The six principles of the Constitution are important because they make sure that our government will not be too powerful and that it will not be able to take our rights away from us very easily. All of the principles are aimed at this goal. Let us look at how...
The six principles of the Constitution are important because they make sure that our government will not be too powerful and that it will not be able to take our rights away from us very easily. All of the principles are aimed at this goal. Let us look at how this is so for each of the principles:
- Popular sovereignty. By giving the people the right to rule themselves, the Constitution protects our rights. We are the ones who are in charge and we will not be likely to vote for laws or representatives who take away our rights.
- Limited government. When we limit what the government can do, we make sure it is not too strong. We make sure that it does not have the power to take away our rights.
- Separation of powers. This ensures that no one part of government can get too strong. By giving different powers to the different branches, we make each branch too weak to tyrannize us. If there were one, all-powerful branch of government, it could more easily take away our rights.
- Checks and balances. This gives each branch power to stop the other branches from doing things to hurt us. For example, if the Congress passes a law that would take away our rights in some way, the President can veto it. This helps protect our rights.
- Judicial review. This is really just one aspect of checks and balances and separation of powers. It allows the Supreme Court to invalidate laws that are unconstitutional. By doing this, the Court can protect our freedoms from laws that infringe on them. For example, the Court protected the freedom of African Americans in the 1950s by ruling that laws that segregated schools were unconstitutional.
- Federalism. This splits power up between the states and the federal government. Again, this prevents any part of government from getting too powerful and abusing us. If the states have some power, they can resist federal attempts to reduce our rights.
Thus, all of the six principles of the Constitution are meant to prevent government from becoming too strong because a government that is too strong is one that can infringe on our rights.