7 Principles of Government

Elizabeth Gonzalez


  • Popular sovereignty is when the public elects the people that they want to run their country, state, city, etc. The people are the real power, and without their consent, the government will not function correctly.
  • An example of this is when people vote for President.
  • CONSTITUTION EXAMPLE: "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."


  • Separation of powers is in place so that each branch takes care of the same amount of things as the others, so it doesn't get out of balance.
  • Example: The President and the Executive branch don't take care of courts, the Judicial branch does.
  • CONSTITUTION EXAMPLE: "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."


  • Republicanism is when the people exercise their power by electing representatives to govern.
  • Example: The people voting for the President.
  • CONSTITUTION EXAMPLE: "in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each state having one vote;"


  • Every U.S. citizen is given the personal freedoms, personal protections, and equality under the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and all United States laws.
  • Example: You can't make people house soldiers; you can't say someone can't vote because they're black, or a woman, or live on such-in-such street.
  • CONSTITUTION EXAMPLE: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."


  • The government can only do so much .
  • Example: The President can appoint Federal Court Judges. Congress can impeach that same President.
  • CONSTITUTION EXAMPLE: "No state shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection laws: and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress." Article 1, Sections 9 & 10 state many things that the government can not do.


  • Federalism is the power divided between the national government and the state government.
  • Example: States can legalize certain drugs separately until the national government has their say.
  • CONSTITUTION EXAMPLE: "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."


  • Checks and Balances is how the branches check on each other and balance out the power.
  • Example: If the legislative branch passes a law, the executive branch can veto is if they don't agree.
  • CONSTITUTION EXAMPLE: "The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments."