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The Constitution Chapter 2 Lesson 2 Here we go…
Vocabulary Constitution: A written plan of government for the United States.
Levels of Government: • National • State • Local
Federal: A system in which states share power with a national government.
Amendment: A change to the Constitution
Bill of Rights: The first ten amendments to the Constitution. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Basic Freedoms Weapons Housing Soldiers Search and Seizure Rights of the Accused 6. Rights to a Fair Trial 7. Jury Trial 8. Bail and Punishment 9. People Power 10. State Power
Did You Know…? Builders make a plan before they build a house. The founders of the United States made the Constitution as a plan for the nation’s government. So… the Constitution is the plan we use to run our country.
Main Idea: The Constitution describes how the United States works…
What is a Democracy?
A Democracy is… When the people have the power to make political decisions: These decisions include: • Making laws • Electing leaders In America we help to make these decisions by exercising our right to vote!
Did You Know? In the Preamble, (beginning of our Constitution) the authors listed their goals for the United States. They wanted citizens to: Be safe Live in peace Have a good life
Branches of Government: The Constitution divides the national government into 3 parts, or branches: • Legislative (Congress – Senate and House of Representatives) • Executive (Lead by the President) • Judicial
Legislative Branch (Congress) • Makes laws • Approves judges chosen by the President. • Raise money through taxes, or by borrowing to pay for goods and services such as: • An army • Roads • National Parks
Who makes up the Legislative Branch? (Congress) • Senate • House of Representatives • Senate + House of Reps. = Legislative Branch (Congress)
Executive Branch • Lead by the President who is also commander of our military. • Suggests laws (but only the Legislative Branch (Congress) can MAKE laws.
Judicial Branch (Made up of many courts across our nation. ) • Decides the meaning of laws • Decides if laws are being followed • Hint: The Judicial Branches judges…
Question: What is known as the highest court in our land?
Answer The Supreme Court
Let’s Review What are the jobs of each branch of the national government?
Legislative (Congress) • Makes laws • Raises money through taxes or by borrowing
Executive (Lead by the President) Suggests and carries out laws
Judicial • Decides the meaning of laws • Decides whether laws are constitutional
What is another name for the Legislative Branch?
Congress! Remember… the Legislative branch is made up of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. These two together are called “CONGRESS. ” So…. . Congress = Legislative branch Senate + House of Representatives = Congress which = Legislative branch Senate, House of Representatives, Congress, Legislative branch… are all the same!!! Pretty cool, huh?
Congress is made up of 2 parts, what are they? Hint… Together they’re called the Legislative Branch…
• Senate • House of Representatives Remember: Senate + House of Reps. = Congress.
What role do citizens play in a democracy?
Citizens take part in making laws and choosing leaders.
Why would the writers of the Preamble to the Constitution think it was important to live in peace?
Americans had just fought the American Revolution and wanted to there to be peace in their new country.
Why did early leaders write the Constitution?
The nation needed a better plan of government than it had.
Enough with the review already… Let’s move on! Limits on Government Main idea: The Constitution puts limits on the government…but why?
The authors of the Constitution created a government with 3 branches because… They wanted to make sure the government’s powers were limited!! No single person or branch has the power to run the United States alone.
What would happen if one branch became stronger than another?
It won’t…but why? Hmmm…
Checks and Balances!!! This keeps all 3 branches of government from gaining power over each other !!
Open your book to P. 44 Notice the diagram showing some of the ways each branch of our national government can check the power of the other 2 branches Pretty cool huh?
The Federal System The U. S. has 3 branches of government. We also have 3 levels of government. • National • State • Local
Let’s talk about the national government’s (Federal) responsibilities The U. S. President is in charge • Defending our country • Printing money • Running the Post Office • Regulating trade between states National government has power over issues that affect the whole country.
State Government’s Responsibilities The state’s Governor is in charge • • Sets up schools Organizes local government Runs elections Regulates trade within the state State government has power over issues that affect its individual state.
Responsibilities shared by both national and state governments • • Collect taxes Pass laws Set up courts Borrow money • When a federal law and a state law do not agree, the federal law must be obeyed!
Local Government’s Responsibilities The City’s Mayor is in charge • Provide police and fire protection • Run public schools and libraries (with help from state. ) • Provide public transportation • Collect sales and property taxes
Let’s Review Why did the authors of the constitution create checks and balances and a federal system?
The answer is… To limit the power of the government and the branches of government.
Why did the Constitution set up a federal system?
The answer is… So that both the national government and the state governments have powers.
What law has more authority when there is a disagreement between federal and state law? Why?
The answer is… The federal law! Why? The Constitution makes federal laws stronger than state laws!!!
Changing the Constitution Can it be done? Yes! Hmmm…but how?
To make an amendment to the Constitution… First… Two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate must agree with the amendment. Then… Three-fourths of the states must ratify (or officially accept) the amendment.
Good stuff to know… The authors of the Constitution knew the U. S. would grow and change. So, they included a way to add amendments (changes) to the Constitution. People wanted the U. S. Constitution to list the rights of its citizens. Thomas Jefferson wanted a bill of rights “to guard people against the federal government. ”
James Madison wrote the bill of rights. In 1791, the 10 amendments known as the Bill of Rights were ratified (accepted).
Who wrote the Bill of Rights? Hint: His initials are J. M.
Answer… James Madison Can you identify the following amendments within the bill of rights? First Amendment? Fifth Amendment? Tenth Amendment?
First Amendment • Freedom of speech • The right to assembly peacefully • Freedom of religion
Fifth Amendment • No person shall be forced to be a witness against himself. I plead the 5 th!!!
Tenth Amendment • The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout!
What’s up with that? In 1790, the Constitution did not protect the rights of ALL Americans. Thousand of African Americans remained in slavery. Some states allowed only WHITE MEN to vote. The rights of women, African Americans, American Indians, and poor people were NOT recognized!
Changes made since then… Ideas about democracy have changed, and the Constitution has changed with them. And aren’t we glad!! Different groups have fought for their rights and WON!! Can you name some of the changes?
Let’s Review… • The federal government is divided into: – Legislative branch – Executive branch – Judicial branch
Checks and Balances… Checks and balances keep any one branch from becoming too powerful.
There are three levels of government… • Federal (President) • State (Governor) • Local (Mayor)
Power… The Constitution divides power between the federal government and the states.
Amendments… The Constitution can be changed by amendments.
Question… Why does the Constitution include a way to make amendments?
Answer… The Constitution includes a way to make amendments so changes can be made as the country grows and changes.
Chapter 2 Lesson 2 The End. See how much smarter you are…?