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STUDY GUIDE: The CONSTITUTION of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA
The Declaration of Independence: 1. Who wrote it? When? Why? Which philosopher was an inspiration for the ideas in it? What ideas were these? • Thomas Jefferson • July 4 th, 1776 • To explain why the colonies were separating from Britain. • John Locke • The idea of natural rights.
2. What were the four “self-evident truths” that were described? • That all men are created equal. • That we all have God-given rights. • life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness. • That men make governments (with their permission) to protect these rights. • That if a government abuses those rights, then it is the right of the people to change it or get rid of it.
3. What are three “unalienable rights” mentioned? • Life • Liberty • The pursuit of happiness
After the Revolution, Americans worked to form the foundations of a Republic. What is a republic? A Government in which citizens rule through elected representatives.
What were the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation? • Couldn’t tax • Couldn’t regulate trade • Articles could only be amended if ALL states approved • No executive branch • Each state had one • No national court vote in Congress • No national unity • 9 of 13 states needed to agree to pass ANY law
Why would some Americans have thought that the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation were actually good? Some Americans did not want another strong government like Great Britain. They believed more power should rest in the states.
Explain the difference between the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan. Virginia Plan: 2 house legislature based on population. Pop: 470, 016 New Jersey Plan: One house legislature; every state with equal votes. Pop: 117, 431
Explain how the “Great Compromise” solved the tension about representation between big states and small states. One house (the Senate) would have equal representation for all states. The other house (the House of Representatives) would have representation based on population.
What was the Three-Fifths Compromise? CONFLICT: States with slaves wanted their slaves counted as part of population to get more representatives in Congress States without big slave populations thought this was unfair. COMPROMISE: States with more slaves agreed to count only 3/5 of slaves as part of their population.
What is the Division of Powers? What’s another name for it? Who holds powers not specifically granted to the Federal government? • Federal: a union of states under a central government distinct from the individual governments of the separate states • It divides power between the Federal government and the state government.
What is the Separation of Powers? A way of balancing power among 3 branches of government so no single branch can dominate. a. k. a. - Checks and balances.
Legislative Branch s es of r Ca Congress ng ns n law dec Co sio ide of es Ca s ion the s ls nd pin me bil cial un o o pe ani con eclar t • Co lic ion ng stit e ac ve ll s ub lat of n a o ts o uti Fed ngres p s a c et on • C an al f con ss ence legi • Se eral c s est av t e u e a gre ns • C ngr fl se rid iden s appntate c ourts blishe ss r s lo Co an in ropo ve res atie • C e oint onfi o tm we an he p s tre oind ongre ments rms o • C an p r fe s c h t ect app era ss c of j r rej • C e u l ju a res eac rej ts g p dge n im dges cts pea on im s or ejec s r • C n ve ch a ro and or • C p ves rem Executive • Ap ro ove • pp Appoints federal judges Branch • A Judicial • Can pardon or reprieve people convicted of President Branch Courts federal crimes • Federal judges free from presidential control • Can declare presidential actions unconstitutional
15. Which three men wrote the Federalist Papers? Called “the James Madison Alexander Hamilton John Jay father of th e Constitu tion”
16. What was the main difference of opinion between the Federalists and the Antifederalists? • The Federalists supported the Constitution. They thought the balance of power between the state and federal governments was good. • The Antifederalists opposed the Constitution. They thought the whole idea of a strong central government was a bad thing.
17. What was the Bill of Rights and how did it ensure ratification of the Constitution? • It was a formal list of the rights and freedoms of individual citizens. • Many people would not vote for the Constitution unless it included a Bill of Rights. They wanted a guarantee that this newer, stronger federal government could not violate their individual liberty. • The Federalists gave in to this pressure and added on the Bill of Rights to make the Constitution more popular.
Article 1: The Legislature (the Congress) MAKES 19. The legislature _______ the laws.
20. What are the 2 houses of Congress? Senate How often are members elected? Every 6 years What are the qualifications? · 30 years old ·Citizen for 9 years ·Must live in the state which elects him/her TWO How many members per state? Who is the presiding officer? President of the Senate (VP) What are their special duties? They have the sole power to try impeachment cases. House of Representatives Every 2 years · 25 years old ·Citizen for 7 years ·Must live in the state which elects him/her Dependent on population Speaker of the House Sole power of impeachment.
21. What’s the difference between a bill and a law? • A bill is a proposal for a law, but it has not yet been made a law by Congress.
22. What is a veto? • The refusal to approve a bill
23. Describe in brief terms, the steps that a bill must go through to become a law; • - it is introduced in the House or Senate and referred to a committee • - It then leaves committee with or without changes or it may be shelved • - The bill is debated in either house, if passed it is sent to the other house • - If different versions are passed, it goes to another committee to work out the differences • - a single version is submitted • - if both houses accept, it is sent to the president • - if the president signs, it becomes a law • - If the bill is vetoed, the house and senate may override the veto by a vote of 2/3 of the members present in each house- then the bill becomes a law
If it’s vetoed…. maybe….
