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U.S. Constitution and Its System of Government

One of the strengths of the U.S. Constitution and the system of government it created and supports is flexibility, and both the document and the governmental structure have evolved. This evolution has been positive in nature, and in effect the American system has tended toward increased equality, increased fairness, and increased opportunity for all. Another way of stating this is that the American system has become more like the ideal that the Constitution has held out for it. In the beginning, the governmental structure created was not the equitable system of equality of opportunity and treatment before the law that has often been claimed. The Constitution as ratified in 1787 did not apply equally to all the people in the new United States. Many provisions did not apply to women, for instance, and slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of and representation. Property owners were given greater power and more rights than those who did not own property. Yet, the document also reflected a desire for balance and sought a number of means to accomplish this, from the checks and balances between branches to the larger balance between federal prerogatives and states' rights. Different groups benefited more from the Constitution in 1787, but as noted, the power of the document has been that over time inequities have been addressed. Perhaps not all have been eliminated, but the inherent imbalances of 1787 have been largely removed.

The doctrines of liberalism and republicanism were both involved in the development of the Constitution, and the two approaches were discussed, compared, and argued in the debate between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. The basic issue in these discussions was the ratification of the Constitution, with the Federalists supporting this document and the federal form of government it would represent and the Anti-Federalists opposing the document and the underlying philosoph...

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U.S. Constitution and Its System of Government. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:10, April 21, 2019, from