Name:     ID: 
 
Email: 

GOV CH 3-1 CONST OVERVIEW

Multiple Choice
Identify the choice that best completes the statement or answers the question.
 
 
nar001-1.jpgIntroduction

In its original form, the U.S. Constitution contained only about five thousand words. Today, even after the addition of twenty-seven amendments, it contains only about seven thousand words. Compared with virtually all state constitutions and with the constitutions of other nations, the U.S. Constitution is brief and to the point. The founders of this nation did not attempt to spell out in detail exactly how the government should operate. Rather, they gave us a general framework for governing the nation. The Constitution has endured for more than two hundred years, and it has been copied in one form or another by numerous nations. In the words of Henry Clay (1777-1852), a nineteenth-century U.S. senator:

The Constitution ... was made not merely for the generation that then existed, but for posterity-unlimited, undefined, endless, perpetual posterity.

Clay recognized, along with others, that the framers of the Constitution knew that this nation would constantly change. So they made the document general enough for each of the many generations that would follow to interpret it according to the needs and values of the times. This is why our Constitution is often called a living, breathing document, created by people with a vision. The Constitution consists of three major parts: a preamble, seven articles, and twenty-seven amendments.
 

 1. 

The U.S. Constitution is
a.
wordy
c.
precise and to the point
b.
rambling and theoretical
d.
abstract
 

 2. 

The passage above suggests that the Constitution has lasted a long time because it is....
a.
fixed and unchanging
c.
easy to read
b.
flexible
d.
old
 

 3. 

Henry Clay believed the Constitution was written for
a.
the people of yesterday and today
c.
the future rather than the past
b.
the original thirteen colonies
d.
the youth of the world
 
 
Preamble

A preamble is an introductory statement. Such a statement at the beginning of a document generally explains the reasons and intentions behind what follows it. Hence, the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution sets forth the general purposes of American government.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, 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.

The Preamble lists the major goals for which American government should strive. Rather than being law itself, as is the rest of the Constitution, it explains what the founders hoped the new government would accomplish. It shows that they wanted our government to provide law, order, and stability for this new country. They also wanted the government to serve the citizens while at the same time ensuring the liberty of each individual.
 

 4. 

What is the purpose of the preamble to the constitution?
a.
shows the purpose of the constitution
c.
is a declaration of war
b.
shows the complaints against the king of England
d.
all of these
 

 5. 

For whom did the constitution secure the Blessings of Liberty
a.
The Founding Fathers
c.
The colonial people and their future families
b.
The people of the world
d.
all of these
 
 
The Articles

There are seven articles in the Constitution, identified by the Roman numerals I through VII. The first three articles establish the structure and explain the functions of the three branches of government: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial.

Article I outlines the legislative powers given to Congress and describes how laws should be made.

Article II, in a similar manner, tells how the executive branch-the presidency-is empowered to carry out the laws passed by Congress. It also tells how the president is elected. Article III establishes the judicial branch of the federal government.

Article III states that there shall be one Supreme Court and gives Congress the power to create lower courts. It also defines what kinds of cases the courts can hear.

The relations among states are outlined in Article IV, which describes how state governments and the federal government are linked together.

The amendment process, or how to change the Constitution, is described in Article V

Article VI makes the Constitution, laws passed by Congress, and treaties of the United States the "supreme law of the land." This part of Article VI is called the supremacy clause. The supremacy clause means that all U.S. citizens, as well as state and local governments, grant ultimate authority to federal laws, treaties, and the Constitution.

Finally, Article VII indicates that the Constitution was to go into effect after nine states ratified it.
 

 6. 

How many articles are there in the constitution?
a.
three
c.
seven
b.
six
d.
twenty seven
 

 7. 

Which article explains how the Supreme Court will be organized?
a.
one
c.
three
b.
two
d.
four
 

 8. 

Which article explains the power of the presidency?
a.
one
c.
three
b.
two
d.
four
 

 9. 

Which article says the laws will be made by congress?
a.
one
c.
three
b.
two
d.
four
 

 10. 

Which article makes the Constitution superior to the states and state constitutions.
a.
one
c.
five
b.
four
d.
six
 

 11. 

The Constitution establishes the Supreme Court but leaves the formation of the lower U.S. Courts to the states
a.
true
b.
false
 

 12. 

What branch of government is responsible for carrying out the laws passed by Congress?
a.
legislative
c.
judicial
b.
executive
d.
senate
 

 13. 

California wants to require trucks from Mexico to have smog certificates. The U.S. government says that California has no power to make such a requirement. Which article of the Constitution applies here?
a.
article I
c.
article IV
b.
article II
d.
article VI
 

 14. 

In the 1970’s the Equal Rights Amendment for Women was proposed by Congress but failed to get the required number of states to ratify the proposed change to the Constitution. What Article is involved here?
a.
V
c.
II
b.
III
d.
VII
 
 
Amendments (changes to the constitution.)

The third part of the Constitution consists of twenty-seven amendments-formal changes to the basic document. The first ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, were added in 1791. The remaining seventeen amendments have been added since then. The last one, the Twenty-seventh Amendment, was added in 1992. Later in this chapter, we examine the amendments in more detail, as well as how the amendment process actually works. First though, we look at the major principles of government embodied in the U.S. Constitution.
 

 15. 

What are the first ten amendments to the Constitution called?
a.
the Colonial Amendments
c.
the Bill of Rights
b.
the Bill of Particulars
d.
the 4 Freedoms
 

 16. 

How many amendments have been made to the Constitution since it was written?
a.
ten
c.
twenty seven
b.
twenty four
d.
seven
 
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

 17. 

The Constitution is divided into three parts. Which item below is Not  one of the parts.
a.
Articles
c.
Declaration of War
b.
Preamble
d.
Amendments
 

 18. 

The Constitution outlines three branches of government. Which below is not one of the branches.
a.
legislative
c.
judicial
b.
executive
d.
states
 

Matching
 
 
a.
checks and balances
e.
Senate
b.
elastic clause
f.
Preamble
c.
enumerated powers
g.
implied powers
d.
Congress
h.
House of Representatives
 

 19. 

Lower house of the national legislature. Based on population of states
 

 20. 

Provisions of the Constitution that keep one branch of the government from controlling the other two branches
 

 21. 

Introduction to the Constitution
 

 22. 

Clause in the constitution that allows Congress to pass laws necessary to carry out its enumerated powers.
 

 23. 

Powers specifically granted in the Constitution
 

 24. 

National Legislature
 

 25. 

Upper house of the national legislature. Every state gets two members
 

 26. 

Powers not specifically stated in the Constitution
 



 
         Start Over