Summer Constitution Assignment

AP Government                                                               Name:___________________________

Annenberg Classroom Assignment


Use the information on the Annenberg Classroom website to delve more deeply into the meaning behind the Constitution.

Go to

Fill in the blanks from the relevant parts of the Constitution, then answer the questions based on the Constitution and the reading.



We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect ____________, establish ____________, insure domestic _______________, provide for the ____________________, promote the general _________________, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our _______________________, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

  1. Can the preamble be used as a basis for court cases involving individual rights? _______

What case decided this? _____________________________________


  1. Define popular sovereignty. (Look it up)



Article I: (This is the longest article. Hang in there! There are 10 different sections.)

All ____________________________ Powers herein granted shall be vested in a __________________of the United States, which shall consist of a __________________ and _______________________________________________.

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every _________________ Year by the People of the several States…No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of ­­­­­___________ Years, and been __________ Years a Citizen of the United States.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of _______Senators from each State, chosen by the ____________________ thereof, for ________ Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.


  1. Explain what is meant by enumerated powers?


  1. What does bicameral mean? _______________________________



  1. How is the number of seats in the House of Representatives determined?


  1. How many senators are there from each state? ________________
  2. How often is a census held to count the population? __________________________________
  3. How many members are there in the House of Representatives? ________________
  4. What is gerrymandering?
  5. How many members are there in the Senate? ________________
  6. What did the 17th Amendment do?


  1. Who is the president of the Senate? ____________________________

What is their main power? ______________________________________

  1. What is a quorum? ________________________________________________
  2. What does the 27th Amendment prohibit?


  1. What type of bills must originate in the House of Representatives? ______________________
  2. List 5 powers that are outlined for Congress in Article I, Section 8:



  1. What is a writ of habeas corpus?


  1. What is a bill of attainder?


  1. What is an ex post facto law?


  1. What are two limits the Constitution puts on the states?


Article II:

No Person except a ­­­­­­­­­­­­­________________________ Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of __________________ Years, and been _________________Years a Resident within the United States.

The President shall be ___________________________________ of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the __________________ of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States

He shall from time to time give to the _____________________ Information of the _______________________________, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge ____________________ and __________________________


  1. What did the 22nd Amendment do? What prompted the passage of this amendment?


  1. Explain how the Electoral College works.



  1. What are the three requirements to be president?


  1. What is a pardon? What is the only exception to the president’s power to pardon?


  1. Who has to approve presidential treaties and appointments? ___________________________
  2. The process of impeachment was used against which three presidents?


  1. Explain the impeachment process.




  1. Who presides at an impeachment trial of the president? Who serves as the jury during an impeachment trial?


Article III:

The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one __________________________, and in such inferior Courts as the _____________________ may from time to time ordain and establish.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_______________________, shall be by ______________


  1. How many justices are there on the Supreme Court? __________
  2. Who appoints the justices? __________________________

Who has to approve the appointments? _______________________

  1. Who has the power to create the lower federal courts? _______________________
  2. Explain the difference between the trial courts and the appellate courts?


  1. How long is the term for federal judges? ________________________________
  2. What important power did the Supreme Court get from the case of Marbury v. Madison?


  1. How many justices must agree to hear a case? ______________
  2. Give examples of the types of cases in which the Supreme Court is the first court to hear the case.


  1. What is the only crime specifically defined in the Constitution? ______________________
  2. Explain the power of judicial review.

Article IV:

Full ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_____________________________ shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all ____________________________________ of Citizens in the several States.


  1. What does Article IV, Section 1 have to do with marriage laws?


  1. What is extradition?


  1. How did the 13th Amendment nullify part of Article IV, Section 2?


  1. How can new states be created?


  1. What is guaranteed in Article IV, Section 4?



Article V:

  1. Fill in the chart below for how the Constitution can be amended.


2 Ways to Propose an Amendment 2 Ways to Ratify an Amendment
1. 1.
2. 2.


  1. What are the three specific amendments that this article forbids?



  1. What year did Congress ban the international slave trade? (not domestic)






Article VI:

This ____________________________, and the ____________ of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all ______________ made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the _________________ Law of the Land


  1. Explain the Supremacy Clause.


  1. What is the doctrine of preemption?


  1. What does this article say about freedom of religion?


Article VII:

  1. How many states had to ratify the Constitution for it to go into effect? ____________
  2. Which state was the first to ratify the Constitution? _____________________________
  3. Which two states did not ratify the Constitution until after the first Congress?


(Look up #58-61. The original website was changed.)

  1. How many of the original 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention actually signed the final document? ____________
  2. Who were the Federalists?


  1. Who were the Antifederalists?


  1. What did the Federalists have to promise in order to get the Constitution ratified?













For each of the amendments, write 3-5 words to summarize what the amendment is about.


1st Amendment

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. List the five freedoms guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.


  1. What types of speech can the government ban?


  1. Explain the difference between the establishment clause and the free exercise clause.


  1. Explain what a “wall of separation” refers to:



2nd Amendment

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. What is the central debate around this amendment?


  1. Look up the case of McDonald v. Chicago and explain how it relates to the 2nd Amendment.



3rd Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. What is quartering?


  1. How has this amendment been used by the Supreme Court?


4th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. Give examples of searches and seizures.


  1. What is required for the government to conduct a search?






5th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. What is a grand jury?


  1. What is double jeopardy?


  1. What happens if police force a suspect to confess?


  1. If a suspect confesses to a friend or in a diary, can it be used against them?


  1. What document first recognized the right to due process of law?
  2. What is procedural due process?


  1. What is substantive due process?


  1. When can the government use the power of eminent domain?


  1. What do all the rights in the 5th Amendment have in common?


6th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. What are 6 rights given to criminal defendants in the 6th Amendment?








7th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. What is a civil case?


  1. In what courts does the right to a jury in civil cases apply?



8th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. How does having a chance to post bail help a criminal defendant?


  1. How has the term “excessive” been interpreted?


  1. How has the 8th Amendment been used to challenge the death penalty?


  1. Where did the wording for the 8th Amendment come from?


9th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. Why were some of the framers of the Constitution opposed to a Bill of Rights? How did the 9th Amendment solve this issue?


  1. What are some of the rights that the Supreme Court has determined to be unenumerated (unlisted) rights under the 9th Amendment?


10th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. The 10th Amendment is called the reserved powers amendment. Who are the powers reserved for?


  1. What are some of the reserved powers according to the Supreme Court?


  1. What is unique about the 10th Amendment in comparison to the other 9 in the Bill of Rights? (Think about this one…)



11th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. Explain the conflict that led to the 11th Amendment:


  1. What is sovereign immunity?




12th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. Explain how the 12th Amendment solved a problem with the election of the vice president.



  1. Why did former vice president Dick Cheney change his voter registration from Texas to Wyoming?


13th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. When was the 13th Amendment passed (after what war)?


  1. Lincoln had already issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Why was the 13th Amendment needed?


14th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. What was the motivation for the passing of this amendment?


  1. How did the 14th Amendment change the Bill of Rights?


  1. How did the 14th Amendment overturn the Dred Scott decision?


  1. What group was not included in the definition of citizenship under the 14th Amendment? What law gave them citizenship?



15th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. The 15th Amendment says you cannot deny the right to vote based on ___________________.
  2. How does section 2 of the amendment expand Congress’ powers?


  1. Why wasn’t this amendment effective right away?






16th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. Explain the “rule of apportionment.”


  1. Explain how this amendment overturned a Supreme Court decision. Why was it necessary?



17th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. How did this amendment change the original rules of the Constitution?



18th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. What was made illegal by the 18th Amendment?


  1. What was the temperance movement?


19th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. True or False: No women could vote in the United States before the 19th Amendment.


  1. There was a woman in the House of Representatives before this amendment passed. Find out her name and what state she represented.


20th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. What is lame duck syndrome?


  1. Why was the amendment almost used in the 2000 election? (Look it up!)


21st Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. How long did prohibition last? ___________ years
  2. If the power to regulate alcohol is held by the states, why is there a national drinking age of 21?


22nd Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. Who set the precedent of president’s serving only 2 terms? ______________________________
  2. Who was the only president to serve more than 2 terms? ________________________________
  3. In what circumstance could a president serve for more than 8 years?


23rd Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. What two cities were capitals of the United States before D. C.?


  1. The 23rd Amendment gives D.C. residents the right to vote for _____________________________.
  2. Why do D.C. license plates say “No taxation without representation?”


24th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. What was the poll tax?


  1. What year was this amendment ratified? _______________


25th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. How many times has a president died in office? ________
  2. How many times has a vice president died in office? ________
  3. Which vice president resigned in the middle of his term? ___________________________

Who was the president at that time? _______________________________


26th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. Who could vote in most states when the Constitution was ratified in 1789?


  1. How did the case of Oregon v. Mitchell prompt this amendment?


  1. What war also led to passage of this amendment? _________________________ (Look at the year)




27th Amendment:

Summary: ____________________________________________________________________________

  1. What does the 27th Amendment prohibit Congress from doing?


  1. Who first proposed this amendment? _______________________________________
  2. What year was this amendment finally ratified? _________________



What do you think might be a future change/amendment to the Constitution? What amendment would you propose?