Chapter 3The U.S. Constitution Section 1:Ideals of the Constitution Section 2: The Three Branches of Government Section 3:An Enduring Document
Section 1: Ideals of the Constitution The Main Idea The Constitution is an agreement between the citizens of the Untied States and the government that the people will grant powers to the government. In return, the government is to carry out the goals of the Constitution. Reading Focus • How did the Pilgrims influence the framers of the Constitution? • What are the goals of the U.S. government as outlined in the Constitution? • What are the powers the Constitution gives to the federal and state governments?
The pilgrims influenced the framers of the Constitution: Section 1: Ideals of the Constitution November 21, 1620—The MayflowerCompact was written to create a new government of popular sovereignty for the colonists.
The Mayflower Compact: The Birth of Self-Government in America, 1620 [01:13]
Goals of the U.S. Constitution Section 1: Ideals of the Constitution • To form a more perfect union • Establish justice • Insure domestic tranquility • Provide for the common defense • Promote the general welfare • Secure the blessings of liberty
The Constitution establishes federal and state powers. Section 1: Ideals of the Constitution • Delegated powers give the federal government strength to protect and serve the country. • Reserved powers are kept for the states to manage their own affairs and to balance the power of the federal government. • Concurrent powers are held by both state and federal governments.
The Constitution establishes federal and state powers. (continued) Section 1: Ideals of the Constitution • The federal government is “the supreme law of the land” that all states must defer to. • Limited government checks the powers of the federal and state governments. • The Bill of Rights protects the powers of the people.
to keep each from getting too strong federal government state government SECTION 1 Question: Why did the Constitution establish separate powers for the state and federal governments?
Section 2: The Three Branches of Government The Main Idea The Constitution prevents any person, or any part of the government, from taking too much power. It does this by creating three separate branches of the federal government and distributing power among them. Reading Focus • Why does the Constitution provide for the separation of powers? • What are the main responsibilities of each of the three branches of government? • How does the system of checks and balances work?
The Constitution provides for the separation of powers. Section 2: The Three Branches of Government • Ensures no person or branch of government is too powerful • Distributes power among three branches of government: • Legislative • Judicial • Executive
Responsibilities of the three branches of government: Section 2: The Three Branches of Government • Legislative—the lawmaking branch • Executive—executes the country’s laws • Judicial—interprets laws and punishes law breakers
The system of checks and balances: Section 2: The Three Branches of Government • Each branch has powers no other branch can assume. • Each branch has powers that limit the powers of the other branches.
Executive to ensure that no one branch of the U.S. government becomes too powerful Legislative Judicial SECTION 2 Question: Why does the Constitution provide for the separation of powers?
Section 3: An Enduring Document The Main Idea The Constitution is an enduring document that has met the needs of a changing country for more than 200 years. Reading Focus • How did the framers envision change when writing the Constitution? • What are two ways in which the Constitution may be changed?
The Constitution is a living document. Section 3: An Enduring Document • It was designed to adapt to a growing, changing nation. • There are three ways the Constitution can be adapted to changing needs: • Amendment—a written change to the Constitution • Interpretation—when the Constitution is interpreted in a new way • Custom—traditions often referred of as the “unwritten Constitution”
The flexible Constitution benefits the United States. Section 3: An Enduring Document • The government adapts to the changing conditions and needs of the country. • The people can repeal constitutional amendments if necessary. • Minimum wage laws are an example of flexible interpretation of the Constitution.
Amendments to the Constitution Section 3: An Enduring Document • Proposal by two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress, or by two thirds of state legislatures calling for a national convention to propose the amendment • The proposal must be ratified by three fourths of the states. • Proposals may be sent to the state legislatures or to state conventions for ratification. • Approved amendments may be repealed by new amendments.
Why the Constitution Is Called a Living Document SECTION 3 Question: Why is the Constitution called a “living” document? because its provisions enable government to change to meet changing conditions
Chapter 3 Wrap-Up • What are the six goals of government as stated in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution? • What are the three branches of the federal government, and what are their primary responsibilities? • How does the system of checks and balances in the federal government work? • What makes the Constitution of the United States a living document? • How can the Constitution be amended?