To understand the United States of America, the Constitution is a great way to get started. Written at the beginning of the nation’s establishment, the document serves as a blueprint.
The US Constitution is made up of seven sections or articles which detail the core components of how the government runs the country.
Here is an overview of what each article covers.
Article 1 of the Constitution covers the legislative branch. The principal mission of this branch is to make laws. Congress is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Congress is a body that has the ability to draft and pass laws, borrow money for the United States, declare war, and raise a military. It also works by limiting and balancing the power of the other two federal branches that make up the government.
Article 2 explains the executive branch. The branch of the government known as the executive branch manages the daily operations of the government. By making use of various departments and agencies, such as the Department of the Treasury, the executive branch is probably one of the fastest-moving branches of the federal government.
While made up of multiple divisions, each branch is headed by its own secretary but they all report to the President of the United States.
Article 3 reviews the Judicial branch. The federal court system is made up of the judicial branch. Article 3 states that the final court is the US Supreme Court.
Working with Congress, the US Supreme Court has the ability to determine both the size and the scope of any courts below the Supreme Court.
All judges on this court are appointed for life unless they decide to resign or are charged with bad behavior. In the case that a judge is charged, they are judged by a jury made up of their peers.
Article 4 is related to the rights and roles of state government. The federal government guarantees that there is a republic form of government in each state, protects the entire nation from violence and determines how any new states can join the Union.
It also states that the states are equal to each other and should have mutual respect for each other’s laws as well as any judicial decisions made by the state court systems.
Article 4 overviews the rights of the states, the relationship of the federal government to the state government, and also the relationship of states to each other.
Article 5 of the constitution creates a mechanism for changes to the constitution. While the constitution can never be dissolved, it can be amended if it goes through the amendment process.
Both the states and Congress have the ability to initiate the process to amend the Constitution. Since the time when the constitution was written, there have been multiple amendments made. These amendments are usually warranted when problems or concerns develop which were not foreseen or addressed by the original Constitution.
Aritlce 6 reviews debts, supremacy, and oaths. The article determines that the Constitution and all of the laws that come from it serve as the supreme law of the land.
All officials in the United States are required to swear an oath that they will uphold the Constitution. This article is designed to ensure that the Constitution remains a document that is held in high regard and used to make the primary decisions for the nation.
Article 7 details all of the people who signed the Constitution. They represented the original 13 states. While the number of the states has grown since the Constitution was signed, their signatures verify who signed the original document and that it was witnessed by all of the interested parties. This does not guide the future of the government but serves as a statement that it was agreed upon by all 13 colonies.
Understanding the Seven Articles of the US Constitution
These seven articles may appear to be fairly broad, but their function is to serve as a framework for the United States.
The constitution provides and limits power as well as outlines a system of checks and balances to avoid any branch having too much power. This is an important function and remains an active document today.