Looking Back Through Time
The Constitution works because intelligent people like those who created our country, sustain its life with honor and gives us its power. It is a living document that can change based on our new improvements and recognitions. There is a distribution of power equally spread out between all three branches of our national government; for that, we give appreciation to the framers of the Constitution. The Constitution would not have worked so well if we had not had those delegates to meet in that hot and dirty independence hall room in Philadelphia after our independence had been declared already; but the America’s were all over the place with no real way of governing their people.
The Articles of Confederation were of no means strong enough to contain all of the states. They did not have any way of taxing them or even getting in touch fast enough without something slow moving and hard to endure without them being too late. After Shay’s rebellion, James Madison knew we had to do something fast or the states would fall apart, leaving our enemies to pick up the pieces. Thus the United States Constitution was born. The first reason the Constitution works so well is because the executive, legislative, and judicial branches are given their duties in the Constitution and we abide by their outlines.
The document makes sure that no one branch has all the power and through checks and balances, all three branches have equal power. The framers wanted a balance between a too strong national government and the protection of American rights; they did not want another tyrant. The first Article is the bicameral legislative branch and it tells the powers of its members. It also tells the regulations, their rules, and their overall basic job descriptions. The makers of the constitution also chose to have different Sections placed in an Article.
The Sections all have different main ideas, kind- of like paragraphs in a paper, or chapter’s in a book for more effective reading. The Second Article is the Executive branch and the Third Article is the Judicial branch. Those first three articles are outlined the same way as each other, just with different information for each different branch. Through checks and balances, the three branches all have certain powers and duties another branch is not able to take away from them. Like, if a president veto’s a bill the legislative branch has the power to override it if they believe it is a necessity.
Or how the Senate gets to approve the president’s nominations of judges, ambassadors or other members of his cabinet. That way the president cannot just nominate anyone to help aid him in running the country. Checks and balances “balance” out the power distribution in our National Government. The second reason the Constitution works is because of Federalism. I suppose the framers did not want all of us having to rely on the national government for all of our problems, because we also have state governments. Federalism is the term described in the constitution that shares power between national and state governments.
The minor issues or tasks go to the state, while the larger to handle issues or responsibilities go to the national government. It is a very complicated idea for someone to learn. For instance, presidential elections; Congress sets the date for the national election, but the states register the voters and run the elections. The Constitution does not definitely give a definition on federalism, so we mostly go by how big we believe the task is. Congress usually gets the tasks that determines the outcome or well- being of our entire country, or when things in the states go wrong and get national attention.
States get the responsibilities that determine the outcome or well- being of their state or helping another state. It is very confusing that the Constitution does not give us a well- defined meaning, but of course, they could not predict every possible thing that could go on in future generations. Nevertheless, federalism is successfully running our country. The last reason the Constitution works so well is because the framers allowed new additions to be added on to the constitution, of course only the important ones. An amendment is the term for added changes to the constitution.
However, even proposing a new amendment takes the vote of both houses of Congress. 2/3 has to approve it. Then it has to be approved at least in 3 quarters of the states by legislatures before finally becoming a part of our Supreme law of the land. The amendment process is so long and hard that, even out of 10,000 new amendments being suggested for the Constitution since its creation, only 27 have been added.
The first ten amendments were added closer to when the Constitution was approved by the states in 1787. These 27 amendments to the constitution include the right to a fair trial, the end of slavery, the right to vote once you are 18 years old and the right to bear arms. The framers knew we would change over time; without being able to add on to the constitution occasionally, we would never successfully move forward. Sure, we would possibly thrive but things would stay the same forever, never getting better or worse. I feel the most gratitude to the framers for this. It gives the people a voice for the chance to change our country for the better.
The Constitution might have been made for the people of the times of 1787, but it is our document now. We abide by it, listen to it and change it. It is the oldest living constitution in existence and has given other countries a good example to follow by for democratic instruction. It is so very successful because we make it that way. It is through our decisions that this document and country has prospered for so long. The delegates knew history was in the making while they were sitting in Philadelphia in Independence hall on those days way back when.
They are the reason we came together first and we are the reason we stay together now. Not only did they build a document for their present, they thought ahead for our future and for that, we remember them. For that, we honor them in following the constitution, we are all the reason it works.