Constitution and Bill of Rights Essay

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. ” The Constitution affected the United States government by giving it power and protecting the United States from absolutism.

Starting out as the weaker Articles of confederation and later advancing into the stronger Constitution, the “Supreme Law of the Land” is the back bone of the United States government known today. Without the strong foundation of the Constitution, the frail nation that was America could not have survived for more than a few more years on the Articles of Confederation before crumbling into chaos.

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The severe deficit in Congressional power, a deprived government, and no Bill of Rights helped to show Americans that the Articles of Confederation were inadequate for a long-term government and the Constitution was better suited to govern their nation. The new Constitution was a better choice for the American people because of the improved congressional and governmental powers and the eventual adoption of a Bill of Rights. The Articles of Confederation was the start it everything.

It was an inferior choice to the Constitution because the Constitution gave more power to Congress. For example, under the Articles of Confederation, Congress could not control foreign commerce nor could it control interstate commerce. This inability to regulate led to crippling competition between states. Trouble overseas, such as Barbados pirates, also hindered foreign trade to an already weak system. Next, Laws could only by passed by Congress under the Articles of Confederation. Compliance from the States was entirely optional.

The Constitution, as stated in Article VI, forced all states to obey the laws set forth by Congress, thereby unifying the States. Also, the Articles of Confederation made the amending process an arduous task. In Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation, it is stated that all 13 states were required to approve a new amendment, making the whole process absurdly more difficult. The Constitution states in Article V that a 2/3 majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives is all that is needed for an amendment, a much easier task that getting every state to agree.

To continue, the Constitution not only surpasses the Articles of Confederation in allocation of congressional powers but also in the governing power vested in Congress. For example, under Article I, Section VIII of the Constitution, Congress could now pass taxes and collect much needed revenues from the states to fight the rising debt. The Articles of Confederation could not pass a single tax because of the recent abuse from Britain that left a grudge against taxation. Also, the Constitution was able to create an executive department and a judicial department.

The executive department, as covered in Article II of the Constitution, created a President to lead the nation. The judicial department established a court system that has held firm for over 200 years. The Articles of Confederation created no courts and no executive departments, further hindering the deprived government. Furthermore, a government run by the Articles of Confederation was too weak to suppress a rebellion. Shay’s Rebellion in 1786 proved this by exposing just how little power had been given to the government through Congress’s inability to quell the rebellion in a timely manner.

Finally, the powers given to Congress to govern by the Constitution pale in comparison to the Bill of Rights added to the Constitution in 1791, overpowering the Articles of Confederation. For example, in the Articles of Confederation, there is no mention of individual rights. Some historians believe that this could be beneficial, in a way that, “any government strong enough to guarantee individual rights may be strong enough to destroy individual rights. ” As true as this observation is, would no guarantee of individual rights be worth the fear of having rights and getting them taken away?

Also, the Constitution provides all the individual rights a person could need. Opponents of the Constitution counter this position by saying that the Bill of Rights was not included in the initial Constitution. This is refuted by the fact that the Bill of Rights, promised by James Madison in 1789, were eventually added to the Constitution, giving Americans their long overdue freedom. The Constitution proved a superior choice for the American people because of the improved congressional and governmental powers and the eventual adoption of the Bill of Rights.

By giving Congress a boost in congressional and governmental power and by adding a Bill of Rights, the constitution proved to be a far more successful choice. The Constitution provided the foundation to build a strong and free nation and avoid the chaos of a tyrannical or powerless government. The Constitution proved a superior choice for the American people because of improved congressional and governmental powers and the eventual adoption of the Bill of Rights.

By giving Congress a boost in congressional and governmental powers and by adding the Bill of Rights the constitution proved to be far more successful than the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution provided the foundation to build a strong and free nation and avoid the chaos of tyrannical or powerless government.

Bibliography

Parpworth; Constitutional and Administrative Law, 4th edition, (2006) Oxford Press Bradley and Ewing; Constitutional and Administrative Law, 14th edition, (2006) Longman Barnett; Constitutional and Administrative Law, 6th edition (2006) Cavendish

Alder; Principles of constitutional and Administrative Law, 4th edition (2002) Palgrave The Independent ; The Big Question: Why doesn’t the UK have a written constitution, and does it matter? 14th February (2008) The Independent; leading article: rights and wrongs, 14th February (2008) www. direct. gov. uk http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/programmes/bbc_parliament/2562495. stm http://www. historylearningsite. co. uk/british_constitution1. htm http://www. parliament. the-stationery-office. com/pa/ld200102/ldselect/ldconst/11/1103. htm