A2, Unit 4C - The Constitution.

This powerpoint includes notes on - 

The system of Checks and Balances, Federalism, the Amendment Process. 

I'm using this particularly for Unit 4C but it could be useful for the whole of A2! 

Comments and feedback would be appreciated. 


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The Constitution…read more

Slide 2

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Background -
· 1787 ­ Philadelphia Convention ­ 55
Founding Fathers (delegates representing
12 of the 13 states) met to review the
system of government set up in the
declaration of independence in 1776.…read more

Slide 3

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Separation of Powers -
· The three branches of government : the executive,
judiciary and the legislature are act independently and
· This system was decided on by the Founding Fathers
because they were scared of tyranny.
· They also wanted a system of checks and balances.
· In terms of personnel, the branches were completely
separate ­ no person can be in more than one branch
of the government.
· Eg. when Senator Barack Obama was elected
president, he had to resign from the Senate.
· However ­ it would be more fitting so describe the
government as being separate institutions, sharing
powers.…read more

Slide 4

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Checks and Balances -…read more

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Checks and Balances -
· By the President on Congress :
· He can recommend legislation to Congress ­ State
of the Union Address. Eg. Bush in 2002 used it to
address his `war on terror' and budget priorities.
· He can veto bills passed by Congress ­ public
veto/pocket veto. Eg. Bush during his 8 years in
office, used the regular (public) veto 11 times ­
2007 ­ veto on the State Children's Health
Insurance Programme.…read more

Slide 6

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Checks and Balances -
· By the President on the Judiciary :
· The president nominates all federal judges ­ to
the trial court, appeal court and the Supreme
Court (this meaning the most important) ­ by
appointing judges with the same philosophy,
presidents can hope to mould the outlook of the
Court. Eg. Bush managed two appointments ­
John Roberts (chief justice 2005) and Samuel Alito
(associate justice 2006).
· The president has the power of pardon. Eg. in
1974 ­ President Ford pardoned his predecessor
Nixon for any crimes he may have committed
during the Watergate affair.…read more

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Old Sir


A useful survey of US constitutional theory and issues arising in practice. Examples given are especially useful in preparing answers that will gain marks in AO2, evaluation and analysis.

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