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Describe how & when the American constitution was adopted. What caused the necessity of 'The Bill of Rights'?




A Constitution may be a defined system or body of fundamental principles according to which a nation or state is constituted or governed. A good example is the constitution of the US, formed in 1787. It is relatively brief document of some 12 pages. The constitution of the US is the source of government authority & the fundamental Law of the land. The constitutional convention which was to adopt a new constitution officially opened on May 25 1787 in Philadelphia. The 55 delegates who drafted the constitution included most of the outstanding leaders, or Founding Fathers, of the new nation. George Washington was the presiding officer. In the course of the convention the delegates created a new form of government for the US. The Constitution set up a federal system with a strong central government. A federal system is one in which power is shared between a central authority & its states with some rights reserved to each. The US became federated, because after the war of independence the 13states were too weak individually to carry on the work of government. They joined together as equals for the common convenience. But each state preserved its own independence by reserving to itself certain well-defined powers (education, taxes & finance, internal communications). The powers which are usually given to a federal government are those dealing with national defense, foreign policy, the control of international trade etc. Under the constitution power was divided among the 3 branches of national government: legislative (the Congress), executive (the President) £ judicial (the Supreme Court). These 3 powers established a so-called system of checks & balances. This system gives each branch the means to restrain the other two. The Constitution provided the election of a national leader, or president. In 1789 G.Washington was unanimously elected the .first president of the US. It provided also, that federal laws would be made only by a congress consisted of representatives elected by people. The Constitution set up national court system headed be a Supreme Court. When the constitution was written in 1787 there were only 13 states. The authors of the constitution saw that the future might bring a need for changes, that is why they provide a method of adding amendments. Over the past 200 years 26 amendments have been adopted, but the constitution itself has not been changed. But when the Constitution was first proposed £ adopted, there was widespread dissatisfaction of the American people, because it did not contain guarantees of certain basic freedoms & individual rights. It also recognized slavery £ did not establish universal suffrage. Only several years later in 1791 under the strong popular pressure the congress was forced to adopt, the first 10 amendments dealing with social liberties they were called collectively the Bill of Rights. From it the Americans received guarantees of such basic rights as freedom of speech, the press & religion, the right of peaceful assembly, freedom from unreasonable search, arrest £ seizure. The Bill of rights requires that no one will be deprived for life liberty property, without due process of law £ no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. Slavery was abolished many years later in 1865 by the 13 amendment £ universal suffrage was guaranteed in 1370 15th amendment. Since Bill of Rights 16 more amendments were adopted. But the political system created by the constitution & the Bill of rights is basically the same today as it was in 1790. Adopted in 1767 the constitution was finally ratified & came into force on March 4, 1789. Under the constitution no member of one branch may be a member of either of two others. But the president may or may not be a member of the political party with a majority in congress. No member of the Government with the exception of the Vice president (who presides Senate) may also be a member of Congress. The Congress is improved by the constitution to remove government officials, including the president, from office, only by Impeachment process. Impeachment is a charge of misconduct brought against government official or president by a legislative body. The man played the leading roles in writing the constitution - George Washington James Madison & Alexander Hamilton. Washington's participation was the most important. But truly decisive intellectual work was made by Madison. Later he was regarded as the Father of the constitution. Each state has it's own constitution. The State constitutions have a similar structure with the Constitution of the USA. As a rule they include preamble, the Bill of rights, as well as provisions dealing with local interests: the division of powers, suffrage & elections, taxes & finance, education etc.





Explain what is meant by a strict division £ separation of powers under the Constitution, outline the structure of the American constitution.
A Constitution may be a defined system or body of fundamental principles according to which a nation or state is constituted or governed. A good example is the constitution of the US, formed in 1787. It is relatively brief document of some 12 pages.7 articles & 26 amendments. The constitution of the US is the source of government authority & the fundamental law of the land. Under the constitution power was divided among the 3 branches of national government: legislative (the Congress}, executive (the President) t judicial (the Supreme Court).

These 3 powers established a so-called system of checks & balances. This system gives each branch the means to restrain the other two.

The Constitution provided the election of a national leader, or president It provided also, that federal laws would be made only by a congress consisted of representatives elected by people. The Constitution set up national court system headed be a Supreme Court. When the constitution was written in 1787 there were only 13 states. The drafters of the constitution saw that the future might bring a need for changes, that is why they provide a method of adding amendments. Over the past 200 years 26 amendments have been adopted, but the constitution itself has not been changed. Under the constitution no member of one branch may be a member of either of two others. But the president may or may not be a member of the political party with a majority in congress. No member of the Government with the exception of the Vice President (who presides Senate) may also be a member of Congress.

The Congress is improved by the constitution to remove government officials, including the president, from office, only by impeachment process. Impeachment is a charge of misconduct brought against government official or president by a legislative body.

Each state has it's own constitution. The State constitutions have a similar

structure with the Constitution of the USA. As a rule they include preamble, the Bill of rights, as well as provisions dealing with local interests: the division of powers, suffrage s elections, taxes c finance, education etc,


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