Branches of Government, Preamble, and The Bill of Rights
Branches of Government
The delegates at the Constitutional Convention agreed to have both state governments and a strong central government. It was important to the delegates that there was a balance of power. This means that no one person or group would have control over the country. After living under a king, Americans wanted to make sure there were checks and balances. The government was divided into three parts.
The Legislative Branch
The main part of the constitution is organized into articles, or parts. Article I of the Constitution describes the legislative branch. The legislative branch, or Congress, is responsible for making laws. This branch is divided into two parts, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate consists of two representatives from each state. The House of Representatives gives more representatives to larger states and less representatives to smaller states. Once laws are created they go to the executive branch where president either vetos, rejects a bill, or signs it into law.
The Executive Branch
Article II of the Constitution describes the powers of the executive branch. It is here that the president rejects or approves laws created by Congress. Our founding fathers did not want a new king. They created checks and balances so no one person or group had too much power. The Constitution allows Congress to override a president's veto with a two-thirds vote.
Article III of the Constitution describes to the judicial branch. This Supreme Court has nine judges, selected by the president and approved by Congress. These judges help the country settle legal disagreements. They determine if laws are unconstitutional, these means a law goes against the rules of the Constitution.
The preamble is the beginning of the constitution. The preamble tells us that our government is a democracy. A democracy is a government controlled by people, not a king. Citizens elect representatives who make laws. Citizens elect who they want to lead their country. This idea is also described as popular sovereignty. Popular sovereignty means the country is ruled by the people.
Bill of Rights
A Bill of Rights is a list of citizen rights. Many felt it was important that this was included in the constitution so laws could be added or changed is the country grew and changed. A change to the constitution is called an amendment. Anti-federalists felt it was important to have a Bill of Rights which allowed for amendments, in case a strong central government didn't work.