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This essay then was written originally to inform non-Americans as to how the American political system works. What has been striking, however, is how many Americans - especially young Americans - have found the essay useful and insightful.
There is considerable evidence that many Americans know and understand little about the political system of their own country - possibly more than is the case with any other developed democratic nation. It has found that the two worst subjects for American students are civics and American history.
On one of my trips to the United States, I was eating cereal for breakfast and found that the whole of the reverse side of the cereal packet was devoted to a short explanation of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the American government.
I find it hard to imagine that many democratic nations would feel it necessary to explain such a subject in such a format. It is probably more important than ever than both Americans and non-Americans understand the fundamentals of the American political system because, in Donald Trump, we have a US President who is behaving quite unlike his predecessors and effectively challenging the famed constitutional system of 'checks and balances'.
So I hope that this explanation helps But this is a fundamental neccesity in the case of the American political system. This is because the Constitution of the United States is so different from those of other nations and because that Constitution is, in all material respects, the same document as it was over two centuries ago.
There were four main factors in the minds of the 'founding fathers' who drafted the US Constitution: The United States had just fought and won a bloody War of Independence from Britain and it was determined to create a political system that was totally different from the British system in which considerable authority still resided in a hereditary King George III at the time or Queen and in which Parliament was increasingly assertive in the exercise of its growing powers.
Therefore the new constitution deliberately spread power between the three arms of government - executive, legislature and judiciary - and ensured that each arm was able to limit the exercise of power by the other arms. The United States was already a large country with problems of communications and a population of varied background and education.
Therefore, for all the intentions to be a new democracy, it was seen as important to limit the influence of swings in public opinion. So the election of the president was placed in the hands of an Electoral College, rather than the subject of direct election, and the terms of office of the president and the two chambers of the legislature were all set at different lengths.
The United States was the creation of 13 individual states, each of which valued its traditions and powers, and so the overarching federal government was deliberately limited in its powers compared to the position of the central government in other nations.
Arguably the later Civil War was about states' rights more than it was about slavery and there is still a real tension today between the states and federal government. The original 13 states of the USA were of very different size in terms of population and from the beginning there was a determination by the smaller states that political power should not be excessively in the hands of the larger states.
Therefore the Constitution is built on a 'Great Compromise' between the Virginia plan representation by population and the New Jersey plan equal representation for all states which resulted in the House of Representatives being constructed on the basis of population and the Senate being composed of an equal number of representatives regardless of population.
This is why today six states have only one member in the House of Representatives but two members in the Senate. The effect of the 'Great Compromise' was to give disproportionate influence to the smaller states where the population tends to be more rural and more conservative and, over the last two centuries, this impact has become greater.
Inthe most populous state, Virginia, was 20 times larger than the least, Tennessee. Today, the equivalent ratio - California compared to Wyoming - is 67 to 1.
This impacts the political composition of both the Senate and the Electoral College. Also, whatever the 'founding fathers' intended, the sheer longevity of the Constitution and the profound changes in America since its drafting means that today the balance of power between the three arms of state is not necessarily what the drafters of the Constitution had in mind.
So originally the legislature was seen as the most powerful arm of government it is described first in the Constitution but, over time, both the Presidency starting with the time of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War and the Supreme Court especially on social issues like desegregation, marriage and abortion have assumed more power.
The Declaration of Independence of and the Constitution of form the foundations of the United States federal government.
The Declaration of Independence establishes the United States as an independent political entity, while the Constitution creates the basic structure of the federal government. Further information on the thinking expressed in the Constitution can be found in the Federalist Papers which are a series of 85 articles and essays published in promoting the ratification of the Constitution.
The United States Constitution is both the longest-lasting in the world, being over two centuries old, and one of the the shortest in the world, having just seven articles and 27 amendments the constitutions of Jordan, Libya and Iceland are the shortest in the world running to a mere 2, words.
As well as its age and brevity, the US Constitution is notable for being a remarkably stable document. The first 10 amendments were all carried in - the same year as the original constitution - and are collectively known as the Bill of Rights.timberdesignmag.com: The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology (): William Lane Craig, J.
P. Moreland: Books. Get daily world news, expert opinion and research from sources around the world. Read essays on U.S. foreign policy from World Affairs Journal and blogs by widely acclaimed commentators.
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The Series diesel cost Leyland a packet – and not just in development costs. Mike Humble tells the story of this 'interesting' engine Fixed head asset.
The "detailed descriptions" of these LPs may be read by visiting the respective file for each classification (see the Internal Links Section below). These "descriptions" also include many essays and anecdotes, plus comparisons of the different recordings and pressings of the famous "blockbuster" orchestral works.