The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the nation. Itgives the American citizens sovereign authority, defines the role ofthe arms of government, and protects the rights and freedoms ofindividuals. The constitution was ratified in 1787, creating theUnited States of America. Before the Constitutional Convention inPhiladelphia, the country was governed by the Articles ofConfederation. Due to its provisions, the federal government wasalmost non-operational, and the states operated autonomously. Theframers sought to create a law that would create a united andstronger nation (Fruchtman, 2016).
The Article of Confederation was adopted in 1777, where statesoperated independently, while the Congress of the Confederation wasthe only national entity. Consequently, the principle role of theConstitutional Convention was to create a legal framework that wouldincrease the powers and influence of the federal government byestablishing its structures. This created the executive, legislature,and judiciary at the national level. Their powers were separated toprotect fundamental rights and provide checks and balance. Thefounders were also keen on establishing a perfect relationshipbetween the states to ensure that the nation remained united(Fruchtman, 2016).
The original document had several weaknesses, some of which were notidentified or highlighted at inception. Thus, an important aspect ofthe constitution is the series of amendments that have been achievedover the years. The founders of the nation ensured that an alterationprocess was well defined to prevent arbitrary changes. Nonetheless,it has been amended 27 times, with the aim of making the provisionsbetter. For example, in 1789, two years after it was ratified, JamesMadison proposed 12 amendments, which created the Bill of Rights(Fruchtman, 2016).
Fruchtman, J. (2016). American constitutional history: a briefintroduction. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell.