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FAQ, Trivia and Information on Life in America: Ask-A-Desi

This section will attempt to address some of the Frequently Asked Questions on Life in the US, Canada and North America that immigrants, visitors and others from different cultures attempt to address. If you have any additional inputs or wish  to see more topics addressed, mail us at

What constitutes the US Constitution?

The US Constitution is made up of three main parts: a preamble, 7 articles and 27 amendments . The preamble states the purpose of the Constitution, the articles explain how the government works and the 10 original amendments list the basic rights guaranteed to all American citizens.

Together, the three parts of the constitution contain the laws and guidelines necessary to set up and run the U.S national government successfully. Besides giving power to the national government, the U.S constitution gives some power to the states and some to the people.

The US Constitution. American Law and constitution

The Preamble

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The Articles of the Constitution

The articles of the Constitution explain how the three branches of government work and what each can and cannot do. The articles also explain how the federal and state governments must work together, and how the constitution can be amended or changed.

Article 1

explains the legislative branch, how laws are made, and how Congress works.

Article 2

explains the executive branch, the offices of the President and Vice President, and the powers of the executive branch.

Article 3

explains the judicial branch, the Supreme Court and other courts, and warns people about trying to overthrow the government.

Article 4

describes how the United States federal government and the individual state governments work together.

Article 5

tells how the Constitution can be amended or changed.

Article 6

states that the United States federal government and the Constitution are the law of the land.

Article 7

outlines how the Constitution must be adopted to become official.


The Bill of Rights

To get the necessary votes to approve the Constitution, a number of changes (amendments) had to be made. These 10 original amendments are called the Bill of Rights. They guarantee all Americans some very basic rights, including the right to worship and speak freely and the right to have a jury trial. The first eight amendments grant individual rights and freedoms. The ninth and tenth amendments prevent Congress from passing laws that would deprive citizens of these rights.


People have the right to worship, to speak freely, to gather together, and to question the government.


People have the right to bear arms.


The government cannot have soldiers stay in People’s homes without their permission.


People and their property cannot be searched without the written permission of a judge.


People cannot be tried for a serious crime without a jury. They cannot be tried twice for the same crime or be forced to testify against themselves. Also, they cannot have property taken away while they are on trial. Any property taken for public use must receive a fair price.


In criminal cases, people have a right to a speedy and public trial, to be told what they are accused of, to hear witnesses against them, to get witnesses in their favor, and to have a lawyer.


In cases involving more than $20, people have the right for a jury trial.


People have a right to fair bail (money given as a promise the person will return for trial) and to fair fines and punishments


People have rights that are not listed in the Constitution


Powers not given to the federal government are given to the states or to the people.


The Other Amendments

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were ratified in 1791. Since that time, more than 7,000 amendments in the Constitution have been proposed. Because three-fourths of the states must approve an amendment before it becomes law, just 27 amendments have been passed. Following are the remaining 17 amendments other than the Bill of Rights.


A person cannot sue a state in federal court (1795).


The President and Vice President are elected separately (1804).


Slavery is abolishes (1865).


All persons born in the United States or those who have become citizens enjoy full citizenship rights (1868).


Voting rights are given to all [adult male] citizens regardless of race, creed, or color (1870).


Congress has the power to collect income taxes (1913).


United States Senators are elected directly by the people (1913).


Making, buying, and selling alcoholic beverages is no longer allowed (1919).


Women have the right to vote (1920).


The President’s term begins January 20; Senators’ and Representatives’ terms begin January 3 (1933).


(Repeals Amendment 18) Alcoholic beverages can be made, bought, and sold again (1933).


The President is limited to two elected terms (1951).


District of Columbia residents gain the right to vote (1961).


All voter poll taxes are forbidden (1964).


If the Presidency is vacant, the Vice President takes over. If the Vice Presidency is vacant, the President names someone and the Congress votes on the choice (1967).


Citizens 18 years old gain the right to vote (1971).


No law changing the pay for members of Congress will take effect until after an election of Representatives (1992).

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Trivia and Questions for Indians and Immigrants in America

General Trivia : Introduction //Dollars and Cents // Social Security Number // About Mail and USPS // Story of The Old Glory // Green Card– Why Not Green? // Telephone Area Codes // Convex Mirrors and Caution // Bankruptcy and Chapter 11 // Radio and TV Broadcasting // Consumerism: Trivia on Wal-Mart. // Retail Trivia // Gas Prices– What's 0.9 Cent? // Roads and Interstate Highways // Road Driving Trivia // Finance 101 // Daylight Saving Time // Trivia on Etiquette

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