Principles of the Constitution

Topics: Separation of powers, United States, President of the United States Pages: 4 (1058 words) Published: June 21, 2013
April 21, 2013
Principles of the Constitution
POS 301

Part I: Principles of the Constitution|
| DEFINITION| |
Self-Government| A government in which the people who live in a place make laws for themselves.| In Massachusetts Bay, men who owned property could go to a town meeting and vote. | Separation of Powers| Power of the Constitution is divided among the three branches.| James Madison and the other authors of the Constitution created three branches to make sure that the government’s powers were limited.| Checks and Balances| A system that lets each branch limit the power of the other two.| No single branch or person had the power to run the United States alone.|

The U.S. Constitution is the blueprint for the American system of government. Ratified in 1788, the Constitution defines three separate branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial), their powers, and how positions in each are to be filled. (Checks and Balances, 2008). When the Constitution was written, the founding fathers wanted there to be three equal, in power, branches of the government. The branches are the Legislative, Judicial and Executive branches of the government. They came up with the Separation of Power’s Doctrine, which is a system of checks and balances. The writers of the Constitution designed each branch and wrote what responsibilities each branch would have. This system is also known as the system of checks and balances. That means that each branch is checked by the other branches. Without a system of checks and balances, the branches could do whatever they wanted. For example, if we didn’t have checks and balances, what if we had a president who just decided to declare war? There would not be another branch to stop him or her (Only Congress can declare war). I believe that checks and balances have to be in a democracy. Checks and balances ensures us that no branch will have too much power over the others. This helps...

References: America.gov, Checks and Balances, 2008
Mary Branham, Capitol Ideas, 2013
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