Principles of the Constitution

By:alexis todd

Checks and Balances

Explanation:checks and balances is a system that allows each branch to amend or veto acts of another branch over another branch and also prevents one branch from having too much power.

Quote from U.S constitution: 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 1, section 7.2

Example: The President can veto a law passed by Congress. But Congress can override the veto with a vote of 2/3 of both houses.

Popular Sovereignty

Explanation: We the people give the government power over us because we need help from them.

Quote from Constitution: 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 of the Constitution

Example: People are able to impeach government officials by voting.

Limited Government

Explanation: The Constitution states that the governments power has its limitations.

Quote from US Constitution: No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time. -Article 1, section 9.7 of the US Constitution.

Example: Police officers are not allowed to enter your home without a warrant having an explanation of why it's necessary.

Separation of Powers

Explanation: a fundamental principle of the U.S. government, where powers and responsibilities are divided among the 3 branches of government. (Judicial,legislative, & executive)

Quote of U.S. Constitution:" The executive Power shall be vested In a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of Four Years,"

-article II, Section 1.1

Example: The executive branch is responsible for enforcing laws by overseeing various enforcement agencies such as the FBI, FDA, and DEA.


Explanation: having a system of government (federal) with one strong, central governing authority as well as smaller units as states.

Quote from US Constitution: No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make anything but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility. - Article 1, Section 10.1 of the US Constitution.

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


Explanation: republicanism is a republic government where power is vested to the people, then the people can elect representatives.

Quote from US Constitution: 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. -article IV, section 4

Example: every 4 years the people of America elect a new President to represent their country.

Individual Rights

Explanation: Individual Rights is the freedom to own bear arms, speak your opinion, act, work, think & believe how and what you want to.

Quote from US Constitution: 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. -Amendment 1 of the U.S. Constitution

Example: an individual writes a letter to her Congressman to express her opinion about an important issue.

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