The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the land. It establishes the framework of the federal government and sets forth the principles on which the government operates. This excerpt from the Constitution illustrates the principle of federalism.
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The Constitution of the United States
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. The Constitution, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress; the executive, consisting of the President; and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts. Article IV, Article V and Article VI embody concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments, as well as relationships between the state governments and more centralized parts of governance like treaties. Articles VII and VIII set forth provisions regarding ratification.
The Preamble to the Constitution
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
The principles illustrated in the Preamble to the Constitution are: establishing justice, providing for the common defense, promoting the general welfare, and securing liberty.
We the People of the United States
The Preamble to the Constitution begins with the words “We the People of the United States.” This principle is fundamental to our system of government and is included in the Preamble to remind us that our government exists to serve the people, not the other way around.
The Legislative Branch
The Legislative Branch is the principle illustrated by this excerpt from the Constitution. The Legislative Branch is responsible for making laws. This includes Congress and the Senate. The President is not a part of the Legislative Branch, but he can veto a bill that Congress passes.
The Executive Branch
The executive branch is responsible for carrying out the laws of the United States. The president is the leader of the executive branch, and he or she has the power to veto laws that Congress passes. The president also appoints the heads of executive departments, such as the Department of State.
The Judicial Branch
The Constitution establishes the judicial branch of the federal government. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land and is made up of nine justices who serve lifetime terms. The Constitution gives Congress the power to impeach and remove judges from office, though this has only happened once in American history.
The Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. These amendments limit the power of the federal government and protect the rights of individuals. The Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15, 1791.
The Amendments to the Constitution
The Constitution of the United States contains a number of amendments that protect the rights of individuals. These amendments, also known as the Bill of Rights, guarantee certain freedoms and protections to all citizens. One of the most important amendments is the First Amendment, which protects the right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
The Constitution in Today’s World
In a world where technology and global communications have drastically changed the way we live and interact, it’s important to consider the Constitution’s relevancy in today’s society. Although it was written over 200 years ago, the Constitution is still very much a part of our lives today.
Teaching the Constitution
There are many ways to teach the Constitution, but one way is to use excerpts from the document itself. This excerpt from the Constitution illustrates the principle of checks and balances.
“The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows: . . . .”
The Constitution vests the executive power in the president and establishes a four-year term for him. This principle of checks and balances ensures that no one person has too much power.