In 1776, the thirteen British colonies declared their independence from Great Britain. The colonies then had to establish a government that would be the framework for the United States of America. In 1787, after the first governmental plan of the United States known as the Articles of Confederation was unsuccessful in the colonies, the United States Constitution was formed. The purpose of the Constitution was to establish a strong form of government following the failure of the Articles of Confederation. The original Constitution did not directly address the rights of individuals. It consists of seven articles that give attention to legislative power, executive power, judicial power, power of states, amendments, federal power and ratification. The constitution placed restrictions on what powers that the government held. It also limited the influence that ordinary people would have over the government. The constitution strikes a balance between the power of the government and power of U.S citizens by placing specific limits on both.
The U.S Constitution was designed to put limitations on what the government could and could not do. The beginning articles establish the responsibilities and powers along with the complex and detailed limits of the Legislative branch, the Executive Branch and the Judicial branch. The Legislative Branch, also known as Congress, is the official body that has the duty of writing government laws (pg.27). The Executive Branch, which includes the Presidents Cabinet, has the duty to enforce and execute the laws that the congress pass (pg.53). The Judicial Branch has the duty to interpret the law, apply the law and insure that justice is done (pg.64). Throughout these three branches, there is a system of checks and balances that is incorporated to make sure that one branch of the government is not more powerful than another. Article One of the Constitution states that only the legislature has the ability to raise money through the collection of taxes and tariffs.