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How Does the Constitution Guard Against Tyranny?

1787, in Philadelphia, fifty-five delegates met to revise the government that was existing under the Articles of Confederation because it was lacking the power needed for a strong government. There was no chief executive, there was no court system, and there was not even a way for the central government to force a state to pay taxes. To form the new secure central government the delegates had to do it without letting a group of people or one person have too much power.

The Constitution guarded against tyranny in three main ways: Separation of Powers, the framers of the Constitution, and the small state – large state compromise. Separation of Powers kept the constitution from tyranny by making sure that not one power was greater than the other. In Document 2, Federalist Paper #47, Madison said, “…all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary,…whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may be justly pronounced the very definition of tyranny….(L)iberty requires that the three great departments of power should be separate and distinct.

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” Thus stating that it couldn’t be a tyranny because the three branches were equal, not one was stronger than the other, and the powers of each of the branches (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) were distinct from each other.

An example of separation of powers is that, while federal judges are appointed by the President (executive branch), and confirmed by the Senate they can be impeached by the legislative branch (Congress), which holds the sole power to do that. Or, that the House of Representatives can impeach an official, but the Senate is the sole court for impeachment trials.

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Secondly, the framers of the Constitution played a key role in keeping the Constitution from tyranny by giving each branch a fair opportunity to stop the other branch(es) from doing anything unconstitutional. In Document 3, in Federalist Paper #51, James Madison said, “the constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices…that they may be a check on the other…. (The three branches) should not be so far separated as to have no constitutional control over each other.” In other words, each branch should be able to check on the other branches without being so separated that they can’t.

One example from the diagram in Document 3 is, Congress can approve Presidential nominations, override a President’s veto, impeach the President and remove him or her from office, but the President can veto Congressional legislation, this shows the checks and balances of each branch. Lastly, adding to how the Constitution guarded to tyranny is the small state – large state compromise. The way small state – large state compromise guarded against tyranny is that small states and large states all had at least one representative “…(until a census is taken within three years)…” from the Constitution of the United States of America, 1787, some states get more than one representative depending on their population, unlike how tyranny works, only one or a group of leaders who have the power, this is giving representation to all of the states big or small.In Conclusion, Separation of Powers, the framers of the Constitution, and the small state – large state compromise all guarded the Constitution from tyranny. These few things helped form a stable central government avoiding giving too much power to a single person or group.

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How Does the Constitution Guard Against Tyranny?. (2020, Sep 05). Retrieved from

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