The First Political Parties



Congress The Legislative Branch of the government is responsible for making the laws. Article I of the Constitution sets up the legislative branch.
Section 1 ~ Congress

The power to make laws is given to the Congress which is made up of the Senate and a House of Representatives.
Section 2 ~
House of Representatives
Members are elected every second year by voters in the states that they represent.
  • must be 25 years old
  • must be a citizen of the United States for at least 7 years
  • must live in the state from which s/he is chosen
  • membership based on state population
  • has the power of impeachment
Section 3 ~
Senators serve for 6 years with 1/3 of the Senate being elected every two years.
  • must be 30 years old
  • must be a citizen of the United States for at least 9 years
  • must live in the state from which s/he is chosen
  • each state elects 2 Senators
  • The Vice President of the United States is the President of the Senate (The Vice President cannot vote on the Senate unless needed to break a tie vote.)
  • The Senate acts as the court in trying all impeachment cases.
Section 4 ~
Election and Meeting of Congress
  • States set the times, places, and manner of elections for Representatives and Senators.
  • Congress can change the state's rules.
  • Congress must meet at least once each year (the first Monday in December).
Section 5 ~
Organization and Rule of Each House
  • Each house is responsible for judging the qualifications of its members.
  • Each house sets its own rules for operations.
  • Each house must keep records of its proceedings.
  • Neither house can adjourn for more than 3 days without the permission of the other house.
  • The meeting place cannot be changed.
Section 6 ~ Congressional Privileges and Restraints
  • Senators and Representatives shall be paid.
  • Members are free from arrest while Congress is in session except for treason, robbery, and breach of the peace.
  • No Congressman will be appointed to any civil office while serving.
  • No person holding any office under the government will be a member of Congress.
Section 7 ~
How Bills Become Laws
All money bills must start in the House of Representatives. Other bills can start in either house. Each bill must be passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Then it goes to the President.

If the President agrees with the bill, he signs it and it becomes a law. If the President does not agree, he must send it back to the house where it started, stating why he does not agree.

If 2/3 of the members of that House pass the bill a second time, it then goes to the other house. If 2/3 of the other house pass the bill, it then becomes a law without the President's agreement.

If any bill is not returned by the President within ten working days after it has been sent to him, it becomes a law.

Section 8 ~
Powers given to Congress
Powers Given to Congress:
  • make and collect taxes, pay debts for the common defense and general welfare of the U.S.
  • borrow money
  • control trade with other nations, between states, and with Indian tribes
  • create laws
  • make money and control the value of money
  • provide punishment for counterfeiters
  • establish post offices and toll roads
  • promote the progress of science and art
  • create and run courts below the level of the Supreme Court
  • declare war
  • punish pirates
  • raise and support an army and navy
  • call out the National Guard to stop invasions and rebellions
  • organize, arm, and lead the militia
  • control an area not to be more than 10 miles wide for the seat of government (now Washington, D. C.)
  • make laws for carrying out each of these powers
Section 9 ~
Powers denied to the Congress
Powers Denied Congress:
  • interfere with slave trade before 1808
  • take away individual legal rights of citizens except in cases of war or rebellion
  • pass laws that punish people for doing something before it was against the law
  • make a tax against any one group or individual
  • made a tax against goods moving from one state to another
  • favor one port over others
  • spend money unless approved by Congress
  • grant any title of nobility
Section 10 ~
Powers Denied to the States
No state shall:
  • enter into any treaties
  • set taxes on imports or exports
  • wage war unless invaded
Lesson Links

Lesson 1 - Articles of Confederation

Lesson 2 - Writing the Constitution

Lesson 3 - Checks and Balances of the Government

Lesson 4 - The New Government

Lesson 5 - Bill of Rights

The First Political Parties

George Washington

Article I - Legislative Branch

How a Bill Becomes a Law

Article II - Executive Branch

Article III - Judicial Branch