Foundations Power Words

Fundamental Political Principles

The pillars of democracy. The things that ensure that the government functions correctly.

consent of the governed

People are the source of any and all governmental power

Limited Government

Government is not all-powerful and may do only those things the people have given it the power to do.

Rule of Law

principle that the law applies to everyone, even those who govern


a government system in which the people rule

Representative Democracy/ Representative Government

a form of democracy in which citizens elect officials to govern on their behalf

Direct Democracy

Government in which citizens vote on laws and select officials directly.


complaints, protests

Unalienable Rights

rights that you are born with


a system when states join together for a common cause, but retain their independence

majority rule

A system in which the decision of more than half the people is accepted by all.


the system of beliefs and laws by which a country, state, or organization is governed. The "supreme law of the land

The Preamble

Introduction to the Constitution, the purpose for writing the document

The Articles

The main sections of the Constitution, which explain the structure of government. The articles describe each branch of government and the powers they have.

Legislative Branch (Congress)

The branch of government that makes laws. At the national level, the House of Representatives and the Sentate make up the Legaslative Branch.

Executive Branch

The branch of government that enforces or carries out the laws. The president, vice president, and cabinet make up this branch.

The Cabinet

A group of advisers to the president. They are part of the executive branch of government. Today there are 15 advisors.

Judicial Branch

The branch of government that reviews or interprets the laws. They also punish lawbreakers. The Supreme Court is part of this branch.

The Amendments

Changes or additions to the Constitution


to approve or consent by a formal vote


The study of the rights and duties of citizens


A member of a nation with full rights and responsibilities under the law.

Checks and Balances

A system in which the powers of government are balanced among different branches so that each branch can check, or limit, the power of the other branches.

Separation of Powers

The three-way division of power among the branches of the federal government (and state government)