18th Century Constitution Essay

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18th Century Constitution

According to Ashford and Ashbee (1999), the system of:

"checks and balances have created gridlock. Decisions cannot be made because there is insufficient agreement between institutions. In contrast with the countries of western Europe, the US has, [critics] argue, been unable to impose effective gun control or establish comprehensive health-care provision because decision making requires such a widely shared consensus."

This gridlock is one of the reasons that some have come to call the US Constitution an "18th Century Strait-Jacket". Of course there are various sides to this argument that must be explored before a conclusion is reached.

First, we must put
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It must be remembered that the interpretation of the Constitution will affect its adaptability. Literalists are less likely to find room for flexibility in the Constitution. For example, let us take the following extract from Article 6 of the Constitution:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution".

While a literalist may believe that these people must support the Constitution on every occasion, others may suggest that while they should uphold the principles and rules of the Constitution, if they disagree with anything in the Constitution they have the right, from the 1st Amendment's "freedom of speech" guarantee, to make this public. Therefore, it can be argued that it is, in fact, the interpreters as opposed to the interpreted that makes the Constitution an "18th Century Strait-Jacket".

Critics argue that the nature of the

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