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Unit 2 Principles Of American Government
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Unit 2 Principles Of American Government


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  • 1. Six Basic Principles of the Constitution Chapters 3 and 4
  • 2. Six Basic Principles of the Constitution
    • 6 Themes evident throughout the Constitution
    • Each principle illustrates HOW this document is a document of LIMITATIONS .
      • This shows distrust of government.
    • Why were the colonists fearful of powerful government?
  • 3. 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
  • 4. 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 state shall enter into treaties with foreign nations
      • no state shall coin its own money
  • 5. 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
  • 6. Six Principles of American Government
    • Republicanism
    • Checks and Balances
    • Separation of Powers
    • Popular Sovereignty
    • Individual Rights
    • Federalism
    • We will discover: How each of these principles LIMIT government!
    • Note Bene: The 6 principles noted here are slightly different than the 6 principles in the textbook. (These align with the TEKs)
  • 7. Republicanism
    • All citizens are represented by a man or woman in both the federal government (Congress) and state government (Legislature)
      • These Representatives make decisions for us
    • Republican form of Government – each State is guaranteed at least 1 Representative and 2 Senators in Congress
      • (guaranteed by the Constitution)
    John Carter (R) Represents the Round Rock in the House of Representatives at the Federal level
  • 8. 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
  • 9. Separation of Powers
    • Article 1 – Only Legislative makes laws, coins money, taxes, borrows money, declares war, establishes post offices, makes lower courts, makes laws about naturalization, fixes weights and measurements
      • 17 listed powers, and the "elastic clause"-Clause 18
    • Article 2 – Only the Executive enforces laws, is Commander in Chief, appoints judges, pardons, vetoes, makes the State of the Union address, calls special sessions
    • Article 3 – Only the Judges interpret the Constitution
    Each branch has its OWN separate powers that the other two DO NOT thus limiting the other two.
  • 10. Popular Sovereignty
    • The people are the source of the power.
    • We give our consent to those we elect to speak in our behalf, but we are the source of power.
    • Evident throughout the document:
      • In Preamble - "We the People"
      • Article 1 - the people elect representatives to the House
      • Article 2 - the people indirectly elect the President
      • Amendment 17 - the people directly elect Senators
      • Amendment 1 - Free speech, press, petition-implies we, the people will participate
    • If a majority of the people want something, should they get what the want?
      • Abortion, End of the War, Affirmative Action, Close the Border, etc…
    We the People limit the power of Representatives (by voting them out). How do Representatives limit the power of the people?
  • 11. Individual Rights
    • Government exists to protect your individual rights (Locke, Hobbes, Jefferson)
    • Rights are something that are protected by government, not given by government
    • Bill of Rights outlines several of these
      • Freedom of Speech
      • Freedom of Religion
      • Freedom of Press
      • Freedom of Assembly
      • Right to bear arms
      • Right to a fair and speedy trial
    • 14 th amendment expands Bill of Rights to the states
    • Civil Rights Act (1964)
  • 12. Federalism
    • The federal government and its sub-divisional governments (states) SHARE the powers of law-making, enforcing, and interpreting.
    • All levels of government
      • (federal, state, and local)
    • have three branches
      • (legislative, executive, and judicial).
    • The Constitution gives power to BOTH the federal and state governments
    Federalism is like a three tiered layer cake. Explain!
  • 13.