Introduction to the Constitution, starts "We the People,"
a system of limited government where the people are the ultimate source of governmental power, the people choose their representatives
a system in which the power to govern is shared between the national (federal) government and the states
powers that belong only to the Federal Government: coin money, regulate foreign and interstate trade, maintain the armed forces, create federal courts
powers retained by the states: establish schools, pass marriage laws, regulate trade within a state, and any powers not specifically granted to the federal government
powers shared by the federal and state governments: right to raise taxes, borrow money, provide for the public welfare
changes to the Constitution that protect basic rights
powers not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, gives Congress the power to act as needed to meet changing conditions
the right of the Court to determine whether a law or action of local, state, or national government violates the Constitution, and to cancel these laws if they are in violation
the right of the House of Representatives to bring formal charges against any official it suspects of wrongdoing. The Senate acts as the court, and officials who are found guilty may be removed from office
Six goals of the Preamble
"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."
Due Process of Law
idea that the government must follow procedures established by law and guaranteed by the Constitution
a process for a person of foreign birth to become a US citizen. They must be at least 18, have lived in the US for at least 5 years, good moral character, accept the Constitution, give up foreign allegiance, promise to obey Constitution and laws.
Congress, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate, makes the country's laws, collects taxes (appropriates funds), declares war, monitors the executive branch
Branch that includes the president, the vice president, and various executive offices. Branch that carries out the laws that Congress passes.
Branch of the Government that includes federal court system with the lower federal courts and the Supreme Court
a legal order for an inquiry to determine whether a person has been lawfully imprisoned
the surrender of an alleged criminal usually under the provisions of a treaty or statute by one authority (such as a state) to another having jurisdiction to try the charge
Separation of Powers
to prevent any one group from gaining too much power the Framers divided Federal govt. into 3 branches
Checks and Balances
under this system, each branch of gov. can check, or limit, the power of the other branches. Pres. can veto a bill, Congress can override a veto, and Courts can judge a law unconstitutional
basic liberties and rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion. These are protected in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, called the Bill of Rights
Duties of the President, the Chief Executive
Chief Diplomat, Commander in Chief, Chief of State, Legislative leader, Head of the Cabinet