The Founding Fathers’ Constitution
The Founding Fathers of the United States were directed as well as inspired by God in the creation and writing of the United States Constitution. Over the 220 plus years that the constitution has existed the constitution has undergone many changes. To distinguish the original constitution from the constitution that the United States is governed by today we will call the original document the Founding Fathers Constitution.
The U. S. Founding Fathers were provided with a unique perspective that few people in history have experienced firsthand that is living under both extremes of government rule. The authority of a tyrannical government as well as living under an ineffectual government charter with insufficient powers to govern. Initially life under the King George III of England was acceptable. In fact, most of the people enjoyed life under the authority of the King of England. As time passed grievances arose that the King was unable or unwilling to address. The King’s unwillingness to correct the problems encountered by the colonists mounted till corrections had to be made. The King refusing to address the problems worsened the situation for the colonists by adding additional laws, tariffs and taxes onto the backs of the colonists. A once loved King George III became a tyrannical leader. The U. S. Founding Fathers attempted to redress the situation through every legal avenue they had available. This eventually led to a hardening of positions on both sides which in turn led to the Revolutionary War.
Life under an Ineffective Government Charter
The colonies after cutting ties with England established a charter the Articles of Confederation to administer the duties, obligations of the thirteen colonies as well as conducting the war. The Articles of Confederation were found to be ineffective not providing sufficient authority to the central government. The Articles of Confederation were dependent upon the colonies relinquishing authority over their territory. The colonists as well as their colonial governments were unwilling to give the central government sufficient authority to effectively govern the thirteen colonies. In spite of these deficiencies the Colonists were able to win the Revolutionary War. George Washington credited the colonies performance in the war to acts of Providence. The colonists lived several years under the limited authority of the central government governing using the Articles of Confederation charter. This allowed the colonists to understand the disadvantages of life under a government that did not possess sufficient authority to effectively rule. Living under these two extremes the Founding Fathers knew the disadvantages of both governmental entities. The Founding Fathers historical experience allowed them to create a comprehensive document designed to protect the rights of the people.
The Founding Father’s Constitution
Life under the rule of the King taught the colonists to fear absolute control. Whereas life under the charter of the Articles of Confederation taught the Founders that a central government must have certain powers and authority to be able to govern properly. Faced with these two opposing positions the U. S. Founding Fathers undertook the creation of the United States Constitution.
Checks and Balances
The Founders were fearful that a central government over time would increase its authority and control over the people established sets of checks and balances to limit the ability of the central government to morph into a tyrannical government without the approval of the States and the people. To protect the rights and freedom of the people checks and balances were established. Thomas Jefferson believed that the government at the State level, being closer to the people, would provide the people with greater representation. By balancing the authority of the national government with the combined powers of the States the powers of the national government are limited. In this manner the powers of the Federal government are balanced between the States and the Federal or central government. Though the power of the Federal government was now balanced the Founding Fathers were still fearful that the central government could still develop into a tyrannical government body. Further checks were established to limit and restrict the ability of the central government from acquiring additional authority and power over the people. Among the checks three entities of the national government established branches with specific duties and responsibilities. Each branch had VETO authority over the other branches. The bi-camel congress was given separate distinct responsibilities. A bi-camel congress was established to represent their segment of the controlling government bodies. The Senate was to defend the State’s rights whereas the House of Representatives were to represent the people. It is this VETO authority that provides the checks to an out-of-control Federal government.
The Federal government’s authority and powers are derived directly from the States. The States were placed between the Federal government and the people. In this way the States are a “Wall of Political Protection” protecting the rights and freedom of the people. To accomplish this control authority the States were provided with Senators that would be under direct control of their State legislature. The U. S. Senators were to report directly to their State legislature to determine the response the Senators should or should not take at the Federal level of government. The U. S. Senators were appointed by their States legislature. The Senators were subject to the dictates of their particular State’s legislature. In this way the States could protect the States authority as well as protect the freedom of its citizenry from infringing power of the Federal government. The House of Representatives was established to represent and protect the people of their state. The House Representatives were elected by their state’s registered voters. The House Representatives served subject to the dictates of the people.
The Founding Fathers established the separation of powers along with the redundancy of checks and balances so that the unalienable rights and freedom of the people could be adequately protected. The Founders were so fearful of the possibility that the central government would morph over time to become tyrannical that the Bill of Rights was added to the Founding Fathers constitution. The Bill of Rights established the specific restrictions dictating the limits that were to be placed on the Federal government. It was only with the addition of the Bill of Rights to the constitution that all the Founders got on board willing to accept the Founding Fathers constitution as the official governing document. The Founders constitution was completed in 1787 and enacted in into the law of the land in 1789.