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System of Checks and Balances Essay (Critical Writing)


The president heads the American Presidential system of government. He/she is both the head of state and government. The president has powers to appoint officials to key government positions and to declare a state of emergency. The constitution grants the head of state several powers in order to drive the government well.

Everybody in the country turns to the government in case anything goes wrong. The government therefore has a sole responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of individuals. The government ensures that an individual exercises his/her rights and duties without interruption.

For this case, the government has powers over the activities and actions of individuals. Even though an individual has rights as articulated in the bill of rights, such rights and freedoms must be exercised in accordance with the constitution.

This means that individuals have duties apart from rights. The main duty of an individual is to pay taxes and to obey the law always. Democracy is achieved when rights and duties are observed carefully.

The government is divided into three major arms, each charged with a responsibility. The three exist to serve citizens in the most cost effective way. Governmental powers are shared among the three wings. This is important because power corrupts and in some cases corrupts absolutely.

The two chambers of parliament that is, the senate and the congress checks on the excess of the president and his/her team. The president cannot appoint officials to important constitutional offices without approval by either chamber.

This is important because the head of state is always at toes knowing that he/she is being watched. The legislature hence acts as people’s watchdog because it instructs the executive to publicize expenditures and in extreme cases orders audit of accounts.

From the above analysis, it does not mean that the executive arm of government is irrelevant. The president must sanction all bills before they can be applied or implemented. The civil service is supposed to offer free services to people, especially during the times of calamities.

A state is said to be strong when its government is strong. Weak governments cannot manage the affairs of the state well. Such governments usually have weak foreign policies, which makes a state not to achieve external interests. The US is strong and viewed as a world power mainly because of its strong institutions. Strong institutions guarantee justice and equality within a state (Sabato 17).

In other words, it can be summarized that whereas the legislature makes laws, the executive arm implements them. This process is a continuous dialectic implying that one cannot be separated from the other. The two are intricately tied together although the executive have more powers especially during natural disasters (Beeman 37).

The last but most important arm of government is the judiciary. The agency comprises of judges and the court system charged with the responsibility of arbitration. The judiciary from time to time is invited to interpret some clauses of the constitution, particularly during conflicts.

The judiciary ensures that justice is administered properly and no abnormality goes on in government. The members of the judiciary advice the president on the best ways possible as regards to policy implementation. It does not mean that the judiciary is powerful than the other two arms.

In fact, the president with endorsement from the legislature appoints members of the judiciary. The judiciary in turn has its freedoms since it is sovereign. No person can influence the judiciary to favor one party during arbitration.

Works Cited

Sabato, Larry. American Government: Roots and Reform (11th ed). Virginia: Longman, 2011.

Beeman, Richard. “The Varieties of Deference in Eighteenth-Century America,” Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 3 (2), 2005.

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IvyPanda. "System of Checks and Balances." March 28, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/system-of-checks-and-balances/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "System of Checks and Balances." March 28, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/system-of-checks-and-balances/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'System of Checks and Balances'. 28 March.

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