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Balance of power in the American constitutional mode

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"Any person holding a power is tempted to abuse it." It is through this famous quote on his master's book "The Spirit of Laws" (1748) that the Enlightenment philosopher, Montesquieu, justified the need for separation of powers. It can take two forms. It can either be considered flexible and lead to a parliamentary system, or be envisaged as rigid and establish independence between the powers of the presidential system. This is similar to the American constitutional system that has been institutionalized by the proclamation of the Constitution in 1787.

Paradoxically, United States has the shortest history of mankind and a dedicated institutional stability unmatched by the oldest constitution that is ever written. From the perspective of the European doctrine, the present U.S. system was based on a strict separation between the three powers, that is, Executive, Legislative and Judiciary, and division of powers between the States and Federation aimed at limiting the power of each organ. The authors consider that the separation of powers is not rigid and they characterize their constitution as a collaborative system of power and multiple equilibrium. Thus, in this doctrinal uncertainty, it is questionable whether the balance of power is absolute or relative in the U.S. constitutional system.

Tags: The Spirit of Laws, Montesquieu, parliamentary system, American constitutional system, European doctrine, States and Federation, the U.S. constitutional system

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