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Separation Of Powers In The Us Government

1014 words - 4 pages

The separation of power throughout the united states government prevents one part of the government from becoming so strong that it can infringe on the freedom of the governed (Bernstein 24). The united states government is a representative republic. A representative republic is a type of democracy where the people elect representatives to vote for them in the nations matters, rather than having every person vote on every single election and issue. The U.S. government is separated into three main branches, the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. Each branch has its own powers and weaknesses and they must all work together to govern the country (Bernstein 24).
The United States system of government is largely credited to James Madison. People who opposed the ratification of the constitution thought it did not secure the proper degree of separation (separation of powers press-pubs.Chicago.edu). However, the idea did not originate with James Madison, the principles creation is attributed to the Frenchmen Baron Montesquieu (separation of powers legaldictionary.com). “What distinguished the English constitution as the colonists considered it was the balance that existed among the components of the government, a balance intended to preserve liberty while providing the necessary degree of authority needed to maintain social order” (Beltz 28). The separation of powers is a basic constitutional principal of modern democracy. “Since the writings of Locke and Montesquieu, the separation of the legislative, executive, and judicial is deemed essential to avoid tyranny from the people who hold these powers” (separation of powers transparency.org). A society where the law is not overseen and the separation of powers of is not ensured has no constitution at all (separation of powers transparency.org). the men writing the constitution in 1787 wanted to be sure that each branches power was separate, but not absolute. The founders considered absolute power dangerous even over only one branch of the government (Brannen 160). In laymans terms it is the idea of dividing the power through different parts of the government so no one gets too much power. Every government with a constitutional system based on the separation of powers provides for a system of checks and balances (separation of powers transparency.org). checks and balances are the powers given to each branch that allows it to limit the power of the other branches (Brannen 160).
One branch in the United States government is the executive branch. The executive branch is responsible for implementing and administrating the public policy enacted by and funded by the legislative branch (separation of powers: an overview). The executive branch is also responsible to put laws into operation, negotiate treaties, negotiate taxes, wage war, appoint judges, diplomats, a cabinet and department heads. Through the attorney general the executive branch has the right to prosecute crimes. Also through the...

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