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American Government - Essay Example

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One who oppressed, rather than led.
James Madison, one of the founders of the US Constitution, writes that, “If Tyranny and Oppression comes to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” To best understand Madison’s intent behind his statement, it would be important to remember that at its root, guise means ‘appearance’. That being said, what Madison intended to say was that if it came down to both tyranny and oppression coming to our shores, it would be through the appearance of a fight that involved a country outside of our soil. A present day example of this would be the current war on terror being fought by the US Government in Iraq.
From the text American Government: Brief Version written by James Wilson, two particular quotes are given by Madison himself that, each in their own way, pertain to this very topic. They are, “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed: and in the next place oblige it to control itself,” As well as, “But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary,” (Wilson p.15). As for how the US Constitution protects against tyrannical rule, it does provide for a ‘checks and balances’ system in which the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative bodies each can have some kind of say above the other in order to prevent if possible any kind of dominance on the part of one arm of the government.
Just as is the case with anything else, government is an imperfect system and as Madison famously said, “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” That statement in its own ...Show more
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Throughout history, many countries have been led by monarchy rule that most, after detailed study, would be determined to be both tyrannical and oppressive in nature. Most notably, during the 1500s English King Henry VIII, in his quest to rid himself of a wife who had failed to…
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