What is the most important document in the US
The Constitution does this
a) sets out basic principles for governmentb)lays out the way the federal government is organizedc)lays out how leaders are selected and their policies
What are the three main parts of the Constition?
1. Preamble - introduction; state goals2. The articles - detail structure of government3. The amendments - changes made to the Constitution
The 6 goals of the federal government can be found in the preamble.
6 goals of the federal government
1. Form a more perfect union2. establish justice3.endure domestic tranquility 4. provide for the common defense5. promote the general welfare6. secure the blessings of liberty
the structure and language of the Constitution is built around these 6 principles.
1. popular sovereignty2. limited government3. separation of powers4. check and balances5. judicial review6. federalism
This is the concept that government gets its authority from the people
How do people in the Us exercise their sovereignty
electing others to represent them (voting)
This is the principle that the powers and functions of government are restricted by the US Constitution and other laws
The concept that every member of society, including the ruler or government, must obey laws and is not above it
rule of law
another name for limited government is
The duties of governing are divided among the 3 branches of government, better known as separation of powers. It is a way to limit the powers of government. How are these powers divided?
Legislative, Executive, Judicial
The complex system that ensures that one branch does not become more powerful than the other.
Checks and Balances
What is an example of a check and balance?
Congress can refuse funds requested by a president or reject a treaty or position
a check and balance that determines if a government action or law agrees with the Constitution
Who decides if a federal law is constitutional
Which major supreme court case established the power of judicial review
Marbury v Madison 1802
The distribution of the powers between the state and federal government
Two Clauses of the federal government to have power without infringing on the rights of states. 1. Article 1 section 8/ Necessary and proper clause:
the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution of foregoing power
Two Clauses of the federal government to have power without infringing on the rights of states. 2. Article 6/ Supremacy clause:
declares the constitution is the law of the land.
Why is the Constitution consideration a living document?
it is used everyday, it can be changed
Changes made to the Constitution and usually reflect the changes in attitude of society at that given time.
Why is the Amendment process meant to be complicated?
It is hard to get a lot of states to agree on a permanent change to the constitution
Amendment proposals happen at this level
Ratification takes place at this level
a number that is much more than half of a total, especially in a vote.