The US Constitution The 6 principals


The U.S Constitution is a document that established Americas national government, certain laws, and rights for the citizens.It is based on six principals, Popular Sovereignty, Limited Government, Separation of Power, Checks and Balances, Federalism, and Representative Government. The document was singed on September 17, 1787, by delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. The American people drafted the constitution because they wanted a better federal government.

Popular Sovereignty

Popular sovereignty is when the people are the source of the government's power. Therefore, people control the government. In the preamble it has the quote "We the people", which refers to this.

Limited Government

Limited Government is that government only has the powers that the Constitution gives it. First, powers not given to the federal government belong to the states. Also, the Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors and the day. Article 2, Section 1, Clause 2.

Separation of Powers

Separation of Power is power divided into three branches. For example, in section 3 it states "they shall be divided, as equally as may be, into three classes". Also, "the vice president of the United States shall be president of the senate, but shall have no votes, unless equally divided". Section 3, Senate.


Federalism divides power between states and the federal government. In addition, federalism keeps and maintains the balance and power. First, some powers were denied to states. For example, states could not print their own money. Also, some powers were denied to congress , where they could not create state taxes. Article 1, Section 9, Clause 5.

Checks and Balances

Checks and balances is where each branch of government could limit the power of the other two. For example, the House of Representatives can impeach the President at the time. Also, the House of Representatives can choose their own Speaker and other officers. Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5.

Representative Government

Representative Government is when citizens elect representatives to make laws. For example, in Article 1, Section 2, Clause 1 it states "House of Representatives is composed of members chosen every two years by the people of several states". It also says "No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States".

"Quick Quiz"

1. What is the function of Limited Government?

2. Do you think Limited Government is a good, or bad thing? Explain?

3. Which of the 6 Principals divided power into three branches?

4. Give an example of Federalism?

5. Predict what would happen if there were no principals?

6. Can you design your own principal?


Created with images by Kyle Rush - "US Constitution" • Photographing Travis - "We The People..." • skeeze - "government architecture building" • Dominic's pics - "Base of Decorative Hexagonal Origami Gift Box (with Lid removed): # 05" • Fotocitizen - "capitol washington dome" • winnifredxoxo - "balance scale" • Boston Public Library - "The House of Representatives, Washington, D. C."

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.