How Did the Constitution Guard Against Tyranny
Under the Articles of Confederation, the national government was not strong enough while states still ran like countries that were independent. As a result, the Constitution was established in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. The Constitution was formed to give more power to the national government while at the same time protecting the rights of the citizens. In order to protect against tyranny by either the state or national governments, the Constitution provided for federalism, a system of checks and balances, separation of powers and balance of power between the small and large states in order to ensure no single institution would have excess power.
Federalism is a system of government where power is divided between the national government and the state and local governments. The federal government is in charge of running the country through such means as developing a common currency, conducting foreign relations or declaring war against another country. The state governments on the other hand build schools, collect taxes, create local governments and also pass state laws. In essence, none of this governments carries all the power and are required to work together in order to benefit the citizens of the nation.
The separation of powers was effected through the three branches of the government; the Judiciary, Executive and Legislature. The branches rule out any chance of tyranny by preventing any of the branches from taking control on their own. For instance, the judiciary gets its powers from the Supreme Court, the Executive has powers within the presidency while the Legislature gets power from the Congress. This way, the Constitution ensured none of these branches would gain any more power over the others.
With the system of checks and balances, the constitution made a provision for the branches of the government to put a check on each other. This ensures that the government bodies keep each other honest and stick to the law. For instance, the legislature can impeach the President while the Judiciary through the Supreme Court ensures that the Executive and legislature do not create policies that may undermine the rights of the citizens.
Finally, the Constitution ensured that there was a balance of power between the large and small states. Each state is required to have one representative and depending on the geographical size of the state, additional members are allowed. In the Senate, each senator has one vote. As a result, no state will have more power than the other.