How We Guard Against Tyranny

The Constitution


One way that our constitution protects us from tyranny is federalism. Federalism is when the power is shared between the government and the states. This protects our rights, because if the central government or the state government gets out of control and starts abusing our rights, the other government can put an end to that. It is basically a sense of double protection. Additionally, the central government regulates all the national activity, while the state governments regulate all the in-state activity. This compound government guarantees that neither government, state or national, will get completely out of control with power before the other government puts a stop to it, thus leading to no tyranny.
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Separation of Powers

Our constitution guards against tyranny because from separation of powers. Based on James Madison's quote, tyranny is when all the power of the branches of national government accumulate in one person, or some persons' hands. Our constitution protects from this with the separations of power. The power of the national government is split up into 3 branches, with each branch doing a separate job, so that no two branches are directly linked together in what their main job is. This maintains no excessive power gathering up in the hands of a few.
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Checks and Balances

A third way our constitution guards against tyranny is by incorporating checks and balances in the three branches of government. The legislative branch checks the power of the executive branch, since they can approve Presidential nominations, override a veto, and impeach the president. The legislative branch checks the power of the judicial branch by approving Presidential nominations and impeaching judges. The judicial branch checks the power of the legislative branch by declaring the laws they make unconstitutional. Similarly, they check the executive branch's power by declaring presidential acts unconstitutional. Finally, the executive branch checks the power of the legislative branch by vetoing laws he believes to be "wrong". The President also checks the power of the judicial branch by nominating the judges. The checks and balances protect our government from tyranny, because, if one or two branches get out of control, the other(s) can check their power to make sure they don't get too powerful. If three branches get out of control on the other hand....
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Big States vs. Small States

The final way our government protects against tyranny, is granting the wishes of both the big and small states, based on population. The bigger states would obviously want representation to be based on population, so they could have more representation. The smaller states, on the other hand, would want equal representation, so that they have the same representation as any other state, and there is no imbalance just because they don't have as much people in their state. To satisfy both of these wishes, the men at the Constitutional Convention agreed to make two "houses" for this argument. One, the House of Representatives, where representation was based off population, and the other, the Senate, where every state had exactly two senators, thus granting equal representation.
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