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IN ORDER TO FORM A MORE PERFECT UNION: UNDERSTANDING THE MAIN PRINCIPLES OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION GOVT 421: American Constitutional History July 29 th , 2019
2 The Constitution of the United States is a timeless document that has withstood over 200 years of scrutiny, dissection, and interpretation. It is the basis for how the United States is supposed to function, and has evolved to cover the basic rights of all Americans. The writing and ratification of the United States Constitution has become one of the most significant moments in the history of Western civilization. The Constitution of the United States is surprisingly a very short, 4-page document that only lays out the essential details. The Founders never discussed anything in incredible detail, which has allowed future generations to develop specific laws. The Constitution has withstood the test of time because the core principles of the document haven’t really changed. The main principles of the Constitution are the ideas of federalism, separation of powers, and a rule of law. These ideas are the foundation for what the United States was supposed to look like, and provided a stable ground to build the country upon. The first principle, federalism, is defined as a system of government “in which political authority is divided between a general or national government and regional (or “state”) governments” [CITATION McC00 \p 234 \l 1033 ]. In a federal form of government, the general government “carries on the military and diplomatic functions of the country and deals with many other matters of national concern” while the state governments “carry on the public activities that most directly affect the citizens, such as police and fire protection” [CITATION McC00 \p 234 \l 1033 ]. America was one of the earliest

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