7 Principles of the Constitution
George Washington was the 1st American President who served in office from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797. One of the key events prior to his presidency was the adoption of the US Constitution on June 21, 1788 and his belief in the 7 Principles of the Constitution. The 7 Principles of the Constitution were agreed by representatives attending the Philadelphia Convention (now known as the Constitutional Convention) which convened between May 25, 1787 and September 17, 1787. The 7 Principles of the Constitution reflect the Political Philosophy and Political Ideology of the Founding Fathers.
7 Principles of the Constitution: The Founding Fathers and the Framers of the Constitution
The men referred to as the Founding Fathers were prominent statesmen and political leaders who helped to frame and establish the US Constitution. The Framers of the Constitution were the 55 men who attended Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. These delegates were prominent, well educated men of their times, well versed in the law, politics, colonial and state government. These were the men who discussed political philosophies and agreed the 7 Principles of the Constitution. The names of the seven key Founding Fathers were George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, John Jay, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. The objectives of the 7 Principles of the Constitution were to create the framework for an efficient government but at the same time ensure it would prevent tyranny.
The 7 Principles of the Constitution for kids: Definition and Meaning of the Words
The 7 Principles of the Constitution have great meaning, impact and historical significance. The meaning of the words and phrases are explained as follows, together with where different elements in the 7 Principles of the Constitution can be found.
7 Principles of the Constitution for kids: Definition and Meaning of the Words
|7 Principles of the Constitution||Popular Sovereignty||Definition and Meaning: A government in which the people rule, based on a political philosophy and ideology called 'classical liberalism' that emphasizes the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the government. The concept of 'Popular Sovereignty' is found in the Preamble of the Constitution. Refer to Popular Sovereignty|
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|7 Principles of the Constitution||Republicanism||Definition and Meaning: The word 'Republicanism' refers to a political theory that believes in representative government in which citizens can vote for people to represent their opinions and views. |
Republicanism therefore supports the principles of a theory of government in which the supreme power rests with citizens who are entitled to vote and exercised by representatives they have elected.
Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution states "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…"
The word 'republicanism' should not be confused with the Republican political party.
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|7 Principles of the Constitution||Federalism||Definition and Meaning: The word 'Federalism' a union of states under a central government distinct from that of the separate states. The separate states retain certain individual powers under the central government.|
The government of the US is referred to as a Federal Government (a national government) in which power is divided between one central and several regional authorities (the individual states).
Prior to the ratification of the Constitution every one of the thirteen original states had their own written Constitution.
The 10th Amendment set the guidelines for federalism in the United States.
The powers of the Federal government are delegated powers, the state government have reserved powers and the powers shared between the national and the state governments are called concurrent powers.
Article IV establishes the relationship between the states and the federal government.
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|7 Principles of the Constitution||Separation of powers||Definition and Meaning: The Separation of powers is a political doctrine (principle) that originated in the writings of Montesquieu (1689 – 1755) in 'The Spirit of the Laws' in which he supported a constitutional government that had three separate branches. Each of the 3 branches would have defined powers to check the powers of the other branches.|
In the US Constitution there are three branches of government that make, enforce and interpret laws. Under the separation of powers, each branch of government has a specific function.
The legislative branch makes the laws and has the power to pass, amend and repeal laws. Article I of the Constitution establishes the Legislative Branch (House of Representatives and the Senate).
The executive branch executes the laws and is responsible for daily administration of the government. Article II establishes the Executive Branch, that is headed by the President.
The judicial branch interprets the laws and provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes. Article III establishes the Judicial Branch (a system of courts and judges).
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|7 Principles of the Constitution||Balance of Power||Definition and Meaning: The Balance of Power is addressed by the controls (checks) can be made on the other branches. Under the system of checks and balances, each branch acts as a restraint on the powers of the other two branches. |
This was to prevent tyranny, oppression and domination by one branch.
The president can either sign the legislation of Congress, making it law, or Veto it.
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|7 Principles of the Constitution||Limited government||Definition and Meaning: The Declaration of Independence declares that Governments derive "their just powers from the consent of the governed" and that everyone is bound by the "supreme Law of the Land". This ensures that none, whatever their position, is above the law.|
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|7 Principles of the Constitution||Individual rights||Definition and Meaning: The personal freedoms and liberties of the people are guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and and cannot be taken away by the central government.|
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7 Principles of the Constitution for kids: Meaning of Words