Thursday, May 26, 2011

Temecula Constitution Study: A New Government (Preamble, Article I Sections 1-6)

Constitution Study, Temecula, California at Faith Armory, 27498 Enterprise Cir. W. #2 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Q&A afterward. Free pocket Constitution handed out to all attendees. Also, detailed study material available as well.

Lesson Two Worksheet, Temecula Constitution Study May 26, 2011


Federalism: _________________________________________________________________

Unalienable Rights: ___________________________________________________________

President pro tempore:________________________________________________________

Impeachment: ______________________________________________________________

Quorum: ___________________________________________________________________

Adjourn: ___________________________________________________________________

Censure: ___________________________________________________________________

Saxbe Fix: _ _________________________________________________________________

Key Questions:

1. The Preamble is an introduction to the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, it holds no _____________________ __________________________.

2. The Constitution is a contract that created the _______________________ ________________________ .

3. The most important reason for the formation of the federal government was in order to form a more perfect _____________________.

4. The U.S. Constitution, and all language within the document, is directed to the

_____________________ _______________________ .

5. To ensure tranquility, the federal government was to act as a _______________________.

6. Article I establishes the ________________________________ branch.

7. The authorities of the federal government were granted by the ______________________.

8. The House of Representatives is the voice of the ________________________ .

9. The census is a head count used to determine the number of ________________________ each state will receive.

10. Each state has equal suffrage, or representation, in the _______________________.

11. The rules for electing members of Congress is established by the ____________________.

Key Concepts:

1. The Preamble lists the reasons for the decision to create a new federal government by writing a new constitution.

2. The most important reason for the formation of the federal government was in order to form a more perfect union, which in turn would protect the sovereign states from invasion and internal conflict..

3. The Constitution was designed to protect our rights because a centralized government has the potential for tyranny.

4. The Constitution grants all federal legislative powers to the legislative branch, which means that no other branch can make law, modify law, or repeal law constitutionally.

5. The House of Representatives was originally designed to be the voice of the people, and the U.S. Senate was originally designed to be the voice of the States. They served as checks against each other, and together as a check against the executive branch.

6. All methods for electing members of the Congress are determined by the State Legislatures.

7. All of the internal rules of Congress are determined by the Houses.

8. Though the Constitution contains guards against corruption in Congress, the politicians have devised ways to attempt to circumvent these restrictions, such as in the case of the Saxbe Fix.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Session II, Lesson 1 Worksheet

Lesson One Worksheet, Temecula Constitution Study May 19, 2011


Separatists: _________________________________________________________________

Protestant Reformation: _______________________________________________________

Theocracy: _________________________________________________________________

Confederation: ______________________________________________________________

Democracy: ________________________________________________________________

Oligarchy: __________________________________________________________________

Nationalism: ________________________________________________________________

Republicanism: _____________________________________________________________

Key Questions:

1. The _____________________ colonization of the New World was sought through military conquest.

2. English _______________________ enabled the British government to enable colonization with little financial risk to the monarchy.

3. The English Charter system created the American virtue of _____________________.

4. Under the English 1559 Act of Uniformity, it was illegal not to attend

_____________________ of _______________________ services.

5. The Articles of __________________________________ established a government too weak to protect the union.

6. To protect against the excess of democracy a system of limits, ________________, and

___________________ was devised.

7. The U.S. ________________________________ is the law of the land.

8. The ________________________ _________________________ could also be referred to as “these states that are united.

9. Patriotism is the wholesome, constructive love of one’s land and people. Nationalism

is the unhealthy love of one’s __________________________________.

10. The federal government was created to protect, preserve and promote the


Key Concepts:

1. Exploration did not occur for the sake of exploration, but as the result of European nations seeking a better route to the riches of the Far East. The land route was no good because of Muslims demanding payment for passage, and the route around the horn of Africa was no good because of how long it was, and because of the danger of pirates.

2. The English Charter system was created after the English watched the difficulties Spain was having with holding together their empire.

3. The northern English colonies were the result of the Puritans and Pilgrims (among other religious groups) seeking religious freedom, which was a direct result of the persecution these groups received because of the existence of an established church in England.

4. The theocracies in the New World reveals that the desire for religious freedom for these early settlers was for themselves, not other groups. However, the tyranny of the theocracies led to a cry for religious freedom in America. Rhode Island is an example of this desire for religious freedom.

5. The nature of living in the New World, combined with the charter system, heavily influenced the development of the character of America. This tendency of the colonies to be self-sufficient led ultimately to the concept of state sovereignty.

6. Experience taught the Americans the dangers of a monarchy, utopianism, a democracy, a theocracy, an oligarchy, and nationalism. Therefore, the logical conclusion was that the new nation needed a system fashioned like none of these governmental systems or concepts. Therefore, the obvious conclusion was that the United States needed to be a republic.

