Social Studies - 2019-20

GOVT.4c - Fundamental Political Principles

The student will apply social science skills to understand the Constitution of the United States by 

c) examining the fundamental principles upon which the Constitution of the United States is based, including the rule of law, consent of the governed, limited government, separation of powers, and federalism;

Adopted: 2015


Big Themes/Concepts: Power & Authority


The Constitution of the United States is based on fundamental principles that can be found in the writings of philosophers during the Age of Enlightenment. 


Fundamental principles 

 Consent of the governed: People are the only source of governmental power. 

 Limited government: The government may do only those things that the people have given it the power to do. 

 Separation of powers: Government is divided into three branches—the legislative, executive, and judicial. 

 Checks and balances: This is a system whereby each branch of government exercises some control over the others. 

 Federalism: In this form of government, powers are divided between the national government and state governments. 

 Rule of law: The Constitution of the United States is supreme, and all individuals are accountable under the law.


Updated: Jun 22, 2017