How did the authors of the Constitution impose limits on the government that affect the way the government functions today?   

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The authors of the Constitution imposed limits on the government. These limits continue to impact how the government functions today.

One example of limits imposed on the government was the use of separation of powers. Each branch of government is limited in what in can do. The legislative branch makes the laws. The executive branch carries out the laws. The judicial branch interprets the laws. No branch can do everything by itself. The powers are split among the three branches.

The system of checks and balances also affects how our government functions today. When Congress is considering passing a law, Congress must consider if the courts would view the law as constitutional or unconstitutional. Congress also must consider if the President would sign the bill or veto it. These checks and balances by the judicial and executive branches will impact Congress as it is writing a bill. The President must consider the actions he takes. If he abuses his power, he could be impeached by Congress.

Finally, the writers of the Constitution gave certain powers that are reserved only for the states. For example, the states make laws regarding education in the state. They also determine what the punishments should be for breaking state laws.

The writers of the Constitution wanted to have a stronger government than the one that existed under the Articles of Confederation. However, they didn’t want the government or any individual to become too strong or too powerful. Thus, they limited some of the actions that the government could do.