FOUNDATIONS AND PRINCIPLES
Government policies that award jobs, government contracts, promotions, admission to schools, and other benefits to minorities and women.
The purpose of affirmative action legislation is to promote equality among the races (such as in schools). and genders.
ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
First plan of government for the United States
Established a confederate government; the central government had no power
Had many weaknesses – central government could not tax, had no executive branch, had no way to enforce laws
BILL OF RIGHTS
These are the first ten amendments to the Constitution. They were added to clarify the rights of citizens. One of their main purposes is to limit the power of the government. They were added because opponents of the original Constitution in 1787 felt that the Bill of Rights needed to be added.
They are as follows:
1. Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly---These rights are not absolute however. These rights can be limited.
A religion cannot infringe upon the rights of others. The government must treat religion the same as all other organizations. There is to be a separation of church and state. It is legal for government to restrict a religious practice if it threatens people’s safety and health. The press cannot print things that damage a person’s reputation (if they are not true) or print things that may cause unrest.
Music and speech can be censored if it is offensive to others, poses a threat, incites others to violence, poses a security threat, or interferes with a legal government activity..
Speech can be limited in school situations if it causes any kind of disruption to the learning environment
The national government has the right to restrict publication of material that endangers national security.
The government has the right to stop a public demonstration if it threatens the safety of the community.
2. Right to Bear Arms – The purpose of this amendment is to guarantee states the right to keep a militia.
3. Quartering of Troops – You cannot be required to house troops in your home during times of peace.
4. Freedom from Unreasonable Search and Seizure – Under most circumstances the government must have a warrant to search or take your possessions. A warrant is also needed to record conversations. Under the exclusionary rule, illegally obtained evidence may not be used at trial. This is another example of limited government.
5. Outlines the Rights of Accused Persons –These rights are known as “due process rights.” They are:
Right to confront witnesses against you
Cannot be required to testify against yourself
Eminent Domain – the right of the government to take your property for public use. When the happens you are entitled to just compensation
Includes the right to have your side heard before there is punishment
6. Right to a Speedy, Fair Trial
Includes the right to counsel (lawyer or attorney)
Right to be provided with a lawyer if charged with a serious crime
People accused of a crime must be informed of the charges against them
7. Civil Suits
8. No Excessive Bail or Cruel or Unusual Punishment
Bail and punishment must fit the crime
9. People’s rights are not limited to those listed in the Constitution.
10. Powers not delegated to the United States, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States.
A person’s rights may be restricted, or limited, if they infringe upon the rights of others discriminates on the basis of race, religion, national origin present a danger to others violate due process
The Constitution is the written plan of government for the United States.
It sets up a federal system of government.
States that governments gain authority from the people
Corrected the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
Says that all powers not given to the national government belong to the states