The Differences Between The Uk And Us Constitutions

2332 words - 9 pages

The Differences Between the UK and US Constitutions

The question invites an analysis of how the differences between the UK
and the US constitutions establish the political systems in both
countries, and further whether there is distinction between the
political systems. Initially I will define what a constitution and a
political system are. Subsequently in the main body of the text I
shall analyse the differences between the constitutions, and how they
influence each separate political system. Loosely defined, a
constitution creates institutions and should state any definite power,
indicates the relationship between different state institutions, and
how the constitution can be amended. In my essay I shall illustrate
the differing state institutions in America and Britain, who has the
power according to the constitution, and accordingly which state
institutions wield the power and authority, and additionally if the
difference in ease of changing the constitution is responsible for a
difference in political system. In my conclusion I shall assess
whether my investigation is corresponding to the statement.

Friedrich (1937) believed a constitution should be 'a system of
effective regularised restraints on government action, therefore
should be a statement of individual rights.'[1] This leads to the
question, should a constitution include a Bill of Rights like the
American constitution's amendments? In America there are freedoms in
religion, speech and the press for example, yet Britain has no
enforceable Bill of Rights in its constitution. There are essential
rights and freedoms in the European Human Rights Act but this is at
the highest-level. Initially if Britons think they are violated
against, they must appeal to Westminster and further the Law Lords.
However, the American Bill of Rights is not definitive: state law is
still binding. Homosexual relations in Georgia are outlawed even
within a citizen's own home. Appeals against this were rejected as
there is no constitutional protection from state law. At the outset,
an obvious affirmation of citizen's rights in America does seem to
prescribe that the political systems are very opposed, yet looking
closer the orders operate at base level first. In Britain this is
either the devolved government or Westminster, ultimately steering to
Europe. In America the state government is the immediate stem for
citizen's dissatisfaction, further appeals can go to the Supreme
Court, but sovereignty essentially rests with the state. Therefore the
systems do correlate, though the constitutions apparently seem to
depict the contrary.

A distinctive difference of the constitutions is how they produce the
federal American system versus the unitary British system. America's
horizontal dispersal of power provides a decentralised political
...

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