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Sept 25 – Gov – Constitution . Agenda: Quick-Write Notes: Constitution Intro Viewing Notes: Conflict, Compromise and Participation Franklin’s Closing Statements Guiding Principles of Gov Searching for the Principles HW: Read 42-50 and continue SG. Take Out: Notebook Pen/Pencil

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sept 25 gov constitution
Sept 25 – Gov – Constitution


  • Quick-Write
  • Notes: Constitution Intro
  • Viewing Notes: Conflict, Compromise and Participation
  • Franklin’s Closing Statements
  • Guiding Principles of Gov
  • Searching for the Principles


  • Read 42-50 and continue SG

Take Out:

  • Notebook
  • Pen/Pencil


  • Understand the need for the Constitutional Convention
  • Understand the compromises reached
  • Investigate the six principles of governmentand how they fit into the Constitution
quick write
  • Why did the founding fathers come together and write the Constitution?
the constitution
The Constitution…
  • …was written in 1787.
  • …was the second attempt at organizing the newly independent states into a single nation.
  • …was written by 55 men representing 12 different states
    • (Rhode Island did not participate in the convention).
  • …represents that each delegate and state arrived at the convention with different priorities and ideas for how the government should be structured.
  • …was a document of compromise, allowing for multiple perspectives and points of view to be shown.
  • This section of the film will introduce these differing points of view and show the compromise that was needed to create the Constitution.
viewing guide
Viewing Guide
  • As we watch the film, take notes on the CONFLICTS that were addressed, the COMPROMISES that were reached, and the PARTICIPANTS that were involved
  • Work with your neighbors to create a comprehensive list
franklin s closing remarks
Franklin’s Closing Remarks
  • Read and annotate Ben Franklin’s closing statement to the convention
  • How would the public have known about Franklin’s views?
  • How does Franklin address conflict?
  • Do you agree or disagree with Franklin’s statements?
  • How do you think that other delegates responded to his ideas?
guiding principles of govt
Guiding Principles of Govt

Popular Sovereignty

  • Because the government is created by and for the people, power resides not with the government or its leaders, but with the people.
  • In a representative democracy, the people vote to elect leaders to represent their interests.
guiding principles of govt1
Guiding Principles of Govt

Rule of Law

  • The people and their government must abide by a set of laws, rather than by arbitrary rules set down by an individual or group.
  • The Founders believed in Limited Government
  • Dilemma of wanting a more effective government but also a limited government that did not become tyrannical.
  • Constitutional government – govt only has those powers listed in the Constitution
  • There was little fear of state govts, but great fear of national government
  • The constitution sets limits to governmental power and establishes how leaders who overstep their power can be removed.
guiding principles
Guiding Principles

Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances

I. Separation of powers.

  • To Madison, tyranny was govt. that controlled all 3 branches of govt. So Powers and responsibilities are divided among three government branches to prevent any one person or group from having too much power
    • This system diffuses power instead of concentrating power.
    • Colonial experiences, e.g., excessive power in st. legislatures  need for strong exec.
  • Danger of one branch combining forces with another branch ---> checks and balances.

II. Checks and balances.---> means of intentionally building inefficiency in order to prevent govt. abuse of power.

  • System of restraints allows each branch to monitor and check the power of the others to prevent any abuse of government power
    • Political independence within each branch: no branch is dependent upon the other two for election (exception: judges are appt'd by President) and continuance in office (life terms for judges ameliorate presidential influence).
  • Staggering of terms within each branch -> a majority of voters can gain control over one part of govt. at one time, e.g., midterm cong. elections can serve as a check on the exec.
guiding principles1
Guiding Principles


  • Power is divided between the central government and the individual state and local governments.

Independent Judiciary

  • The judicial branch is established as an independent entity, free of pressures and influences from the other two branches.
  • The Supreme court is the highest authority in the federal court system.

Individual Rights

  • Individual rights and liberties are protected against government encroachment.
    • Bill of Rights as a safeguard against possible tyranny from a new, strong, distant government.
principles of the constitution
Principles of the Constitution
  • Get a computer (for you and your partner)
  • Navigate to
  • Searcht he contitution for the article, section and clause on your card
  • Identify which principle(s) it relates to, and explain HOW they are exemplified in the Constitution
  • When you finish one card, switch with another group
  • Be thorough!