Our Living Constitution: An modern interpretation of the flexibility of the constitution and how much foresight our fore fathers had in the wording of it, not much history, mostly interpretation

Essay by JenemartUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2002

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"The American Constitution is, so far as I can see, the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man," said William Gladstone, almost one hundred years after the ratification of the American Constitution (Ross, 29). I agree with Mr. Gladstone in his opinion of the constitution. The basic principles set forth by our Founding Fathers are nothing short of ingenious. The principles of limited government, federalism, separation of powers, and the statement of individual liberties simply give the underlying ideals of government. This leaves plenty of room for interpretation by the courts as well as by individuals.

During the time that has passed since the Constitution was ratified over two hundred years ago, there have been many interpretations that have led to even more social and political changes. However, the essential framework of the Constitution has remained constant (Ross, 54). The building blocks that make up this strong but flexible framework, have allowed these changes to occur without collapse of the authority of the Constitution.

I believe that there are four main reasons, cornerstones, one might say, that have allowed the Constitution to today, still be what it was originally created to be; a living, flexible, governing document. First of all, the Constitution gives enough authority to one power in order for that institution, be it executive, judiciary, or legislative, to handle the process of solving the problem. In our case, which branch this responsibility would fall to would hinge entirely on the type of the actual problem. Next, the fact that the Constitution was written with the idea in mind that different interpretations would be made has aided it in the fight for survival. Thirdly, the Constitution cannot be altered or changed in any way without a large group, or...