There are a wide range of problems that the constitution of the United States of America was designed to solve, before we can determine how successfully it solves them we must first determine what these problems are and how the constitution deals with them. There are three major problems that the constitution is designed to solve and deal with above all others, firstly the constitution is designed to provide the answer of granting the people of the USA an effective government, it is also designed to prevent the threat to the civil liberties of any individual. In addition to this the constitution is designed to ease the problem of tension between the individual states throughout the country.
The preamble at the start of the constitution illustrates the specific purpose of the constitution and declares that above all the matters it faces it is the welfare of the people and its promotion that is the main concern and aim of the constitution. The constitution also contains the bill of rights which lays down the rights that are possessed by every citizen of the united states of America.
The constitution lays down its intentions to provide the country with an effective government in its first two articles, article one states the functions and powers of congress, article two states the powers of the president, and in addition to this the powers of the supreme court are illustrated in article three. Many argue that the presidency and a national parliament are needed in order to provide a strong government. Article two tells of how the president is not only the head of the government but also the head of state for the USA, he is the commander in chief of the armed forces but despite this his actions can be seriously restricted by congress, for instance the president cannot declare war or pass laws due to all legislative powers being in the hands of congress. It also speaks of the qualifications a person must possess in order to become president, these include being a second generation American citizen and being a resident in the USA for over fourteen years. This would suggest that the constitution is providing a strong system of government that is not infringing on the rights of the American citizen. Article two states of how congress has great powers when coming to deal with matters of legislation and appointments of judges to the supreme court, congress is made up of two houses, the house of representatives and the senate. The reasons for there being two houses are down to the concept of democracy and the fear of democracy.
After reading these two articles it would indeed seem that the constitution does indeed seem that it solves the problem of needing to provide an effective government, however after a closer examination of this it perhaps would seem that this goal has been achieved at the expense of not infringing civil liberties. For example these articles do allow for a strong government to be formed and fits in with the ideals of democracy by not giving huge amounts of power to the president, but many would argue that by giving to much power to congress extremely powerful governments could be formed, which could lead to extremely negative consequences. For example many critics claim that this constitution allows for governments with ridiculously large amounts of power to be formed which results in massive infringements on civil liberties. However there are several congressional checks that can be placed on the president to stop a dangerous candidate from coming to power, for instance many presidential appointments have to be confirmed by the majority of the senate, for example Robert Borg was an un-successful nomination as he was rejected by the senate.
This was a main concern that the founding fathers of the USA were faced with and so created the separation of powers system, they wished to distribute power between federal and state governments in order to prevent excessive centralisation. This would suggest that the problem of tension between the states and the government that the constitution was designed to solve is achievable, as it checks and balances and enforces the rule of law and makes the supreme court the highest body in the land that cannot be overthrown by the president. The tenth amendment to the constitution says that any powers that are not delegated by the constitution or prohibited by the states are reserved for to the states or to the people. When tension between the states boiled over the result was a civil war, due to the difficulties in uniting the states of America a large amount of power had to be granted to individual states to make this possible, through the federal system and the tenth amendment. In order to calm the tension between the states the constitution states that at a time of presidential elections there will be an electoral college, however critics of this system say that the constitution doesn’t really solve the problem of tension due to the smaller states sometimes being incredibly over representative.
There are indeed several pieces of evidence and statistics that suggest that the constitution has been a very effective and successful piece of material for the united states of America. Presidents who appear to act in a way that is threatening to the civil liberties of the people often do not last long in office due to them being overthrown by the senate, for instance Richard Nixon was forced to resign through impeachment after it his role in a wire tapping scandal became public. In addition to this many would say that if it wasn’t successful it would never have lasted the several centuries that it has done.