Thenational political landscape has been one of the most intriguing inthe contemporary human society. Needless to say, the dual-partysystem under which the United States currently operates was based oncertain factions that were formed by notable individuals right fromthe beginning of the United States. While there may be varied peoplewho played a role in the formation of these factions, AlexanderHamilton and Thomas Jefferson were the most fundamentalrepresentatives of these divisions. There are varied differencesbetween the ideologies that these two individuals espoused withregard to different aspects of the society. Indeed, the two men haddiffering visions pertaining to the path that he country should take.
First,there were differences regarding people who should govern the countryor on whom the power rested. Jefferson believed that the success ofthe country was founded on its agrarian tradition, in which case hehad immense faith for the commoners. Indeed, he was extremelydistrustful of special privilege and wanted to lower thequalifications for voters. Hamilton, on the other hand, was extremelydistrustful of popular will and held the belief that the federalgovernment must have immense power so as to steer a proper andsuccessful course. Indeed, he opined that common people usually actedin a foolish manner, in which case only the wellborn, rich andeducated individuals should be trusted with ruling. In essence, hevouched for raising qualifications pertaining to voting.
Inaddition, the two differed with regard to the structure of governmentfor which they vouched. Jefferson was in favor or more democraticgovernment and aimed at lowering the number of federal employees. Onthe same note, he was in favor of strict implementation of thecountry`s constitution and opined that individual liberties have tobe safeguarded by laws. Further, he favored strong state governmentsand a considerably weak central government. Hamilton, however, tookthe opposing side, where he was in favor of a strong centralgovernment, while vouching for the modeling of the Americangovernment on the British system. Apart from vouching for an increasein the number of federal employees, Hamilton was in support of looseinterpretation of the United States constitution and also favored therestriction of some individual liberties including freedom of speech.
Further,they differed with regard to their economic plans. Hamilton was infavor of the establishment of a national bank that would maintainpublic credit, the enactment of government subsidies and protectivetariffs that would encourage manufacturers. Jefferson, however, feltthat the establishment of a National bank would be representative ofexcessive influence of English, not to mention the fact that suchacts were against the constitution. Farther, he favored the provisionof support to farmers and the already-established agrarian baserather than to manufacturers.
Needlessto say, the two factions present pretty desirable opinions that wouldsuit the country in varied ways. However, I am in favor ofJefferson’s opinion. This is especially with regard to thepromotion of the welfare of the common people. There is no way thatthe country would be said to be advanced if a large proportion of itspeople remain oppressed and unheard. Indeed, the power must rest withthe majority, who were essentially the common people rather than therich and educated.
Giventhe differences in their opinions, it is understandable that therewould be few or no similarities in their views regarding what shouldbe done. Indeed, the only thing that the two agreed on was the needto enact some changes in the government, although they differedregarding what form the changes were to take.
Conceptof Separation of Power
Theconcept of separation of powers is one of the most explored in thecontemporary human society. This model of governance was establishedin ancient Greece and has subsequently been adopted in numerous otherstates especially where democracy has been entrenched. Also referredto as the trias politica principle, the concept of separation ofpowers underlines the notion that the state is under the control ofthree branches of power including the judiciary, executive and thelegislature. Each of these branches come with distinctive andautonomous powers, as well as areas of responsibility so as toprevent the possibility of one branch being in conflict with thepowers pertaining to or assigned to other branches. The powers andresponsibilities of these three arms of government are incorporatedin the first three articles of the United States constitution. Ofparticular note is the fact that the three branches, according to theconstitution, are interrelated as they cooperate with each other andcheck each other against the assumption of too much power. Inessence, their relationship has often been detailed as one revolvingaround “checks and balances” in which a particular arm’sfunctions modify and contain the powers of another.
Inarticle 1 of the United States constitution, all legislative powersare vested in the Congress. The legislative branch is tasked with theresponsibility of making and amending the country’s laws and iscomposed of two houses namely the Senate and the House ofRepresentatives. Individuals in the two houses are calledCongresspersons.
Article2 Section 1, on the other hand, vests the executive power in aPresident of the United States of America, who is bound to hold theoffice for a Term of 4 years and who is elected together with theVice-president for a similar term.
TheJudicial Powers of the United States are spelt out in Article 3section 1, which vests them on the Supreme Court, as well as otherinferior courts that may be ordained and established by the Congress.Judges in the Supreme and Inferior Courts would hold their officessubject to good behavior, and are entitled to certain compensation atstated time, a compensation that would never be lowered or diminishedin the course of their continuance in office. This arm of thegovernment is primarily charged with the interpretation of the lawand the making of decisions regarding legal controversies.
Underthis checks and balances system, every branch would function as arestraint to the powers of the other branches. For instance, thepresident may Veto a Congressional legislation or sign it therebymaking it law. On the other hand, the Congress, via the Senate, hasthe capacity to consent and advice the executive on presidentialappointments and may, essentially, reject appointees made by theexecutive. The judiciary, which has the sole capacity forinterpreting the constitution and its laws may overturn or uphold theactions of the legislature or make rulings regarding actions of theexecutive. A large number of judges in both the Supreme Court and theinferior courts are appointed, in which case the executive and thelegislature may affect the operations or functioning of thejudiciary. This underlines the fact that at no time would authoritybe vested on a single branch of the government rather, power would bemeasured, restrained and apportioned among the three arms of thegovernment. It is further noted that individual states incorporatethe three-part government model via state court systems, stategovernors and state legislatures.