Basics of the Constitution
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Basics of the Constitution

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Basics of the Constitution Basics of the Constitution Presentation Transcript

  • Originally from http://www.slideshare.net/rkalauk U.S. Government Structure & FunctionDeclaration, Articles of Confederation & U.S. Constitution
  • Articles of Confederation 1777-1781 Our 1st form of government Established the name of the united states Had many problems Unicameral (one house) legislature called Congress created from representatives of the 13 states One vote per state Weak central government No national courts No power to tax No money meant no army Important laws had to be approved by at least 9
  • Articles of Confederation No executive officer to enforce laws No way to control trade between states No way to settle quarrels between states States had more power  They could tax  They had courts  States could make currency
  • Constitutional Convention 1786  Annapolis, MD (aborted due to lack delegates) 1787 – Constitutional Convention  Philadelphia  Independence Hall  George Washington – president  Not all agreed  Compromises made  Virginia plan-large state plan  James Madison  New Jersey plan-small state plan  Ratified 1788
  • Preamble “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
  • Article 1 Legislative Branch Purpose  Make laws  2 houses or bodies of Congress  House of Representatives  Senate
  • House of Representatives 435 members  Based on population (about 1 for every 500,000)  Each state gets at least one representative Term- 2 years  Unlimited terms Qualifications  25  US Citizen- 7 years  Resident of state  Male or female
  • Senate 100 Total Senators 2 from each state Term  6 years, 1/3 every of Senators up for re-election every 2 years  Unlimited terms Qualifications  30 years old  Citizen for 9 years  Resident of the state  Male or female
  • Senate Leaders of the Senate  Vice President - Currently V.P.-Joe Biden  Senate pro-tempore - Currently Harry Reid (D., Nevada) Checks & Balance  Senate has Power of impeachment  They are the Jury in the impeachment trial
  • General information aboutCongress Congress (with a capital C) is the name for both the U.S. House of Representatives and The US Senate Both meet in:  Capitol Building in Washington DC  Paid the same, approximately $174, 000 a year.
  • Lawmaking process Job of Congress is to get laws passed to make sure our country is running smoothly How pass laws  An idea in the form of a “bill” is introduced either in the House of Reps or the Senate  Revenue laws (money laws like taxes, or refunds, etc must start in the House of Representatives)  It goes to a committee where it is heard, fixed, and voted on  If it is approved in committee it goes to the floor of the whichever house it started in and gets voted on. If it passes the first house, then it goes to the next house  Example: Bill introduced in the House of Reps, goes to a House of Reps committee, is voted on in committee and passes, then it goes to the “floor” of the House of Reps and is voted on. If it passed then it is sent to the Senate and the same process starts over again.
  • Lawmaking Process Bill must be passed by both houses of Congress Sent to President to sign or veto If President vetoes the bill, Congress needs a 2/3 vote in both houses to over rides the veto If President doesn’t act in 10 days, bill automatically becomes law if Congress is in session Judicial Branch interprets laws to ensure they are within the limits of the Constitution
  • Duties of Congress, notstates, Article 1, Section 8 Money-power to raise, borrow, coin money Defense-power to declare war, to raise and support military Ex post facto law  Congress can’t convict someone of an act if that act was legal at the time when it occurred. Postal duties Make treaties
  • Federal system (federalism) Delegated Powers- Powers only belonging to the federal gov’t  Ex.-military, postal system, standards, copyrights, commerce, immigration, declaration of war Concurrent Powers- shared federal and state powers  Ex.- general welfare, courts, levy taxes, banks, borrow money Reserved Powers-Powers belonging only to state gov’ts  Ex.-schools, local gov’t, marriage regulations
  • General information aboutArticle 1 – The Legislature Congress can’t tax goods exported from any state Each citizen must treat citizens of other states the same as their citizens
  • Article 2 – The ExecutiveBranch Purpose to Enforce laws Consists of  President  Vice President  15 cabinet members
  • President Takes office on Jan. 20 following an election year Term Limits  4 years  2 terms – set by the 22nd amendment Office located - White House Current President:  Barack Obama
  • Qualifications & Generalinformation Age at least 35 Natural born citizen Live in US for 14 years Male or female General Info:  Only 1 resigned from office - Richard Nixon  Only 1 appointed to office - Gerald Ford  1st African American – Barack Obama
  • Election of President Electoral college  538 total electoral votes  Need 270 to win If no candidate gets a majority of electors  House of Reps decides  Each state gets 1 vote Inauguration Jan. 20
  • Presidential duties Can call both houses into special session Veto power Makes appointments for ambassadors, judges, 15 cabinet members (they must be confirmed by the Senate) Commander-in–chief Prepares annual budget  Ready by Jan., presented to Congress  2 biggest expenditures  Defense and Social Security
  • Order of succession Vice President Speaker of the House President pro-tempore Cabinet- Sec. of State
  • Cabinet - 15 Sec. of State – foreign affairs Attorney General – chief legal officer Sec. of Defense – defense Sec. of Agriculture – farm programs Sec. of Treasury – coinage and printing of money and secret service Sec. of Health and Human Service – health and social security Sec. of Energy – energy programs Sec. of Interior – natural resources and parks Sec. of Labor – settles strikes, working conditions Sec. of Homeland Defense – oversees protection of U.S. Sec. of Education – education Dept. of Transportation – transportation and Coast Guard Sec. Commerce – industry and business
  • Article 3 - Judicial Branch Purpose-to interpret laws and decide on the constitutionality of laws Federal court system has 3 courts  U.S. Supreme  U.S. Appellate or Court of Appeals  U.S. District
  • Judicial Branch Judges are appointed by the President Approved by Senate  Term for life  No qualifications Supreme court  9 justices  Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. (conservative)  Supreme Court Building in Washington DC
  • Checks and Balances Executive Branch- Vetoes Legislative Branch -passes by 2/3 vote in each house Judicial Branch– declares law unconstitutional
  • Articles 4 - 7 4 rights of the states 5 how to amend the constitution 6 constitution is supreme law of the land 7 how the constitution would be ratified (approved)
  • Amendments-27 1-10 Bill of Rights 1 speech and press 2 bear arms 4 privacy 6 speedy trial 9 enumeration 12 election of president 13 no slavery
  • Amendments-27 14 citizenship for blacks 15 black men the right to vote 16 income tax 18 prohibition 19 women right to vote 21 repeal 18 22 president’s term 26 vote at 18