Philosophy of American Constitution Essay
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Example Essay on Philosophy of American Constitution
There are three main ideas when it comes to the philosophy of the American Constitution. The first one is your natural rights as a human being in a society. The second is republicanism, which unlike your natural rights emphasizes the community instead of one person. The last would be constitutionalism, that’s the idea that there are definable limits on the rightful power of a government over its citizens. With all three of these ideas we were able to write our Constitution.
John Locke said that the absolute rights of people were the basis of all fair and just governments. Just for being a member of the human race entitled all individuals these rights. The authority from the government comes from the consent of the governed people to use their authority to secure and guarantee their natural rights to life, liberty and estate. Life without government is unstable because without government there is no authority to say what the law of nature demands. Since not everyone will follow the laws of nature, everyone is insecure about their rights as a person.
In Locke’s eyes, the problem lies in the simple fact that creates the demand for government at all, The fact that all people are imperfect. They disregard the laws of nature for their own personal gain. Thomas Jefferson didn’t mean all men were created equal in the literal since. What he meant when he said that was no one can claim to be superior and try to control the rights of others.
The Constitution was planned to provide for a limited government so political power would not be abused. When creating it great thought went into the Constitution so that it would not be a threat to freedom. The best idea they had was to separate the power into three separate branches the Legislative, Executive, and the Judicial. Each branch has power over the other two branches in some way. The judicial branch has power over the executive by declaring an executive action unlawful because it’s not confirmed by legislation. The executive branch has power over the judicial branch because it nominates the judges and can pardon those who are convicted in court. The legislative branch has power over the executive branch because congress can impeach and remove the President and may override a presidential veto. The Executive branch controls the legislative branch by vetoing acts of congress and recommend legislation. The legislative branch can impeach and remove any federal judge and confirms judicial nominees. And the judicial branch can declare acts of congress unconstitutional. This system is called checks and balances and is used as a barrier to avoid abuses of power.
I think the same ideas apply to the Texas Constitution as to the United States Constitution. They both focus on the rights of the people and making sure that one branch of the state government doesn’t get power crazy. Because they already know that people are not perfect they arranged the Texas Constitution to be corrected by amendments just like its big brother. They both have 3 branches of government Judicial, Executive and Legislative. Evidently the same thinking went into the Texas Constitution, as did the United States Constitution.
Political culture is very big in America and we believe very strongly in it. These are the things that make us Americans. They are Liberty, which lets us be act and think as we choose because we are free.
Self-government, we elect the people that represent us so we control ourselves. Equality, all people have moral worth and fair treatment under the law. Individualism, we can survive on our own and be self-sufficient with material accumulation ever present. Diversity, everyone’s individual differences are unique and true to themselves with no one to tell them that they are wrong. Unity, Americans are one people and form an indivisible union. All together these 6 things are called “the American Creed.”
American political culture is reflected in American political philosophy in a big way. The constitution was written partly because of what happened during colonial and revolutionary experiences. The American people wanted freedom from their abusive mother (England). They wanted liberty, self-government, equality, individualism, diversity and unity. They wrote the constitution so that they could have all of these wonderful things. These are our natural rights as human beings. We need someone who can govern us that has the same beliefs so they can make decisions for us that are actually good for us. And we had to write them down so they couldn’t change without our permission to change them. So we know what we can and cannot do everyday and not worry about it suddenly changing on us. Natural rights, republicanism, and constitutionalism are all the products of liberty, self-government, equality, individualism, diversity, and unity. Because that’s what we want and that is how we made it.