1. In the first years of the existing of the American state, the absence of articles in the text of the Constitution guaranteeing civil rights became a major topic of political controversy associated with the specific groups and parties’ interests. During four years after the adoption of the Constitution, Congress received numerous proposals. The main of the proposed amendments were reflected in the addendum prepared by James Madison. It guaranteed the rights to freedom of religion, speech and press, freedom of assembly, the right to keep and bear arms, security of a person and home, a fair administration of justice, and the introduction of jury trials. These articles made the first ten amendments to the US Constitution. Following the ratification of the amendments by the state legislatures, they became part of the Constitution of the United States under the title The Bill of Rights.
The Bill of Rights has been and remains a major landmark of the lawful behavior. It became the main legal document guaranteeing individual political rights and freedoms of the US citizens. The Bill of Rights put an end to the concept of the divine origin of the king and the government typical of the early medieval Europe and the era of absolutism. Although the wording of The Bill of Rights was rather vague and opened a wide scope for interpretation and regulation, from a historical point of view, it became extremely significant.
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2. In the United States, there is the separation of the national government into three branches – judicial, executive, and legislative. The branches are not independent as the Constitution of the state established a system of checks and balances. The aim of the system is to guarantee that no one branch becomes too significant. Every branch of the government has a full power to check and balance the actions and decision of other branches.
Every branch has specific duties and responsibilities. However, despite this, each of them controls and checks the other two. “If one branch abuses its power, the others can use their checks to thwart it” (Welch, Gruhl, Rigdon, and Thomas 51). In such a way, each branch ascertains that the other branches do not violate their powers. Thus, they check and balance each other. This system eliminates any attempt of the usurpation of other branches’ powers and ensures the normal functioning of the state. For example, if Congress puts forward a bill that the President considers unacceptable, the President can veto it. It means that the bill does not become a law.
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3. The Supreme Court is the top of the federal judicial pyramid. “Indeed the US Supreme Court – the highest of the federal courts – constitutes the third branch of government” (Grant and Ashbee 121). It is the only court the creation of which is specifically provided by the Constitution. The Supreme Court is the highest court of the state.
The US Supreme Court is a part of the federal court. However, its functioning is mixed. It performs appellate jurisdiction over the cases from the US courts of appeals and state courts on the matters of federal law. The function of the retrial of cases of the state and federal courts gives the Supreme Court an exceptional position in the American judicial system. Resolutions of the Supreme Court concerning the cases from the lower courts create precedents for the interpretation of the Constitution and federal laws governed by other courts.
4. The legal state power is not absolute. To avert the appearance of an absolute power, the branches of power must be separated and divided. Due to this, a state operates legally.
The classical division of powers consists of three branches – judicial, executive, and legislative. The legislative branch of government is engaged in the development and adoption of laws and other regulations governing social life. It also approves and controls the country’s budget. The legislative power is represented by the representatives elected from all the states. It is the only branch that has a right to establish federal laws, establish and collect federal taxes, declare war, and implement agreements with foreign states. The legislative power is represented by Congress that consists of two chambers. The supreme legislative body in the United States is Congress, which along with the executive (the President of the United States) and judicial (Supreme Court) branches forms the federal government.
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5. The United States of America is a democratic state. Abraham Lincoln described the US government as the government of the people and for the people. He called the United States a country conceived in liberty and equality (Welch, Gruhl, Rigdon, and Thomas 15). Therefore, the Constitution guarantees equality to every citizen.
The idea of equality is the basis of the existence of a modern democratic state. It is a prerequisite for the creation of a civil society. At the national level, the principle of equality before the law and the court is reflected in the US Constitution. Accordingly, citizens have equal constitutional freedoms and rights; they are equal before the law. There can be neither restrictions nor privileges based on the color, race, religious, political, and other beliefs. Also, sex, social or ethnic origin, language, place of residence, property status, and other characteristics cannot serve as the basis for any form of discrimination.
6. There is another essential element of the American political structure not provided with any written documents – the institute of political parties. Political parties are organized groups of people who share certain opinions on how the United States should be managed. They work together to ensure that their elected candidates participate in the country’s government. Forming the majority in Congress, the members of a political party can have a significant impact on the nature of the received legislation.