Four Principles Of The U.S. Constitution

1623 words - 6 pages

Four Principles of the Constitution of US

In the USA and in each of the fifty states, the most basic fundamental is a constitution, which is a relatively simple document and is the self-designated supreme law of the land. As the supreme law of the land, Constitutional Law texts are generally divided into two parts. The first part is about the allocation of powers. This entails two basic principles of American Constitution:separation of powers and division of powers. The former one discusses the interaction among the three constituent elements of national goverment, while the latter one refers to the extent of power possessing by the federal goverment and specification of states' power. Both of the two principles function under one principle----checks and balances. The second part of the Constitution is on the specification of rights and liberties for the individuals. To realize the rights and liberties, the Framers were not only dependent on the allocation of powers, but also on another principle of the Constitution----limited goverment. All above are my thesis' four principles of the Amercian Constitution, of which I will introduce one by one as follows.

A glance at the organization and provisions of the Constitution will confirm that the principle of separation of powers is in central. Article‡T treats the legislative power and put it in Congress. Article‡U places a largely, undefined executive power in an elected President, while Article‡V locates the judicial power in the Supreme Court, state courts, and any lower federal courts Congress may choose to create. The principle has a long history.

Aristotle, an ancient Greek scholar, proposed the famous theory----three essential regime factors(official affairs, administration, trial) while Polybius, an ancient Roman scholar, developed this thought and laid the rationale foundation for afterwards the separation of powers. As the forerunner of bourgeoisie devided powers theory, Locker proposed the separation of powers(the legislative power, the executive power and the diplomatic power) under the predecessors' foundation, though the essence of Locker's theory only was legislative power and executive power sepration of powers. The genuine founder of the principle is Montesquieu who elaborated the thought systematically. After that, Amercian Paine and Jefferson developed and had consumated the theory. Many countries followed the theory to form their political systems, such as the US.

The Framers of the US Constitution wanted to prevent the concentration of power into the hands of one individual, or even one group of individuals, within the national government. Thus, they reduced all governmental functions to essentially three:legislative, executive, and judicial. Because they believed that the very root of tyranny was to allow these three essential governmental functions to be exercised by one person or group.1 Consequently, they deliberately set out to devide...

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