Unit 1. Introduction to U.S. Laws.pptx - Unit An Introduction to Laws 1 and Regulations in the United States I II III The American Democracy Enacting a

Unit 1. Introduction to U.S. Laws.pptx - Unit An...

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Unit 1 An Introduction to Laws and Regulations in the United States III. I. The American Democracy II. Enacting a Law Finding a Law
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I. The American Democracy A. A Little History B. Key Principles C. Three Branches of Government: The Legislative Branch The Judicial Branch The Executive Branch D. Sources of American Law: Constitutions Statutes Common Law Administrative Law E. Public and Private Law
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II. Enacting a Law A. Origination of idea B. Introduction C. Committee consideration D. Reintroduction E. Debate in Congress F. Enrollment G. Presidential action H. Enforcement
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III. Finding the Law A. General B. Congressional Record C. Slip Laws D. Statutes at Large E. U.S. Code F. Code of Federal Regulations
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I. The American Democracy The American democratic system assumes that: The majority rules The political rights of minorities must be protected Citizens agree to be ruled by a system of law Ideas and opinions must be freely exchanged All citizens are equal before the law Government exists to serve the people
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A. A Little History The first type of government in the U.S. was based primarily on state government. Prior to the signing of the Constitution, the country consisted of 13 colonies ruled by England. Following the Revolutionary War these colonies basically governed themselves. Although they had formed a league of friendship under the Articles of Confederation, they wanted to avoid a strong central government like the one they had lived under during England's rule.
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All 13 colonies sent delegates to a Constitutional Convention. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention wanted to ensure a strong, cohesive central government, but also to avoid giving any one person or group absolute control in government. Their solution was a government with three separate branches, each with distinct powers. They also established a government system based on federalism where power is shared between the federal and state governments, as opposed to a centralized government (as in France and Great Britain), where the national government maintains all power.
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The delegates envisioned a federalist structure that reserved certain exclusive powers to each of the federal and state governments, but also granted concurrent (shared) powers to the federal and state governments. For example, only the U.S. Congress may declare war on behalf of the United States, but only the states may conduct elections, issue licenses (marriage, hunting, driving), or regulate commerce that is contained completely within a state’s boundaries. Concurrent powers of the federal and state governments include the ability to collect taxes, build roads, borrow money, establish courts, make and enforce laws, charter banks and corporations, spend money for the general welfare, and take private property for public purposes (with just compensation).
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