Q:

Why has the Constitution lasted so long?

A:

Quick Answer

The Constitution is interpreted and amended according to the needs of the times and because early leaders established a reverence for the Constitution that makes it an indispensable part of America's political heritage. Leaders advocate laws by imbuing passages of the Constitution with new meaning. Despite constant metamorphoses, the political norm is always to defend policy proposals by resorting to the Constitution.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

The Constitution's style and structure facilitate new interpretations. It is a relatively sparse document, much shorter than those of many other nations. The written details surrounding the roles of the executive and judicial branches are especially vague and lacking in detail. Thus, modern political realities, not enshrined instructions, determine most of the specific workings of government.

The judicial branch also has a hand in keeping the Constitution vibrant. The principle of judicial review allows the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution in deciding whether public policy is constitutional or unconstitutional. This practice has often led to the court finding rights and functions of government far beyond what the actual written text specifies. These trends combine to keep the Constitution relevant.

Another important factor for the Constitution's longevity is the immense reverence Americans have for it. The Constitution itself requires all federal officers to take an oath to uphold it. From the onset, political leaders honored this allegiance and debated political questions on the matter of constitutionality. In modern America, citizens still view the Constitution as something sacrosanct and inviolable. Opposing parties do not claim that the Constitution is wrong, but that their opponent's interpretation of the Constitution is wrong.

Learn more about The Constitution

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the purpose of the Constitution?

    A:

    The main purpose of the U.S. Constitution is to establish the basic rights of all American citizens and provide direction on how the government should work. The Constitution also provides the framework for law and order and describes the roles of the government's federal judiciary branch, legislative branch and executive branch.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is an unwritten constitution?

    A:

    An unwritten constitution encompasses ideas and processes that have come about through custom and precedent, although they are not expressly stated in the Constitution. The ideas and processes that are used in an unwritten constitution are recognized as a necessary part of the American government. These processes are typically used so often that many people fail to realize that they are not part of the Constitution.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why was the Constitution created?

    A:

    The founding fathers of the United States of America wrote the Constitution because the nation's original governing document, the Articles of Confederation, proved to be relatively powerless for law enforcement. The Articles of Confederation did not give Congress the ability to protect the nation, regulate currency and enact diplomacy.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does the Constitution say?

    A:

    The Constitution outlines the national framework of government with its three branches: executive, judiciary and legislative. It describes the qualifications, responsibilities and powers of the president, members of Congress, the judiciary and principles of federalism, and it details how the Constitution may be amended.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore