THREE OAKS MIDDLE SCHOOL Checks and balances Seperations of Powers Kaylee Esckilsen Advanced Civics Period ¾Mr, McKellar Monday, December 11 2017 In September of 1786, the Annapolis Conference took place to discuss ways to help stabilize the country. Prior to this meeting there were limited rules and regulations from state to state and this made people question the future of the United States of America. Not all states sent delegates to represent them at this meeting, there were only five of the 13 states that sent any delegates (Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia). Delaware, New Jersey, and Virginia were the only states that attended that enough delegates present, so the meeting did not turn out as they had expected. Over the next year, many meetings were held in the different states and new plans were discussed. It was not until September 17, 1787, that the final draft of the Constitution was signed including the details of checks and balances. An still today checks and balances system works as good as ever. Most of the original states had representatives that were appointed to Constitutional Convention. Rhode Island did not have anyone they appointed and many of the famous names at the time could not attend such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock. Of the 70 people that were appointed, 55 delegates attended the Constitutional Convention and only 39 actually signed the Constitution. These individuals that helped to shape or frame American to what we know it today are known as the Founding Fathers or the Framers. When the founding fathers created the Constitution they had in their thoughts and minds what they wanted to write, it just took a year to get all the majority of the states to agree. Checks and balances are important to three levels of government: the legislative, judicial, and executive. The executive branch is a branch of federal and state government. The executive branch is held by the president and the vice president is also part of the executive branch. The judicial branch is a made to explain the laws. The judicial branch is made up of the supreme court. The legislative branch there most important job is to make laws. The legislative branch is made up of houses of representatives and senate. The separations of power provide a shared power known as checks and balances. The constitution is one of the most important things in history. It has gone hand and hand with many different things including things that are happening today in our society. The constitution separates the government into three separate branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. Each branch has there own distinguished power which in that case is called the separations of powers. Each branch checks on the other branches powers and they use a system called checks and balances.This means that no branch can gain too much power against the other branches. The president in the executive branch can veto a law, but the legislative branch can override that veto with enough votes. When the founding fathers created the constitution they developed a system to limit the powers of government. James Madison stated, “power ought to be mistrusted” and no one person should have enough power to control themselves. The Separation of Powers Provision in the Constitution stated within the following three articles: Article I, Section. 1: All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives. Article II, Section. 1: The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. Article III, Section. 1: The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The three articles were developed as a way to balance the power among the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government. It also provides a system for checks and balances to make sure that one branch or person did not have too much control. The perfect example of the what the founding fathers were trying to develop is the first paragraph of the United State’s Constitution, the preamble, it sets the goal of the document as the following, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” The President as the Commander in Chief is in charge of the executive branch. Other representatives include the vice-president, the presidential cabinet and currently fifteen government departments such as the Department of Education, Department of Defense, the Treasury Department, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). Article II of the United States Constitution gives the President as head of the executive branch the power to enforce laws. The checks and balances is a way to make sure the President does not have complete control over the decisions that are made and the other two branches can stop him with a veto. The legislative branch is run by Congress and is made up of the house of representatives and the Senate. The house of representatives has 435 elected members from the 50 states with numbers based on individual states population. Two senators are elected from each of the 50 states to create the group of 100 senators. The legislative branch has the power to pass bills, declare war, and ratify treaties. They also have the power to impeach the president and can override a president’s veto with a majority vote.The judicial branch is made to explain the laws and to determine if a law is constitutional. Each state has a different number of representatives, with the number determined by the state’s population, through a process known as “apportionment.” In Florida, we have 27 representatives from across the state. The legislative branch, as a whole, is charged with passing the nation’s laws and allocating funds for the running of the federal government and providing assistance to the 50 United States. The judicial branch includes judges and courts that focus on the law. In 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that it was unconstitutional as freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. President Trump Cuts Social Security And Medicaid, Breaking Major Promises, Trump states that “This plan will put our Nation’s budget back into balance and begin to reduce the national debt through fiscally conservative principles that respect American taxpayers – all while preserving Social Security and Medicare.” The Supreme Court’s primary function is to hear cases that challenge the constitutionality of legislation or require interpretation of that legislation. The U.S. Supreme Court has nine Justices, who are chosen by the President, confirmed by the Senate. The separations of power provide a shared power known as checks and balances and has been used in recent situations. President Trump signed executive order 13769 on January 27, 2017, titled protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the The United States. Federal courts have put their checks and balances to limit the progress. In 2006, president George W. Bush signed the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 into law. It made it a federal misdemeanor to falsely represent oneself as having served in the military or received any military medals. Since the act was a new law it was passed by Congress in the legislative branch. The Stolen Valor Act was brought up again in 2013 and makes it a federal crime subject to a fine or even prison time for people that collect money, property, or other benefits that have been set aside for those awarded military honors. One of the most famous examples of the use of checks and balances was when the Civil War ended in 1865 and the 13th Amendment was passed to end slavery. President Lincoln set up the Freedmen’s Bureau to help enforce the amendment and make sure that all slaves were in fact free and their rights were protected. President Lincoln used his executive power to make sure the intent of the amendment was followed and they were not forced back into slavery. Checks and balances help keep people and organizations honest and keep everyone moving in the same direction that the interested parties have set as the correct path. Some of the earliest forms of government have implemented some form for a check and balance system. Checks and balances offer stability, rules, and structure, which are all important for control of a nation. Anytime you have ever played a game, there has most likely been a set of rules that control how the game is played. Each player cannot do whatever he wants. The rules tell each player what he or she can and cannot do so that the game is played fairly and that no one player has a bigger advantage than another to win. Just like there are rules when we play games, the branches of the United States federal government have a set of rules they must follow and these were developed as our guide book through the United States Constitution and all the accompanying documents such as the Preamble, Articles, and Amendments. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – Declaration of Independence, 1776
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