The constitution of the United States of America

The constitution of the United States of America

The constitution of the United States of America has been around for quite some time. The constitution was written approximately 200 years ago. It has been considered an excellent foundation for the building of great nations. It contains all the essential laws that help govern the country. They are considered the supreme law of the land. The constitution of the United States of America for a couple of decades, has been used to speer economic growth, political stability, as well as social progress(Longley, 2019). Constitution-making is an elaborate process that involves one of the elite minds. It not only influenced by people elected to write the laws but also inspired by different complicated political and economic backgrounds. This essay will seek to understand the process of making the laws enshrined in the constitution of the United States of America and whether they are designed to give the government limited powers. It is essential to understand the History of different incidents within the country that led to the formation of laws that meant to limit the powers of the government.

After the period of the revolutionary war, the country conditions were characterized by economic depression and crisis within the political arena. This was because the articles of confederation had drafted a very loose association, which would eventually lead to a government with minimal powers. In this instance, the central government was in a position that it would not get any dominant position within the country’s political arena. This would provide a leeway for the states to be able to execute processes within their ways and methods(Editors, 2009). A government with limited powers was not an incapacity to pay its debt, and it could not even regulate foreign and domestic commerce. It is essential to understand in a government that has limited power; it cannot also protect the citizens. This is because it cannot maintain a strong military force that can be used to protect the country from any foreign violations. This was during the past, and things have changed gradually with the central government much more control.

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A limited government

First, it is essential to understand what a limited government is. This refers to having the power of the government to intervene in the lives of individuals and activities in which they undertake is limited by the constitutional law(Kenton, 2020). The government of the United States of America is one of the limited government examples available. The exact opposite of a limited government is absolutism, which is a system that bestows all power over all the activities being carried out in a country to a single person. A good example is a king or queen. To understand how the government of the United States of America became limited, it is essential to learn about History. History dates back to the English Magna Carta of 1512(Editors, 2009). Although this system would deny the king certain powers, it would grant him certain king barons’ powers that they could exercise in opposition to the king’s policies.

The same has happened in the United States government. The constitution has a central government, which is limited by the document itself. This is due to the system having three branches of government, which can limit the powers of one another. This is also due to the right of the people to elect the president and the members of the congress freely. The concept of the limited government was made possible in the constitution through articles of confederation, which were ratified in 1781. The articles embodied a limited government without offering any solution of how the government could raise money to cater for the debts accrued through a revolutionary war that they went into or even any kind of war that they may get into through foreign aggression(Editors, 2009).

The situation needed changes that would be able to make the central government powerful enough to raise money to pay off its debts as well as purchase any military equipment’sin case of any foreign aggression.   It was also meant to prevent the country from sinking into any financial complications due to the limited government situation. The third incarnation of the continental congress ion conducted a meeting dubbed the constitutional convention in 1787 to 1789 to change the articles of confederation that had led to the issue(Longley, 2019). This meeting was characterized by the great debate between the delegates, which conceived the doctrine of limited government. This was proposed by James Madison in the federalist paper No. 45(Mark, 2019). The idea that Madison had was that they should have the powers maintained to the central government internally by the constitution. On the other hand, the power of the central government is limited externally by the American people. It is essential to understand the amendments were not cast on stone, and it is vital to allow for flexibility, which could create room for modifications in the coming years(Snowball, 2018).

In the constitution, the bill of Rights holds a critical part of the constitution. These bill of the right document the rights of the people and how they can exercise them. They are ten in total, and the first eight amendments detail the reasons that are retained by the people while the ninth and tenth amendments detail the procedures and processes of the limited government. In understanding how the government of the United States of America is limited, it is essential to check how the bill of rights is formulated. It is vital to understand that the government is limited in that it cannot interfere with the lives of the citizens of the country as it is prohibited in the first eight amendments in the bill of rights(Mark, 2019). It is also essential to understand the central government is limited in that some of the powers that have been denied to the central government are given to the local and state government means that they can exercise. In this case scenario, any of the powers that are not retained by the federal government or the local state government are given to the people.

It is essential to understand how the limited government comes about within the constitution. Some of the theories have been used to explain how the constitution limits the power that the government can exercise. These include the doctrine of separation, whereby each of the branches of the government has its level of control (Mark, 2019). This separation of powers allows the government to check each other and ensure that none of the branches have power concentrated on them. The three branches of the government include judicial, legislative, and executive. This separation of powers allows the country to enjoy political stability and also be able to carry out other essential functions within the government(Stanson, 2004). It is vital to understand as it stands; the theory of separation was coined in ancient times by Aristotle. Aristotle, during the period, favored the mixed government systems, which comprised of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy. This was because, according to Aristotle, none of the government systems was perfect, and the ideal way was to have each of them mixed.

With the introduction of the articles of confederation, it was apparent that it was important for the government to have the power to efficiently and effectively execute its duties. However, the concern was on the power being bestowed upon a single person. The worries that the concentration of the power on a single hand compelled the framers to have the new government, which has separated the powers(Mark, 2019). Different philosophers and elite minds supported the separation of powers. For instance, Locke, one of the philosophers from the British, argued that the sovereign power belonged to the people and not the rulers. He theorized that the political states were as a result of social contract among the people who agree upon the idea of having a government in exchange for protection of their lives, liberties, and some freedoms(Snowball, 2018).

Also, to the branches being given certain powers, it was essential to ensure that they are able the necessary weapons that could be utilized in fighting any form of encroachment from either of the branches. It is crucial to ensure that the separated powers were meant to have maximum efficiency and maximum freedom as well. It is critical to understand that each of these branches of the government may have the powers, but they are also limited. In this case, all the authorities in the legislative can also be vested in congress(Editors, 2009). In the same light and line of thought, the congress has the power to influence the composition of the judicial branch. Even though congress can vet the legal structure, the senate is also in a position to handle any form of impeachments.

The president as the mentor of the executive

The president is a member of the executive. To show that each of the branches can keep in check the activities of the other branch, the congress is in a position to override the president veto. The subsidiaries, including the executive, have powers that enable it to perform its duties effectively and efficiently. In this instance, the executive power is vested on the president as per the constitution on article2(Editors, 2009).  As president, he can make decisions that affect both the two branches of government. The executive power is to control the armed forces as well as the federal government. Also, judicial power is vested in the judiciary. Each of the branches makes up the government, meaning that also are limited by the constitution. In conclusion, the United States of America’s government not sufficiently defined, but it serves as one of the examples of constitutionally limited government(Kenton, 2020).


Editors, H. (2009, October 27). Constitution. Retrieved from History:

Kenton, W. (2020, January 22). Limited Government. Retrieved from Investopedia:

Longley, R. (2019, March 3). What Is a Constitutionally Limited Government? Retrieved from Thoughtco:

Mark, G. (2019, May 15). How the U.S. Constitution Separates National Power. Retrieved from Vartisy:

Snowball, T. (2018, March 15). Government power must be limited. Retrieved from Pacific Legal Foundation:

Stanson, J. (2004, June 4). Why Limit Government? Retrieved from The Heritage Foundation:


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