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7 Principles of the Constitution. How Does the Constitution Work. Popular Sovereignty. Definition – A government in which the people rule. This does not mean they get to vote, it means they participate.

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7 principles of the constitution

7 Principles of the Constitution

How Does the Constitution Work

Popular sovereignty
Popular Sovereignty

  • Definition – A government in which the people rule.

  • This does not mean they get to vote, it means they participate.

  • Example – People can run for office, campaign for individuals who run, or protest decisions made by others.


  • Definition – People vote for people to represent their views. (Representative Government)

  • You cannot have the whole population vote on everything, so you vote for people who share similar beliefs and allow them to vote on your behalf.


  • Definition – A system of government in which powers are shared by the state and national governments.

  • Example – Both national and state governments have the right to pass and enforce laws but only the national government can print money.

Separation of power
Separation of Power

  • Definition – Divides the roles of government into 3 branches (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial).

  • Why? – So that no one person or one group of people control everything and become too powerful.

Checks and balances
Checks and Balances

  • Definition – Each of the 3 branches of government has a little control, or check, on the other 2 branches.

  • This balances power between the 3, ensuring that none of the branches get out of control.

  • Example – Federal judges are nominated by the President, but have to be approved by Congress.

Limited government
Limited Government

  • Definition – Everybody has to follow the same laws, even members of the government.

  • Example – If a Representative killed a man, he/she would face a trial just like everybody else.

Individual rights
Individual Rights

  • Definition – Personal liberties and privileges that people are born with and cannot be taken away.

  • The Bill of Rights was created to list all of these rights so people know when the governments tries to take them away.