The US Constitution
- consists of 7 articles and 26 amendments. It establishes the three branches of the federla government, enumerates their powers and provides important guarantees of individual freedom. The constitution was ratified by the states in 1788.
- The constitution created the federal government. The federal government and the 50 states governments and Washington DC share powers in this country.
- when the states ratified the constitution, they delegated certain powers to the federal government. These are called enumerated powers.
- those powers not granted to the federal government by the constituion are reserved to the states.
Checks and balances
- Separation of Powers - each branch of the federla government has separate powers;
- 1. Legistlatve branch - power to make the law
- 2. Executive branch - power to enforce the law
- 3. Judicial branch - power to interpret the law
- certain checks and balances are built into the Constitution to ensure that no one branch of the federal government becomes too powerful.