What were the establishing male parents ‘ chief motives when planing the US Constitution more than two centuries ago? What aspects of their design most and least impress you, and why?
The United States Constitution is a 7,000 word papers which established a national authorities and created three subdivisions of that authorities. The three subdivisions established were the legislative subdivision being Congress, an executive subdivision being the President and eventually a judicial subdivision which was the Supreme Court. The Fundamental law was created by the Establishing Fathers of the United States who saw the old system of authorities, the Articles of Confederation, as weak and leaderless. I will discourse what I consider the chief motives of the Establishing Fathers in making the Constitution and why they created certain subdivisions of authorities as they did, every bit good as the grounds why they created the Fundamental law in this manner. I will so continue to compose about what facets of the Constitution are good for the Government and the people of the United States and what facets of the fundamental law could be improved upon.
Alexander Hamilton drafted a study which was supported by James Madison that proposed that the 13 provinces send delegates to a convention “ to invent such farther commissariats as shall look to them necessary to render the fundamental law of the federal authorities adequate to the exigencies of the Union. ” Congress invited the provinces to direct delegates to a convention in Philadelphia “ for the sole and express intent of revising the Articles of Confederation ” and to “ render the federal fundamental law adequate to the exigencies of authorities, and the saving of the Union. ” Here were the beginnings of the Constitution, as the delegates rapidly noticed jobs with the original Articles of Confederation. The delegates were unhappy that there were Torahs which inflated the province ‘s currency and abolished debts. The absolution of these debts made the debitors influence province authoritiess and force their minority involvements onto the bulk. The chief job with the Articles of Confederation, nevertheless, was that there was no executive or bench ; therefore the provinces had no individual individual to look to in clip of crisis or that rash determinations could be made, without the protection of rights. An illustration of this being in Pennsylvania where the Religious society of friendss lost the right to vote in elections due to a determination of the Pennsylvania legislative assembly. The provinces were besides seen as weak if they did non organize a federal integrity. This was described in the Federalist Papers, written by “ Publius ” which was really a combination of plants of Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, published in New York to do the instance for the confirmation of the new Fundamental law by the province conventions. In the documents they explain that if the provinces were moving individually they so could easy be picked on and taken over by European powers. Publius farther maintains that if the provinces were contending amongst themselves, autonomies would be at hazard and they would be economically worse off. The provinces could besides non protect themselves from internal revolutions without a national authorities to step in, such as in the instance of Shay ‘s rebellion in Massachusetts in 1786. A system of powerful authorities was accordingly needed to set these issues to rest.
As we have seen the Establishing Fathers saw that the Articles of Confederation were non working and hence needed a new signifier of authorities to take control. The Philadelphia convention was set up to cover with these issues. Assorted proposals were put frontward including the Virginia program which wanted a strong national authorities and the New Jersey Plan which wanted a weak national authorities, until they reached an understanding officially known as the Connecticut via media. The First Article of the Constitution negotiations about the legislative assembly. The larger provinces wanted representation based on population ; the little provinces feared this would non give them a big adequate voice within Congress to aerate their grudges. A via media was reached that there would be two houses. These would be the House of Representatives which was based on population and the Senate which would hold two representatives from each province no affair what the population of the province was. The little provinces were scared that the larger provinces would overrule them on determinations and therefore were worried that they would be in an undistinguished place within the new signifier of authorities, so in demanding the Senate, they now saw they had an equal voice on statute law that they saw as unjust or did non like. The Establishing Fathers saw that the legislative assembly needed to be based on the representation of the people, as they saw that if the swayer ‘s right to govern depended on the blessing of the people to be governed. The Establishing Fathers besides wanted the legislative assembly to be antiphonal to the electorate. A direct election to the House of Representatives was seen as a good manner for the people to hold a voice. The male parents decided to hold a representative on two twelvemonth footings for every 40,000 people in the House of Representatives. They did non do the population smaller as it would go excessively dissentious within the House and if the population was larger so it was assumed that the representative would lose his connexion with the people he was meant to stand for. The other portion of Congress, the Senate, was split so that it would weaken the power of the legislative assembly ; the Senate was elected on a 6 twelvemonth term and non elected straight but by the legislative assembly of that province. This was so that speedy reforms were non passed in the febrility of the minute. As Publius asserts in the Federalist it did non desire to give “ unreasonable advantageaˆ¦to the perspicacious, the enterprising, and the monied few, over the hardworking and uninformed mass of people ” .
