Homework Help

How has the Constitution been able to endure more than 200 years of extraordinary...

user profile pic

lhannonsea | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 22, 2013 at 12:48 AM via web

dislike 2 like

How has the Constitution been able to endure more than 200 years of extraordinary change and growth in the United States?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 22, 2013 at 1:06 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

There are two main reasons why the Constitution has been able to endure for so long through as much change as the US has undergone.

First, it has been able to do this because of the fact that it is not a very detailed document.  The Constitution is not a legal code.  Instead, it is a basic document that only sets out the very basic foundation of American government.  In addition, it sets out much of this foundation in a fairly vague way.  For example, it tells us that the government may not inflict “cruel or unusual punishment” on us, but it does not try to spell out what exact punishments are cruel or unusual.  This means that the Constitution is a fairly flexible document.

Second, the Constitution can be amended to keep up with the times.  This is how the Constitution was able to survive, for example, as women pushed for a larger role in society.  It could be amended to give women the vote, thus changing with the times.

For these reasons, the Constitution has been able to remain solidly in place as the basis of our system.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes