The United States of America is the successful republic, which emerged in the monarchical world of the eighteenth century. The Founding Fathers perceived the Old World as a threat to the young American country, which consisted of a dozen independent states. Thus, the founders decided to unite the states in a new political formation of the republic for countering the threats and challenges of the Old World and its colonies. At the same time, the Founding Fathers wanted neither dictators nor any new monarchs at the head of the Union. Furthermore, the Article of Confederation of 1778 became out-of-date and could not serve as the major law in the new America. In addition, the central power was weak, and each state had its own laws and could cancel any central legislative act. Congress consisted of one house, where each state had an equal number of representatives irrespective of the population. Moreover, Congress depended on states because each state gave money or soldiers for support of the country.
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Only a new constitution could solve the vital problems and unite all states into a sole democratic republic in order to protect the individual rights of each American citizen. The Constitution of the United States became a unique democratic law, which declared the emergence of a new American nation and the establishment of a strong democratic republic. It divided the power into three branches, declared the two-chamber parliament, and established federal and states powers. The aim of the paper is to consider how the Constitution managed to regulate many problems, protect the individual rights of citizens, and strengthen the central power of the democratic republic.
The Philadelphia Convention of 1787 is the most significant historical event of the United States of America because it defined the further development of the young American republic bypassing the Constitution. The new Constitution became the major national document and law of the United States, which determined the new country as a federative republic. The manuscript defined the three branches of power, the roles of the president, described the parliament and judiciary, divided federal and states powers, and proclaimed equal rights for all American citizens, guaranteeing the protection of their individual rights and freedoms. The Framers had different points of view on slavery, the rights of states, and the Federal Government. Some of them debated for a two-house parliament and considered the representation of states in it. Some considered the taxation in the republic to be an important concern for the Constitution. As a matter of fact, the Philadelphia Convention triggered the emergence of political parties in the new republic to govern the new American nation and its citizens, which was proclaimed in the Constitution in the first sentence of its Preamble. Thus, the delegates of the Convention divided into two opposing groups according to their political viewpoints on the republic: Virginia and the New Jersey Plans. There were many debates in the Convention concerning the Constitution, and the delegates passed it in the result of the Great Compromise for the sake of the existence of the United States and its nation.
American democracy consists of the protected by law individual freedoms and rights of each American on the one hand, and the representation of interests of all citizens in the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches of power on the other hand. At the same time, each American should pay taxes to support the country, because it was fixed in the Constitution as the major obligation of the nation. Thus, each American is equal before the law irrespective of the ethnic origin, race, religion, beliefs, political viewpoint, business activity, or social position. The National American ideology is based on Christian virtues, the American exceptionalism, individualism, and private property. It ensures striving for the wealthy and happy life of each person. Therefore, slavery became an illegal phenomenon in the United States, and Thomas Jefferson stated the necessity to abolish the shameful practice in the new free republic. At the same time, the representatives of the Southern States and Alexander Hamilton claimed that slaves were the major working force in the South. Therefore, both groups of opponents made a compromise to prohibit slave trades. However, the law was executed only in 1808. Thus, Article 1 Section 9 of the Constitution transfers the right on the import of individuals to states. In 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment completely abolished slavery.
The delegates did not want the monarchical regime to emerge in the country. Thus, they composed two plans on how to form organs of the national power. The Virginia Plan was more successful than the New Jersey one. According to the Virginia Plan, the United States operated on the Two-Chamber Parliament. It consisted of the Congress and the Senate to satisfy interests of all states. The Constitution defined that the Lower House, the Congress, had representatives of all states, but their number depended on the population in the state. The second House, the Senate, consisted of the equal number of senators from each state irrespective of the population (Article 1 of the Constitution). Therefore, the Parliament formed a legislative branch. The executive branch was embodied by the President and his Administration. The judicial branch consisted of the Supreme Court and its subordinate organs. The new structure eliminates the emergence of any totalitarian monarchical dynasty to rule in the United States because the whole power in the country is divided into three branches. In addition, neither branch has absolute power in the country. American citizens elect the Parliament and the President while the President assigned for life the Supreme Court, which the Senate should confirm. Both Parliament and the President have certain limited terms in office, after which they should be reelected. Thus, the abovementioned three branches of the National power ensured the democratic political structure of the United States.
The Founding Fathers wanted to strengthen the central power with the protection of the rights of states. At the same time, they did not want to create another Confederacy to replace the democratic institutions of the federal government. Therefore, the separation of states power from the federal one was another significant step to democracy. As J. D. Williams states, such delegates as Alexander Hamilton, George Mason, and James Madison claimed for the solid protection of the individual rights and freedoms of each citizen. Moreover, George Mason wanted to abolish slavery because delegates did not know how slaves would be represented in Parliament. In addition, a problem of the adoption of the Bill of Rights of James Madison gave more difficulties to the work of the Convention. The white population of the Southern states considered slaves as private property, and at the same time, the Southern delegates wanted more representatives in the Parliament. Therefore, all Framers agreed to add three-fifth of the slave population of a state to its white population. The participants would define the necessary number of representatives in Congress. Moreover, they agreed that the Bill of Rights should be observed by states. Thus, each state guaranteed individual freedoms and human rights to every citizen. Therefore, as Williams states, ten Amendments to the Constitution were adopted by the end of 1791. They guarantee the protection of individual rights of each person for religion, expression, and possessing a weapon in the private property. Also, they regulate a settlement of soldiers at the peaceful time, protect private property and citizens from unreasonable imprisonment or searches, and regulate trials and punishments.
The Federal power enjoyed rights on taxation, commerce, and the military. Thus, the state power was separated from the federal one, but the Parliament elected the President. It lasted till 1800 when the Seventeenth Amendment was passed. It gave the right to American citizens to elect the President. Concerning individual rights, Joseph Story states that a general bill of rights would be improper in a constitution of limited powers…; and might even be dangerous, as by containing exceptions from powers not granted. The American government was a part of the American people because they elected it to protect their interests. Therefore, Americans could change the central power when it did not execute its obligations in a proper way. It was the major reason why the Bill of Rights was not included in the Constitution, but each state gained the right to protect the individual freedoms of every citizen. In addition, Joseph Story attracts attention to the first sentence of the Preamble, which proclaimed the Americans as an independent nation that formed its democratic republic with all elected branches of power.
The United States of America became a legislative republic with the constitutional government because Congress passed and ratified the law. The American Republic was federal because it consisted of independent states and had two levels of power, acted from people and for the government. It was a democratic republic because the nation could elect its representatives and the power was divided into three branches (legislative, executive, and judiciary) lest any hierarchical monarchy should emerge. At the same time, the republic was conservative because it protected the private property first of all. Finally, the Congress elected senators and the indirect election of the President existed till 1800. At the same time, individual freedoms and human rights of each citizen were protected, though slavery was abolished only in 1865. Nowadays, the United States of America has built a civic democratic society, which is an example for the whole world to emulate.