Tyranny Behind Bars

By, Claudia Shevitz

What is Tyranny?


The accumulation of all powers… in the same hands, whether of one, or a few, or many.

Steps The Government Took to Protect us From It:

  1. Federalism
  2. Separation of Powers
  3. Checks and Balances
  4. Big States vs. Little States


Federalism is the compound government that is made up of two governments, Central and State. Powers given to the Central government are equally important as the powers given to the State Government. The Central government's powers are, regulate trade, conduct foreign relations, provide an army and navy, declare war, print coin and money, set up post offices, and make immigration laws. The powers given to the State are, set up local governments, hold elections, establish schools, pass marriage and divorce laws, and regulate in-state businesses. They also share powers. The powers they share are, tax, borrow money, set up courts, make laws, and enforce laws. Federalism protects us from tyranny because the Central and State governments have more power over each other.
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Separation of Powers:

There are three branches of government, and they are Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.

The Legislative branch makes laws, the Executive branch enforces laws, and the Judicial branch interprets laws. If you are elected as the President, you can't also be appointed to the Supreme court, if you are elected to the House of Representatives, you can't also be the President, etc. That happens because you would have too much power. They need to be separated because if one person or group has all the power, it could turn into a tyranny.

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Checks and Balances:

Checks and Balances is how each branch checks the others. The Executive branch, can check the Judicial branch by nominating the judges. The Executive branch checks the Legislative branch by vetoing a Congressional legislation. The Judicial can check the Legislative branch by declaring laws unconstitutional. The Judicial branch checks the Executive branch by declaring presidential acts unconstitutional. The Legislative can check the Executive by override their veto of a law, approve the President's nominations, and impeach him or her from office. The Legislative branch checks the Judicial branch by confirming the President's nominations and impeaching judges and removing them from office. This helps guard from tyranny because each branch checks the other's powers to see if anyone has to much.
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Big States vs. Small States:

Smaller states have less representatives in the House of Representatives than the big states do. This occurs because the number of representatives in the House was determined by population. Obviously the larger states like this and the smaller states don't because they have less people. The small states end up getting even in the Senate of the United States because the Senate has two people from each state. This protects against tyranny because the large states were prevented from dominating the small states
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