7. The Constitution was the result of over a hundred years of the growth of the character of America. The combined experiences of the colonists, and the study of history, led the Founding Fathers to pursue a system like no other. Hence, the American Experiment.

8. The United States, before the American Civil War, was seen as “these states that are united,” or The United States “are,” rather than “is.”

9. The Rule of Law comes from the concept of natural law as presented by John Locke. The Founding Fathers saw natural law as God’s law, therefore established our system of government on the concept that our rights are given to us by God, not by government.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Amendments 25, 26, and 27

Adopted in 1967, the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution establishes the current line of succession to the Presidency, and creates the procedures for filling vacancies. The aim was to clarify Article II, Section 1, Clause 6, as that part of the Constitution was unclear.

The first time this became a major issue was in 1841, when President William Henry Harrison became the first U.S. President to die in office. Representative John Williams had previously suggested that the Vice President should become Acting President upon the death of the President. Vice President John Tyler concurred, asserting that he would need to succeed to the office of President, as opposed to only obtaining its powers and duties. Though Tyler became took the oath of President (precedent for full succession was established, became known as "Tyler Precedent"), nothing was done to amend the Constitution regarding the procedure.

When President Wilson suffered a stroke, no one officially assumed the Presidential powers and duties.

It was clear that a set of guidelines needed to be established.

In 1963, a proposal enabling Congress to enact legislation establishing a line of succession by Senator Kenneth Keating of New York based upon a recommendation by the American Bar Association in 1960 surfaced, but it never gained enough support.

On January 6, 1965, Senator Birch Bayh proposed in the Senate and Representative Emanuel Celler proposed in the House of Representatives what would become the Twenty-fifth Amendment. Their proposal provided a way to not only fill a vacancy in the office of the President by the Vice President, but also how to fill the office of the Vice President before the next presidential election (something Keating's proposal failed to address).


The Twenty-sixth Amendment establishes the voting age at the age of 18 (rather than 21 as it was previously). The amendment was proposed in 1971, in an attempt to respond to student activism against the Vietnam War. Originally, President Nixon had signed a law making the voting age 18, but a number of states challenged the law, and under pressure the amendment was proposed and ratified.

The slogan, "Old enough to fight, old enough to vote," which surfaced as far back as World War II, finally had won its fight. Arguments of various viewpoints regarding the wisdom of this amendment continue to this day.


The Twenty-seventh Amendment prohibits any law that increases or decreases the salary of members of the Congress from taking effect until the start of the next set of terms of office for Representatives. Ratified in 1992, the proposal remained in place for 203 years after its initial submission in 1789.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Amendments 22, 23 and 24

Amendments 22, 23, 24

Added Note: During the first part of class tonight we will be visited by the designer of the Constitution Quest game to allow you the opportunity to meet him, and see the game first hand. He will have extra games on hand in case you desire to purchase one.


The Twenty-Second Amendment was passed in 1951. It was designed to ensure no president could seek a third term. Though the Constitution did not limit the number of terms a president could serve prior to this amendment, many consider the fact that George Washington choosing not to seek a third term as evidence that the Founding Fathers saw two-terms as the expected standard.

James Madison and James Monroe also adhered to the two-term principle. Few Presidents sought a third term, and no President achieved it, until Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 became the only president to be elected to a third term. World War to has often been cited as the reason. In 1944, while World War II continued to rage, Roosevelt won a fourth term. He died before he could complete that term.


The Twenty-Third Amendment allows the citizens in Washington DC to vote for Electors for President and Vice President. The amendment was ratified in 1961.

Washington DC, prior to this amendment, was literally being taxed without representation. However, one must consider that Washington DC was not supposed to have a population in the first place. The District of Columbia was intended to only be the seat of government.

Since Washington DC is not a State, the district is still unable to send voting Representatives or Senators to Congress.

The amendment restricts the district to the number of Electors of the least populous state, irrespective of its own population. That number is currently three.


The Twenty-Fourth Amendment disallows poll taxes. A poll Tax is a tax levied on people rather than on property, often as a requirement for voting.

A poll tax is a uniformed tax levied on every adult in the community. Poll taxes have their roots in ancient tax systems and have been criticized as an unfair burden on the poor. Historically, in the U.S., they were enacted in the South as a prerequisite for voting disfranchising many African Americans and poor whites.

The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratified in 1964 made it illegal for a state to use payment to all taxes as a requirement to vote in national elections. Few blacks could vote because they had a little money. The poll tax to vote was $1.50. A woman decided to take the poll tax issue to court. In October 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Evelyn T. Butts' appeal. In 1966 the Supreme Court of the United States declared Poll Taxes unconstitutional.


Special Thanks to: Faith Armory, 27498 Enterprise Cir. W #2, Temecula, CA 92562; 951-699-7500, - For providing us with a classroom to meet in.