The Constitution of the United States is a very important document for the citizens because it created the separation of powers between the national government and the states and also separated the national government into three separate branches (Krutz and Waskiewicz 50). This design was created to limit the power of the national government while giving some power to the states. This was beneficial for the citizens because it protected their rights. The constitution was signed on September 17, 1787 (National Constitution Center) and has remained the framework for American government and society for more than 225 years because it is a flexible, living document that can be changed to satisfy the needs of a changing society (Krutz and Waskiewicz 61). With that being said, should the framework of the document remain the same or should significant changes be made to it?
Society is always constantly changing due to culture, scientific discoveries, and advancements in technology. When this occurs, people’s life styles change and new laws must be made to protect the people and the government to keep society functioning. In the past, many documents have been ratified to organize society and the government. One of those documents was the Articles of Confederation. This document was created to strengthen the power of the states while limiting the power of the national government (Yale). Although this document was very successful in the beginning, the changes in society caused the system to fail. The national government did not have enough power to impose taxes, regulate commerce, or raise an army which hindered its ability to defend the nation or pay its debts (Krutz and Waskiewicz 65). This failed system led to the development of the Constitution, which is very successful today.
Even though the Constitution was written with new concepts for a successful government and human rights, the most beneficial aspect of the Constitution is it’s ability to be amended over time. With that being said, the framers made amending the document sufficiently difficult that it has not been changed repeatedly (Krutz and Waskiewicz 61). This is very important to maintain the framework of the constitution because it contains important rights for citizens called the Bill of Rights. If the Constitution was able to be changed easily, then the rights of the citizens could be easily manipulated. By keeping the original framework, society is able to function correctly alongside government.
Today, the pressures of a changing society are demanding changes to the Constitution, such as minority rights, equal rights for women, and national security. Gay marriage is one of the new, controversial issues in society and currently there are many states who will allow gay marriages to be performed. However, there are many intolerances towards gay people and eventually, the constitution will have to amend rights for them to keep them protected. The same issue arises for women seeking equal rights as men. This issue has existed in society for a long time and still has yet to be amended into the Constitution. Today, women make much less than men in the workforce. This means that women have to work harder and longer to receive the same amount of wages as men, while raising children. On the other hand, national security is an ongoing threat to society. Just recently, the news was splattered with information about illegal aliens trying to enter the United States. This situation can lead to increased crime rates, such as violence, illegal drug activity, and sex trade. This presents a multitude of problems for the citizens of the U.S. and may lead to new amendments being written into the constitution.
Even though the Constitution has remained a strong and powerful document to the United States over the years, society is constantly changing. As society changes, the Constitution must change with it to remain a successful design to keep society and the government running smoothly. However, it is extremely important for the Constitution to maintain the original framework to prevent significant human rights from being taken away, such as the first amendment, which protects religion, speech, the press, and assembly (Krutz and Waskiewicz 61). Most importantly, the Constitution must maintain separate powers between the national government and the states to prevent either governmental institution from overpowering each other, which could also threaten citizen’s rights.
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