Principals of the US Constitution Kaitlyn Gottke

The Constitution was written on September 17, 1787. It's purpose was to establish laws, and an official, federal government. It reflects our country's beliefs and values. The Constitution was a new document that was written to correct the flawed Articles of Confederation, and modernize their laws through these six principles.

Popular Sovreignty

This principal gives the nation's power to the voters. We elect our leaders this way. All government power comes from the people, as shown in the Preamble of the Constitution when it begins with "We the People".

Limited Government

This principal prevents the government from becoming too powerful. It also describes and explains what the government can and cannot do. It is used to ensure that government leaders are not above the law.

Article one, section nine, clause seven.

  • This limits the distribution of currency from the treasury to prevent inflation.

Article one, section six, clause two

  • In this, it is said that any person can hold only one position in office at the same time. This helps prevent a conflict of interest.
Seperation of Powers

This principal divides the government into branches. There are three branches of government. These include the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. First, the executive branch carries out laws, negotiates treaties, and commands armed forces. Next, the legislative branch enacts laws. Finally, the judicial branch interprets the Constitution, and enforces the law.

Article one, section seven, clause one

  • Only the House of Representatives can impose taxes.

Article three, section one, clause one

  • The supreme court holds all judicial power.

This principal keeps state and federal powers separate. It also helps reserve powers to the states.

Article one, section ten, clause one

  • Individual states do not have the same powers as the federal government. The states cannot make treaties or distribute their own currency.

Tenth Amendment

  • Any power that is not given to the federal government, is reserved to the states.
Checks and Balances

Through this principal, each branch of government has the power to overrule another branch's decision. This stops there from being a single domineering power. It ensure that no one person will have more power than allowed.

Article one, section seven, clause two

  • The president can veto any law enacted by Congress.

Article two, section four, clause one

  • Any president or vice president can be impeached by Congress.
Representative Government

This principal allows each state to have representatives in Congress. The voters elect someone to represent their wants and needs. This is what makes our nation a republic.

Article one, section two, clause three

  • The people are to elect their representatives.

Twelfth Amendment

  • This describes the electoral college, which each state is represented by when electing a President and Vice President.
Time For A Quiz:
  1. Can you name all of the six guiding principals of the Constitution?
  2. Summarize what Checks and Balances are.
  3. Predict what would happen if Separation of Powers was not a guiding principal, and we only had one branch of government, instead of three.
  4. What would be some of the problems we would have if we didn't have an executive branch, with a President?
  5. Do you believe that it is important to have a Representative Government? Why or why not?
  6. If you were to create a seventh principal of the US Constitution, what would it be?


Created with images by Richard Ricciardi - "Washington DC - Sunset" • skeeze - "lincoln memorial statue building" • Photographing Travis - "We The People..." • zieak - "$10 and the US Treasury" • Taken - "wwii memorial stars world war ii" • Olichel - "flag american usa" • MikeSchinkel - "atlanta-veto-rally-may-2007-51" • regan76 - "Iowa House of Representatives (#3237)"

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.