The 7 Principles of Goverment

By: Madison Fox

1. Checks and Balances

Procedural rules allow one branch to check and to limit another.

Ex: The system of checks and balances is used to keep the government from getting too powerful in one branch. Often this represents a circular arrangement, for example:

- The executive branch can veto bills from the legislative, but

- The legislature can override the veto.

Executive Branch

1. The President is the commander-in-chief of the army and the navy, but only Congress can declare war.

2. The President nominates judges.

3. The President can veto congressional legislation.

Legislative Branch

1. Congress approves presidential nominations.

2. Congress controls the budget.

3. Congress can pass laws over the president's veto.

4. Congress can impeach the president and remove him/her from office.

5. The Senate confirms the president's nominations (for judges, etc.).

Judicial Branch

1. The Court can declare laws unconstitutional.

2. The Court can declare presidential acts unconstitutional.

2. Separation of Powers

The government is separated into 3 branches, Legislative Branch, Executive Branch, Judicial Branch.

Ex: An example of separation of powers is our government today. It's split up into three different branches, each with equal power, each able to check each other if one becomes crazy or gains too much power.

3. Republicanism

Citizens elect representatives that 'speak' for them. The representative says the opinions of the people.

Ex: Republicanism is electing representatives to vote on different government matters for your state's opinion. Example: Someone suggests a 28th Amendment to the Constitution. At Least 2/3 of Congress has to ratify it. Your state must elect representatives, if you are missing them, for the vote.

4. Federalism

The division of power between the federal government and the states.

Ex: State propositions, which allow differentiation within states concerning several laws. Gay marriage, state taxes, gun laws, etc.

5. Limited Goverement

The government has only the powers given by the constitution.

Ex: The government can not pass any law regarding religion.

6. Individual Rights

Every person's basic rights are protected.


  • Individuals have the right to their own faith/religion without the government's interference.
  • Individuals have to right to start their own business, and determine their own careers without the government.
  • Individuals have the right to move about and live in the place of their own choosing.

7. Popular Sovereignty

The government gets its rights from the people it governs.

Ex: When slavery still existed, different territories had different opinions so, they let each territory decide if they wanted slavery or not.