 The Bill of Rights The first ten amendments (changes) to the Constitution. It gives certain rights and freedoms to all citizens.

3 1 st Amendment Grants freedom of religion, speech, the press, gathering together (assembly), and the right to gather signatures about issues and send them to the government (as a petition).

4 2 nd Amendment Grants the right to keep and carry weapons or arms.

5 3 rd Amendment Protects people from having the military stay in their homes.

6 4 th Amendment Protects people from being searched and having things taken from them, or seized.

7 5 th Amendment Gives every citizen the right to due process of the law. This means that the law must be followed by the government as well as by citizens and that the government must use the law to be fair and treat every person equal under the law. It also says that people can’t be brought to trial twice for the same crime, which is called double jeopardy. The 5 th Amendment also protects people from having to speak in court about themselves. This is called “taking the fifth.”

8 6 th Amendment Gives people accused of a crime the right to a trial by jury. It also says that accused people have the right to an attorney (lawyer) and to have others speak for them in court.

9 7 th Amendment Gives the right to a civil trial by jury. Civil law is the kind of law that is not about crimes.

10 8 th Amendment Protects people from excessive bail. Bail is the money that the court can charge to allow an accused person not to go to jail while they are waiting for trial.

11 9 th Amendment Says that just because a right is not written in the Constitution does not mean that people do not have that right.

12 10 th Amendment Says that any power that is not given to the federal government in the Constitution is given to either the states or to the people.

13 Process for Making Changes to the Constitution Article V (or 5) of the Constitution creates the process for making amendments (or changes). The first step is to propose, or suggest the amendment. Two-thirds of the Senate and two-thirds of the House of Representatives have to vote for the proposed amendment to put it into ratification (or approval) process. After an amendment is proposed, Congress sends the proposal to governors of every state. The state legislature then votes on ratification of the new amendment. As soon as the proposal has been ratified by three-quarters of the states (38 states), it becomes an official amendment to the Constitution.

14 Step 1 Congress proposes a new amendment. 2/3 of the House of Representatives pass the bill 2/3 of the Senate pass the bill +

15 Step 2 Proposed amendment is sent to the states

16 Step 3 State legislatures choose to ratify (accept) or reject the amendment

17 Step 4 ¾ of the states must ratify the amendment for it to be added to the Constitution ¾

18 Why do so many people have to vote to amend the Constitution? So that small groups cannot make changes that most people do not want!

19 Amendments That Changed Voting The president of the U.S. is not elected by a direct vote of the American people (popular vote). Each candidate earns electors according to the number of votes that he or she receives in the election. When the electors from each state meet, it is called the Electoral College. The Electoral College meets shortly after a presidential election and votes on who will be president. By tradition, electors vote for the candidate in the same way that the people in their state voted. They do not have to, however.

20 12 th Amendment Was written to change how the Electoral College votes. It gives each elector two votes- one for president and one for vice president.

21 17 th Amendment Changed the Constitution so that the people of each state now vote senators into office directly, rather than the U.S. senators being appointed by the state legislature. It also allows the governor of a state to appoint someone to serve in the place of a senator if he or she should die or resign from office.

22 23 rd Amendment Allows residents of District of Columbia (D.C.) to vote for delegates to the Electoral College.

23 Amendments That Protect the Right to Vote 13 th Amendment outlawed slavery. 14 th Amendment made all people born in the U.S. equal citizens under the law. 15 th Amendment gave all men over the age of 21 the right to vote-regardless of skin color. 19 th Amendment gave women the right to vote. 24 th Amendment ended poll taxes or taxes charged for voting. 26 th Amendment changed the national voting age to 18.

24 Citizenship Citizenship means more than just having rights. All American citizens have responsibilities as well. A citizen should be involved in the community. It is important for citizens to participate in government for our democracy to work. The responsibilities of a citizen: Voting and Politics Keep informed, vote in elections, join a political party Laws and Courts Obey laws, testify in court, serve on a jury Supporting the Nation Pay taxes, attend school, serve in the armed forces

25 Responsibilities With rights come responsibilities. A responsibility is a duty – something a person is expected to do. With the right to vote comes the responsibility of voting. Citizens should take part in government by voting in elections. With the freedom of speech and freedom of the press comes the responsibility of being an informed and active citizen. An informed citizen is one who knows what is happening in the community, the state, the nation, and the world.

26 More Responsibilities The Constitution gives the Congress the authority to raise an army. Citizens should be ready to defend the nation. The Constitution says that every person charged with a crime will be judged by a jury. A jury is a group of citizens who decide a case in court. Citizens must be willing to be members of a jury if called upon to serve. The Constitution also gives Congress the authority to raise money to run the nation. Citizens must be willing to pay taxes to run the nation.

27 Active Citizens Citizens take action to make changes in the government by: volunteering in political campaigns, running for public office as the candidate drafting a petition and get people to sign it organizing or participating in peaceful protests

28 Good Citizens Good citizens work for the common good- to keep the government going and to protect freedoms over time. To keep our nation strong, Americans need to show patriotism, or love of country.

29 Decision Making in a Democracy To preserve our democracy, citizens must learn how to make decisions using skills to: solve problems (Ex: environmental pollution and health care costs) deal with issues (Ex: What role should our nation play in fighting terrorism around the world?) find peaceful ways to resolve conflicts (Ex: elections, courts, and mediation)

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