The United States Constittution Essay examples

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The United States Constitution AMERICAN HISTORY – Pre-Columbian through the Civil War After the War the 13 colonies first formed a very weak central government under the Articles of Confederation. This government lacked, for example, any power to impose taxes, as it had no method of enforcing payment. It had no authority to override tax laws and tariffs between states. The Articles required unanimous consent from all the states before any changes could take effect. States took the central government so lightly that their representatives were often absent. For lack of a quorum, the national legislature was frequently blocked from making even ineffectual changes. In September 1786 commissioners from five states met in the Annapolis…show more content…
The U.S. Constitution styles itself the "supreme law of the land." Courts have interpreted this phrase to mean that when laws that have been passed by state legislatures or by the Congress are found to conflict with the federal constitution, these laws are to have no effect. Decisions by the Supreme Court over the course of two centuries have repeatedly confirmed and strengthened the doctrine of Constitutional supremacy, or the supremacy clause. Although the U.S. Constitution was motivated in no small part by elite mercantilists and financiers' desire to minimize the political impact of non-owning classes and smallholding classes on elites' property and prerogatives, the Constitution guarantees the legitimacy of the American state by invoking the American electorate. The people exercise authority through state actors both elected and appointed; some of these positions are provided for in the Constitution. State actors can change the fundamental law, if they wish, by amending the Constitution or, in the extreme, by drafting a new one. Different kinds of public officials have varying levels of limitations on their power. Generally, middle and other working class officials have extremely limited powers in American government. Their powers are merely discretionary. However, elite actors in government and certain departments like the military have few

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