u. s. government parts of the constitution

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The Preamble

The Preamble declares that "We the People" are the authority for the Constitution and sets out the purpose of the Constitution.

The Articles

There are seven Articles in the Constitution identified by the Roman numerals I – 7. The first 3 Articles establish the structure and explain the functions of the three branches of government; the legislative,the executive, and the judicial.

The Amendments

The third part of the Constitution consist of 27 amendments – formal changes to the basic document.The first 10 Amendments are known as the Bill of Rights.

" We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union,establish Justice,insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence promote the general welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty, to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this …."

The Preamble

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth…..We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the oursuit of Happiness."

The Declaration of Independence

The Articles of Confederation

First Constitution of the United States. Under the Articles of Confederation the States rather than the people held the power.

Checks and balances

A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power.

Separation of Power

The division of powers among the different branches of government (legislative, executive, judicial).

Popular Sovereignty

People hold the final authority in all matters of government

Judicial Review

The power of the Supreme Court to declare laws and actions of local, state, or national governments unconstitutional.

Limited Government

In this type of government everyone, including all authority figures, must obey laws. Constitutions, statements of rights, or other laws define the limits of those in power so they cannot take advantage of the elected, appointed, or inherited positions.


A form of government in which power is divided between the federal or national government and the states.

Political Party

A group of organized citizens with a broad set of common beliefs, who join together to elect candidates to public office and determine public policy.

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