Answer each 5 discussion question with a response to what's being said to receive full credit.
1. The problem Constitutionalism was created to address were the issues of divine right due to the policies and laws made by the king. The basis of authority in a Constitutional system is a legitimate government. The essential features of a legitimate government is it deriving from the people. John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United State states constitutionalism creates opportunities for people to have an original right to establish for their future government. The people overall hold the basis of authority in the theory of democracy. Rousseau talks about the people are equal in both citizens and lawmakers and sovereignty inheres in the citizen body. He also mentions citizens can become fully human through basic human nature with self love and pity. Strengths I found in Rousseau's points in democracy and also the social contract is always finding the best interests of the individual. He also believes in the concept of the government being answerable to the citizen body as a whole.
2. Constitutionalism was created to address the issues regarding government power and the abuse of that power by the government. The thought it's that the constitution provides a framework for government power and making sure that the rights of citizens are protected. The authority in a constitutional system itself would be a document that outlines the guidelines and structure of governmental power.
The features of constitutionalism is the rule of law, the separation of powers, checks and balances and the protection of individual rights. The rule of law says that law applies to all people equally. The separation of powers is stating that power should be divided among the different branches of government, (judicial, executive and legislative). Checks and balances is saying that the branches of government have the power to limit the power of other branches. The protection of individual rights means that the constitution gives rights to citizens that aren't able to violated by the government.
Democratic theory is based on social contract which believes that people come together to form society and want to be governed. People are believed to be good and will is the result of legitimate authority. Rousseau believed that democracy required participation by citizens. the strengths of his approach include a push towards will and participation. The weaknesses include the potential for tyranny as well as direct democracy not being practical, another weakness is that a focus on general will wouldn't protect minorities.
3. Constitutionalism was created to address the problem of unlimited government power and the need to establish a government system based on the rule of law. The idea of Constitutionalism is that government power should be limited by a constitution, which serves as the supreme law of the land and sets out the fundamental principles and rules that govern the operation of the government.
The basis of authority in a Constitutional system is the Constitution itself. The Constitution establishes the framework of government and sets out the powers and responsibilities of the different branches of government and the rights and freedoms of individuals. The Constitution is usually created through a process of democratic deliberation and consensus-building, and it is designed to reflect the values and aspirations of the people who create it.
The essential features of a Constitutional that I found to be most important go as follows:
A written Constitution: A Constitution that is written down and codified in a single document is the foundation of a Constitutional system. This document serves as the supreme law of the land and is binding on all branches of government and all citizens.
Separation of powers: The powers of government are divided among three separate branches: the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Each branch has its own specific powers and responsibilities, and no branch can exercise the powers of the other branches.
Checks and balances: Each branch of government has the ability to check and balance the powers of the other branches, in order to prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful.
Bill of Rights: A Bill of Rights is a set of fundamental rights and freedoms that are guaranteed to all citizens. These rights are protected by the Constitution and cannot be taken away by the government.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau's democratic theory is based on the idea that political authority should be derived from the general will of the people, rather than from the will of a particular group or individual. According to Rousseau, the social contract that forms the basis of political authority is an agreement among individuals to form a society that is based on the principles of equality, liberty, and fraternity.
The underlying assumption of Rousseau's theory is that all individuals have inherent equality and that the collective will of the people is more important than the will of any particular group or individual. The main ideas that constitute his democratic theory include:
The general will: The general will is the collective will of the people, and it represents the common good. According to Rousseau, the general will should always be the basis of political decision-making.
Social contract: The social contract is an agreement among individuals to form a society that is based on the principles of equality, liberty, and fraternity. The social contract forms the basis of political authority and is the foundation of democratic government.
Popular sovereignty: Popular sovereignty means that the people are the ultimate source of political power and that the government should be accountable to the people.
Direct democracy: Direct democracy is a form of government in which citizens participate directly in the decision-making process.
The strengths of Rousseau's democratic theory include its emphasis on equality, liberty, and fraternity, and its focus on the people's collective will. This approach prioritizes the interests of the entire community, rather than just a particular group or individual. Additionally, his emphasis on direct democracy and popular sovereignty ensures that citizens have a voice in their government and that their interests are represented.
However, there are also weaknesses in Rousseau's approach. One of the main criticisms of his theory is that it is not always clear how the general will is determined and who decides what it is. Additionally, direct democracy is not always practical or efficient, especially in large societies, and can lead to mob rule or the tyranny of the majority. Finally, some critics argue that his emphasis on the collective will and the subordination of individual interests can lead to the suppression of individual freedom and autonomy.
4. The issue that was at hand was that the people followed a monarchy for so many years where in theory there was one single person who made the major decisions that was supposed to be for their country and a lot of the time it would truly not benefit the people. Constitutionalism in theory is supposed to be an equal right democracy of sorts that allows for representatives to be the ones to make the decision so that it is best suited for all those involved. The essential features of this approach is that there are many people voting on a central idea so that there is not just one perspective.
According to Rousseau man is originally born free but those around them cause for their rights and ideas to be taken away and that a natural society is a family. By having everyone's say in mind there is an ability to make a decision in which there is a common mindset involved. The strength in which this democracy has is that one is not overpowered by others and has an equal say of their thoughts and feelings on the matter. The issue is a lot of the time the decision made when there are so many people is a diluted version of what they originally wanted and had.
5. The reading for this week mentions that England experienced a period where hereditary monarchs abused their power against citizens in the 17th century. The monarchs, led by King Charles I, used Bible verses to show that God had given kings "divine rights" over their subjects. During a speech in his book, he reiterated that "to dispute what God can do, it's blasphemy." From 1640 to 1649, King James I and later his son Charles I debated over religious freedom and political power, eventually leading to the English Civil War. It was precisely this type of abuse by royalty that inspired England to institute the constitutional system. According to an article in Britannica, a Constitution is "the body of doctrines and practices that form the fundamental organizing principle of a political state" and was adopted in 1653 as the first written constitution (https://www.britannica.com/event/Instrument-of-Government-England-1653). In the present day, the government operates under constitutional principles.
Rousseau had a different concept of what an ideal democracy should be. In a democracy, he hoped for equality, the right to choose one's government, and a state that represented the interests of its citizens. It is by nature for people to be kind, selfish, and honest, according to Rousseau. However, societal change, population growth, and greed hinder people's goodness. In his Social Contract, he wrote that "man was/is born free, and everywhere he is chained" because a corrupt government was marginalizing citizens. He believed in the possibility of a social contract to promote the interests and freedom of individuals. He also believed in a society that worked together to manage the political system and social regulations. One benefit of this approach is that people acquire civic responsibilities in the community and supervise the interests of citizens. A weakness could be that people might abuse their authority and act disrespectfully and dishonestly.
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