The present governmental system of the United States began with a Constitution framework which grew and developed over time to meet the various needs of its citizens. When the young nation was trying to form a government, it was extremely difficult to try and meet the needs of its people. They decided that they should address and define the powers of Congress, which include several points that set it apart from the executive branch and the judicial branch. The Congress can levy taxes, including the amount, authorize government spending, print and borrow money. Yet, even though it has all these powers, there is still a system of checks and balances it must go through. All three branches come into play before any laws can be passed, or thrown out. By utilizing this method the people have fair representation concerning most of the laws that will eventually affect each them. A true democracy must have a government that knows how to be responsive to the needs and wishes of its people, and how to restrain from interfering with civil rights and liberties that should be given a free nation. With this system of checks and balances laws that have been made can also be changed if they are not popular with the vast majority.
The Legislative Branch is the law making part of the United States government. The legislative branch includes the two chambers of the Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Plus all the staff that belongs to these two branches. This branch passes a bill that becomes law if it is signed by the president of the United States. This is usually accomplished without many problems, yet in 1803, there was a case that became known as the turning point in American constitutional history. In Marbury vs. Madison
William Marbury was an appointee who did not get his appointment to become a justice of the peace. This man was nominated by John Adams, who lost the election to James Madison,, and Madison did not feel the need to give him the appointment. The Chief Justice was John Marshall, and he came up with a brilliant solution to the problem. On the one hand, he declared that Madison was in violation of the law for refusing to deliver the papers. On the other, he ruled that the law under which the court should issue a writ of mandamus was unconstitutional. Marshall’s reasoning was that the court did not have original jurisdiction, or authority, in such a case, only appellate, or review, jurisdiction. Although the outcome of Marbury seems inevitable today, at the time it was a dramatic statement of nationalism. It underscored the importance of the federal government – especially the power of the Supreme Court. This case has been used to support the outcome in many major constitutional cases involving the power of the president.
The laws are important and prudent in order to keep our society from complete and utter chaos. There must be laws to help direct the population and keep our freedoms in working order. The branch of the government that is devoted to administering and enforcing the country’s laws is the Executive Branch. This branch has bureaucracies that disperse funds, manage programs, provide services, and enforce regulations and laws. They also make rules that have the force of law behind them. So, during Prohibition, it was forbidden to sale, make, or distribute liquor. It was against the law. The government enforced this law with jail sentences, fines, federal agents, and local law enforcement. As time went on, the government came to realize that this was a extremely unpopular law. Eventually, alcohol was made legal, but it was to be controlled and regulated by each state. This shows that the Congress can act for the will of its people and keep up with changing times.
As time progressed and women became more important and equal, the Congress decided to pass a law that gave women the right to vote. All free citizens, including ex-slaves, all races and nationalities, had the power to vote in local, state, and federal elections. Congress also made the slaves a free people with equal opportunities as every other American citizen. As times change, so does the government, and the Congress.
As these laws are made,