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Why are the 6 principles of the Constitution important?

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The six principles of the Constitution are important because they make sure that our government will not be too powerful and that it will not be able to take our rights away from us very easily. All of the principles are aimed at this goal. Let us look at how this is so for each of the principles:

  • Popular sovereignty. By giving the people the right to rule themselves, the Constitution protects our rights. We are the ones who are in charge and we will not be likely to vote for laws or representatives who take away our rights.
  • Limited government. When we limit what the government can do, we make sure it is not too strong. We make sure that it does not have the power to take...

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macd5301 | Student

The six principles of the Constitution give a guideline for how the United States Government was to be ran.  The writers of the Constitution were fearful of their government having too much power and set out to make sure that when writing the Constitution the government would have rules and principles that it had to follow.  The first principle popular sovereignty is defined as "a doctrine in political theory that government is created by and subject to the will of the people".  This means that the citizens of the country get to choose, by voting, on the people they want to represent them.  An example of this is when we as citizens vote for a a Senator to vote on issues within the Senate.  We vote for people that have similar values as ours in hopes that they carry those values throughout their term in office.  The second principle is that of limited government which prevents the government from becoming too powerful and states that the government can only do what the people give it the power to do.  This was important to the Framers because they felt that their rights had been violated by the British government.  Within the principle of Limited Government only the people can give the government the right to increase taxes, unlike the British who taxed the colonies heavily without the consent of the colonists.  The third principle, separation of powers created the three legislative branches of government; the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branch.  Powers are distributed throughout the three branches with the Constitution outlining the powers and responsibilities of each branch.  The President is the leader of the Executive Branch and is responsible for enforcing and carrying out the laws of the United States.  Within the Legislative Branch there is Congress, including the House of Representatives and the Senate.  These bodies within government are responsible for writing and passing laws.  The Judicial Branch has the primary responsibility of declaring the Constitutionality of the laws in the United States.  The principle of Checks and Balances prevents one branch of government from becoming too powerful.  There are several examples of how this works in our government.  If Congress passes a law the president, as part of the Executive Branch can veto this law therefore checking the power of the Legislative Branch.  That law would then go back to Congress to be voted on once more therefore checking the power of the president.  The Judicial Branch can also check the power of the Legislative Branch by declaring a law that it passes unconstitutional.  Judicial review is the principle that no government representative is above the law.  It states that all government officials must follow the laws of the United States and prosecutes those that do not.  One example of this is the Senate deciding to impeach the President for not following his Oath of Office.  Federalism is the division of power between the national government and the states.  An example of federalism is that the national government has the right to declare war on another country, the states do not have the right to do so.  Powers under federalism are also reserved for the states, for example the states have the right to decide how they set up their education system.  Concurrent powers are granted to both to the national and state government, for example both governments have the right to set and regulate their own taxes.