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The Principles of Government. The foundation of American government . THE PREAMBLE OF THE CONSTITUTION.

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The principles of government

The Principles of Government

The foundation of American government

The principles of government


We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for

f the United States of America.

The principles of government

The United States Constitution

Article I – Establishes the legislative branch

Article II – Establishes the executive branch

Article III – Establishes the Judicial branch

Article IV – Establishes the balance between states and the federal government

Article V – Explains how to amend (change) the Constitution

Article VI - Establishes the Constitution as supreme law of the land

Article VII - Ratification requirements

The principles of government

The principles of the Constitution

Checks and balance system

Popular sovereignty

Separation of powers

Limited governemnt


1 popular sovereignty


The principles of government

So….popular sovereignty essentially means that power to govern

WE THE PEOPLE give our government its authority…

The principles of government

The United States government is a power to governREPUBLICor a representative democracy.

Why would the Founding Fathers establish a republic?

What is the difference between direct and indirect democracy?

If we as citizens are unhappy with our government, how do we “revolt”? How does popular sovereignty work in a country our size?

2 limited government
2. LIMITED GOVERNMENT power to govern

  • No government is all powerful

  • Governments can only do what the people have given it the power to do.

  • Basic powers are split between 3 branches of government – no branch is all powerful

The principles of government

Government is also limited because power is power to governDIVIDED between central (federal) and regional(state) governments.

3 separation of powers
3. Separation of powers power to govern

The Father Fathers separated and divided the powers of the federal government between the three branches of government.

The legislative branch

The Legislative Branch

Unicameral or bicameral legislature
Unicameral or Bicameral legislature? power to govern

Advantages of a bicameral legislature


More responsive to public opinion

Divided power = safer government

More deliberate in decision making

Represent differing interests in society

Advantages of a unicameral legislature

The executive branch
The Executive Branch power to govern

The judicial branch
The Judicial Branch power to govern

4 checks and balances
4. Checks and balances power to govern

Each branch of government has the ability to “check” the power of the other two.

Each branch has a little power over the others.

The principles of government


Each branch has powers over the others.

5 rule of law
5 power to govern. RULE OF LAW

  • The power of government is limited because it TOO has to obey the law.

  • Government must be conducted according to the Constitution