Founding Principles: Limited Government
(This is the third in a series on Founding Principles with help from the Bill of Rights Institute. These principles are the foundation of our Constitutional Republic).
We are studying a series of liberty-building blocks based on America’s Founding Principles. So far, we have covered:
2. Consent and a republic https://civicsandcitizenship.org/founding-principles-consent-and-a-republic/
3. And now, limited government
Limited government is a political system that places boundaries on the government’s power. For example, limited government precludes one person from wielding much or all power. Instead, the power is distributed. An example is in three branches of government- legislative, executive, and judicial. There is also the division of power in local, state, and national government.
Notably, our Constitution delegates powers to our government and enumerates (spells out) what powers the government has. Our government can’t act if our Constitution doesn’t grant the ability to do it.
Without the study of civics, a citizenry tends to revert to yielding power to the government, sort of like depending on a bigger-than-life parent. When that happens, the people have less power, and the government has more power. That’s why, in a Constitutional Republic, citizens need to study the Constitution and know their rights.
We can divide the founding principle of limited government into two areas: the rule of law and due process of law.
The rule of law disregards political clout. All officials and all citizens must obey the same laws, regardless of their standing or power. By the same token, all laws are equally applied to citizens and government officials.
Additionally, due process of law means all rules and regulations apply equally to all people, regardless of upbringing, outcomes, income, etc. We are responsible and accountable for our behavior in a free society that limits government authority.
Are you beginning to understand our moral responsibility in maintaining self-government and a Constitutional Republic? It is eye-opening, to be sure!
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.🇺🇸
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