Popular Sovereignty (people rule)
The Preamble to the Constitution begins with
this bold phrase,
“We the People...”
These words announce that in the United States,
the people establish government and give it
The people are sovereign. Since the
government receives it power from the
people, it can govern only with their consent.
How do we rule?
Voting and Participation.
The people’s power comes in the form of
We have the right to push into a touch screen
our choices for our government.
Running for elected positions and serving in
Influencing your representatives in government.
Limited Government (pt1)
Because the people are
the source of
government power, the
government has only as
much authority as the
people give it.
The rule of law applies.
All citizens must obey
the Constitution of the
Limited Government (pt2)
Much of the Constitution, in fact, consists
of specific limitation on government
Bill of Rights
Protections for citizens means limits onThe limits on what the
government can do,
Article I Section 9
What Congress can’t do.
Article II Clause 2
“but no Senator or Representative, or
Person holding an Office of Trust or
Profit under the United States, shall be
appointed an Elector.”
allows more protection
of citizens’ rights.
Separation of Powers
Government power is not only limited: it is also
Separation of Powers
powers to each of
the three branches:
Checks and Balances
The system of check and balances extends the
restrictions established by the separation of
Each branch of
government has the
built-in authority and
responsibility to restrain
the power of the other
This system makes
efficient, but also
prevents tyranny by one Basic Principles
branch. (p68 in text)
One branch’s power to
restrain the others was
not provided in the text
of the Constitution.
The Judicial Branch’s
ability to deem
from a famous court
Before Marbury v.
big profile cases
were to be heard in
courts created by
according to the
Judiciary Act of
Congress called the
Marbury v Madison (1803)
During the Adams administration, William Marbury
sought the position of Justice of the Peace in
He was approved by the Senate, and (soon-to-beleaving office), John Adams signed the
In 1800 Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams.
Time ran out and the appointments were left to
President Jefferson tells Secretary of State James
Madison to not deliver the appointments that had
not yet been delivered. (Marbury’s included)
Marbury sues Madison for not delivering his
appointment to office, and uses the Judiciary Act of
Judicial Review Declared
Chief Justice John Marshall declares the Judiciary
Act unconstitutional as grounds to decide
jurisdiction. (Congress can’t tell the Supreme Court
what cases to hear.)
By doing this, the Court had declared the acts of
another branch unconstitutional. This power had
not come from the Constitution, but through this
Judicial Review is born.
Supreme Court’s power to review government
acts, including cases withBasic Principles
A federal system divides power
between a central
government and smaller,
This sharing of power is
intended to ensure that the
central government is
powerful enough to be
effective, but not threaten
States or citizens.
It also allows individual States
to deal with local problems
at the local level—so long Principles
as their actions are
State and Local
The effect of a
federal system of
government is the
differences of laws in
Sale of alcohol