How does the Constitution balance the conflict between liberty and order?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Constitution provides a balance between granting liberty and creating order. To create order, the document stipulates the powers of each branch of government and provides checks and balances between these branches. For example, the President can veto bills passed by Congress, and Congress can override these vetoes. In addition, the Constitution creates a balance between what the federal government can do and what state governments can do. The Congress, for example, can regulate interstate commerce and make treaties with foreign nations, which states can not do. By delineating the powers of the federal government and those of state or local governments, the Constitution creates order.

The Constitution also grants liberties to people, mainly through the first ten amendments, which are referred to as the Bill of Rights. These amendments grant people basic civil rights, including speech, and rights in criminal trials. In addition, the 10th Amendment states that rights not explicitly given to the federal government are given to the states and the people.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Constitution balances this conflict by giving the government a great deal of power but, at the same time, limiting what it can use that power for.  The Constitution sets limits on what the government can do.  Some of these limits are in the original Constitution (no bills of attainder or ex post facto laws, guarantee of habeas corpus) while others are in the Bill of Rights (no searches without warrants, guarantee of jury trials).  By setting these limits, the Constitution tries to ensure that the great power of government (which is needed to keep order) will not be allowed to threaten liberty excessively.