Principles of The Constitution

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1. Limited Government

The power of the government is limited by the Constitution; the government is given only the powers specifically written in the documents.

2. Separation of Powers

The three branches of government (legislative, executive, judicial), each has its own powers, duties, and limits.

3. Checks and Balances

Each branch checks the powers of the other two branches. The Legislative Branch (Congress) has oversight over the other two branches.

4. Federalism

Power is divided between the federal government and the state governments.

Powers Exclusively to the Federal Government

Under the U.S. Constitution, some powers belong exclusively to the federal government, meaning state government has no constitutional power to engage in these acts:

  • to print money
  • to declare war
  • to create an army
  • to make treaties

The Preamble (Introduction to The Constitution)

"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 Constitution for the United States of America."


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