American Government and Politics
The founders of this country wanted a government with have power, but they didn t want a government with too much of it. To accomplish this they wrote ways to limit the government s use of power. By doing this they also enable the citizens of he country to remain free and not have to worry about the government have too much power.
Limited government is defined as a government that is subject to strict limits of its power. The Constitution was written with language that give powers to certain parts of the government and denies them to others. It also guarantees the right of the individual by providing the government rules that must be followed. The constitution states that individuals have the right to be brought before a court under a writ of habeas corpus for a judgment as to the legality of their confinement. It also forbids congress from passing ex post facto laws, which enables the prosecution for acts that were legal at the time they were committed. These are example on how the constitution has limited the powers of government and protected the rights of the individual. It also forbids the use of religious test as a qualification for holding office, and forbids Congress or the states from enacting bills of attainder (legislative trials). The first ten amendments or the Bill of Rights also help protect the individual. They allow for due process for people accused of crimes, and freedom of expression. These were included in the constitution strictly for the reason of protecting the individual.
The constitution also offsets power with power. So that no one branch of the government can become too powerful, they implemented a system of checks and balances. With these powers, framers of the constitution ensured that their government would not be the absolute say in any decision. The individual has been viewed as the important person and the government cannot take that away.