The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution have both built the crucial framework for the United States. The writers of both documents wrote them with the intent of their voices being heard. Their tyrants had previously disregarded all their efforts and kept their oppressive hold over the colonists. These documents are the cornerstones of our country and they provide a basis for how the nation is run and the guidelines established still apply today. The framers also established the vital importance of each citizen’s inalienable rights. The founders were pushed to write the documents in order to break Britain’s power over the American people. After the Declaration of Independence was written and the American Revolution was successfully fought, the political ties that the colonies had to Great Britain were officially broken. Now, the colonies were faced with many tough decisions. They had to set forth new ideas and principles and create a government based on liberty and justice. The framers set out to do just that and create a representative democracy so that each person could have a voice in the way the country was run, unlike how they lived under the monarchy over the sea in England. The failed Articles of Confederation pushed the Federalists, to write a new and more efficient constitution that would unify the government. In this group of Federalists included some of the most influential Americans such as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin. This new constitution outlined how the American people would live out the rest of their lives.
The framers knew that in order to prevent one person or group from taking over and establishing a balance of power, they must create a system that splits the power up. The founders made the checks and balances system, which divided the government into three branches: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. These three branches have different abilities and responsibilities and must always check to make sure that none of the branches are overstepping their boundaries. The legislative branch consists of the Senate and House of Representatives and is responsible for enacting laws and approving federal judges. This branch also has the power to impeach and it can override the president’s vetoes with a 2/3 vote. The executive branch is made up of the President, Vice President, his Cabinet Members, and other independent government agencies. They enforce the laws that the legislative branch makes as well as having the power to pardon, to veto laws, and appoint judges, to later be approved by Congress. The Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, and the District Courts are all part of the judicial branch. The judicial branch evaluates and interprets the laws and can declare laws and presidential acts unconstitutional. With the other responsibilities being left to the states, every part comes together to form a united and strong central government in which our nation’s citizens are able to be governed without worry of being reminded of their tyrants in Europe. The Preamble to the Constitution tells us many important things about the core purpose of this document. Our forefathers sought to give our country and its inhabitants peace, justice, safety, freedom, welfare, and our civil rights and liberties in order to create a strong bond throughout the nation. They commenced the great patriotism that would continue to grow while providing a pathway towards a forceful nation that flourishes in the generations to come. It also allowed for modernization and societal changes. Through the Constitution and the amendments to follow, we have made so much progress, including the end of slavery, suffrage for every race and gender, protection of minorities. With this amendment process, the legislative assembly is able to adapt the laws based on these basic rules to fit in with new ideas and issues.
Another positive aspect of the Constitution is that it grants the states the ability to enact laws reflecting their diverse interests within their borders. Since some people tend to migrate towards areas that are populated with people that have similar viewpoints, this is particularly useful. States can enact laws that fit with their state itself, rather than creating a federal law that may not be as relevant, productive, or as accepted as a local law would. Leaving powers not given to the government in the Constitution to the States also prevents the government from being too powerful, because even if the branches check and balance each other, someone must make sure that together they aren’t taking too much authority away from the American people as a whole.
Evaluate the critical aspects of the constitution and elaborate on what possible improvements can be made.
Our countries constitution has many positive aspects and many people say that it is a great system. However, like everything in life, it does have its flaws. The negative aspects of the document are often the subjects of a lot of controversies. Things such as its vague nature, the difficulty to make changes, and the power it gives to those who are trying to stop change, are some of the issues that can be corrected. For example, as of right now, it is extremely difficult to see any real change happen because of the 2/3 majority rule. The process should be made easier to amend, especially because of how the Supreme Court consists of 9 unelected officials, who are selected by a politically biased person. This is especially concerning because the Supreme Court’s rulings are the final and most concrete decisions. Another issue is that the Constitution, while it established power control, the 10th amendment is still being overlooked quite often and the federal government takes over in many circumstances. One example of this is how in 2010 when many states challenged federal powers regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the executive branch’s decision. Twenty-six states filed suit, claiming that Congress’ ruling was unconstitutional, however, the suit did not change anything, proving just how much power the federal government has over the States. That is one issue that numerous people believe must be resolved and agree that the 10th amendment, stating that the powers not given to the federal government are reserved for the States and the residents in them, must be made much more prominent in our government.
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