The Framers had four major goals for the constitution. They wanted to create a strong government that would be able to meet the needs of the nation. Yet they wanted to keep the existence of the separate states. They also didn’t want to threaten liberty. And lastly they wanted to create a government that everyone could agree upon. So the Framers of the U.S. Constitution based their government on six basic principals.
The first one was called Popular Sovereignty. Popular sovereignty means that all government power belongs to the people. The people give the government the power it holds. Through the Constitution, the American people set up their government and told it what it could do. The Framers created a limited government since the people give government its power, government itself would be limited to the power it is given. It must follow its own laws and can only act using powers given to it by the people.
The Framers of the Constitution intended to create a stronger government for the United States. But they also intended to limit the powers of that government. So the separation of powers was designed to divide power among three separate branches: the executive (the president), the legislative (congress), and the judicial (the courts). The fourth was federalism this was the idea that the central government doesn’t control all the power of the nation, it would reserve and share powers with the states.
The fifth and sixth were checks and balances and the judicial review. In order to further protect the citizens, the constitution set up a system of checks and balances where each branch of government would check on the other two to make sure they didn’t gain too much power. Judicial review is a part of the checks-and -balances system. This power lets the courts decide if government actions are unconstitutional.
:McClenaghan, William A., Magruder’s American Government. Needham, MA: Prentice Hall, 1996Retrieved: May 17, 2007 From http://www.whc.net/irish/government/lectures/03-1lec.htmSocial Studies Survival Page: Chapter 3 Section 1 “The Six Basic Principles”Retrieved: May 17, 2007 From
http://home.sc.rr.com/ablair/Notes/Chapter%203/The%20Six%20Basic.htmHaskell, Gregory S. (1996-2007); “Mr. Haskell’s Social Science Page” Series;Retrieved: May 17, 2007 From http://www.gshaskell.com/sixbasicprinciples.html