(NewsSpace.com) – In 1776, the Declaration of Independence declared that the original 13 colonies intended to break away from Great Britain permanently. Citing a long and comprehensive set of grievances, the founding fathers blamed one man for the problem. They stated, “the history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”
This one sentence encapsulated not just the reason for separation and the beginning of a new nation. It was the basis for setting up three co-equal branches of government. Up until the time America won its independence from Great Britain, monarchs ruled the world. Many of them were insecure and overbearing with their subjects. The checks and balances created in the US Constitution aimed to prevent one person from ever gaining complete power over the government and forced the government to respect the people’s liberties.
Some might say those who signed the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were insecure and didn’t trust one another. That might be an accurate assessment. Still, their concerns ultimately created the most powerful and free country in the history of the world. With its checks and balances, the founding fathers created the Constitution for one purpose: It ensures the preservation of liberty by ensuring the government cannot take advantage of the people.
3 Branches of Government
The framers understood that human beings desire power, influence, and authority. Some thought that kind of ambition resulted in greed and corruption. However, James Madison, the author of the Constitution, didn’t necessarily agree with that assessment. Instead, he believed if ambition were properly reigned in, it could benefit the public good.
In Federalist 51, Madison wrote that “ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” America’s system of checks and balances is the means to doing just that through the three branches of the federal government.
The principles behind the three branches of government are to ensure:
- Limited Government: The Constitution limits the government and only grants expressly stated powers.
- Separation of Powers: The executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government are equal but separate, and each enjoys its own unique powers and duties.
- Checks and Balances: Each branch of government enjoys Constitutional powers to check the others’ powers when one steps outside the Constitutional boundaries.
The three branches of government exist to ensure that tension and conflict always exist between them. Their primary purposes are to ensure that no one person or entity ever gains control over the government and maintain the government incapable of trampling on the people’s liberties.
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