The history of American Constitution
The foundation of the American nation was characterized by a decision to shift from the previous British colonial and tyrannical method of rule to a democratic and inclusive form of government. It was necessary for the founding fathers to create the required policy changes in the American Constitution that would allow for the expression of human right of the citizens in different states. Notably, these decisions led to the crafting of the American Constitution that provides rules and guidelines necessary for governance of the nation. It was important to develop radical policies that were different from the former British system of governance to give the citizens a chance to enjoy human right freedoms and celebrate their citizenry in America. However, drafting a Constitution that would ensure proper balance of power by the government had soon become a challenge. It was difficult to create rules that would empower the federal government to perform its duties and develop checks within the same constitution, which was supposed to eliminate power abuse by the incumbent government. Analytically, it was important for the American Founding Fathers to limit the powers of the federal government by enforcing mechanisms such as decentralization of governance, creation of branches in government, use of checks and balances, and equal representation of states. All these factors helped to eliminate the development of a tyranny government in future.
There are several limitations that the American Constitution places on the federal government with the aim of preventing the tyranny rule by the incumbent government. The first is the limitation to control absolute power in America through the decentralization of governance. American Constitution provides for the existence of state and federal governments. These levels of governance were instituted by the Founding Fathers during the construction of the American Constitution. According to the Constitution, there are the roles that are performed by state governments, and the roles that can only be carried out by the federal government. For example, the American Constitution provides for the regulation of foreign trade, foreign relations, as well as the function of war declaration to be done by the federal government. On the other hand, the functions such as conducting of elections, formation of different local governments and the planning of educational issues are devolved functions that only state governments are allowed to do. In consideration of the above, it is clear that the Founding Fathers ensured that there was powerful separation that decentralized the power, thereby eliminating the possibility of establishment of tyrannical government. The decentralization of power creates an environment where tyranny cannot occur.
The second constitutional limitation towards the federal government is the distribution of power through creation of different independent institutions within government that disarms the central government from exercising premium power leading to tyranny. Document B of the Constitution indicates that there should be creation of separate and distinct branches of power. On this note, it is clear that the American Constitution forbids interference by the central or federal government regarding the functions of other branches of government. In other words, the Constitution does not allow the federal government to interfere with duties of independent government institutions such as Senate and Judiciary. According to the Constitution, these are separate centers of power that are distinct and independent. Their decisions and affairs cannot be influenced by the American President. In this regard, the Judiciary and the Legislature perform their functions without the direct consultation and reference from the federal government. Arguably, the power separation of these three government institutions helps to limit the powers exercised by federal government. Consequently, it becomes impossible for the federal government to become a tyranny.
The third way in which the American Constitution limits the powers of the federal government is through the implementation of checks and balances aimed at creating accountability. On this note, it is possible for the federal government to be forced to account for their functions and activities. Document C of the American Constitution indicates that the division and arrangement of several offices is for the purposes of ensuring that these offices check one another. In other words, the three branches of government cannot be separated from one another completely so that each office can check the other. As a result, this shows that the Legislature has the power to check the Judiciary. Similarly, it has the power to check the Executive. Arguably, this shows the lack of central power concentration. The exercise of power is divided across various constitutional offices that operate independently. As a result, one government branch, such as the executive, cannot rule the nation. The constitution gives a provision for the distinct separation of power. In this regard, it limits the powers of federal government to exercise functions that may lead to tyranny in America. Consequently, the federal government’s powers are limited since they are shared across the other independent constitutional officers, such as judiciary and legislature, not giving a chance to a tyranny government.
The other way in which the American Constitution limits the powers of the federal government is by ensuring equal participation of American states. Document D of the American Constitution requires that there shall be at least one representative for every thirty thousand people at the Senate. It says that the legislature shall be responsible for the formation of Senate, which will consist of senators with each having a single vote. Analytically, this means that the composition of the Senate also demonstrates the devolution of power. It is an assembly of representatives from different states in America. It should be noted that the decision made in the Senate must result from the majority of votes from different states. In addition, the above aspect of the constitution disarms the executive branch of government or the federal government from creating laws. Notably, the laws are made by the Legislative branch of government that consists of representatives from all the states in America. Thus, the creation of laws is done by the American people rather than the federal government. Analytically, this makes it possible to note that the American Constitution gives power to the citizens through their representatives in the Senate to create laws and govern themselves. Consequently, it is impossible for the federal government to form laws governing the affairs of the American people. The restriction from such power exercise limits the federal government from becoming a tyranny in America.
In conclusion, the American Constitution limits the federal government’s power to become a tyranny because it decentralizes governance, distributes power to other branches of government, creates independent accountability institutions, and provides equal participation of state in the Senate. It should be noted that the Founding Fathers realized that the best form of governance was to create a system that would allow the American people to rule themselves. The American Constitution provides a democratic space that gives power to the citizens to make their individual choices regarding the laws they want to impose upon themselves. Notably, the empowerment of the Senate that is charged with the responsibility of formulating laws indicates that the power is in the hands of Americans. Senators represent the individual states in the constitution. As a result, it is impossible to have a tyranny government since the power to rule America is in the hands of the citizens.
Barclay, Stephanie Hall. “Retained by the People: Federalism, the Ultimate Sovereign, and Natural Limits on Government Power.” William. & Mary Bill Rights Journal 23, no.1 (2014): 257.
LaCroix, Alison. “The Shadow Powers of Article I.” Yale Law Journal 123(2014): 2044-2096
Primus, Richard A. “The Limits of Enumeration.” Yale Law Journal 124, no. 3 (2014): 576-642.
? Stephanie Hall Barclay, “Retained by the People: Federalism, the Ultimate Sovereign, and Natural Limits on Government Power,” William. & Mary Bill Rights Journal 23, no.1 (2014): 257.
? Alison LaCroix, “The Shadow Powers of Article I,” Yale Law Journal 123(2014): 2044-2096
? Richard A Primus, “The Limits of Enumeration,” Yale Law Journal 124, no. 3 (2014): 576-642.