As we have seen the Articles of Confederation were said to miss an executive to take decisive steps for the provinces as a whole. Article 2 sets out to turn to this job. The executive was seen as a popularly elected sovereign, nevertheless, one that could be impeached for “ high offenses and misdemeanors ” . This was enacted so that no 1 should be above justness. The Establishing Fathers saw that the provinces needed person to stand for them abroad, so the President was given the power to do pacts, and oversee foreign dealingss. These were determinations which the Establishing Fathers knew needed to be handled in a speedy mode so they were handed to the President, as he was a individual representative and could handle these affairs with precedence with small intervention from other subdivisions of authorities. The President had really small to make domestically, as it was decided that the legislative assembly should manage these issues. He could blackball statute law, and suggest it, but domestically this was approximately every bit much as he could make. The Establishing Fathers gave the President really small domestically as they were concerned that he would destruct personal autonomies as they perceived the sovereign of Britain had done to the settlers. They besides did non desire him to be elected by rash determination devising, so hence the Establishing Fathers decided on election by an electoral college. This was besides to halt corruptness within the system, as it was elected individually from the federal and province authoritiess ; it was capable to no influence from these establishments, thereby being wholly independent. The Establishing Fathers did this as they saw how easy influenced the executive could be by other parts of the authorities, as they believed in the British system. In the same mode the Establishing Fathers besides decided non to hold members of Congress in executive places, such as cabinet members. The Federalist states that this was to halt ‘the executive sabotaging the legislative assembly by moneymaking assignments. ‘ They were motivated to maintain the executive under control as they had seen how influential the sovereign of Britain had been, and how his roseola determinations instantly affected the settler ‘s lives. By doing the executive every bit weak as they had done, they hoped to sabotage his power.
Article 3 expresses the function of the Judiciary within the frame of the Constitution. The Supreme Court was said to construe and support the supreme jurisprudence of the land which was the Constitution. Article 3 provinces that the “ Judicial power shall widen to all casesaˆ¦arising under this Fundamental law ” . The Supreme Court instance of Marbury vs. Madison clarified the powers of the Court. It was held that Article 3 of the Constitution implies that the Supreme Court has the power of judicial reappraisal. It has been argued that this was intended by the Virginia Plan. The Establishing Fathers besides decided to elect the justnesss for life, although this caused concern for some but they were reassured by Madison who stated that “ they will hold deficiency of entree to either the blade or the bag ” He besides claimed it would be the “ least unsafe subdivision ” since it could merely construe the Constitution and the people, if they felt strongly about the issue and could amend it as they saw tantrum. The Establishing Fathers saw the Supreme Court as the ultimate defender of the Constitution and hence saw it was needed non merely to strike down statute law that conflicted with the Fundamental law but to protect the autonomies of the people it was meant to protect.
Another chief motive of the Establishing Fathers was the separation of powers and to represent cheques and balances between the subdivisions of authorities. The separation of powers spread powers of the authorities into different countries doing it hard for one to command the other. This was provided for by the Establishing Fathers so as to halt one system of authorities going oppressive and efficaciously taking over the authorities. It forced Congress and the President to hold on policies, hence halting one or the other from going excessively powerful. The cheques and balances were said to do ‘every subdivision superior and inferior to one another ‘ . The separation of powers and cheques and balances are one of the facets which least affect me about the Constitution, although it has served good in some facets which will be explained subsequently. The ground is the cheques and balances system can take to gridlock if there is non understanding between the establishments of authorities. A good illustration of this was when President George W Bush wanted to spread out the societal security programme ; he could non go through the statute law as Republicans were scared of losing their seats if they voted for it. The weakening of political party ties in authorities has made the gaining of support for the Presidential proposals hard. This means it can take old ages for reforms to be passed such as the instance with health care, although some reforms were finally passed late. It faced much resistance from a well placed minority within the subdivisions of authorities as seen when Bill Clinton was President. When Congress and the President are members of different parties, the President can go a feeble duck President and as authorities becomes a deadlock, the state has about no statute law passed apart from on rare occasions when Congress and the President via media. The separation of powers was best summed up by the Committee on the Constitutional System and Body of Political Reforms:
“ Separation of powers, as a rule of constitutional construction, has served us good in forestalling dictatorship and the maltreatment of high office, but it has done so by promoting confrontation, indecisiveness and dead end, and by spreading answerability for the consequences. Because the separation of powers encourages conflict between the subdivisions and because the parties are weak, the capacity of the federal authorities to manner, enact and administer consistent populace policy has diminished and the ability of elected functionaries to avoid answerability for governmental failures has grown ”
The separation of powers and cheques and balances has been highly effectual at halting dictatorship, about excessively effectual as it has been a monolithic nuisance to authorities in go throughing statute law and acquiring reforms passed if the different subdivisions of authorities do non hold on certain issues.
