7 Principles of Government

Austin Boggs

1. Popular Sovereignty

The people have final authority over the government.

Example: People have the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

2. Republicanism

The people elect representatives to run the government.

We elect the president every 4 years.

"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence."

3. Separation of Powers

The government is separated into 3 branches so that 1 branch isn't too powerful.

The legislative branch is responsible for creating and passing laws.

"All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."

4. Checks and Balances

Each branch of the government checks on each other to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to.

Supreme Court justices can be appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate.

"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector."

5. Limited Government

The government is not all powerful, they only have the power stated in the constitution.

Congress cannot give themselves a pay raise.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the sates, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

6. Federalism

Power is divided between the state and federal government.

Interstate highways are owned and operated by the states, but the federal government sets down some basic guidelines that all states must follow and also provides funding.

"No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay."

7. Individual Rights

Every human has rights that are protected by the government and can't be taken away.

A group of people gather to protest a law passed by the government.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."