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What the heck is the constitution and why is it such a big deal?


The US Constitution was a big deal when it was written and it is a major deal now. The constitution tells us how our government must be run, and it is a binding agreement that we will honor it. In addition, the Constitution includes an incredibly important thing called THE BILL OF RIGHTS. The Bill of Rights is cut up into 27 amendments which tells us exactly what our rights are. Most americans only tend to know the first ten because they are the most important to us, but all the amendments are important. In order to get a good idea of what each amendment is, I recommend watching these two videos that I used to study for my Honors American Government class:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3p0jN-OKGM (For a catchy and easy to remember song)

*Please note that the girl in the song leaves out the sixth amendment, which is included in the second video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izgvKFpULBU&t=195s (For a written out version to actually know each Amendment)


If you don't want to watch a video, here are the first ten amendments:

AMENDMENT 1: This one covers our basics rights. Right to freedom of speech, Right to freedom of religion, Right to the freedom to assemble, and Right to the freedom to petition.

AMENDMENT 2: This one gives us the right to bear arms.

AMENDMENT 3: This one means that we don't have to quarter soldiers during peacetime. So if we don't want to house soldiers, we don't have to. However, congress can still make us do it, but they have to pass a law to do that, and that's very hard to do. (Will be explained in the Branches of Government tab).

Amendment 4: This one limits searches. For example, a police officer cannot search your house without a warrant or your permission.

Amendment 5: This one gives you the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself. In TV shows, you might hear this as "I choose to plea the 5th!" The fifth amendment is what they are referencing.

Amendment 6: This one gives you the right to a fair and speedy trial by a jury of your peers.

Amendment 7: This one gives you the right to a state appointed (or your own) attorney.

Amendment 8: No cruel or unusual punishment (like torture, for example). No excessive bails.

Amendment 9: This one gives us enumerated rights.

Amendment 10: This one limits the power of the federal government.



BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT:


In some types of government, there may be only TWO branches, or ONE. However, in the United States, there are three: Executive, Legislative, and the Judicial. This is so that no one branch of government is more powerful than the other. There is such a thing as CHECKS AND BALANCES. For example, if a King decrees a law in a monarchy, then the law becomes a law and no one can disagree because it's really not their place. However, in the US, the president does not get to create a law and simply pass it. It has to go through Congress first. This means that the president does not have absolute control over our country, which is a good thing. Now, onto explaining each branch!


The EXECUTIVE Branch CARRIES OUT LAWS. It involves the President, the Vice President, and the Cabinet.

As of 2017, part of our executive branch is made up of President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

The LEGISLATIVE Branch MAKES OUR LAWS. It involves the Senate and the House of Representatives. These are the people that are able to declare a law UNCONSTITUTIONAL, or going against America's core beliefs.

The JUDICIAL Branch EVALUATES OUR LAWS. It involves the federal court, and other courts.

The political center of our country is located in Washington, DC. Many people do not realize this, but across the country is Washington state. Washington is a city in the District of Columbia. Not the other way around. The reason why it is called the "District of Columbia" is because "Columbia" is the female manifestation of the United States. She is our "Heart" and is therefore in DC, because that is the "heart" of our country. This is where the White House is. The white house is where the US president lives. Also in DC is the Pentagon, which deals with the Military, and many other rather interesting historical landmarks such as the Lincoln Memorial, The Obelisk, and many other things! It's a lovely place to visit if you enjoy history.

So far, only 45 men have been able to call themselves the President of the United States, or POTUS. We elect a new president every four years. Presidents are limited to only two terms. This is made clear in the 22 amendment! The most popular presidents are George Washington, our very first president, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president and the one who freed the slaves, Theodore ("Teddy") Roosevelt is famous for his tough attitude, Franklin D. Roosevelt is famous for being the president who led us safely through the second World War, and the Great Depression, an awful period of time during the 1930s in which America was at it's lowest point in history. More modern presidents that are well loved are JFK, or John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated and the whole country mourned (And still mourns) his passing, Jimmy carter, who was from my home state (Georgia) and was our most useless president (but a really great guy, so everyone sorta just loves him regardless!), Ronald Reagan, who was a hilarious guy that really captured America's heart, and Obama, our first mixed race president who wasn't born in the continental US, but rather in Hawaii (which is still a state). He also legalized gay marriage!

The top photo is of JFK. The bottom is Barack Obama and his Vice President, Joe Biden.



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Welcome to the United States! - Page 2 (Countries of the World - Politics)    -    Author : Brooklyn - USA


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