Another facet which least impresses me about the Constitution is the place of the Supreme Court which is due to the power of the President to do judicial assignments. This means that the Supreme Court can hold a long lasting prejudice as where a conservative President appoints conservative Supreme Court justnesss who are likely to follow their conservative prejudice in making determinations. Since the justnesss are life functioning they can halter determinations made by Congress or the provinces. This can be seen in such dissentious issues such as bondage, abortion, gun control and even the election of the President in 2000. They can hold certain statute law “ unconstitutional ” which blocks advancement within the United States even if the bulk of citizens want it.
Another issue that least impresses me about the Constitution is the Electoral College. The Electoral College hampers the construct of one individual one ballot, as the signifier of the Electoral College naturals out all the other ballots if the province is won by another party. It besides creates jobs in elections as campaigners have to run to non obtain the most ballots, but to capture the most provinces. For case Al Gore did non desire to estrange the provinces of Pennsylvania and Michigan so decided non to aerate his positions on strong gun control.
Another failing is the power of amendment in the Constitution. This is the really opposite of democracy in my position as 13 provinces that represent less than 5 % of the population can barricade constitutional amendments. This is due to Article 5 of the Constitution which provides that amendments must be “ ratified by the legislative assemblies of three-quarterss of the several States, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof ” .
The facet of the Constitution which most impresses me is the fact that it is the universe ‘s oldest lasting fundamental law and that it still provides a feasible fundamental law in the context of the modern United States. Hugh Brogan says that this may be because if the bulk do genuinely desire alteration within the system they can convey it about through amendments.
What besides impresses me is that it has a Bill of Rights which enshrines people ‘s rights and expresses that certain human rights are unalienable rights which can non be taken off from them. It was one of the first fundamental laws to give acknowledgment to the natural rights of its citizens. It took the British authorities until the election of Labour in 1997 to see these rights needed to be put into jurisprudence in the form of the Human Rights Act 1998. The fact that the Establishing Fathers saw human rights as an issue about 200 old ages ago made immigrants flock to the state and allow their faiths thrive as they were being persecuted in their fatherlands.
The Constitution besides impresses me by the fact that it looked after the minority rights of its citizens and through the separation of powers and cheques and balances, made sure that minorities in the state were non being oppressed and could aerate their grudges in a figure of sections and non merely one. Therefore the Constitution prevents dictatorship within the system by making a strong national authorities which could overturn province authoritiess which fell under individual involvements, such as the instance of Brown v. Board of Education where the Supreme Court declared segregation illegal in public schools.
The United States Constitution is the longest lasting fundamental law in the universe, it has stood the trial of clip and has adapted to alterations around it, every bit long as the bulk see it as necessary to alter it. It has been seen as a just fundamental law which does non individual out one group of people, but accepts them all and gives people certain unalienable rights. The Fundamental law could be seen as a good case in point for other states to follow but, nevertheless, this non seems to be the instance. As Paul Johnson states certain states seem to hold wholly ignored the American illustration with black effects, such as in the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and the Cardinal African Federation. Possibly if they had followed US constitutional ideals, which although non perfect, they would hold been more successful as societies.