Constitution: Progressivism vs. Founding Fathers

Topics: Separation of powers, Government, Constitution Pages: 4 (1250 words) Published: October 2, 2012
When America was established the founding fathers wrote a document that contained their view of how government should be run. It was written with the intention that the nation would enforce its contents for all ages; however, some men, known as the Progressive’s, believed that these old ideas were not concrete and should progress over time just as man progresses. One of the main areas where the Progressives disagreed with the framers was with their systematic approach to how governmental power was to be enforced. In the Constitution, the framers revealed their strong belief in the idea of separation of powers. They believed this was the proper way of distributing governmental power because it not only prevented tyranny, but also promoted effective government. On the contrary, Progressivism suggests that since times have changed the arrangement of this power should be in alignment with their doctrine of politics and administration.

Separation of powers instilled checks and balances among the branches so that tyranny was an impossibility and good government would be in place. They were protected from each other by constitutional means because if one branch was out of line one of the other two was capable of shutting down the unconstitutional actions of the converse branch. For example, the legislative branch could make laws, but they executive had to approve of them in order for them to be set in place. However, if the president vetoed a bill the legislative could overturn the veto if two-thirds of the house and senate believed the bill was constitutional and beneficial for society. Also, the Founders instilled office positions in government with great power so that the positions would appeal to ambitious people. Man’s personal motives prevented tyranny because if ambitious people were in power they would have great incentive to abide by the Constitution and keep their position because they wanted to continue to posses this power. Human ambition is...
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