Constitutions, whether democratic, transitional, or authoritarian among others, all serve a few common goals and purposes. The most recognizable purposes of a constitution typically include political and social structure in the form of judicial and legislative processes and civil rights. The goal is often to guide, give, and limit power in ways that benefit the current political elites and limit their potential rivals. Just as Galligan and Versteeg wrote in Theoretical Perspectives, “One of the primary goals of any constitution, after all, is to create, channel, and monitor power.” These pieces of the constitutional puzzle are an integral part of what makes a constitution a sort of “power map”. A constitution is in large part a country’s, …show more content…
This is the same concept in the case of “wing clipping” by elite constitution makers. Given a situation where the current powerful political party is concerned about losing power to their opposing party, the powerful political party will include a series of restraints in the constitution to prevent the other party from having excessive powers, or enough power to accomplish anything against the current status quo. It is a form of political insurance that many constitution makers, like those of Portugal in the mid-1970s, take advantage of (20, Gilligan and Versteeg). It is also important to note in the analysis of the “power map” that timing and political events play an important role in shaping the structure of a constitution. Elites losing power, as suggested by Hirschl, or major transitions that induce electoral uncertainty as suggested by Ginsburg, are often causes of constitutional change. Hirschl claims that this creates a constitution that reflects the interests of the losing elites, while just as reasonably, Ginsburg proports that the constitution will be a document of constraints caused by electoral uncertainty. In reality, a constitution is often a mixture of both interests and constraints. Sometimes these interests are entrenched into the constitutional document as values, removing them from the scope of ordinary legislature and discreetly preserving the
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The Constitution of the United States is one of the oldest living documents in the entire world. It has spawned a civilization to the height of power that world haven’t seen since the days of Caesar and the old Roman Republic. Many years has passed since then, and the founding fathers drawing from that failed republic, endeavored to create a government that could withstand internal and external forces that inevitably leads to its demise. Drawing from two renowned thinkers of the time, Baron de Montesquieu and Brutus (pen name), the face of the anti-federalists, the founding fathers tried to grapple with the immense of task of creating a government from scratch. The failed Articles of Confederation, proved the fact for the need of a stronger executive
This book emphasizes the alternative interpretations offered by Americans on the origins of the Constitution. Holton’s purpose with this book was to show that the framers interests involved making America more attractive to investors. In order to do so, they purposefully made the government less democratic with the writing of the Constitution. However, with the addition of the Bill of Rights, one could argue the Framers had at least a slight concern for the American people and their civil liberties.
The Constitution is a living, breathing document. It was recognized that each future generation would be facing new challenges that would have never occurred to the older ones, so it had the flexibility available by both interpretation and revisement to allow the newer generation to use the document as it was intended. As society and government grows, additions must be made to the Constitution to keep with the times. The Constitution is also governed by the thoughts of society at that time, seen in the implementation of the 18th amendment because of the urgings of religious and Women’s Suffrage movements. As it is also seen when the government grows weary of one president in office too long, seen in the creation of the 22nd amendment.
Central to this discussion are the twin dynamics - the yin and yang - of fundamental constitutional revision and the accumulation of piecemeal changes. Attempts at constitutional revision usually occur during extraordinary times, when the nature of the existing political system is thrown into doubt. Despite the tumult that inspires their work during such times, constitutional designers never completely rewrite the constitution with which they start. Fundamental and piecemeal changes as well as carry-over from previous constitutions are clearly evident in the seven constitutions under which Texas has been governed.
Daniel Hoover Professor Jack Citron/ Joseph Warren Political Science 1 September 22nd, 2015 The Constitution is not a Democratic Document The U.S. Constitution revolutionized the American political system, and shaped world history by inspiring other states to imitate its protection of civil liberties in the later adopted Bill of Rights, checks and balances between branches within the federal government, and guarantees to state governments. For the purpose of this paper, it is essential to analyze the Constitution in its early form because it established the conditions from which our federal republic has evolved. In addition, the Constitution of December 15th, 1791, the date when the promised Bill of Rights was added, best reflects the intentions
Imagine the government of the United States of America without the constitution as the “supreme law of the land” (Art. VI). It is hard to imagine because an effective three branch system with checks and balances to ensure that the government does not turn corrupt is the most ideal form of government. In May, 1787, in an assembly room in Philadelphia, a group of 41 delegates got together and started mapping out our country’s future political practices. Finally, after many debates, on September 17, 1787, 38 out of the 41 delegates agreed on the document that is now the constitution. The hard part, though, was getting it ratified but nine out of the 13 states. Right away, five states were ready to ratify, but that still left another eight to go. Getting four of these states to accept the terms of the constitution proved to be a difficult job because many of the states requested amendments, or changes to the constitution. A bill of rights was soon after proposed and accepted, and was the push that made four more states agree to ratify the constitution. On June 21, 1778, the ninth state, and last needed to ratify the constitution, New Hampshire, validated the ratification of the new laws, and on March 4, 1789, the constitution officially became the supreme law of the land.
The American Constitution was questionable from the earliest starting point, as thoughts were separated between backers - an answer for all the country's issues, and commentators - a depravity of its republican standards. The supporters trusted that the Constitution augmented their republican thoughts, adding another level to the chose government, while the faultfinders trust the republicans worked in little political units, for this situation the states. The most effective method to separate the force between state governments and focal government was in this way a principle contention while the Constitution was composed furthermore later in time, remaining a vital issue until today.