Explain the significance of the following terms from Sections 8 and 9 of the Constitution as they relate to Congress: The Elastic Clause: “the necessary and proper clause” which says Congress can do whatever it needs to do fulfill legitimate needs. Declaration of War: Congress has the right to declare war Habeas Corpus: This means people cannot be held in jail without being charged with a crime. Ex Post Facto law: A person cannot be charged with a crime that was legal when it was performed
ARTICLE 2: The Executive _Enforces__ the laws. What is the official title of person in charge of the executive branch? President of the United States How often is this person elected? Every 4 years What are the qualifications for holding this office? Who takes over if this person dies or is removed from office? What are the specific powers held by this person? What other duties are mentioned for this person? What is the name for the chief group of advisors to the Chief Executive? • Natural Born Citizen • 35 years old • Resident of the U. S. for 14 years The Vice President • Commander in chief of the military • Make treaties and appointments • Fill vacancies during senate recess Give the State of the Union address to Congress The Cabinet
What is the Electoral College? How is the number of electors for each state determined? It is a group of people who are appointed from each state to represent the votes of the state for elections The number is determined by the number of senators plus the number of representatives for each state. What is impeachment? What types of crimes can a president be convicted of that would result in his removal from office? Impeachment is the accusation of a crime of a civil official (president, vice president, senators etc. . ) There is a separate vote for removal from office They can be impeached for treason, bribery, or other
ARTICLE 3: The Judiciary _Interprets__ the laws What court is specifically created in the text of the Constitution? The Supreme Court How many judges sit on the Supreme Court? 9 What crime is specifically mentioned in Article 3? What does it mean? Treason- It means committing a crime against one’s country What is judicial review and why is it so important? A court passing judgment on the constitutionality of a law or government action that is being disputed.
Article 4: Relations Among States What sort of “full faith and credit” is being talked about in Article 4, section 1? It means all documents and court judgments made in one state are valid in the others (ex. Driver’s licenses, marriage licenses) Can a person escape criminal charges by fleeing to another state? What section explains this? No (extradition) It’s in Article 4, section 2 What body of government can admit new states to the Union? Congress What guarantees does Section 4 make to the States? A republican form of government and protection against invasion
• Article 5: Amending the Constitution What does it mean “to amend? ” To change, to add something or take something away What is the process for amending the Constitution? 2/3 of both houses of Congress can call a meeting to amend the Constitution OR 2/3 of State Legislatures In order to make an amendment: ¾ of state legislatures MUST vote for the change
• Article 6: Supremacy of the National Government In your own words, explain what is being said about the Constitution in section 2 of Article 6? The Constitution is the highest law in the land. No state laws can go against it.
• Article 7: Ratification What does it mean “to ratify? ” To Approve How many states were required to ratify the Constitution in order to establish it as the law of the land? NINE
1 st Amendment: • Freedom of religious practice • Freedom of speech • Freedom of the press • Freedom of assembly • Freedom to petition government • 2 nd Amendment: • Right to bear arms 3 rd Amendment: • No quartering of troops
4 th Amendment: • No search and seizure unless probable cause and a warrant 5 th Amendment: • No double jeopardy • People don’t have to be a witness against themselves • Cannot be deprived of life, liberty, property without due process 6 th Amendment • Right to a speedy and public trial with a lawyer
7 th Amendment • Right to trial by jury 8 th Amendment • No excessive bail or cruel and unusual punishment 9 th Amendment • The government must respect all assumed rights even if they aren’t in the Constitution 10 th Amendment • The powers NOT given to the federal government are reserved for the states or the people
• 13 th Amendment- Abolishes slavery • 15 th Amendment- Right to vote regardless of race or color • 18 th Amendment- Prohibition • 19 th Amendment- Right to vote for women • 21 st Amendment- Repeals the 18 th Amendment
Vice President of the United States JOE BIDEN
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court JOHN ROBERTS
Speaker of the House JOHN BOEHNER
Senators from Illinois DICK DURBIN and MARK KIRK
Von Steuben’s Representative in the House- MIKE QUIGLEY
Governor of the State of Illinois PAT QUINN
47 How many stars are currently displayed on the U. S. flag? 50 48. How many stripes are currently displayed on the U. S. flag? 13 Red: 7 White: 6 What do they symbolize? The original 13 colonies 49. In order to indicate mourning, how should the United States flag be displayed? At half-mast or halfway down the flagpole
50. What are the 3 branches of the Illinois state government? What are their specific names in Illinois government? Legislative General Assembly Judicial Supreme Court of Illinois Executive Governor 51. What important differences are there between the federal and State of Illinois versions of these branches? The legislative branch is called the General Assembly instead of Congress 52. Where is the seat of the State government of the State of Illinois? Springfield *****53) What is a line item veto? It is a power of the governor to veto PART of a bill without vetoing the ENTIRE bill. The president does not have this power.