VII.4: The Separation of Powers

One of America’s founding principles was that liberty cannot survive unless power is divided into multiple hands. The doctrine of separation of powers has a long history. The ancients (Greek and Roman) divided power according to a plan called mixed government. That is, they mixed or divided power between a monarchy, an aristocracy, and a … Read more

VII.1: The Origin of the Ideas behind the US Constitution

In early history, people referred to England as Angle-land because of a tribe that settled there called the Angles. Then, in the fifth century, another tribe called the Saxons began to leave what is now the state of Saxony in Germany. They traveled by sea to what is now England. (Jefferson 1774) Later, the Angles … Read more

VI.4: The Virginia Resolution

James Madison had more influence than any other person in creating the form of the U.S. Constitution. Madison wrote the Virginia Resolution a decade after the Constitution. But both came from his understanding of tyranny. That is, to prevent it, a government must divide power between separate groups of people. If the nation is to … Read more

V.5: The Power of the American President

Is the power of the American President too great? In America, a president is beyond the control of the public until the end of the four year term. So does the power of the American president threaten the liberties of the public? On the other hand, is the executive branch bureaucracy beyond the control of … Read more

I.1: America’s Representative Democracy

What is “business as usual” in America’s representative democracy today? Government by two gangs (political parties) has replaced government by the people’s representatives. Politicians must get re-elected, so they cater to their largest campaign donors. Rich and powerful elites dominate both parties. Each party wipes out the previous accomplishments of the other, so little ever … Read more