James Madison ofVirginia is historically known for being one of the Founding Fathers of theUnited States as well as being the individual who drafted the United StatesConstitution. The Constitution, which was adopted in 1789, is historicallyand politically the most significant document to be written. However, it is notthe original Constitution of the Land. Prior to the adoption of the U.S.
Constitution, the structure and role of government were implemented under theArticles of Confederation. However, the Articles were not sufficed. It ended upweakening the structure of government in which caused much disarray in theNation. Under the Articles, the role of government created disorder on both thefederal and state level. Its failures included a weak centralized government,consisted of only a unicameral legislature and held that Congress did not holdthe power to regulate commerce. In the effort to restore the Nation, the FoundingFathers began drafting revisions to strengthen the Articles in the effort tobring back order to the government. However, they ended up replacing thedocuments in its entirety.
The newconstitution proposal laid out a new framework of government. It would serve asa vivid organizational guide to establish a new system of government. TheFramers constructed the constitution on two basic principles: to establish thepurpose of government and to establish a government that is limited in power.However, it is the structure of the constitution that is most important. It isdivided into three separate parts – the preamble, the articles and theamendments – with each having a concise rationale for its purpose. The Constitutionbegins with the Preamble. It is a short opening sentence that gives thejustification as to why the constitution was written along with the six goalsof government.
It informs the American people that all persons hold the powerof government and that government’s sole purpose is to serve them. Next, theSeven Articles, establish the functions of government. First, in Articles 1-3,it outlines the three branches of government and the responsibilities eachbranch is to uphold. To ensure that each of the three branches has limitedpower, the system of checks and balances would be implemented to prevent abranch from holding too much power. Next, Article 4, explains the relationsbetween States.
Then, Article 5 states the amendment process of theConstitution. Article 6 entails the Debt, Supremacy and Oath clauses. Lastly,Article 7 explains the Ratification of the Constitution. The final part upholdsthe ratified Amendments to the Constitution. Currently, it consists oftwenty-seven total amendments. The first ten are referred to as the Bill ofRights which are the basic liberties that are guaranteed to all individuals.