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Principles of the US Constitution

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Andrew Burgoon

on 25 October 2012

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Transcript of Principles of the US Constitution

Principles of the US Constitution What you need to know There are 6 guiding principles of our current
constitution. 1. Federalism Our Founding Fathers learned
valuable lessons from the failed
Articles of Confederation. The
problems of the Articles were
directly addressed in the
new US Constitution. What was the
main problem with the Articles? The dividing (or sharing)of power between
The Federal Government and State governments. A Federal system puts ultimate power in the larger political unit, or
national government. 2. Popular Sovereignty The power lies in the people of the US, and the US government only governs with their
permission. 3. Separation of Powers The tyranny of Great Britain's rule
was still fresh in the memory of the
Founding Fathers. How to prevent
it from happening again? In a Parliamentary system such as Great Britain the legislative, executive, and judicial powers were all held by one agency. The Founding Fathers thought these powers should be separated to keep it from getting
too powerful. 4. Checks and Balances Each branch of government has seperate powers, but they are not completely independent. Each branch can check the operations of the other two branches 5. Judicial Review The Supreme Court can declare something
unconstitutional- or against the Constitution.
Example: in the decision Brown vs. Board of Education the Supreme Court declared segregation of public schools unconstitutional. 6. Limited Government Also called rule of law,
it means that the government
must obey the law. Enumerated powers are powers given to the Federal Government, such as regulating trade, conducting Foreign Affairs, and making money. Reserved Powers are those which are only for the State Governments, such as setting up local governments, provide public health, safety, and welfare within the state. Concurrent Powers are those that both the Federal and State governments share, such as enforcing laws (police, FBI), collect taxes, borrow money, provide for general welfare.
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