Image a life with the people of your country and you living with fear of the unknown of what the government’s next move because of their absolute power and make decisions and choices without any of the people’s consent. To prevent this our Founding Fathers have written a constitution that has prevented this from ever happening to our government. They have written the constitution to guard from tyranny by incorporating Federalism, Representation of the people, and Checks and Balances.
As the most widely adopted form of democratic government there are many strengths associated with a parliamentary government. The parliamentary system is often praised for the fast and efficient way in which it is able to pass legislation. The reason this is possible is because unlike a presidential system the legislative and executive power in a parliamentary system are merged together. Due to this fusion of power legislation does not have to undergo a lengthy process and therefore laws can be formulated and put into place much quicker(Bates, 1986: 114-5). Another advantage of a parliamentary system is that the majority of the power is not held by one individual head of state but rather is more evenly divided among a single party or coalition. One of the main benefits of this is that as there is more of a division of power a parliamentary government is less prone to authoritarianism than a presidential system. Juan Linz argues that a presidential system is more dangerous due to the fact that; “Winners and losers are sharply defined for the entire period of the presidential mandate”(Linz, 1990: 56), this sharp line between winners and losers increases tension between these two groups and allows the winner to isolate themselves from other political parties (Linz, 1990: 56). Due to this tension and isolation a presidential system is at a higher risk of turning into an authoritarian regime than a parliamentary system.
Every state in the Union has created and implemented its own constitution. These constitutions provide the legal framework by which government operates. They also identify the specific role of government, and endow it with certain powers and authority. A constitution also creates a system for how power is to be delegated and distributed through the creation of branches and individual offices. Along with the authority it provides, constitutions create limits on this power of government, and establish checks and balances to further limit the scope of each individual branch and officeholder. Most importantly, constitutions provide unalienable rights to citizens that cannot be refused, or abridged by government. Each state’s constitution is different, however, all of them serve these functions, in order to, create a lasting government that acts in the best interests of its citizenry.
Short afterwards, Hamilton begins to address some concerns that the public has expressed towards the adoption of a new Constitution. The most formidable opponent of the Constitution, as mentioned by Hamilton, are the “interest[s] of a certain class of men in every state to resist all changes which may hazard a diminution of the power, emolument and consequences of the offices they hold under the state establishments” (Hamilton 723-24). Hamilton does not try to avoid the discussion of how those in power will perceive the adoption of a new Constitution, but rather directly cites their apprehensions in order to make the point that “the perverted ambition of another class of men…will flatter themselves with fairer prospects of elevation from the subdivision of the empire…than from its union under one government” (Hamilton 724). His statement highlights the key difference between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, being that the Confederation created a system in which the nation was divided into states and the Constitution would create a more unified government (“Comparison of Constitution and Articles of Confederation.”). Hamilton uses the concerns of the people to emphasize that the Constitution inherently does not create an environment in which a great transition of power would occur, thus debunking the fears of those who possess public power.
Considering the unsuccessful Articles of Confederation, it was vital to construct a better statute under which government would function. This new law would have to incorporate values of a Republic, and the ultimate goal of unifying the nation through the creation of a stronger national government, while still acknowledging states’ rights. James Madison, who is accredited for being the “father of the Constitution,” paved the road for the development of the modern Constitution. However, many feared this strong central government would inevitably turn into a tyranny, much like the one they had just fought to escape from. Eventually, after many conventions, the Constitution, which incorporated compromises between states, was finally adopted, and calculated into it were several ways a tyrannical government could be prevented.
The Constitution is one of the most important, if not the most important, documents in the history of the United States. It is the basis for the freedom, peace and safety of all Americans. Gordon S. Wood takes a unique approach to looking at the Constitution based on its composition in his excerpt “The American Science of Politics”. According to political writings from 1776-1788, based on its innovative structure, Americans truly believed that in constructing the constitution, they created the single most outstanding form of government in the history of politics due to the scientific way of formulating a political system based on concrete paradigms and principles which are representation, popular sovereignty, and parceling of power.
The subject of how did the constitution create a strong government while limiting itspower and still protect the rights of the people has been covered intensively by the world pressover the past decade. In depth analysis of how did the constitution create a strong governmentwhile limiting its power and still protect the rights of the people can be an enriching experience. Until recently considered taboo amongst polite society, how did the constitution create astrong government while limiting its power and still protect the rights of the people is featuringmore and more in the ideals of the young and upwardly mobile. Inevitably feelings run deepamongst the upper echelons of progressive service sector organizations, whom I can say nomore about due to the legal restrictions. Complex though it is I shall now attempt to provide anexhaustive report on how did the constitution create a strong government while limiting itspower and still protect the rights of the people and its numerous industries.
Certain interests do not change over time in our society. Over 200 years ago, the prominent concern that led to the framing of the Constitution regarded the establishment of a government that was “for the people and by the people.” The framers of the Constitution, with concern of an over powering central government in mind, provided a basis for the structure of the federal government of the United States. The powers of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government are laid out strategically in a way that no one branch can have more power than the other. The national concern of maintaining a legitimate government has not shifted since the initial days of the framers. Although the capacity of the government has grown over time, the system of checks and balances that was adapted in the framing of the Constitution allows for the structure and powers of the federal government to remain in order today. Other than providing a structural map for how the government will operate, however, the additional aspects of the Constitution fail to administer practical framework for addressing 21st century interests. This document was written over 200 years ago and it has not been altered substantially since then (Lazare). While certain Amendments have been added to assist the Constitution in staying relevant, such as the abolishment of slavery and the addition of women’s right to vote, there has been practically nothing added to help in applying the framers’ intentions