America's Constitution Dbq

explanatory Essay
883 words
883 words

Withstanding the Test of Time. According to legend, as the exalted Benjamin Franklin stepped out of the last session of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in September of 1787, a curious woman queried, "What kind of government have you given us, Dr. Franklin?" Franklin answered, "A Republic, Madam, if you can keep it."1 Remarkably, over 200 years later, the United States has kept its constitution, and the republic for which it was created has flourished. While fledgling democracies across the continents have modeled the frameworks of their governments after the U.S. Constitution, America's system of democracy remains spectacularly unique and successful, largely due to its constitution. The framers of the Constitution created an …show more content…

At the Constitutional Convention, the framers set out to develop a form of government stronger than a confederation; it could not be unitary though, otherwise the states would not ratify it. They borrowed ideas from both of these forms of government to form a federal republic. Once federalism was decided upon to unify the states without constraining them, the next step in developing a lasting constitution was creating a separation of powers. James Madison wrote in The Federalist, No. 47, "No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty, than that ... the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands ... may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."2 The framers ingeniously wove into the Constitution three ways to ensure a clear separation of powers among the three branches of government. First, the leaders in the different branches come to power in …show more content…

They were aware that "the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others ... Ambition must be made to counteract ambition."4 Though the legislative branch creates laws, it is up to the executive branch to enforce them and the judicial branch to interpret

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the constitution is an adaptable instrument of government which withstands the test of time through checks and balances.
  • Explains how the framers at the constitutional convention set out to develop a stronger form of government — it could not be unitary, otherwise the states wouldn't ratify it.
  • Explains that the framers developed the foundation of democracy through checks and balances. ambition must be made to counteract ambition.
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