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STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES:

CLASSIC LITERATURE ANALYSIS

STUDYWORLD REPORTS & ESSAYS

RESEARCH AND IDEA DATABASE




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"AND""OR"

Constitutional Restriction of Government Power
In order to guard against what one of the Founding Fathers called an "excess of democracy," the Constitution was built with many ways to limit the government's power. Among these methods were separating the three branches, splitting the legislature so laws passed are carefully considered, and requiring members of Congress to meet certain criteria to qualify for office Separation of power was very effective; The three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) are kept separate, and each has different powers. Congress has legislative, or law making, powers; the President has the power to carry out, or execute, the laws; and the Judicial branch had the judging power, used to interpret the laws. In addition, each branch is able to restrain or balance the powers of the other two branches upon power abuse. If the President is suspected of unlawful acts, he can be impeached, or tried by the House and Senate for misusing his power. If he is found guilty, he can be thrown out of office, unless two thirds of Congress agrees with a treaty he proposes. Furthermore, if the President wants to spend money, his request must pass through Congress, since it has control over spending. Lastly, Congress can re-pass a vetoed bill. Congress also has checks and balances against itself. The president can veto a bill from Congress, and although Congress can override a veto, obtaining a two-thirds vote is very difficult. Public speeches by the President may also concern the public with an issue, putting pressure on Congress to act upon it. The limitations on and difficulties of law passing are very, very important. The split legislature creates a more complicated maze through which laws must find their way before being passed. First, a law must be introduced in either the House of Representatives or the Senate, the former having sole power to introduce laws concerning revenue. After the law is introduced, it must be approved by the other house, who may agree with, amend, or discard the law. Once both houses have agreed on the law, however, the President must approve it. If he does not, he may also amend it and return it to its originating house for reconsideration. If both houses then agree on the amended bill by a two thirds vote, it can be passed. The bill also becomes a law if the President does not return it to Congress within ten days (except Sundays) of his receiving of it. The labyrinth of Clerks, which is not even mentioned in the Constitution, makes law passing far more difficult, resulting in only the passing of laws that have been extremely carefully considered. Only allowing qualifying Congressmen and Senators to run for office allows for a more mature Congress, which will be more careful about its actions. A Representative must be at least 25 years old and a US Citizen for 7 years. That he must be a resident of the state in which he is elected means that he will be more attuned to the needs of the state he represents. A Senator must be at least 30 years old and a citizen for 9 years. He must also be a citizen of the state which he represents. In the Constitution, the Founding Fathers limit the power of government in many, many ways - many more than even the aforementioned. Their most important intent was to make the nation less democratic and to keep the government small. The Constitution has accomplished the Founding Fathers' goal until now, and will hopefully continue doing so in the future.

 



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