Constitutional balance of power in the United States
Adopted on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America established the foundations for modern American democracy. It comprises the principles of equality of law, popular sovereignty, individual liberty and irreducible Protected State. Only after September 17, 1787 these principles were incorporated in the US Constitution. Inspired by the ideals of Enlightenment and particularly the theory of Montesquieu on the separation of powers (The Spirit of Laws, 1758), Americans created a balanced liberal democracy, in the form of ?checks and balances', which since then has not experienced severe challenges. They believe in democratic principle, and the ?founding fathers' feared that they would find excesses of inefficiency in democracy or the dictatorship of the majority would challenge individual freedoms.
How does one create a viable democratic system that is not dangerous for their principles? The response was the constitutional balance of powers. This study will answer the question: What are the characteristics that explain the constitutional balance of power in the US?
To understand American federalism, one must go into its origin in 1776, the thirteen British colonies constituted themselves as independent states within the Union. Then federalism was enshrined in the Constitution of 1787, and Americans are still very attached to it. Federalism can be defined by the coexistence of the Federated States who keep the ways to determine their policies on certain issues, but following the decisions of the federal government in other areas. This balance is the result of discussions that took place at the time of writing the Constitution and the creation of the American system. The Northern States, who drew their wealth from industry,were more federalist and democratic, while those in the south, with slavery, were more aristocratic and wanted to limit the central government.
The division was found between the two parties at the time: the Federalist Party, led by Hamilton and John Adams, against the Democratic Republican Party of Madison and Thomas Jefferson who wanted to preserve the right of the States to the federal government.Finally, the balance was found, and all fifty Federated States have a number of skills and institutions of its own.
First, the U.S. states have expertise in police matters, land use and education, which explains the differences that may exist from one state to another, as demonstrated recently in a controversy surrounding the learning of the creationist theory along side Darwinism in schools and colleges in some states. Similarly, each state has legal powers that enable it to have its own laws. This principle affects all areas of law ranging from tax law to civil law (eg divorce), to criminal law, with the controversial issue of the death penalty still in force in some states.
Gun control, drugs, and gambling belongs also to the states. Some skills are shared with the federal government such as health and welfare. In addition, the Constitution provides that any powers not explicitly granted to the federal government, but is left up to the states. However, since the 10th Amendment of 1791, many skills have emerged, including the economic, social, and the federal government has recovered.
Tags: Constitutional balance of power in the US; Federalism; characteristics explaining this balance of power