The 7 Principles of the Constitution (popular sovereignty, limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances, judicial review, federalism, and republicanism) explained.
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The Framers of the Constitution knew exactly what kind of government they didn't want. They didn't want the British monarchy, a system of government that centralized so much power in the hands of one man (the King) and one institution (the Parliament) that tyranny became (in the Americans' thinking, at least) the inevitable result. But they also didn't want the Articles of Confederation, the system of government that the newly independent American states had cobbled together in 1781. That system had decentralized power so completely that the feeble national government wasn't able to do much of anything at all. As increasingly serious social and economic problems threatened the young United States over the course of the 1780s, many of America's leading statesmen came to believe that a complete overhaul of the government was needed.
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