Principles of the American Government


US History The U.S. Constitution Principles of the American Government
Students analyze seven basic principles reflected in the U.S. Constitution: limited government, republicanism, checks and balances, federalism, separation of powers, popular sovereignty, and individual rights. They also discover how these principles are reflected in the framework of the U.S. government, as established by the Constitution. Finally, they explain how selected excerpts from the Constitution reflect one or more of these principles.

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Overview
In this experience, students analyze seven basic principles reflected in the U.S. Constitution: limited government, republicanism, checks and balances, federalism, separation of powers, popular sovereignty, and individual rights. They also discover how these principles are reflected in the framework of the U.S. government, as established by the Constitution. Finally, they explain how selected excerpts from the Constitution reflect one or more of these principles.
 
Objectives
  • Identify the framework of government that the Constitution established.
  • Summarize the seven basic principles of American government.


When the Founding Fathers set out to replace the Articles of Confederation with a Constitution for a new government, they began with a certain set of principles. These principles came from different sources—their own experience with colonial governments and the Revolutionary War, ideas from European Enlightenment philosophers, and even democratic elements of the British government.
 
In this experience, you will analyze the seven basic principles reflected in the U.S. Constitution: limited government, republicanism, checks and balances, federalism, separation of powers, popular sovereignty, and individual rights. You will also discover how these principles are reflected in the framework of the U.S. government, as established by the Constitution. Finally, you will explain how selected excerpts from the Constitution reflect one or more of these principles.
 
Objectives
  • Identify the framework of government that the Constitution established.
  • Summarize the seven basic principles of American government.




Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States,
by Howard Chandler Christy


What is a principle? Write a synonym for the concept of “principle.”

Post your answer

Answers will vary, such as: belief, opinion, value, standard, code, creed, conviction. Answers should reflect the idea that a principle is a strong belief.


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The Complete List of Learning Experiences in The U.S. Constitution Unit.
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