What is the supreme law of the United States?
Understanding the U.S. Constitution
The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the United States, providing the basis for the nation's government and laws. It was ratified in 1788 and sets out the framework of the U.S. federal government, its powers, and the rights of citizens. The Constitution has been amended 27 times, most notably with the Bill of Rights, which protects citizens' rights and liberties.
The Preamble: The Preamble is the introduction to the United States Constitution and states the broad purposes the Constitution is meant to serve. It explains the reasons why the Constitution was created and its goals.
Checks & Balances: The U.S. Constitution divides the government into three branches - executive, legislative, and judicial - to ensure that no one branch is too powerful. This system of checks and balances is meant to prevent any one branch from abusing its power.
Separation of Powers: The U.S. Constitution divides the government into three branches - executive, legislative, and judicial - which ensures that no one branch is too powerful. This system of separation of powers is meant to prevent any one branch from having too much power.
Did you know?
The U.S. Constitution has been amended 27 times since it was ratified in 1788. The U.S. Constitution contains only 4,400 words, which is shorter than many modern day novels. The U.S. Constitution was written on 4 parchment sheets, with each sheet measuring 28 3/4 inches by 23 3/4 inches.
What are the three branches of government outlined in the U.S. Constitution?
What rights are granted to citizens under the U.S. Constitution?
How does the U.S. Constitution ensure that we have a democratic government?
How might the U.S. Constitution be improved to better protect citizens' rights?
Brain break: Draw a banana participating in a talent show, juggling a rubber duck and singing with a microphone
In pairs: Select one task
Question: How did the delegates at the Constitutional Convention create a balanced government structure?
The delegates wanted to create a government with a separation of powers between 3 branches. Each branch was given checks and balances to ensure it wouldn't become too powerful. The delegates also created a system of federalism to protect the rights of the states.
A: In pairs, draw a diagram of the 3 branches of government and explain how they interact. B: Explain the system of federalism and how it limits the power of the federal government.
Which of the following is considered the supreme law of the United States?
- U.S. Constitution
- Bill of Rights
- Declaration of Independence
How many amendments are there in the U.S. Constitution?
What year was the U.S. Constitution ratified?
Who is often referred to as the 'Father of the Constitution'?
- George Washington
- James Madison
- Thomas Jefferson
Which article establishes the legislative branch and outlines its powers?
- Article III
- Article I
- Article II
Work together in pairs: What is the significance of the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution and why is it considered a crucial aspect of American democracy?