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The 10-Minute Guide To The U.S. Constitution

THE 10-MINUTE GUIDE TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION The Constitution is the supreme law of the United States. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people. The question today is, who understands what the Constitution is? Members of Congress are carrying around pocket-sized handbooks of the Constitution reminding them how our country was founded. These simple truths they should know by heart. FUN FACTS Wethe Yeople • The U.S. Constitution is 223 YEARS OLD. PREAMBLE: tWe Uniia nie demeste • Through many revisions, the original Constitution took 116 DAYS to write, from May 25, 1787 to September 17, 1787. Describes the purpose of the document and government. iten 1. he Hnyse, ARTICLES: Establish how the government is structured and how the Constitution can be changed. • The original, unamended U.S. Constitution is home to 4,543 WORDS, including the signatures. There are 7 articles. AMENDMENTS: OF THE Changes to the Constitution. There are 27 total. The first 10 are called the Bill of Rights. RESOLVTD AMENDMENT BREAKDOWN 1. Freedom of Speech, Press, Assembly, Religion and Petition 2. Right to Bear Arms 3. No Quartering of Soldiers 4. No Illegal Search and Seizure 5. Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings 6. Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses 7. Trial by Jury in Civil Cases 8. No Cruel and Unusual Punishment 9. Rights of the People are not limited to those listed in the 14. Citizenship Rights 15. Race No Bar to Vote 16. Status of Income Tax Clarified 17. Senators Elected by Popular Vote 18. Liquor Abolished 19. Women's Suffrage 20. Presidential, Congressional Terms 21. Amendment 18 Repealed 22. Presidential Term Limits Constitution 23. Presidential Vote for District of Columbia 10. Powers Reserved to the States 11. Judicial Limits 24. Poll Taxes Barred 12. Choosing the President, Vice President 13. Slavery Abolished 25. Presidential Disability and Succession 26. Voting Age Set to 18 Years 27. Limiting Changes to Congressional Pay SEPARATION OF POWERS Three branches of government, executive, legislative and judicial, each with its own responsibilities, operating individually, but also working together for the good of the people. LEGISLATIVE EXECUTIVE THE PRESIDENT JUDICIAL THE SUPREME COURT • It is split into two parts: THE • The President ENFORCES THE LAWS. Before a law is passed he • This includes all the federal courts, all the way down to lower courts. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE SENATE. must agree to it. • The courts DECIDE WHAT THE • Every state has at least one • The Executive Branch also includes THE VICE PRESIDENT, THE LAW MEANS when there are REPRESENTATIVE. questions. SECRETARIES AND ALL THE • The Congress MAKES LAWS. DEPARTMENTS. • The people elect the members of CONGRESS ALL OF THE PARTS MUST WORK TOGETHER. NO PART HAS TOO MUCH POWER BECAUSE THE POWER IS SHARED. GOVERNING PRINCIPLES OUR CONGRESS, PRESIDENT AND COURTS SHOULD KNOW FEDERALISM POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY Power is shared between the federal The idea that government is created by the people and subject to their will through their government and the union of states. votes. CHECKS AND BALANCES INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS A way of keeping any branch of government from gaining too much power over the other branches. This maintains a balance between the three branches of government, with each branch having the authority to check the powers of the other two. The Government, Executive Branch, Senate, and Supreme Court are all in place to ensure the rights of individuals, as opposed to group rights, are kept. Individual rights stem from the rights outlined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. HOW DIFFERENT PARTIES VIEW THE CONSTITUTION Democrats advocate that the Constitution is not designed to be a set of specific principles and guidelines, but that it was designed to be a general principle, a basic skeleton on which contemporary vision would build upon. DEMOCRATS House Republicans will celebrate their first week back in power by reading the Constitution and Amendments on the House floor. House Republicans say the constitutional revival is rooted in substance, not just symbolism. REPUBLICANS Members of the Tea Party like to claim the Constitution as their sacred text. They demand that Americans return to their Constitutional roots. TEA PARTY Sources: archives.govI I I I Bill of Rights

The 10-Minute Guide To The U.S. Constitution

shared by ColumnFive on Jul 20
Turns out there may be a truly useful — if not urgent — purpose to having members of Congress take turns reading the U.S. Constitution. And party affiliation has nothing to do with it. According ...


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