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US Constitution (Coursework Sample)


The sample mainly answer these questions: 1. Background: Why did some leaders in America believe that a new instrument of government was needed at this time? (i.e., directly following the American Revolution). 2.Using citations from the Constitution, identify and explain the structure and function of the three Branches of government. Is this more in line with “Hamiltonian” or “Jeffersonian” political philosophy? 3. Using citations from the Constitution, identify and explain the Checks and Balances system. Is this more in line with “Hamiltonian” or “Jeffersonian” political philosophy? 4. Using citations from the Constitution, explain the nature as well as the continuing impact of the Bill of Rights. Is this more in line with “Hamiltonian” or “Jeffersonian” political philosophy?

History 101 Constitution Assignment
1. Background: Why did some leaders in America believe that a new instrument of government was needed at this time? (i.e., directly following the American Revolution).
The USA has had a long history ever since its foundation. The Founding Fathers of America participated in the American Revolution by approving the United States Declaration of Independence. Consequently, they participated in the American Revolutionary War. The leaders also established the United States Constitution. Before the approval and implementation of the new US Constitution, the existing 13 member colonies used the Articles of Confederation established and ratified in 1787, by Second Continental Congress as a guide in governing the union (Bederman 89).
The national government that operated under the Articles of Confederation proved too weak and therefore could not effectively handle and regulate the numerous conflicts emerging between the states. Therefore, some of the leaders proposed for a new instrument of government to replace the weak one. Due to the emergent weaknesses, the purpose of the Philadelphia Convention was to rectify the weaknesses witnessed in the Articles that had existed even before the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War. Even though the aim of the Convention was to rectify the Articles, some of the leaders in attendance, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, coming from New York and Virginia respectively, intended to create a new government rather than rectify the existing one (Whittington 119). The two leaders came together and vigorously campaigned for the new Constitution. According to them, improved stability of the Union government was necessary in order to protect commerce and property. Being federalist, they vigorously campaigned for a very powerful central government with a large republic to control factions. According to Hamilton, the common people are ignorant and thus, incapable of ruling themselves (Education Portal 1). Therefore, he asserted that the only people to rule should be the elites. Consequently, since the common people cannot rule, Hamilton proposed of unequal voting qualifications between the elites and common people. Thus, elites need to be accorded higher voting qualifications compared to the common people.
However, Thomason Jefferson championed for states‟ rights as well as the trueness of democratic principles. Unlike Hamilton and his group, Jefferson believed in the capacity of the common man to rule or self-govern (Education Portal 1). Due to this, he supported lowering of voting qualifications of the elite in order to march those of the elite in society. It is therefore true that some leaders wanted a new system of government in order to address several issues related to governing.
2.Using citations from the Constitution, identify and explain the structure and function of the three Branches of government. Is this more in line with “Hamiltonian” or “Jeffersonian” political philosophy?
The American Constitution is considered the oldest constitution in the world, and which exists in the contemporary world. Since its adoption and inception on September 17, 1787, it has guided and created governmental institutions within America as well as contributed to the political stability, economic freedom, social progress, and individual freedom in USA for over 200 years (Amar 70). It forms the main instrument of the U.S government as well as the supreme law within America. Its simplicity and flexibility has made it a model for other constitutions in the world. Constitution was established in the 18 century to guide 4 million people. However, after undergoing 27 amendments, the constitution currently serves over 260 million people in 50 different states within the U.S.
Since the U.S Constitution forms the central instrument of the government, it provides direction on how the country is governed. It outlines the structure and functions of the three branches of the U.S Government; The Executive Branch; The Judicial Branch and the Legislative Branch (Amar 70). Each branch has specific and essential roles in the government as outlined in Articles 1, 2 and 3 of the U.S Constitution.
The Executive Branch
It is the first arm of the government and consists of the President, Vice President, 15 Cabinet members, as well as heads of independent agencies. Some of the departments include Defense, Transportation, Interior, and State. The executive branch has its powers vested in the President who chooses the Vice President and cabinet members who oversees operations in respective departments. The key role of the executive branch is to ensure that various laws are enforced and implemented appropriately thereby, facilitating the day – day functions accorded to the federal government (Mann & Norman 112). Some of the responsibilities of the federal government include; representing U.S. economic and political interests, safeguarding homeland, and collection of taxes.
The Legislative Branch
This branch consists of two branches of Congress namely House of Representatives and the Senate as established by Article 1 of the U.S Constitution. Each state has two Senators thereby making them a 100 in total. However, the States have varying number of representatives depending on the population size. Presently, there are 435 representatives of the House. Therefore, the function of the Legislative branch is to pass the laws of America. Consequently, it allocates funds to be used in running the federal government as well as offering assistance to the 50 states in America (Epps 59).
The Judicial Branch
This arm of the government entails the Supreme Court of the United States as well as the federal courts. The primary function of the Judiciary is to hear cases challenging legislation as well as interpretation of the legislation. The President nominates nine justices who after confirmation by the Senate have a lifetime appointment (Epps 62). Thus, the three arms of the government have distinct roles whereby none has authority over the other. Due to this, the arms work in unison in bettering the lives of the American people. This form of government is in line with Jefferson's argument. According to Jefferson, most power should be vested in the states. Consequently, famers and the common citizen in the society should run the government unlike Hamilton's support for power vested in the elites (Education Portal 1). In the U.S government, the ‘common man' rules since he participates in the election of Senators, House of Representatives and in electing the President. Since both senators and the members of the House of Representatives represent interests of the electorate, the common man rule by having authority in approving presidential appointees and electing the president through the electoral vote system.
3. Using citations from the Constitution, identify and explain the Checks and Balances system. Is this more in line with “Hamiltonian” or “Jeffersonian” political philosophy?
While writing the U.S. in 1787, James Madison had an intention of the system of checks and balances through separation of powers of various institutions thereby, countering the issue of tyranny or domination of the majority (Bederman 92). The system of checks and balances ensures the existence of agreement as well as compromise between the three arms; the Executive, Legislative and the judicial branches of the U.S government. Therefore, the system of check and balances as well as the separation of powers ensures that views of all arms of the government are heard and acted upon appropriately. Thus, the system of checks and balances ensures that Executive, Judiciary, and the Legislative remain independent but coordinate with each other for effective operation of the government as well as preventing usurpations of power. Consequently, it guards the liberty of Americans against mix of government power (Bederman 107).
According to the U.S Constitution, the members of the House of Representatives check the Senate. This ensures that members of the House of Representatives must approve any statute before it becomes law. Consequently, it gives the House of Representatives power to determine whether a statute should become law even after approval from the Executive and the Senate. Conversely, the Senate checks on the House of Representatives by ensuring that no statute approved the House of Representatives become law before its approval (Epps 82).
However, in case both the Senate and the House approves a statute, the Executive through the President can use its Veto power to restrain the statute into becoming law. In some circumstances, the Legislative through the Senate and the House can amass a 2/3 majority to ensure the passage of a bill by overturning the President's veto (Epps 95). The President can also be impeached by the Senate on amassing a 2/3 majority vote. Therefore, the President has to work within the law in order to avoid being impeached by the Senate. Consequently, by use of power of discrimination, the Legislative checks on the Executive on appropriation of funds within its use. Therefore, the Legislative checks on the powers of the Executive to ensure that such powers are not abused in passing laws or misappropriation of funds that does not suit the interests of Americans (Amar 78).
Further, the system of checks and balances ensures that the Executive through the President seeks consent from the Senate before implementation of treaties signed with foreign nations. The Executive must also seek the approval of the Senate in appointing persons to important positions within the Executive (Amar 80). Such check on the Executive ensures that t...
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