united states government constitution & branches
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United States GovernmentConstitution & Branches
Forms of World GovernmentDemocracy: rule by the majority
Monarchy: rule by a single person, usually royalty
Oligarchy: rule by a few (the elite)
Dictatorship: rule by one person
U.S. ConstitutionBasic structure of our governmentFounded more than 200 years ago (Oldest working Constitution in the world)Separated Powers between Federal and State governmentsEstablished a Republic: power held by voting citizens through their elected representatives
Became known as the Father of the ConstitutionMany of his ideas were included in the new government
Ratification New constitution must be ratified or approved by a 2/3 majority of the states (9 states) to replace the Articles of ConfederationMany states didnt feel that it addressed the basic rights of citizens, so the Bill of Rights was added.This ratification process took 3 years to complete
First 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution
Protects the citizens
States the government can not take away our basic freedoms
Main Freedoms Outlined in the First Amendment & Their Importance The 1st Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, press, speech, assembly and the right to petition.These rights are important because they form the most basic rights of all citizens.
The 2nd, 3rd, & 4th Amendments address colonial grievances.Second- right to bear armsThird- no quartering of soldiers in peacetimeFourth- no unreasonable searches and seizures/search warrants
The Rights of the Accused-5th, 6th, 7th & 8th Amendments5th Amendment- due process of law, indictment, no person forced to testify at his own trial, no double jeopardy
6th Amendment- quick trial by jury, nature and cause accusation, confronted with the witness against him, obtaining witnesses in his favor, right to an attorney
The Rights of the Accused:7th Amendment- jury can decide civil cases
8th Amendment- no excessive bail, fines, or cruel and unusual punishment
9th & 10 Amendment9th amendment- people have other rights not named in the Bill of Rights
10th amendment- a great deal of power will remain with the states
All branches work together but use a systems of checks and balances that keep any one branch from becoming too powerfulPower is spread out evenly & each branch has a different job to do.
Balance of Powers between Federal & State GovernmentsDelegated Powers(Federal Government)
Coining MoneyRegulating Interstate & International TradeProviding forNational DefenseDeclare WarConducting Diplomacy Reserved Powers (State)
Conducting ElectionsRegulating Trade within the StateEstablishing Local GovernmentsRegulating Education
Concurrent Powers(Powers Shared)
TaxingBorrowing MoneyEnforcing LawsProviding for PublicWelfare
Executive Branch Members:President: Leader of the country and commands the military. Vice President: President of the Senate and becomes President if the President can no longer do the job. Departments: Department heads advise the President on issues and help carry out policies.
The President is the head of the executive branch and plays a large role in making Americas laws. His job is to approve the laws that Congress creates. When the Senate and the House approve a bill, they send it to the President. If he agrees with the law, he signs it and the law goes into effect.
VetoIf the President does not like a bill, he can refuse to sign it. When he does this, it is called a veto. Congress can override a veto by a two-thirds of the Members of Congress
Despite all of his power, the President cannot write bills. He can propose a bill, but a member of Congress must submit it for him.
In addition, the President has several duties. He serves as the American Head of State, meaning that he meets with the leaders of other countries and can make treaties with them. However, the Senate must approve any treaty before it becomes official.
Powers of PresidentAlso, the President is the official head of the U.S. military. He can authorize the use of troops overseas without declaring war. To officially declare war, though, he must get the approval of the Congress.
Requirements for President & Vice-President
Must be at least 35 years old. Must be a natural-born U.S. citizen Lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years. When elected, the President serves a term of four years. The most one President can serve is two terms, for a total of eight years. (22nd Amendment)
Do you know???Who is the only President to be elected to office FOUR times?????
Parts of CongressThe U.S. Congress is made up of two parts, the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Its primary duty is to write, debate, and pass bills, which are then passed on to the President for approval.
Parts of CongressOther Powers of Congress Makes laws controlling trade between states and between the United States and other countries. Makes laws about taxes and borrowing money. Approves the making of money. Can declare war on other countries.
CongressEach Congress lasts for six years. When two years are over, new Members of Congress are elected (1/3 elected every 2 years) Congress meets once every year and usually last from January 3rd to July 31st, but in special cases, it can last longer.The way that states are represented in Congress is different Senate is equalHouse is based on population of the state
House of RepresentativesRepresentatives must:Be at least 25 years old. Be a U.S. citizen for the past 7 years. Live in the state they represent.
Special Jobs of the HouseThe House has special jobs that only it can do. It can: Start laws that make people pay taxes. Decide if a government official should be put on trial before the Senate if she or he commits a crime against the country. (impeachment)
U.S. SenateSenators must:Be at least 30 years old. Be a U.S. citizen for the past 9 years. Live in the state they represent.
Special Jobs of the SenateThe Senate has special jobs that only it can do.It can: Say yes or no to any treaties the president makes. Say yes or no to any people the president recommends for jobs, such as cabinet officers, Supreme Court justices, and ambassadors. Can hold a trial for a government official who does something very wrong.
Supreme CourtHear only a small percentage of cases brought before them each yearThe Supreme Court is made up of nine Justices. One of these is the Chief Justice. They are appointed by the President and must be approved by the Senate. Justices have their jobs for life, unless they resign, retire, or are impeached.
Justice RequirementsThere are no official qualifications for Justices, but all have been trained in the law. Many Justices served as members of Congress, governors, or members of the President's Cabinet. One president, William Howard Taft, was later appointed Chief Justice.
Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court, part of the judicial branch, was established in the Constitution as the highest court in the nation. The Supreme Courts most important responsibility is to decide cases that raise questions of constitutional interpretation.
Supreme CourtThe Court decides if a law or government action violates the Constitution. This is known as judicial review. It enables the Court to overrule both federal and state laws when they conflict with its interpretation of the Constitution. Since the Supreme Court stands as the ultimate authority in constitutional interpretation, its decisions can be changed only by a constitutional amendment.
Do you know???Who the Supreme Court Chief Justice is today?
Becoming a U.S. CitizenBirthBorn on American soil Born to American parents
NaturalizationProcess for legal immigrants who apply to become a U.S. citizen
Qualifications for CitizenshipApplicants must have entered the United States legallyThey must be of good moral characterThey must declare their support of the principles of the American GovernmentThey must prove they can read, write, and speak English (if over 50, and lived here for more than 20 years are exempt)Show basic knowledge of American History and government
Naturalization ProcessBe at 18 years oldLived in the U.S. for the 5 previous years as a lawfully admitted resident and live in the state applied in for the previous 3 monthsInvestigation and preliminary hearingAsked questions about moral characterWitnesses also asked questions about their character & integrity
New CitizensReceiveCertificate of Naturalization (declares them to be a U.S. citizen)A letter from the presidentA short history of the Pledge of AllegianceBooklet containing important documents in U.S. history
Only the Federal Government Can:Can both grant citizenship and take it away.
State governments can deny convicted criminals some of the privileges of citizenship, such as voting but has no power to deny citizenship itself.
Political PartiesPolitical Party: a group of people who share similar ideas about governmentRaise money to help their candidates get electedPolitical parties did not exist when the Constitution was writtenBelieved politicians would do what was best for their party and not for the people
Democratic PartyWorks to support the needs of the working-class AmericaBelieves in protecting the individual rights of peopleMore liberal platforms have put them