Understanding the political state of the United States requires a proper understanding of the constitution. An analysis of the constitution allows one to better understand how certain decisions in the country are made. This is because the constitution and the constitutional principles are the main framework under which the country is run. The following paper answers three questions related to the formation of the constitution, the interpretation of the constitution and the contents of the constitution in view of gaining a better understanding of the country’s affairs.
- Evaluate why the Founding Fathers did not include the Bill of Rights in the original Constitution.
The United States has always been associated with freedom and the notion of upholding the rights of the American people. However, the rights in the current constitution were not included in the original version of the constitution. The founding fathers of the constitution did not find it necessary to include a bill of rights in the constitution mainly because it was not part of their immediate agenda. The immediate agenda of the founding fathers was to establish a federal government that could operate effectively. The most immediate concern for the founding fathers was to ensure that they could effectively run the government after the withdrawal of the British colonialists in the United States. The founding fathers thus felt that amending the constitution to include the bill of rights was not as pressing a concern as the need to effectively form a function government.
The decision not to include the bill of rights in the original American constitution was however not popular with all the founding fathers. There are some such as George Mason from Virginia who felt that failure to do so would leave the federal government free to violate the rights of the American people in the same manner as the British colonialists had done to the people (Broadwater, 26). I believe that these fears were well founded and may be part of the reason that some of the rights took a long time to materialize in the country. I believe that had the founding fathers included the bill of rights in the original constitution, most of the rights that were being fought for in the country for the big part of the 19th and 20th centuries. The respect that including the bill of rights in the constitution would have attracted would have made it easier for a culture of respect for human rights to be engrained in the American society.
- Analyze the significance of McCulloch vs. Maryland (1819) on federalism, making sure to discuss the general Constitutional principles established.
Supreme Court cases have always played a major role in the development of the country in terms of making significant rulings that alter the socio-political path of the country. One of such cases is the McCulloch vs. Maryland (1819) case that had a significant impact on federalism in the country. The United States was still at its infancy as a republic when the law was filed and heard which made it all the more important in the country. The McCulloch vs. Maryland (1819) case was significant mainly because it was the first time that the powers of the congress were really being tested. The dynamics of the case meant that the case was going to have major implications on the future of the United States regardless of the outcome of the case. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of the federal government and stopped short of awarding congress the powers to do whatever it wished.
People still debate to whether the ruling was correct or whether it afforded the federal government way too much power. Most people who oppose the ruling argue that it gave the federal government and congress too much power over the state governments and their subjects. I however feel that the ruling was made in light of the need for political order in the country. The ruling established the general constitutional principle that the federal government and congress had powers to act on behalf of the citizenry which was crucial for the maintenance of a politically stable country. If the ruling had been made against the federal government, it would have resulted in more states undermining the authority of the federal government especially those states that have traditionally been considered radical states. The ruling was thereby suitable in light of the need for the country to ascribe to a particular political order regardless of whether a state shares similar ideas to the federal government of the day. It is no wonder then that the federal government continues to be a source of political order in the country despite the politically complex nature of the country’s governance.
- Evaluate the 1) supremacy clause and the 2) full faith and credit clause in the U.S. Constitution.
The supremacy clause in the United States constitution states that the constitution and the laws of the United States and all treaties either existing or that shall be made under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land. Most people undermine the relevance of the supremacy clause which I believe is one of the most important clauses in the constitution. This is because it gives the constitution the power to govern the country. The supremacy clause is the one that affords the constitution the power to determine or influence all the future affairs of the country. The supremacy clause explicitly states that the constitution is the supreme law of the land which is important for the country to attain and maintain political order. The supremacy clause eliminates any doubt that may exist as to what governs the country and this is important for political order in the country.
The full faith and credit clause in the United States constitution focuses on the respect of member states for the public acts, records and judicial proceedings of every other state. This clause is significant to the harmonious existence of member states within the United States of America. It establishes the boundaries that each state is supposed to reach in respect to other member states. The clause was a masterstroke by the founding fathers as it foresaw potential clashes between member states and dealt with this by ensuring that each member state was to respect every other state within the American umbrella. The full faith and credit clause has certainly played a major role in the peaceful co-existence among member states as without it there would have been room for disrespect and ultimately political contests among member states.
The constitution of the United States is not a rigid document but one that has continued to evolve to fit the changing times as the bill of rights proves. The founding fathers were however intelligent enough to include certain clauses that ensured that the political stability of the country was on the right constitutional framework through clauses such as the supremacy clause. The Supreme Court has also played a major role in the constitution’s development through landmark rulings that eliminate doubts over what the constitution demands. All these factors have significantly influenced the state of the United States of America as is currently constituted.
Broadwater, Jeff. The Forgotten Founder. New York: Univ of North Carolina Press, 2009. Print.