federalism and separation of powers
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Federalism and Separation of powers. The New US Government. Early influences. There were many influences on our founding fathers that helped to shape the ideas that the Constitution tries to embrace.

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early influences
Early influences
  • There were many influences on our founding fathers that helped to shape the ideas that the Constitution tries to embrace.
  • In England the Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights laid out controls on the British King’s power.
  • These freedoms were missing under colonial rule and were important to Americans.
Writing down rules and agreeing to a system of government was a tradition in colonial America since the Mayflower Compact was signed by the pilgrims in Massachusetts.
  • Electing representatives to speak for the people ( early republican ideals) had been a tradition in Virginia’s House of Burgesses since 1619.
  • Many lessons in running a government were found in State Constitutions, the Articles of Confederation, and their experiences with the second Continental Congress.
thinking big
Thinking Big
  • John Locke, a philosopher during the Enlightenment wrote a book where he proposed 2 major ideas:
  • 1. All people had natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
  • 2. People have a right to rebel if the government doesn’t protect their natural rights.
separation of powers
Separation of powers
  • Baron von Montesquieu, another thinker believed that government should be divided into 3 branches to limit any part of government from becoming too powerful. The executive, the legislative, and the judicial.
executive branch
Executive Branch
  • The executive branch of Government makes sure that the laws of the United States are obeyed. The President of the United States is the head of the executive branch of government. This branch is very large so the President gets help from the Vice President, department heads (Cabinet members), and heads of independent agencies.
  • President: Leader of the country and commands the military.
  • Vice President: President of the Senate and becomes President if the President can no longer do the job.
  • Departments: Department heads advise the President on issues and help carry out policies.
legislative branch
Legislative Branch
  • The legislative branch of government is made up of the Congress and government agencies, such as the Government Printing Office and Library of Congress, that provide assistance to and support services for the Congress. Article I of the Constitution established this branch and gave Congress the power to make laws. Congress has two parts, the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The U.S. Congress is made up of two parts, the House of Representatives and the Senate. Congress meets at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Its primary duty is to write, debate, and pass bills, which are then passed on to the President for approval.
  • Other Powers of Congress
  • Makes laws controlling trade between states and between theUnited States and other countries.
  • Makes laws about taxes and borrowing money.
  • Approves the making of money.
  • Can declare war on other countries.
judicial branch
Judicial Branch
  • The judicial branchof government is made up of the court system. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. Article III of the Constitution established this Court and all other Federal courts were created by Congress. Courts decide arguments about the meaning of laws, how they are applied, and whether they break the rules of the Constitution.
checks and balances
Checks and Balances
  • checks and balances -- Limits imposed on all branches of government by giving each the right to amend acts of the other branches.
  • Each branch can stop the actions of another if not allowed by the constitution.