Essay: American Government the Five Main Principles

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American Government

The five main principles that form the basis of the Constitution are Popular Sovereignty, Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances, Limited Government, and Federalism. Popular Sovereignty indicates that people have the most important role in government. Today, it seems that people do not play the most important role in government, because many things happen that the people do not approve of in government, and so this principle is not being adhered to.

Separation of Powers is the separation of the three basic functions of government - legislative, executive, and judicial, and it creates a government that can never be monopolized by one area of the government. Today, there is still a coherent separation of powers, and the President cannot gain enough power to become a monarch or a despot. Checks and Balances means that no branch can dominate another branch of government. Power has to be limited, divided, and checked and balanced. Today, checks and balances are still in place, too, which is why the Supreme Court or the President have not gained power over other branches.

Limited Government is the principle that says government does not have all the power, and that people hold control over what it can do. Laws govern what the government can do, and it must follow the laws in the Constitution. People can be impeached, judges may not gain confirmation, and people can be voted out of office, all of which limit the power of government. Today, this limited government is still in place, and there are still laws that can limit the power of government. Finally, Federalism is the division of power between the national government and state government. The Federal government has certain powers, such as declaring war, while state governments have the power to conduct elections. Today, this is still the case, so Federalism is still strong in the country.

A Unitary System of government is one where the central government gives power to lesser governments, likes states and counties, and it is the most common type of government. These sub-governments may rely on the central government for funds, because they cannot tax themselves. Spain has a unitary form of government. A Confederal System of government gives the power to local or state governments. A good example is the European Union, where each country has power. A Federal System divides governmental power between the national system and state and local systems, and it is the one the United States uses.

In a Presidential system, the President is the head of state and the chief executive, and is elected by the people. The President has broad powers in foreign affairs, and can deploy the military, but cannot declare war without the approval of Congress. The American President is an excellent example of the Presidential system. A Parliamentary system separates the head of state and the chief executive. The chief executive is the head of the legislature, while the head of state is largely ceremonial. The largest gap between these two systems is that the chief executive is not elected, but chosen by the legislature. Most lawmakers in Parliamentary systems also vote strictly on party lines, while Presidential systems allow lawmakers to vote more with their conscience, rather than strict party lines. England is an example of a Parliamentary system.

The Constitution promotes the public good in a variety of ways. It provides checks and balances that prevent factions from taking control of the government. It also provides citizens with the control of government power by things like impeachment and reelection. It prevents legislation that represents narrow interests of a few groups.

The Constitution also forms the basic rights of individuals and U.S. citizens, and it helps protect those… [END OF PREVIEW]

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