What are the principles embedded in the Constitution?
Basically our founding principles can be summarized as follows: A free people living in a civil society, working in self-interested cooperatives, and a government operating within the limits of its authority, promote more prosperity, opportunity and happiness for more people than any alternative ever devised by man.
1. Natural Law - The delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 believed that certain human liberties are so fundamental to one's existence that they must come from our Creator. If that is the case, then no government can take them away. This is the foundation for the Bill of Rights.
2. Individual Liberty - Remembering the injustices that the King of Great Britain had imposed upon them, the colonists were adamant about protecting the individual rights of the people. They added the Bill of Rights as the first ten amendments to the Constitution in order to protect those God-given rights from any constraints or denial by the government.
3. Federalism - Most of the delegates to the convention were reluctant to form a national government that would take power from the states. At the same time, they recognized a need for a stronger national government that would provide defense against foreign aggressors and resolve disputes between the states; therefore, they instituted a government structure called federalism that assigned specific powers to the national government and left all remaining powers with the states. The system drafted at the Convention and adopted and ratified by the States (after the addition of the Bill of Rights, and specifically here, the Tenth Amendment) left the bulk of jurisdictional power to the individual states.
4. Limited Government - The careful drafting of the Constitution reflected the Framers' intent to limit the ability of the federal government to exercise any more power than the citizens (aka, the States) agreed to give it. With the powers of government strictly limited, citizens could be free to pursue...