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A Traditional U.S. Government During the Formation of the Constitution

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Discuss briefly the American tradition of representative government. Is representative government as strong as it was when the Constitution was formed?

The idea of representative government is deeply rooted in America's history and tradition. It began as far back as the voyage of the Mayflower. The spirit of freedom, self-reliance, the common law, and an understanding of representation, were brought by the settlers from their home. Though many of our ideas about representative government developed from the English model of Parliament, the American tradition of representative government actually began in Jamestown with the “great charter of 1618”and the First Representative Assembly of 1619 and continued on with the Virginia House of Burgesses, the Mayflower Compact, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut and so on all of the way to the drafting and signing of the US Constitution.

Representative government, today and in my opinion, is by no means as strong as it was when the Constitution was formed.

Why or why not?

With the idea of capitalism and greed, there are a few at the top that are indeed supposed to “represent” the rest at the bottom. Unfortunately, these few at the top have become so greedy and have entrenched themselves so deeply into America and Washington that they only do what they want when they want. When the Constitution as originally formed, people actually cared about others and when they attended these meetings where they were “representing” their towns, they actually fought for and pushed the agenda of their individual towns. Today, they only push the agendas that best benefit themselves or their friends financially.

In which specific ways does the Constitution incorporate checks and balances?

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...erence between, what most people would consider, two of the most important concepts at the very core of being an American, 'civil liberties' and 'civil rights' has always been blurred. Many people, unfortunately, tend to use these concepts interchangeably. However, they do refer to very different kinds of guaranteed protections (as outlined in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights).

In their most basic and natural settings, these two concepts can simply be defined as such:

'Civil rights', refers to positive actions that the government should take to create equal conditions for all Americans. It is an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another gives rise to an action for injury. Some examples of 'civil rights' are freedom of press, speech and assembly; the right to vote; and freedom from slavery or involuntary servitude.
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