The United States Constitution provides the foundation for a strong central government with authority to regulate interstate disputes and commerce, enforce citizens' rights and defend from hostile forces. However, much of it is too vague to provide definitive interpretations. It can be amended, but the process is slow. Citizens vote for representatives directly but don't get a direct vote on policies. There is no way to address bipartisanship.Know More
The Constitution is the structure of fundamental political precedents, procedures and principles that the federal government has operated from since its creation in 1789. It delegates certain responsibilities to federal bodies and others to states. The Constitution divides federal powers between three main branches defined by the separation of powers doctrine and provides a system of checks and balances to prevent one branch from overpowering the others.
The original portions of the Constitution, which included the Bill of Rights when ratified, are very specific about certain topics but vague about most others. Because it is vague, the Constitution is a living document, one that can adapt to changes by adding amendments and through judicial interpretation. This can be either a boon or a hindrance. Amendments add clarity to existing constitutional structure or add rights or restrictions. The original Constitution claimed to favor individual liberty but provided no support for women or slaves. In many cases, existing laws were exploited to keep these groups firmly situated. The 13th Amendment, in 1865, abolished slavery; the 14th, in 1870, made slaves citizens, gave black males the right to vote and guaranteed everyone equal protection under the law; and the 19th, in 1920, gave women the right to vote. Adaptability is the Constitution's greatest strength, but change requires great effort and time.Learn more about The Constitution
The phrase "do ordain and establish this Constitution" in the preamble to the United States Constitution is an expression of popular sovereignty. Political authority in the United States is derived from the people rather than from God or any other source. The government can only govern so long as it reflects the will of the people and has their consent to do so.Full Answer >
The 27 amendments to the United States Constitution are additions that were ratified by the required number of states and have formally become part of the Constitution. The original 10 amendments were established in 1791, and the remaining amendments have been gradually adopted over time.Full Answer >
Popular sovereignty, which is a type of governance based on the consent and approval of the people, appears in Article VII of the United States Constitution. Popular sovereignty is considered one of the most important, basic and essential rights of the American people. It is established as an irrevocable right, to be enjoyed by all citizens of the U.S., and was deemed so important by the drafters of the Constitution that it appears in the Preamble, introducing the document with the words "We the people of the United States…"Full Answer >
The United States Constitution has seven articles that establish the function of the government. The Constitution Party of the United States also identifies seven principles as summarizing their party philosophy.Full Answer >