Structure of the Constitution

Kaitlyn Johnson

The Preamble

The preamble is the first part of the Constitution. The constitution is broken up into nine consecutive parts that go in this order: The Preamble, The seven other articles that go with the constitution and state the rights and rules the government has to follow, the Bill of Rights, and the Amendments

An Example of the Preamble (How It Starts)

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Section I Article I

This section has the support system of the House of Representatives and the Senate. By creating a bicameral legislature the Senate is based on equal representation for each state while the House of Reps. is based on population.

Section II Article I

Established rules for the House of Representatives:

Elections will be held every other year

Representatives must be over 25 and have to have lived in the US for over seven years

Representation based on population is determined every 10 years

If there is a spot open the Governor will hold elections to fill the space

The House of Representatives will choose their own speaker and officers

The House of Representatives have full power of impeachment

In this section they also discussed the 14th amendment which abolished slavery (the 3/5th's person law)

Section III Article I

Established rules for the Senate:

Two Senators are elected by the legislative state body

Serve 6 year terms with 1/3 of the seats being contested every other year

Must be at least 30+ years old to run for nine year term

Vice President presides over Senate but doesn't have vote unless there's a tie

Senate chooses officers and substitute president in case the Vice President is absent

Senate tries all impeachments and can remove ones deemed unworthy

Section IV Article I

This section establishes procedures for elections and meetings

Section V Article I

This section deals with membership rules. These rules include figuring out what to do when members are absent, finding places to have meetings, and expelling members with a 2/3 vote, etc. Neither house can meet with each other for more than three days without all of the members approving, and they can't meet in an unauthorized location either.

Section VI Article I

Protection for the Congressmen. They shall be payed by the US government and cannot be fired while attending a meeting or while travelling to go to one. Although individuals cannot hold an official position while also holding the position of senator or representative.

Section VII Article I

This explains the Bill process. All bills raising revenue must come from the House of Representatives, all bills must receive the majority of the votes before being passed on to the President. The President can veto the bill if he doesn't want it, but the Congress can override the veto by getting a 2/3 vote, then the President has 10 days to sign the bill into law or veto it. If he doesn't sign the bill that is the equivalent to passing it into law.
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Section VIII Article I

This section shows the power of the Congress, which are that they can:

  • collect taxes
  • borrow money
  • regulate commerce
  • coin money
  • establish post offices and roads
  • promote science and art
  • declare war
  • raise an army or navy

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Section IX Article I

Explaining what limits the powers of Congress. These limits are:

  • the importation of slaves cannot be illegal until 1808
  • cannot pass laws that allow citizens to be arrested without just cause
  • cannot punish citizens for laws broken that didn't exist when broken
  • cannot tax state exports
  • cannot give preference to one state over another
  • congress cannot grant titles of nobility
  • cannot withdraw money from US Treasury without following correct procedures

Section X Article I

To sum up Article I, it limits the states powers, without these limitations things would get quite out of hand.