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Guiding Principles of the U.S. Constitution

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Presentation on theme: "Guiding Principles of the U.S. Constitution"— Presentation transcript:

1 Guiding Principles of the U.S. Constitution

2 Background Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
Congress had no control over domestic affairs Most of the power (governing) was held by the states Laws required approval by two-thirds majority of states Shay’s Rebellion Violent protest by farmers in Massachusetts Against the rising state taxes Example of disorder in the nation – anarchy “We are fast verging to anarchy and confusion” - GW

3 Therefore… The U.S. Constitution was created to solve some of these problems

4 6 Essential Principles Separation of Powers Checks and Balances
Federalism Popular Sovereignty – All power comes from the people Limited Government – Government may do only the things that the people give it power to do Judicial Review – Power of the courts to determine if a law/government action is constitutional

5 Established 3 branches Legislative Branch Executive Branch
Congress Create laws Executive Branch President Carrying out laws Judicial Branch Federal court system (Supreme Court) Interpreting laws

6 Separation of Powers Separation of powers – each branch has specific powers that are different. Main reason for the 3 branches Ensure no one part of the government become too powerful Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu influenced this idea

7 Checks and Balances Checks and balances – each branch was given the responsibility to watch over each other. Each branch has the ability to curb one another’s powers Example: Supreme Court has the power to declare laws unconstitutional (judicial review) Checking the power of both Executive and Legislative branches

8 Checks and Balances

9 Federalism Founding Fathers wanted a strong national government, BUT…
Not too strong (absolute monarchy) Needed to have a balance Federalism – division of political power between the national and state governments

10 Why do we need it? EXAMPLE:
What would be bad about the following news headlines? State of S. Carolina to Print Own Money: “Carolina Nuggets” All doing business in state must change to new currency Dollars no longer accepted in S. Carolina

11 Division of Powers Delegated Powers (expressed, enumerated)
Federal Government Powers Article 1, Section 8 of Constitution Reserved Powers State Government Powers 10th Amendment

12 Division of Powers Concurrent Powers Both Federal and State Powers
Some powers denied by both Bill of Attainder – a person is convicted of a crime, punishment set, and denied a trial by jury. Ex Post Facto “after the fact” – providing punishment for a person for an act that was legal before the new law was passed.

13 (___________, ___________, __________)
Division of Powers National Government (___________, ___________, __________) BOTH (_____________) State Government (___________)

14 (Delegated, Expressed, Enumerated)
Division of Powers National Government (Delegated, Expressed, Enumerated) BOTH (Concurrent) State Government (Reserved) Regulate trade within a state Protect public welfare Conduct elections Establish local governments Establish and support public schools Make marriage and divorce laws Coin money Maintain army and Navy Declare war Regulate trade Establish post offices Carry out all expressed powers Collect taxes Enforce laws Borrow money Provide for general welfare Build roads

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