Why is the Constitution important?:- The Constitution is the most important document of a country that outlines the overall governance of a nation. It is believed that The Magna Carta is the first and the oldest piece of document in Europe which is close to what we call the Constitution. The Magna Carta, in 1215 was signed by the then King of England and this laid the foundation of the idea of rule of law.
In this blog, you will get an idea of what exactly is a Constitution, the types of Constitutions, salient features of the American Constitution, and the importance of the Constitution in the governance of a country.
What is a Constitution?
A largely accepted definition of the Constitution is that it is a fundamental set of rules of a country that set the duties and the powers of the different branches of the government and also outlines the rights and duties of the citizens in a country. For the overall functioning of a country, the constitution is a very important piece of document.
In almost every country’s constitution, there are mainly three main provisions that are dealt with.
Firstly, the structure of the nation’s government, the powers and duties of the branches of the government (Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary), ideally these branches must be structured in a way that is laid on the foundation of separation of power with checks and balances among each other.
Secondly, it also defines governance at different levels. For example, if a nation is following a federal structure of governance like the United States of America, the constitution divides the power and the role between the states and the federal government. Thirdly, the Constitution generally assists in protecting the rights and liberties of individuals.
Types of Constitutions
Largely, throughout the world, you may find different kinds of constitutions. A few kinds of Constitutions are written constitutions like the USA, France, and India, and unwritten constitutions like the United Kingdom. Another kind is rigid constitutions which are difficult to amend and flexible constitutions which are easy to amend. Moreover, there are constitutions based on the governance levels; unitary and federal constitutions.
Salient Features of the American Constitution
1. The American Constitution is the oldest constitution in the world. The Constitution was written in the year 1787. The ratification of the same was done in the year 1788. And since 1789, the constitution has been in operation.
2. The founding fathers of America created this constitution in a four-page document. This document will make you understand the core principles upon which the American people stand today.
3. The power of the Federal government is limited, the states are allowed to have their own constitution, and less interference of the federal government is allowed. This is because of the history of the American people with the tyranny of the British Empire.
4. The Constitution clearly demarcates the separation of power between the different branches of the US government with careful provisions regarding the checks and balances among the branches. A provision that proves to be a successful strategy considering the prosperity of America as a nation.
5. A unique blend of stable and flexible constitutions, which has survived more than 200 years considering the radical globalization and development in the last two centuries.
6. The American constitution is the cornerstone of the personal liberty of an individual. Largely, every aspect of the rights of an individual is protected by the First 10 Amendments to the American Constitution under the umbrella of the Bill of Rights. Shortly after the adoption of the American Constitution, these amendments were incorporated.
The American constitution being the oldest and one of the most successful constitutions in the world has been able to become a source of inspiration for various other nations throughout the world and has set an example of how a nation must be governed and what all basic human rights must be ensured in the constitution only. In the next part, you will get to know why is the constitution important for the successful survival of a nation and what role has the American Constitution played for the world.
The Importance of the Constitution (Why is the Constitution important?)
Why is the Constitution important? What if there is no constitution, can’t a country survive without a constitution? Let’s discuss the importance of a constitution in a nation with special reference to the American Constitution.
1. As discussed above, a constitution largely contains provisions that describe an overall vision of the nation, its structure, and the rights and duties of various bodies and individuals. A successful constitution is going to help a nation flourish like it has for America.
2. America became the sole superpower by the second half of the 20th century. This enabled America to have a great influence over the geopolitical issues. Not only this, America inspired various nations to incorporate the idea of freedom and democracy.
3. It is not necessary that only a democratic or a free nation will have a constitution per se. But to incorporate these noble ideas in the spirit of the citizens and to become a successful nation, there must be a constitution that idealizes in itself the idea of democracy and freedom.
4. A constitution that provides basic human rights to the citizens, the rights which are God-given and are with humans by virtue of being born as human is very important for the overall development of a nation and its citizens. It is only when discrimination is removed from its roots as America has done by removing the practice of slavery, that a nation can flourish to its full potential.
5. A constitution describes the powerful vision and ideals of a nation. If the constitution is well drafted it becomes a source of inspiration for other countries as well and benefits mankind on a larger scale.
These are a few points that advocate for the importance of a well-drafted constitution.
Q.1 What are the major provisions of the U.S. Constitution?
The basic framework of the governance system of America is described in the U.S. Constitution. From creating different branches of the government to outlining the basic human rights of the people, the American Constitution touches every aspect of a strong nation.
Q. 2 Who is the father of the American Constitution?
James Madison is known as the father of the American Constitution as most of his ideas were incorporated in the Constitution.
Q. 3 What are the different kinds of constitutions?
There are various kinds of constitutions some prominent ones are: –
a. Written and Unwritten
b. Rigid and Flexible
c. Unitary and Federal
d. Monarchical and Republican
e. Presidential and Parliamentarian