Constitutional Development of USA

Framing of USA Constitution 1787 in Philadelphia Convention . The Constitution is democratic in Nature

Constitutional Development of USA
  1. Framing of USA Constitution 1787 in Philadelphia Convention.
  2. The Constitution is democratic in Nature
  3. There is no state religion in USA
  4. In first US Federation Consists of 13 Colonies which were mainly rules by English; which were divided in further 3 different types:-
  • Crown colonies ruled by governors.
  • Proprietary colonies ruled by Individuals.
  • Charter colonies run directly by free men of the colonies.

Constitution History of USA

  1. Establishment of Virginia House of Burgess in 1619.
  2. Mayflower compact 1620.
  3. Fundamental orders of Convention 1639.
  4. The Colonia conflict on heavy taxation.
  5. Approval of Stamp Act in 1765.

slogan (No taxation without representation)

  1. Sons of Liberty to promote the Stamp Act.
  2. First Continental Congress 1774

The Massachusetts legislature called for a meeting of a continental congress. 56 delegates representation from 12 colonies.

  1. Second Continental congress 1775.

Due to tension between the British Government and Colonies, second continental congress was developed. The Congress organized Army, Issues their own currency notes, established treasury office, post office, Navy and appointed George Washington as commander in Chief of the Army.

  1. Declaration of Independence 1776.

4th July 1776 is celebrated as US Independence Day.

War between British Crown and Independent states from 1776 to 1783 (8 years).

  1. Establishment of Confederation 1781.
  2. Treaty of Paris 1783.

            In Treaty, British Government recognized the Independence.

  1. The Annapolis convention 1786 (Virginia State Called the convention at the suggestion of James Midison and was attended by delegates of 5 states.
  2. The Philadelphia Convention
  • 74 delegates from 12 states except Rhode Island.
  • Ratified the constitution by 9 out of 13 States.
  • George Washington elected as 1st
  • John Adams elected as 1st vice president.
  • New York as first Capital.
  • Finally Constitution came into force 1789. Later the number of states increased from 13 to 50.

Features of US Constitution

  1. Written Constitution
  2. Rigid Constitution

2/3rd majority shall propose amendments

3/4th Legislature of States shall ratified the amendment

  1. Popular sovereignty
  2. Limited Govt. (not to go beyond the powers
  3. Separation of powers

Parliamentary powers

President & his cabinet powers

Judicial Powers of Courts

  1. Checks and balances
  2. Bi-Cameral legislature

Senate is to be considered as Upper House consists of 100 members elected directly by the people of States on parity basis for 6 years. Each State sends it 2 members to upper house.

House of representative is the lower house is consisted of 438 members elected on population basis through the method of adult franchise.

The both houses have no equal powers. The upper house is stronger than lower house. It is even the strongest upper house in the world.

  1. Federal System
  2. Presidential System

The president is the head of state as well as the head of executive.

The president is elected indirectly by the people for the terms of 7 years.

He cannot be removed by vote of no-confidence by the congress except the impeachment.

He is not responsible to the Congress.

He does not attend its session, nor initiate legislation directly, nor answer the questions.

On the other hand, the President cannot dissolve the Congress, nor can interfere in its legislation except exercising his veto powers.

  1. Republicanism (Democratic Constitution)
  2. Bill of rights ( The first 10 amendments incorporated to ensure the fundamental rights of the people.
  3. Dual Citizenship.

An American would be a citizen of United States as well as the State therein he or she is domiciled.

  1. Spoil System

Under this system when the new President takes over the charge of Administration is supposed to appoint a fresh all important officials of Federal Govt. by dismissing the previous ones.

  1. Judicial Review

The Supreme Court of United States can declare any legislation, executive orders and administrative directions void if they are found inconsistent with any provision or article of the Constitution.

It is therefore to be said that US govt. is govt. by Judges.

Federal Government of United States of America

  • Prevails federal system of govt.
  • Division of powers between States & Federal govt.
  • 18 powers conferred to federal govt. and rest of the residuary powers are vested in States Powers.
  • What can do? (18 powers)
  • What can not do? (suspending a writ of Habeas Corpus or from ex-post facto laws.
  • What can states do? ( All the residuary powers are vested to States.

Growth Of The Federal Authority

Following are the factors responsible for increase in the federal authority.

  1. Doctrine of implied powers

The supreme court of USA has interpreted the US Constitution in that manner which the powers of federal govt. increased.

  1. Amendments of the Constitution
  2. Physical, Economic and Social changes.

At the time of promulgation of US Constitution, America was just a federation of 13 States but now it is a union of 50 States.

This growth in size and population has increased the power of federal growth in numerous matters.

  1. Role of Powerful Presidents.

In American Political history, the powerful presidents have issued rules and regulations in the exercise of their authority which widens the power of federal govt.

  1. The impact of the Civil War (1861-65)

The issue of center state relationship was effectively decided by the Civil War 1861-65 which gave a negative verdict against separation, State autonomy which in federal govt.

  1. Confidence in the Federal Govt.
  2. Federal Grants-in-Aid.e
  3. Defense of the Country
  4. Impact of the world Situations.

Federal State Relationship

There are three major patterns of Federal State Relationship in the United States Federation which are as follows:-

  1. Dual Federalism (in which power is divided between the federal and state govt. in clearly defined terms.
  2. Cooperative federalism is defined as a flexible relationship between the federal and state govt. in which both work together on variety of issues.
  3. Creative federalism (allows the federal govt. to decide what the states need and then provide them with resources.

Federal Obligations to the states

  1. Territorial integrity of the States.
  2. Republican form of govt. (govt. which is ruled by citizen representative)
  3. Defense against invasion and violence.
  4. Equal representation in the Senate.
  5. State Immunity from suits

States Obligations to the federation

  1. Elections of federal officials
  2. Participating in amending process

Advantages of Federal Government

  1. One nation with state identities
  2. Internal flexibility
  3. Prevention of despotism(آمرانہ سلطنت)
  4. Interest in local govt.
  5. Better local govt.
  6. Political experimentation
  7. Political stability
  8. Efficient govt.

Disadvantages of federal form of government

  1. Weakness in foreign affairs (due to conflicts between state & federation)
  2. Weaknesses in Home govt. ( due to negative role of opposition)
  3. Threat of Rebellion
  4. Threat of division into groups and alliances
  5. Lack of uniformity in legislation & administration
  6. Double system of legislation


The President


  • The President is the head of state and chief executive of the country
  • He is not bound of the Cabinet decisions but the cabinet is bound to follow his instructions.

Qualification of President

  • A natural born citizen of the United States
  • Must not be less than 35 years of age
  • Must have resided not less than 15 years in the country


  1. Nomination by parties:
  2. Electoral College
  • Constitution provides indirect elections for American President.
  • He is elected by an Electoral College consisting of 538 members equivalent to 438 Representatives and 100 Senators.

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