PowerPoint Prep for Unit 3 Test Foundations of American Govt
Overview On these slides, you will see a quick recap of each day of class. Then you will see the important information you need to know (definitions, etc.). Finally, there will be some multiple-choice questions with answer explaining why the answer is correct.
The Principles of American GOvt Day 1
Timeline 1781- Articles of Confederation 1861-5- American Civil War 1700 1800 1900 2000 2011- Being awesome at SMS 1776- Declaration of Independence 1787- Adoption of the Constitution
but thinking of when these events are taking place will help you better understand the material. You don’t need to know the dates on the time line,
Remember Lesson 1? The Bachelorette-Civics Style Activity Ms. American Government had to select her favorite principle, one that met all of her needs. Of course, of the possible options, 7 of the principles are ones that helped shape American government. Do you remember which ones?
Principles of American Govt Consent of the governed: The 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. Representative government: In a representative system of government, the people elect public officeholders to make laws and conduct government on the people’s behalf. Democracy: In a democratic system of government, the people rule. Rule of law: The government and those who govern are bound by the law, as are those who are governed. Separation of powers: the powers of the national government are separated among three branches of the government in ways that limit any one branch from abusing its power. Checks and balances: Each of the three branches of the national government limits the exercise of power by the other two branches.
Why are these principles important? A system of checks and balances is important because it prevents one branch from becoming too powerful. Congress has many ways of making sure that the American President does not become too powerful, and vice versa. The principle of rule of law is important because it means that no one is above the law. A policeman cannot commit a crime and expect to face zero punishment.
Multiple Choice Example Which of the following shows the rule of law in action? a. an absolute French ruler draws up a new code of laws b. a Nigerian court refuses to prosecute individuals accused of stoning a woman to death c. a U.S. Senator arrested for drunk driving d. the U.S. Supreme Court decides that the felony laws do not apply to a U.S. President so long as the President remains in office The correct answer here is C. Remember, the definition for rule of law means that everyone has to follow the law, including public officials (like the senator).
Influential documents Day 2
Document Sorting! In this class, we worked in partners to sort excerpts (small amounts of text) from primary sources or documents. We could sort them any way we wanted to- most of us picked to sort them by length. We then grouped them into 2 categories- ones that sounded like the Declaration of Independence and ones that sounded like they were in the Constitution. Remember, the title of the document can help you remember what it did.
But none were the DoI or the Constitution! Instead they were from: Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom Stated the idea of the freedom to practice one’s own religion Established a separation of church and state (so things like schools cannot have any sort of religious elements in them) Influenced the First Amendment Charters of the Virginia Company of London Authorized by King James I in 1609 Gave colonists in Virginia the same rights as Englishmen Provided a structure of govt for the colony Virginia Declaration of Rights Listed rights Influenced the Bill of Rights in the Constitution
Multiple Choice Example What document written by George Mason served as a model for the first ten amendments to the Constitution? a. Charters of the Virginia Company of London b. Virginia Declaration of Rights c. Declaration of Independence d. Articles of Confederation The correct answer is B. There are a couple of hints in the question that can help us. You might have remembered that the VA Declaration of Rights was written by George Mason, or you could have realized that the first ten amendments to the Constitution are the Bill of Rights, the document the VADR influenced.
The declaration of independence Day 3
Day 3 On this day, we learned about the factors leading up to the Declaration of Independence. We also watched a video clip, “Too Late to Apologize” We went on a quest to find some things in the DoI We also took a quiz to see what type of government planner we were! So fun!
The Declaration of Independence Remember LICE?? 4 things that the DoI did: Listed inalienable rights of Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness Declared our Independence from Britain Listed Complaints against the king of Britain Stated that all men are created Equal
Multiple Choice Example The Declaration of Independence which declared colonial freedom from Great Britain also a. affirmed certain unalienable rights b. established the first form of government c. served as a model for the Bill of Rights d. protected freedom of speech The correct answer is A. “Affirmed” means to confirm or state, and we know through LICE that the document lists these rights.
I wasn’t in class> you had a substitute, & you missed me terribly ;) Day 4
The Articles of Confederation, the Constitutional Convention, & the Preamble Day 5
Day 5 We did so much in the class! We learned all about the characteristics and weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation like Powerless to tax Powerless to regulate trade Powerless to draft a national army Needed all states approve of amendments Most of these weaknesses were caused by the writers of the AoC wanting to leave the power to the states
Day 5 We learned that the weaknesses of the AoC was finally revealed, so delegates from each state met in Philadelphia, PA to talk about making changes Instead, they created the Constitution, an entirely different document. The big problems of the AoC were changed by the Constitution like Powerless to tax> now Congress can tax Powerless to regulate trade> now Congress can regulate trade Amendments with all states’ approval> now only ¾ of states
The Constitution We learned that in addition to having solutions to the problems of the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution did 4 things. Remember PAGE? Protected the freedoms of speech, religion, petition, press, and assembly Affirmed the dignity and worth of all people Guaranteed equality under law with majority rule and the rights of the minority protected Established the structure of the United States government
The Preamble We also learned about the Preamble, the introduction to the Constitution through Schoolhouse Rock! It states 6 purposes of the Constitution Form a more perfect union Establish justice Ensure domestic tranquility Provide for the common defense Promote the general welfare Secure the blessings of our liberty
Multiple Choice Example When the President announces a new plan for military spending, his proposal reflects the national goal of – a. ensuring domestic tranquility b. promoting the general welfare c. providing for common defense d. establishing justice The correct answer here is D. The key word in the sentence is military. The military is the U.S.’s way of defending itself from other countries. So the purpose stated in the Preamble that the President is fulfilling is providing for the common defense.
The Articles IN the Constitution, Separation of powers, & checks and balances Days 6 & 7
Days 6 & 7 On these days, we went to law school, and we learned all about what the Constitution says about the executive, legislative, and judicial branches We learned what each branch does and what power it has We also learned about the system of checks and balances- how each branch of govt can check the power of other branches
Checks and Balances Executive Branch: Checks over legislative branch when the President: –proposes legislation –prepares an annual budget for Congress to approve –call special sessions of Congress –vetoes legislation Congress has passed Checks over the executive branch when the President: -appoints judges/justices Legislative Branch: Checks the executive branch when legislators -override presidential vetoes -impeach and convict a president Checks the judicial branch when legislators -confirm or refuse to confirm federal judges/justices -impeach and convict judges/justices
Judicial Branch: Checks the executive branch when -judges/justices declare executive actions to be unconstitutional Checks the legislative branch when -judges/justices declare acts of Congress to be unconstitutional
Multiple Choice Example The system of checks and balances is best illustrated by the power of a. the president to veto a bill passed by Congress b. Congress to discipline one of its own members c. a governor to send the National Guard to stop a riot d. state and federal governments to levy and collect taxes The correct answer is A. The President has several ways to check on the legislative branch, and this is one of them.
Amending the Constitution Day 8
Day 8 In class, we watched a video about the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments) We did an activity where the classes proposed a change they wanted to make in the classroom, and we tried to ratify it This process was similar to the process of amending the U.S. Constitution
Amending the Constitution The amendment process is complex To date, there are 27 amendments to the Constitution of the United States Amendment process Proposal: action by Congress or convention Ratification: by the states
Multiple Choice Example What is the process for amending the Constitution of the United States? a. Presidential approval and Congressional approval b. judicial approval and state ratification c. Presidential approval and judicial approval d. Congressional approval and state ratification The correct answer is D. We learned in class the specifics of how amendments are added, but the broadly speaking, the process begins with Congress and is then ratified by the states.