Goals and Principles of the Constitution The Ideas Behind “We the People” Parts of Constitution • Preamble = opening statement “We the people” • 7 Articles: – – – – – – – Article 1: Legislative Branch Article 2: Executive Branch Article 3: Judicial Branch Article 4: Relations between the States Article 5: Amending process Article 6: Constitution is Supreme Law of Land Article 7: Ratification process Parts of Constitution Continues • Amendments – 1st 10 amendments = Bill of Rights – 27 in total 6 Goals of Preamble • #1 – Form a more perfect union – States should work together as a unified nation • #2 – Establish Justice – Uniform system needed to settle legal disputes and apply the law fairly • #3 – Insure Domestic Tranquility – Keep peace and order at home 6 Goals of Preamble • #4 – Provide for the Common Defense – Protect citizens against foreign attack. • #5 – Promote the General Welfare – National government can protect and promote the well being of the citizens – Example National Institutes of Health • #6 – Secure the Blessing of Liberty – Maintain freedom for future generations Principles of Government • Popular Sovereignty – Government gets its authority from the people = social contract – People have the right to change or abolish their government Principles of Government • Limited Government – Government only has the powers listed in the Constitution – Even the President must obey the law Principles of Government • Separation of Powers – Government is divided into 3 branches • Executive (headed by President) carries out the laws • Legislative (Congress) makes the laws • Judicial (courts) explains and interprets the laws Principles of Government • Checks and Balances – Safeguard against the abuse of power by any one branch – Each branch has the power to limit the actions of the other two • Example: President can Veto a Congressional Bill • Example: Congress can impeach the President • Example: Supreme Court can rule a law unconstitutional Principles of Government • Federalism – Division of power between federal (national) government and the states. • Example: Fed. Government can declare war and State Governments can establish schools Principles of Government • Republicanism – Republican form of government = citizens elect representatives to act on their behalf in government. However, once in office, representatives vote according to their own judgment, but must listen to the opinions of the people they represent Principles of Government • Individual Rights – Bill of Rights established the protection of individual rights such as freedom of speech, religion, right to a trial by jury, etc.