Directions: Pick up the
page from the side table
and answer the following
question in the space up
at the top:
Imagine you are forming
your own government.
What are the things that
you would want to include
as responsibilities of the
government? What would
your government be like?
Objective: SWBAT explain and analyze the purpose of government
stated in the Preamble to the Constitution
Guiding Question: What should we count on the U.S. government to
do for us?
This means that
one purpose of the
Constitution is
design a better
This means that there
will be equality
under the law, so that
no one will be
unfairly treated.
Domestic means “at home”
Tranquility means “peaceful”
This means to make
sure that there is
peace amongst the
citizens and to make
sure that things run
Security and
This means to protect
the citizens from
harm that could come
from outside the
This means to make
social policies that are
good for the country
as a whole and to take
care of peoples’
This means to make
sure that future
generations enjoy
the same rights and
freedom that we
Posterity means “generations
after us”
What are two goals (of the Preamble) that
the government does well?
What are two goals that the government
does not do well?
Your response MUST be supported with
explanation, evidence, and REASONING.
US Constitution
Limiting the U.S. Government
• 1787 – Constitutional Convention meets to
create the government we have today.
• In the United States our government is
considered a limited government. It is limited
by the restrictions placed on it by our United
States Constitution.
Authored by James Madison
Important Ideas the founding fathers wanted to include:
1) Popular Sovereignty (majority rule)
2) Republicanism (elect representatives)
3) Federalism (share of powers between STATE
and FEDERAL government)
4) Separation of Powers (no one part too strong)
5) Checks and balances (each branch can overrule
6) Limited Government
7) Individual Rights (of the people)
Principles of the Constitution
Popular Sovereignty
• a government receives
its authority from the
people. A government
cannot rule without the
people’s consent
Popular = the people
Sovereignty = power, control, or
• The concept of representative government.
A form of government where the people rule
through elected representatives.
Federalism is the division of power
between the state governments and the
national, federal government.
• Why doesn’t the national
government have all the
• What are some of the
benefits of dividing and
sharing the Powers
between the governments
of the states and nation?
Individual Rights
• Rights that the government is obligated to
protect. These protections are provided by
various amendments to the US and Texas
Belief comes out of:
• John Locke
• Baron de Montesquieu
• English Bill of Rights (1688)
1. Gave people more power
2. Took power from the King
Separation of Powers
• Separation of powers is the division of
government into 3 branches-the executive,
legislative and judicial, --with each branch
having different powers and responsibilities.
To ensure that the government was not too powerful,
the Constitution divided the government into three
separate branches
Checks and Balances
• Each branch has the ability to check or,
control, the power of the other two
Article I
Establishes Bi-Cameral
(lawmaking branch) and
• Power to tax
• Power to make laws
• Power to wage war
Plans for Representatives:
• Virginia Plan – proposal by James Madison,
pushed for a proportional legislature where
representatives were determined by population
• New Jersey Plan – proposed a one house
legislature where every state received one vote.
Great Compromise
The Great Compromise – proposal by Roger
Sherman for a two house legislature.
• The lower house, House of Representatives, the
number of seats for each state would vary
based on population.
• The upper house, the Senate, each state would
have two representatives.
The Three-Fifths Compromise
- The issue of how the slaves would count
towards representation in this new constitution.
• Southerners wanted slaves to count towards the
population in order to gain delegates in the house of
• Northerners argued that enslaved persons should be
counted for taxation but not representation, since they
were usually thought of as property.
• A compromise will be made to count the slaves
as 3/5 of a person for both taxation and
representation purposes.
Article II
Establishes President and
• Veto power
• Commander in chief
*Determined by Electoral
Article III
Establishes Judiciary
(court system) and powers
• Supreme Court (highest court)
• Hear cases when laws broken
• Decides if law is
Article IV
Assurance of Rights
• Rules for statehood
• Guarantee states get rights
Article V
How to make changes
• Requirements for
2/3 of House and
Senate +
¾ of the States
Article VI
Constitution is Supreme Law
• No other laws made are higher than Constitution
• Laws must be “Constitutional”
What’s needed to put in place
Article VII
• Requirements for