7 Principles of the Constitution

By: Deana Shaw

Separation of Powers

The 3rd principle of the Constitution states that the power of the federal government has to be divided between all 3 branches: the Judicial, Executive, and the Legislative. A quote from the Constitution demonstrating Seperation of Powers is:

“Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated.”- Article I Section 7.2, U.S. Constitution

The legislative branch is responsible for creating and passing laws is an example of this principle in action.

Popular Soverignty

The 1st principle of the Constitution says that the final power in government stays with the people. Meaning that people exercise there power in government by voting for elected officials. A quote from the Constitution that is showing this principle is:

“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.” –Preamble, U.S. Constitution

An example of this principle in action is: “...the right of the people ...to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Amendment I, U.S. Constitution


Federalism is the power divided throughout the national and state governments. Some powers are concurrent meaning they are held at the same levels like the power to tax.

An example of this principle in action would be: Some states collect income taxes while other states do not. All working citizens in the U.S. file federal income taxes

An example of this principle from the constitution is: Amendment 10

7 Principles of Government

7 Principles

Individual Rights

Individual rights are personal freedoms. Like the first amendment of the Constitution stating that all American citizens have the right to freedom of speech, press, assembly, petition, freedom of religion. A quote from the constitution showing individual rights is:

“No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by the law.” – Amendment III, U.S. Constitution

An example of this principle in action is: The New York Times publishes an editorial expressing sharp criticism of the President, this example shows freedom of speech.