The Constitution of the United States of America ( USA )
The Constitutional Background
Its official name in the United States of America and its capital is Washington,D.C ( District of Colombia ).Its area is about 9,826,630 sq KM and people population is about 293,027,570(2004 estimate).
United States as America, Popularly referred to as the United States or as America is a federal republic on the continent of north America, consisting of 48 contiguous states and the noncontiguous states of Alaska and Hawaii. American revolutionary constitution was adopted by each of the 13 former British colonies in north America after gaining independence from great Britain in the American revolution (1775-1783). Prior to independence, British colonial governments on the continent of North America were based on charters from the British crown, or on instructions given by the crown to royal governors. Those governments, except that of Canada, were overthrown between 1774 and 1776.the final step in their overthrow occurred in may 1776.when the second continental congress resolved that all colonial governments still depending on the British crown should be replaced by their own governments.
Declaration of independence: when United States of America was not formed, the original thirteen North American states were colonies of the United Kingdom. After a complete struggle, the thirteen British North American colonies proclaimed their independence from Great Britain. The declaration of independence was adopted in final form on July 4, 1776.it can be divided into three parts a statement of principle concerning the rights of man and the legitimacy of revolution, a list of specific grievances against England’s king George III, and a formal claim of independence. For the American colonists, the declaration was an announcement to the to the rest of the world that the colonies were independent from Great Britain. The main declaration was to get internal support for their struggle and to encourage external help from European powers such as France. Today each page of the declaration of independence id protected in a glass and bronze case filled with inert helium gas as monitored with high standard computer technology. Over one million Americans view the document each year in the national archives building in Washington, D.C, where it is displayed along with the constitution of the United States and the bill of rights.
Articles of confederation: The Articles of confederation were written while Americans were fighting against the British imperialism in their region. The articles created a weak central government that depended on the states to raise taxes, required the agreement of nine of the thirteen states to pass most measures, and called for the agreement of all state legislatures to any changes in the government’s structure. These laws setup a method for the entrance of new states to the union. The articles of confederation, drawn up between 177the 1776 and 1777 by the second continental congress, set out a plan for a union. they were fully implemented in march 1781 and work up to June, 1787.the continental congress gave the states as much independence as possible and to specify the limited functions of the federal government as possible and to specify the limited functions of the federal government but very carefully, certain factors delayed reification of the articles but final ratification of the articles was made on march, 1, 1781.
Constitutional convention: The constitutional convention at last met during the summer of 1787 at which delegates from 12 states wrote the constitution of the United States. In the convention the Philadelphia, the delegates abandoned the articles of confederation, the first constitution of the United States, created a stronger form of government. This new government included two legislative houses, the House of Representatives and the senate; the president and the Supreme Court. By June 21, 1788, the constitution had been ratified by nine states and went into effect. With the addition of 26 amendments since that time, it has remained the fundamental law of the United States of America.
During the 1780s several American leaders, especially nationalists, desired a stronger federal government. They thought the state legislatures changed laws too strong federal government. The nationalists argued that democracy was giving way to violence and threatening order and good government. Hamilton and Madison, the nationalist politicians, sought to move power away from the stats and Madison, the nationalist politicians, sought to move power away from the states and to create a larger frame of centralized government. In September of 1786 a number of these nationalists, led by Hamilton, met and decided to strengthen the articles of confederation. Seven states selected delegates even before the congress cautiously sanctioned the meeting in February 1787, although congress approved the meeting, it added provision that any changes ad to be approved by congress and the states. Once the convention began, George Washington was elected its president. The Virginia delegation began the convention by giving various proposals. The most significant of these called the articles of confederation. The delegates passed the resolution to abandon the articles of branches: executive, judicial, and legislative. The legislature would have two houses, with the upper house being selected by the lower house. The executive would be selected by the legislature. Representation in the legislature was to be based on population.
Delegates from the smaller states objected to representation based on population and the emphasized that the states remain sovereign so that they could maintain absolute and final authority on questions of law and policy. The small-state delegates accepted the idea of having three branches of government, but they did not want a single executive but accepted a judiciary with limited functions, and a legislature in which each state ad an equal vote. The convention delegates finally agreed on proportional representation for the lower house, the House of Representatives. To the smaller states it conceded equal representation in the upper house, the senate. This compromise guaranteed the political future of the individual states. It also meant that the delegates would be created a new government, rather than revising the articles of confederation. The convention agreed upon three branches but created a system of checks and balances so that one branch would be more powerful than another. The delegates also sought a balance between the power of the states and the power of the federal government. The president, who was given appointive and military powers, was to be selected by an electoral college made up of the people appointed from each state. The senate was also to be chosen not by the voters, but by the assemblies of the states.
Supporters of the constitution called themselves Federalists attacked the constitution on several grounds. They first objected to the absence of a bill of rights. They feared that the new, stronger central government could too easily threaten these liberties. Anti-federalist feared that the proposed federal government would have too much power. The president was seen a semi dictator. Anti-federalist viewed the senate and judiciary as aristocratic house of their nomination they dislike the House of Representatives because they believed and did not contain enough members. The Federalists responded these objections and argued that a stronger form of government would avoid future conflicts between the states .in the new constitution each branch of government could be given greater power because each was special representative of the people. The Federalists claimed that under the constitution neither that states not the federal government would be sovereign but the people would be sovereign. The constitution went into effect on June 21, 1788.
The Federalists soon conceded the need for a guarantee of human rights. By 1791 the new government had ratified the first ten amendments, which outlined a Bill of Rights. During the following years, 16 more amendments were made to the Constitution, including amendments to election laws provisions regarding slavery and political status of women. The authors of the Constitution created a document that stands today as the fundamental law of one of the longest-lived democracies in the world.
Features/Characteristics Of The U.S Constitution :
The American Constitution, due to its certain features is a unique and interesting document. The most important attributes of the constitution of the United States are as under:
Written and Brief: The US constitution has been framed by the Philadelphia convention of 1787 by the ex-thirteen colonies of the Great Britain and was enforced in 1789. The delegates from the thirteen colonies under the leadership of Washington framed this constitution. It has the declaration of the independence and a preamble. It has only seven articles. So it is written and the most brief constitution of the world. Indian constitution on the other side is most bulky constitution imposed on 26th nocemver, 1949 having 395 articles. Its brief nature has left too much ground for gradual development by the judicial decisions, conventions, laws passed by congress and constitutional amendments etc. twenty-six congress amendments have brought too many changes. The original constitution provided for the Supreme Court while the remaining judicial set-up has been provided by the congress.
George Washington was instrumental in bringing about the constitutional convention of 1787. Elected as a delegate to the convention by the Virginia general assembles, Washington was chosen its president. In that position, he avoided expressing his political opinions. Since it was likely he would be the nation’s first president, he understood the need for his, impartiality.
Thomas Jefferson was the author of the declaration of independence, a principal leader in the American Revolution and the third president of the United States. Jefferson is also regarded as a great political thinker and diplomat.