22 terms

Constitution

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What is the Constitution
The constitution is the highest law of the land. We are a country with rule by law, not by individual people. The constitution defines our law and how our government makes/changes laws.
What is the introduction to the Constitution called?
The preamble
When was the Constitution written?
After the American Revolution, and after our first govenrment, the Articles of Confederation failed. Delegates met in Philadelphia to revise the Articles, but they ended up writing a whole new constitution in 1787.
What are the parts of the constitution called?
Preamble, articles (7) and amendments (27).
Federal Government
Division of powers between national (Federal), State and Local governments.
Branches of Government and responsibilities
Executive: Enforces the laws, commander in chief of the army, makes treaties, etc.
Legislative: make the laws
Judicial: explains or interprets the laws.
The Great or Connecticut Compromise
Roger Sherman of Connecticut suggested that instead of one or the other, we have two houses in Congress. The Senate would have equal (2) representation, and the House of Representatives would based on population. Today there are 100 Senators and 435 Representatives.
President's term of office, limit on terms and how elected
Presidents are elected for four years. They may be elected only twice. He or she is elected through the electoral college.
Requirements for president
Age 35 or over, natural-born citizen, resident of United States for 14 years
Presidential Powers
Proposes laws, can veto laws, negotiates foreign treaties, commander in chief of the armed forces, appoints federal judges,a mbassadors and other high officials, can grant pardons to federal offenders.
Senator's term of office; limit on terms; how elected
6 years, no limit on terms; elected by the people now since the 17th amendment; before they were appointed by state legislatures leading to some corruption.
Requirements for Senator
Age 30 or older, citizen for 9 years, resident of state in which elected.
Representatives term of office, limit on terms, how elected
2 years, no limit on terms, elected by the people.
Requirements for Representatives
Age 25 or older, Citizen for7 years, resident of the state in which elected.
Supreme Court Justices term; limit on terms; how appointed
For life (or until they want to step down); no limit; appointed by the President and confirmed by Senate.
Requirements for Justices
No requirements in constitution
Electoral College
Body of electors who are pledged to the candidate who won their state. Number of a states electors is the combination of the number of senators and number of representatives.
Duties of the President
Carry out the nation's laws, direct foreign policy, make treaties and appoint ambassadors. Commander in chief of the armed forces, sugests new laws and works for passage. Grant pardons, call special sessions of Congress. Living symbol of the nation., Welcome foreign leaders, amke seeches and give medals to heros.
Duties of Congress
Make the nation's laws, collect taxes, borrow money, coin money, establish post offices, fix standard weights and measures, declare war.
Duties of the Supreme Court
Chief Justice and eight others. This is the final court of appeals--it hears cases that have been appealed from lower courts. All decisions here are final. Decides what the constitituion means.
Checks and Balances: why?
to separate the powers among the three branches to stop an all-powerful leader from taking control. Each branch checks the others. For example, the President is commander in chief, but the Congress declares war. They cannot work separately. They check each other.
The Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments, or changes, to the constitution list our rights as Citizens.