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Simplified Constitution of the United States.
This webpage came about because of a lesson I teach at school on how our government functions. Because these students are middle school students, I went through the Constitution and condensed it into its most basic parts, or, an "Easy Constitution" for the students to understand.
Hopefully you find this information useful.
If you would like to use this in your class, or for other educational purposes, you may do so as long as you send me an e-mail.
Also, if you would like to make suggestions, I would also love to hear from you.
Aaron T. Larson
Simplified Constitution of the United States
Article 1 – Creates the two parts of Congress. They are responsible for making laws.
Article 2 – Creates the job of President, called the Executive. Responsible for enforcing the laws.
A. Explains how to kick the president from office, called impeachment.
Article 3 – Establishes Judges, called the Judiciary. They decide if a law is allowable, or if it goes against the Constitution.
Article 4 – States Rights.
Article 5 – How to change the Constitution.
Article 6 – Concerns the United States.
Article 7 – Explained how the Constitution was agreed to.
The Bill of Rights - Proposed in 1789 and enacted on December 15, 1791
Protects the people's right to practice religion, to speak freely, to assemble (meet), to address the government and of the press to publish.
Protects the right to own guns.
Guarantees that the army cannot force homeowners to give them room and board.
Protects the people from the government improperly taking property, papers, or people, without a valid warrant based on probable cause (good reason).
Protects people from being held for committing a crime unless they are properly indicted, that they may not be tried twice for the same crime, and that you need not be forced to testify against yourself. It also contains due process guarantees.
Guarantees a speedy trial, an impartial jury, and that the accused can confront witnesses against them, and that the accused must be allowed to have a lawyer.
Guarantees a jury trial in federal civil court cases. This type of case is normally no longer heard in federal court.
Guarantees that punishments will be fair, and not cruel, and that extraordinarily large fines will not be set.
Simply a statement that other rights aside from those listed may exist, and just because they are not listed doesn't mean they can be violated.
Says that any power not granted to the federal government belongs to the states.
Amendments passed once the Constitution was adopted.
11th Amendment - Enacted on February 7, 1795
Says how someone from one state can sue another state.
12th Amendment - Enacted on June 15, 1804
Redefines how the President and Vice-President are chosen by the Electoral College.
13th Amendment - Enacted on December 6, 1865
Abolished slavery in the entire United States.
14th Amendment - Enacted on July 9, 1868
People had rights on the federal level and on the state level, too. Dealt with civil war items.
15th Amendment - Enacted on February 3, 1870
Ensured that a person’s race could not be used as criteria for voting.
16th Amendment - Enacted on February 3, 1913
Authorizes the United States to collect income taxes.
17th Amendment - Enacted on April 8, 1913
Shifted the choosing of Senators from the state legislatures to the people of the states.
18th Amendment - Enacted on January 16, 1919
Abolished the sale or manufacture of alcohol in the United States.
19th Amendment - Enacted on August 18, 1920
Ensures that sex could not be used as a criteria for voting.
20th Amendment - Enacted on January 23, 1933
Set new start dates for the terms of the Congress and the President.
21st Amendment - Enacted on December 5, 1933
Repealed the 18th Amendment.
22nd Amendment - Enacted on February 27, 1951
Set a limit on the number of times a President could be elected - two four-year terms.
23rd Amendment - Enacted on March 29, 1961
Grants the Washington D.C. the right to three electors in Presidential elections.
24th Amendment - Enacted on January 23, 1964
Ensured that no tax could be charged to vote for any federal office.
25th Amendment - Enacted on February 10, 1967
Establishes rules for a President who becomes unable to perform his duties while in office.
26th Amendment - Enacted on July 1, 1971
Ensures that any person 18 or over may vote.
27th Amendment - Enacted on May 7, 1992
Any law that increased the pay of legislators may not take effect until after an election.