The American Constitution: Separation of Powers

The American Constitution: Separation of Powers

The United States of America constitution is a document that has kept America in harmony and promise3s to do so for future generations. The American constitution was formulated by fifty-five representatives of various states in 1787 and unanimously approved by the states in 1788 (Whittington 2010). The founders of this constitution were drawn from different occupations across the many professions in the United States of America:  some were scholars of history and philosophy, colonial government officers, and even military experts.  In formulating the American constitution, these delegates found it wise to form three national government arms and separate power for them in a unique way that ensured independence.  Also, the state governments were given special mandates that the federal government could not overstep.  These designations ensured maximum freedom remained with the people and that each arm of the government practiced its mandate without interference from the others.  This paper outlines the distribution of powers in the United States of America government, intending to give reasons for sharing these powers as framed by the constitution.

The legislative arm of government is mandated to formulate laws that would govern the nation.  In the United States of America, the legislative arm is known as Congress and is divided into two: the lower house and the senate.  In article one of the American constitutions, Congress is given powers to make laws of the land. The laws made are binding and are followed by every American. However, if a specific law ignites controversies, then clarifications are sought from the Supreme Court, which could either elaborate or revoke it.  Additionally, Congress has the powers to vet various nominees seeking to work in government and even impeach the executive members, including the president and the judiciary leaders, including the chief justice.

As established in article two of the constitution, the judiciary has the powers to interpret the people’s laws.  Some controversies that arise from new laws are solved by judicial review, which gives them clarity.  The judiciary is also mandated to solve conflicts that may arise between the other two arms of government. Furthermore, the courts have the mandate to check the constitutionality of actions and behaviors of the president. The constitution generally donates these powers to the judiciary to keep the other government arms in check as it defends itself from encroachment by either the legislature or the executive.

The executive arm is founded under the third article of the constitution.  It comprises the president, the vice-president, and the cabinet secretaries who head various departments. This arm has the mandate to execute various policies as formed by the legislature. The president is the head of the executive has the powers to ensure the constitution is protected at all times. Furthermore, the president is trusted to make international treaties for the well-being of America.

The wisdom of separating powers to various government arms aims to ensure that power is not concentrated on one person. Mansfield (2004) states that a man with absolute powers can’t act according to moral principles. Therefore, separation of powers makes it possible to keep everyone in check and correct them whenever they go, miss. In the United States of America, this scenario gives people the option of receiving assistance from another arm whenever one has gone the wrong way.

Work Cited

Mansfield, C. “Separation of Powers in the American Constitution.” Separation of Powers and Good Government, Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (2004) p.3-15.

Whittington, E. “Constructing a New American Constitution.” Const. Comment. 27 (2010) p.119.


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