7 Principles of Government


Popular Sovereignty

Paraphrase: The power of the people.

Quote: "...the right of the people... to petition the government for a redress of grievances." Amendment I, U.S. Constitution.

Principle in action: An individual citizen writes a letter to her congressman to express her opinion about an important issue.

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Paraphrase: The people elect representatives to govern them.

Quote: "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." -U.S. Constitution Article IV, Section 4

Principle in Action: Individuals vote for elected officials.

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Separation of Powers

Paraphrase: Federal government is separated into three parts.

Quote:"The executive Power shall be vested in a Prsident of the United States of America. he shall hold his office during the Term of four years,"-Article II Section 1.1, U.S. Constitution

Principle in action: The executive branch is responsible for enforcing law by overseeing various enforcement agencies such as the F.B.I., F.D.A., and D.E.A.

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Checks and Balances

Paraphrase: The three branches have certain control over the other two branches.

Quote:"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

Principle in action: Supreme Court justices must be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

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Limited Government

paraphrase: the power of the government is limited.

Quote:"No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by law; and regular Statement and Account of Receipts and Expendeitures of all public Money shall be published from time to time." -Article I, Section 9.7, U.S. Constitution

Principle in action: A police officer must have a warrant to search a home.

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Paraphrase: Power is divided by he state and national government.

Quote: "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." -Amendment X, U.S. Constitution.

Principle in action: The state legislature determines public education policy.

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Individual Rights

Paraphrase: Rights of indivisual people

Quote:"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" -Amendment I, U.S. Constitution

Principle in Action: Anyone accused of a crime is entitled to a quick, public trial.

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