THE CONSTITUTION OF USA – AN OVERVIEW
The present Federal government of U.S.A came into being in the year of 1789. The United States comprised of thirteen colonies of Great Britain. In the year 1776, these colonies at the Atlantic Coast rebelled against the mother country and became independent in 1783. During this period the revolted colonies established the “Articles of Confederation” as the first constitution in 1777. However, this system could not last very long. There was no separate common executive nor was there any independent judiciary. An effective central government was the fundamental need of the hour. A convention for the purpose of framing the constitution was convened at Philadelphia in 1787. Thus the constitution was framed on the basis of this convention and was signed by the delegates on September 17,1787. This constitution came into force in 1789. since then it has undergone many changes, one of them being the increase in the number of states from 13 in 1787 to 50 at present.
- The Preamble to the United States Constitution is a brief introductory statement of the Constitution’s fundamental purposes and guiding principles.
- It states in general terms, and courts have referred to it as reliable evidence of, the Founding Fathers’ intentions regarding the Constitution’s meaning and what they hoped the Constitution would achieve as it pertains to all of the people of the United States.
- As the phrase, “we the people” suggests that the new government originates from the people of the United States and it sets into motion a question as it pertains to that vast population concerning the individual rights and equality among all people; this can be seen most broadly in the divide between republicanism and social democracy.
1. EXECUTIVE BRANCH IN USA
The power of the Executive Branch is vested in the President of the United States, who also acts as head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The President is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws written by Congress and, to that end, appoints the heads of the federal agencies, including the Cabinet. The Vice President is also part of the Executive Branch, ready to assume the Presidency should the need arise. The Cabinet and independent federal agencies are responsible for the day-to-day enforcement and administration of federal laws. These departments and agencies have missions and responsibilities as widely divergent as those of the Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency, the Social Security Administration and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Including members of the armed forces, the Executive Branch employs more than 4 million Americans.
The President is both the head of state and head of government of the United States of America, and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Under Article II of the Constitution, the President is responsible for the execution and enforcement of the laws created by Congress. Fifteen executive departments — each led by an appointed member of the President’s Cabinet — carry out the day-to-day administration of the federal government. They are joined in this by other executive agencies such as the CIA and Environmental Protection Agency, the heads of which are not part of the Cabinet, but who are under the full authority of the President. The President also appoints the heads of more than 50 independent federal commissions, such as the Federal Reserve Board or the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as federal judges, ambassadors, and other federal offices. The Executive Office of the President (EOP) consists of the immediate staff to the President, along with entities such as the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of the United States Trade Representative. The President has the power either to sign legislation into law or to veto bills enacted by Congress, although Congress may override a veto with a two-thirds vote of both houses. The Executive Branch conducts diplomacy with other nations, and the President has the power to negotiate and sign treaties, which also must be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate. The President can issue executive orders, which direct executive officers or clarify and further existing laws. The President also has unlimited power to extend pardons and clemencies for federal crimes, except in cases of impeachment.
AMERICAN PRESIDENT AND INDIAN PRESIDENT: A COMPARISON
American PresidentIndian President
|Unlike the Indian Constitution, the Ameri¬can Constitution provides for the presidential form of government. The features of the American presidential system of government are as follows:||(a) Head of the State-The President of India is the head of state of the Republic of India. The President is the formal head of the executive, legislature and judiciary of India and is the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces|