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The Constitution of the United States

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  1. The Constitution of the United States Today’s Essential Question: What are the basic structure and powers of Congress, according to Article 1 of the Constitution?

  2. Vocabulary • structure– plan of organization • powers – ability AND authority to do or act • Congress – men and women who make the national laws

  3. Why is it important to describe the basic structure and powers of Congress? • Representatives in Congress still voice the views and concerns of the American people. • Knowing what Congress is or is not permitted to do helps citizens protect their rights.

  4. To make the national government more effective without threatening the people’s rights, the Constitution set up a government with three branches.

  5. Article 1 of the Constitution created Congress, the legislative branch. • Congress is divided into two houses, the House of Represent-atives and the Senate. • Each house has its own qualifications, characteristics, and powers.

  6. The House of Representatives • Minimum Age/Citizenship – 25 years old and 7 years as a citizen • Term of Office – 2 years • Who It Represents – The common people • Special Characteristics – Quick responses to public opinion • Headed by – Speaker of the House • Number of Members – Based on state population • Special Responsibilities – Starts all bills that raise taxes – Impeaches officials

  7. The Senate • Minimum Age/Citizenship – 30 years old and 9 years as a citizen • Term of Office –6 years • Who It Represents – The upper classes • Special Characteristics – Stability • Headed by – Vice-president • Number of Members – Two per state • Special Responsibilities – Approves treaties & nominations by the President – Conducts impeach- ment trials

  8. Important Powers of Congress Please read aloud with me. • Under the Constitution, the powers of Congress increased. • Its powers to create laws were expanded into several new areas. • The specific powers of Congress listed in the Constitution are referred to as the enumerated powers.

  9. Collection of taxes and tariffs • Under the Articles of Confed-eration, Congress could only get money from the sale of Western lands, or from volun-tary contributions by the states. • Now Congress could assign taxes to be paid by the states. • Congress could also collect tariffs (taxes on goods imported from foreign countries).

  10. Borrow money Congress continued to have the authority to borrow money.

  11. Regulate interstate and foreign trade • A new power given to Congress under Article 1 of the Constitution allowed it to control trade between the states as well as foreign trade.

  12. Control of immigration and naturalization • Immigration is the entry of foreigners into our country. • Naturalization is the process of making immigrants into legal citizens.

  13. Coin money and set standard weights and measures

  14. Run the postal service

  15. Set up the federal court system

  16. Declare war and run the military

  17. Do anything else that is “necessary and proper” to carry out its other powers This last clause is also known as the ‘elastic clause.’

  18. House or Senate? • Minimum Age of 30 • 2 year term of office • Approves presidential appointments • Impeaches officials • Minimum Age of 25 • Represents the upper classes • Approves treaties • Conducts impeachment trials • Led by the Speaker of the House • Responsive to public opinion • Provides stability and continuity • 6 year term of office • Represents the common people • Presided over by the Vice-president • Starts all laws that raise taxes

  19. Check for Understanding • How many houses in Congress? • What are their names? • Which has more members? • Which house of Congress is considered more elite? • What are enumerated powers? • What is the elastic clause?