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Basic Principles of the Constitution

Basic Principles of the Constitution

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Basic Principles of the Constitution

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  1. Basic Principles of the Constitution

  2. Declaration of Independence • “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal & that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that are among these life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness-that to secure these rights; governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever an form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute new government…”

  3. John Locke • 1632-1704 • He was the most important influence of our founding fathers. • Created the natural rights philosophy.

  4. Locke had many ideas that challenged the King’s authority, and he made them very known in his writings • He believed all people were born equal, and no one is above the law (everyone obeys the law) • These were not new ideas, but helped to form modern democracy

  5. In one of his writings he states his theory of natural rights (life, liberty, and property of people) and people have the right to pursue what they want without interference • He felt the laws of the land should be based on these rights, and if they are not followed then the people had the right to rebel

  6. As a group read:John Locke- A Man with Many Hats

  7. Natural Rights Philosophy • All humans are entitled to life, liberty and property • Changed by our founding fathers to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

  8. The answer is a Constitution!Constitutionalism • The state must govern according to the laws. • People expect the constitution to protect their rights, liberties, and property. • Const. Monarch = ruler is the head of state but the ultimate power rests in the electorate aka the people.

  9. The United States ConstitutionQuick Facts • Signed into being on September 17, 1787 forming the basis for US Government. • 3 Parts: • Preamble—Introduction; establishes purpose of US government • Articles—7 articles provide guidelines for how government will operate • Amendments—27 changes to the original document make Constitution a “living document”

  10. Preamble.... • Complete Preamble Cloze Activity and Vocabulary Activity

  11. What is a Principle? • A principle is a basic rule that guides and influences thought or action… • Principles guide our decision-making, thus keep us in order • What principles do you live by and why? • How do those principles affect your everyday actions?

  12. Six Principlesof American Government Limited Government Checks and Balances Separation of Powers Popular Sovereignty Judicial Review Federalism

  13. Limited Government Government is NOT all powerful, there are limits on what is can do Constitution is the Supreme Law of the land and ALL government officials are subject to the document. (Rule of Law) Evident throughout the Constitution, use of negative language throughout

  14. Limited Government Examples in the Constitution: • Article 1, Section 9 • no denial of habeas corpus • no bills of attainder • no ex post facto • no titles of nobility • Article 1, section 10 • no stateshall enter into treaties with foreign nations • no state shall coin its own money

  15. Limited Government Examples in the Constitution • Bill of Rights • Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech… • The rights of the people shall not be abridged… • No quartering of troops

  16. Limited Government • Read “Limiting Government” as a group and discuss

  17. Powers of National Government Separation of Powers • The Powers of Government are divided into three Branches: • Legislative Branch Makes Laws • Executive Branch Enforces Laws • Judicial Branch Interprets Laws Separation of Powers

  18. Checks and Balances Each branch checks over the other two, to prevent abuse (again limiting government) • The legislative makes a law • the executive can veto • The executive vetoes • the legislative can override the veto • The judges make a law unconstitutional • the legislative can make an amendment to the Constitution • The executive appoints a judge • the legislative must confirm or reject

  19. Checks and Balances Definition: Each branch of Govt has some power over the other two branches Purpose: Prevent any one branch from having too much power

  20. Practicing Checks and Balances 1. If Congress makes a law, what can the President do if he does not like the law? 2. If Congress does not think the President’s veto was fair, what can the Congress do? 3. If a law or action is unlawful, which branch determines if the law or action is unconstitutional?

  21. How the checks and balances works..... • An opening comes up on the Supreme Court (Judicial Branch) • The president (Executive Branch) nominates a person to fill the opening • The Senate (Legislative Branch) must approve the appointment with a majority vote • All checked and balanced!

  22. Complete Checks and Balances activity

  23. Popular Sovereignty • People are source of govt. power (1) Popular = “People” (2) Sovereignty = “Power” or “Controller” • Example: - elections - peaceful demonstrations

  24. Judicial Review The Court has the power to determine the constitutionality of governmental action.

  25. Judicial Review • Courts decide if govt. acts violate constitution • Marbury v. Madison established judicial review. Example: Brown v. Board of Ed. Court stated that segregation was illegal in public places

  26. Meaning: power is divided between national (central), state, local govts. - Each level has own responsibilities Example: - Amendment Process - Federal Power = Prints Money - State Power = Driver’s License Federalism

  27. Other Important Principles… • Due Process—Govt must follow established procedures when dealing with citizens; your right to be treated fairly by the government. • Rule of Law—NO ONE (not even the President) is above the law. • Majority Rule • Rights of Individuals/Equal Protection

  28. Federalism Popular Sovereignty Limited Government United States Constitution Separation of Powers Judicial Review Checks And Balances Review: How do each of these principles of the Constitution manifest themselves in your everyday lives?