The US Constitution is a document signed in 1787 in Philadelphia and was based off of the ideas and notes of James Madison. The Constitution was written to regulate the US government and its function is to keep the different parts of the government from over powering other parts. The Constitution made new laws and also gave rights to citizens.
Popular Sovereignty is how all of the government power, is chosen by the people. The government derives its political authority from the people. for example, in the Preamble of the Six Principles it says "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."
In a limited government, the Constitution specifically states what power the government has. The principle of limited government refers to the rule of law. In article 1, section 1 of the Six Principles it says, "All legislative powers shall be vested in a congress of the United States, which shall consist of a senate and House of Representatives." Which means there is only one senate and only one House of representatives in each state, and there is chosen wisely.
Separation of Powers
The Separation of Powers consists of three branches each with different jobs. The three branches are Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. The Legislative Branch, also known as congress, enact the laws. The Executive Branch, which is headed by the president, carries out the laws, and negotiates treaties. The Judicial Branch, interprets the Constitution and enforces the law. In article 1, section 7, clause 1, it states "all bills originate in the House of Representatives, but the senate can concur with the amendments as on other bills."
In order for the states to stay united and not break off into their own nations, Federalism was put into place. federalism balances the powers of the state and Federal Governments. It took some power away from the state like the ability to enter Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation according to Article 1, Section 10, Clause 1 of the Constitution. The state government still had the power to regulate all elections. There were also some powers that were equally shared between these two types of governments like the parallel court system.
Checks and Balances
Checks and Balances are used to maintain equal power between the three branches of government. These branches are the Judicial, Executive, and the Legislative branches. Checks and Balances uses a two thirds policy where at least two of the three branches have to sign off on a law for it to be put into place. Since two thirds have to agree, no single branch is able to rise above the other two due to another branch needing to sign too.
Representative Government is when the citizens directly elect the representatives to the House of Representatives. According to Article 1, Section 2, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, the House of Representatives is chosen every two years. The people of several states electors choose their representatives. In order to qualify as a representative, you must have been a US citizen for at least seven years and be at least twenty seven years old.
1. What is Popular Sovereignty?
2. What would happen if one branch got more power and rose above the other two?
3. What would result in the constitution not stating what powers the government has?
4. What is the main idea of Federalism?
5. Do you think the constitution limiting the power of the government is a good or bad thing?
6. Propose an alternative to the electoral college indirectly choosing a president.