Goals & Principles of the US Constitution


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Brief analysis of the Preamble and the important principles in the Constitution.

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  • Goal 3: “insure domestic tranquility” The purpose of this goal is to allow the new government the authority to ensure a smooth-running society. It gives the government broad authority to create laws and protect the rights of citizens. This supports the accepted role of government: to protect the rights of the people. This goes back to the idea of the “Social Contract” and Natural Rights, whereas government is created to protect people’s natural rights in exchange for the people’s pledge/promise to abide by the established rules for those ends. In essence, this statement tells the people that the government promises to provide a safe and peaceful society.
  • Goal 4: provide for the common defense In this statement, the government will do what it can to make sure that Americans will be protected from foreign threats both at home and abroad. From this, it is established that the “power of the sword” would be held by the national government. From this clause, the Congress justified its authority to commission a separate Air Force, using the “Elastic Clause”. By and large, most people would not argue today that the use of air power in combat is an important aspect to military success and should be within the right of the government. On the other hand, there are other more controversial exercise of “providing for the common defense” such as “warrantless phone taps” and “Sneak-and-peak searches” of people’s private homes without the owner’s permission or knowledge that the search had even taken place.
  • Goal 5: promote the general welfare This goal is provided to allow the government the latitude to ensure that all people will have a certain degree of health and standard of living.
  • Goals & Principles of the US Constitution

    1. 1. Goals & Principles of the US Constitution Chapter 3.3 & 3.4
    2. 2. The PreambleIntroduction to the ConstitutionLays out the goals of the new governmentthat is created by the Constitution
    3. 3. Goals of the ConstitutionWe the People of the United States, in Order (1)to form a more perfect Union, (2)establish Justice, (3)insure domestic Tranquility, (4)provide for the common defense, (5)promote the general Welfare, and (6)secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
    4. 4. 1) “to form a more perfect union”the framers wanted to make a bettergovernment than the one that existed underthe Articles of Confederation.
    5. 5. 2) “establish justice”the framers wanted to set up a legal systemthat seeks fair ways to settle disputes.
    6. 6. 3) “insure domestic tranquility”the new government will try to establish apeaceful society where people are protectedfrom unlawful acts.
    7. 7. 4) “provide for the common defense”the new government will seek to protectcitizens from foreign attacks.
    8. 8. 5) “promote the general welfare”the new government will try to ensure that allpeople will have a certain standard of living.
    9. 9. 6) “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity” the new government will work to protect people’s freedom in all aspects of life. and for future generations
    10. 10. Principles of the ConstitutionThese are the ideas that make thegovernment of the United States work.It is what makes our government a modelfor governments around the world.
    11. 11. 1) Popular SovereigntyThe people hold the power and give power togovernmentThe best way to ensure this is by majorityrule.This is implied by “We the People.”
    12. 12. 2) Rule of LawNo person is above the law, not evengovernment officialsThe law is to be applied equally to everyone,including our government leaders.
    13. 13. 3) Separation of PowersThe main powers of government (legislative,executive, and judicial) are kept separate inorder to prevent any one person or groupfrom getting too much power.Helps prevent a tyrannical government.
    14. 14. 4) Checks and BalancesEach branch of government has the ability towatch over the others in order to make surethat they are not overstepping their power.Used with separation of powers it will be ableto protect natural rights.
    15. 15. 5) FederalismThe powers of government are sharedbetween the state level and the national level.Helps government remain more responsiveon the state and local level to the needs of thepeople.
    16. 16. a) Supremacy ClauseArticle VI, section 2Called “the Supreme Law of the Land”whenever a state law disagrees with afederal law, the federal law “wins”