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The Principles of the United States Constitution

The Principles of the United States Constitution

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The Principles of the United States Constitution

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  1. The Principles of the United States Constitution

  2. I. Popular Sovereignty • The people hold the ultimate authority • A representative democracy lets the people elect leaders to make decisions for them. • Orrin Hatch, Bob Bennett, and Chris Cannon are our elected officials in Congress

  3. II. Limited Government • Framers wanted to guard against tyranny • Government is limited to the power given them in the Constitution. • The Constitution tells how leaders who overstep their power can be removed

  4. III. Federalism • The division of power between State and National Governments • Some powers are shared • The National Government has the “supreme power”

  5. IV. Separation of Powers • No one holds “too much” power • Legislative branch makes the laws • Executive branch carries out the laws • Legislative branch interprets the laws

  6. V. Checks and Balances • Prevents the abuse of power in government • Each branch can check each other branch

  7. VI. Judicial Review • The principle of judicial review consists of the power of a court to determine the constitutionality of a governmental action.

  8. Articles of the Constitution

  9. The first ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights: refer to your handout for discussion and project.

  10. : What is an Article, and Section? 1. An Article is: a: A particular section or item of a series in a written document, as in a contract, constitution, or treaty. b: a separate and usually numbered or otherwise marked section (as of a statute, indictment, will, or other writing) c: a separate point, charge, count, or clause d: a condition or stipulation in a document (as a contract) 2. A Section is: a: One of several components; a piece. b: A subdivision of a written work. c:Law. A division of a statute or code.

  11. 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 for the United States of America.

  12. Article I- Legislative Branch • Senate and House of Representatives • Make our laws • Appropriate Money • Regulate Immigration • Establish Post Offices and Roads • Regulate Interstate Commerce and Transportation • Declare War

  13. Article II- Executive Branch • The President of the United States • Chief Executive • Chief of State • Chief Legislator • Commander in Chief

  14. Article III- Judicial Branch • Supreme Court and other Federal Courts • Preserve and protect the rights guaranteed by the Constitution • Considers cases involving national laws • Declares laws and acts “unconstitutional”

  15. Checks and Balances • Prevents the abuse of power in government • Each branch can check each other branch

  16. Executive Checks • Propose laws to Congress • Veto laws made by Congress • Negotiate foreign treaties • Appoint federal judges • Grant pardons to federal offenders

  17. Legislative Checks • Override president’s veto • Ratify treaties • Confirm executive appointments • Impeach federal officers and judges • Create and dissolve lower federal courts

  18. Judicial Checks • Declare executive acts unconstitutional • Declare laws unconstitutional • Declare acts of Congress unconstitutional • The Supreme Court holds the final check

  19. Article IV- Relations among States and the United States Government • mandates that all states will honor the laws of all other states • guarantees that citizens of one state be treated equally and fairly like all citizens of another • concerns the admittance of new states and the control of federal lands. • ensures a republican form of government

  20. Article V-amending, or changing, the Constitution The Constitution provides for its own amendment—that is, for changes in its written words. Article V sets out two methods for the proposal and two methods for the ratification of constitutional amendments, creating four possible methods of formal amendment.

  21. Formal Amendment Process • The four different ways by which amendments may be added to the Constitution are shown here: 1 3 Chapter 3, Section 2

  22. Amendments to the Constitution Collectively, the first ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights.They set out many of our basic freedoms. Chapter 3, Section 2

  23. Informal Amendment Processes Informal amendment is the process by which over time many changes have been made in the Constitution which have not involved any changes in its written word. The informal amendment process can take place by: (1) the passage of basic legislation by Congress; (2) actions taken by the President; (3) key decisions of the Supreme Court; (4) the activities of political parties; and (5) custom.

  24. Executive Action Presidential actions have produced a number of important informal amendments, such as the use of the military under the power of commander in chief. An executive agreement is a pact made by the President directly with the head of a foreign state. Court Decisions The nation’s courts, most importantly the United States Supreme Court, interpret and apply the Constitution in many cases they hear. Executive Action and Court Decisions

  25. Article VI and VII • National Debts, Oaths of Office, supremacy of the national government • First, it guarantees that the United States under the Constitution would assume all debts and contracts entered into by the United States under the Articles of Confederation. • It sets the Constitution and all laws and treaties of the United States to be the supreme law of the country. • Finally, it requires all officers of the United States and of the states to swear an oath of allegiance to the United States and the Constitution when taking office. • Ratifying the Constitution • details the method for ratification, or acceptance, of the Constitution: of the original 13 states in the United States, nine had to accept the Constitution before it would officially go into effect.

  26. The Writers and Signers of the Constitution, Our Founding Fathers The Constitution Mural, Painted by: Barry Faulkner in 1936 From left to right: (Front Row) Edmund Randolph, Nathaniel Gorham, John Dickinson, John Rutledge, James Wilson, Oliver Ellsworth, Charles Pinckney, James Madison, Elbridge Gerry, William Samuel Johnson, George Mason, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Rufus King, William Paterson, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Gouverneur Morris, Alexander Hamilton, George Read. (Back Row) William R. Davie, John Langdon, Luther Martin, Roger Sherman, Gunning Bedford, Jr., and Abraham Baldwin.