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Goals and Principles of the Constitution

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

1 Goals and Principles of the Constitution
Preamble, Articles and Amendments, Seven Basic Principles

2 The Preamble The Constitution is divided into 3 main parts: the Preamble (opening statement), Articles, and Amendments. The Preamble defines 6 goals. Preamble: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.”

3 The Goals of the Preamble
To Form a More Perfect Union Wanted states to be more unified To Establish Justice Applied fairly to every American regardless of race, religion, and gender To Insure Domestic Tranquility Peace and order at home (US) To Provide for a Common Defense Gives the government power to protect citizens To Promote the General Welfare Promote the well-being of all its citizens (health, happiness) To Secure the Blessings of Liberty Freedom and rights for its people

4 How can we meet the goals today?
To Form a More Perfect Union To Establish Justice To Insure Domestic Tranquility To Provide for a Common Defense To Promote the General Welfare To Secure the Blessings of Liberty

5 Articles The main body of the Constitution is divided into 7 sections called Articles, which establish the framework for our government. Articles I-III - describe the 3 branches of government : legislative, executive, and judicial. Article IV deals with relations between the states. Article V provides a process to amend the Constitution. Article VI states the Constitution is the Supreme law of the land. Article VII sets up a procedure to ratify the Constitution.

6 Amendments In over 200 years, only 27 formal changes have been made to the Constitution. The first 10 are known as the Bill of Rights (added in 1791). Article V outlines the amendment process. An amendment may be proposed by two thirds of both the House and the Senate. Ratification – may be approved by the legislatures of 3/4ths of the states.

7 Seven Basic Principles
Popular Sovereignty states that the people have the right to alter or abolish their government Limited Government Because the colonists wanted to avoid tyranny, they said the government has only the powers that the Constitution gives it Separation of Powers The government was split into three branches Legislative – makes the laws Executive – carries out the laws Judicial – explains and interprets the laws Checks and Balances Each branch of government has the power to check, or limit, the actions of the other two.

8 Seven Basic Principles Cont’d
Federalism Division of power between the federal government and the states Federal Examples – power to coin money, declare war, regulate trade between states State examples – regulate trade within their borders, establish schools Power not clearly given to the federal government belongs to the states. Republicanism Citizens elect representatives to carry out their will Individual Rights Protect individual rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to trial by jury

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