How does the separation of powers in the US constitution both facilitate good government and check tyranny?

Essay by sensy25University, Master'sA, February 2004

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The designers of the Constitution in the US implemented a framework of government that ensured the suppression of injustice and oppression, whereas at the same time, creating a climate ripe for good government.

The fundamental basis of this system was and is federalism. In the turbulence following the Declaration of Independence in 1776, it was clear that the scattered American colonies had no vested interest in establishing a strong executive branch of leadership. The supreme power of George III and the oppression associated with his rule ensured a fear and dislike of power amongst the colonies, prompting the framers of the Constitution to create new limitations and separations of power. Tyranny was checked by the federalist system because it established 'two sovereigns ', dual federalism, instead of one. Both national and state power was limited by the independent creations of the national government and the state governments. Because of this separation, it meant that there would be no further chance of tyranny through a unitary government in the US. Indeed, for a century and a half, the state governments had the greater share of power, whilst the national government was strangled of economic power. 'The federalism of strong states and weak national government reigned until 1937, when the Supreme Court redefined "interstate commerce" to permit the national government to regulate local economic conditions '. Therefore, due to this separation of power, trade was regulated at a local level and the people were better represented than before, as 'federalism freed the states to make so many important policies according to the wishes of their own citizens '. This means that dual federalism allowed the facilitation of good government within the US during a turbulent period, where a powerful national government may have polarised and fragmented the country by implementing...