Frederick Douglass Academy November 17, 2009
USHG/ Ms. Montano Dianeirys Vasquez
Period 7 DBQ Essay
The System of Checks & Balances
The system of checks and balances effectively provides a simple and organized way to control the power of the federal government. The first three articles of the U.S. Constitution call for the powers of the federal government to be divided among three separate branches: the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary branch. Under the separation of powers, each branch is independent, has a separate function, and may not replace the functions of another branch. However, the branches work together. They work with one another and also stop one another from trying to get too much power. This relationship is defined as checks and balances, where the functions of one branch serve to hold and revise the power of one another. Through this complicated system of protection, the Framers of the Constitution looked to protect the nation against tyranny (dictatorship).
The system of checks and balances functions to stabilize the government. For example, if the president commits a crime the legislative branch can impeach him. According to the constitution, the House of Representatives has the power of impeachment. Another example of the legislative branch checking the president is Document 2. Article 2 states how the Senate has to give its consent and advice to the president in order for him to make treaties, appoint ambassadors/ other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court and all other officers of the United States.
The system of checks and balances has been applied in specific circumstances in U.S. history. For example a president can veto a law if he does not approve of it, but it is stated that Congress has the right to override the presidential veto. In Document 3 a chart shows how...