We need somebody to contribute here. Cover the history, need for govt, functions of govt (Protect Rights, Liberties, Lives & Property etc) and perhaps the different forms and a few Quotes from the Founders etc.
Thomas Jefferson to Joseph C. Cabell 2 Feb. 1816 Writings 14:421--23
No, my friend, the way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent to.
Let the national government be entrusted with the defence of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations;
the State governments with the civil rights, laws, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally;
the counties with the local concerns of the counties,
and each ward direct the interests within itself.
It is by dividing and subdividing these republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man's farm by himself; by placing under every one what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best.
What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and power into one body, no matter whether of the autocrats of Russia or France, or of the aristocrats of a Venetian senate. Thomas Jefferson speaks about the logical division of power and responsibility between the Federal, State, County and Local Governments.
It was nothing short of a Miracle, that so many men, from so many different walks of life, could cast aside all their personal prejudices, interests and desires, and ignore the enormous pressures that this put upon them, their businesses, their families and virtually every part of their personal lives - every day for five (5) long months - to create a Government and a Constitution, like none ever before it, that was entirely designed to protect the Rights, Liberties, Lives, Property and general welfare of all the citizens, with no special compensations for anyone - a Republic, a Nation based on The Rule of Law - not that of personal whims. Fortunately, for us and even the rest of the World, all of these men were learned, far beyond what any modern politicians are. Every one of them was familiar with the histories of every known civilization that had ever exisited, and they knew what caused the downfall of each of them. So they were careful, far moreso than most can even imagine, to be sure that every safeguard was there, well placed within the Constitution, to protect our People, the States, our unique new Federal Government and the Soverignty of each of the States as well as that of The People - it was nothing short of a Miracle. It is highly unlikely that anything so grand will ever happen again.
There have hundreds of articles written about what the Founding Fathers though of a Democracy. Here is just one.
17th Amendment: Changed the way Senators were chosen, from by the State Legislatures to Popular Vote, thus removing the Constitutional CHECK designed to mak them responsible to the States. After this, nobody in Washington was answerable to the States - not even the Senators, so the Federal Government started "courting them" for their votes, which effectively removed the Sovereignty of the States and The People. It then allowed the federal government to take over virtually all of their former Constitutional Powers so it completely controls the States and most everything in the lives of The People and has condemned the State Legislatures to ignominy as it nows completely out oontrol.
1st Amendment: This amendment is now in danger - some Politicians are calling for censorship or outright BANNING of some talk-radio shows and television programs. If we lose this RIGHT we will totally without recourse to even stop "Brain-washing".
2nd Amendment: GOD even gave every single animal the instinct of "self-preservation". Yet, some people think no PERSON should have the RIGHT to defend himself. Our Constitution recognized this GOD-Given RIGHT to all and it tells us that we need to be armed and should use force, if necessary, to dispose of or change a government that ceases to work for the good or all the People. This amendment is under CONTINUOUS attack by those that would like to Take Control and the far greater number of "Pawns" they already have "Brainwashed".
9th Amendment: Our RIGHTS were NOT given to us by the Constitution - they are GOD-GIVEN and the Constitution recognizes this - that NO MAN can take away ANY of the GOD-Given RIGHTS.
10th Amendment: The Federal Government was created ONLY to give the Individual, Sovereign States a means of dealing with Foreign Powers with UNITY and Protecting themselves, as a group, against INVADERS. Our Constitution specifically limited the powers of the Federal Government, it is FILLED with Checks & Balances, each designed to PREVENT the Federal Government from over-stepping the powers allowed to it by the Constitution and it specifically says that ANY Powers not specifically stated remain with the States and The People.
14th Amendment: This is a TRAVESTY! It re-defined the Sovereignty of the Citizens of each of the States to being American Citizens! This effectively removed the most important powers reserved for the States and put them in the hands of the Federal Government. It has taken this power and every day controls more & more of the details of each persons' lives. Many of its provisions gave the Federal Government the power to take away States Rights and allowed it to Commandeer ALL the Local & State Governments of the Southern States and restructure them against the good of their Citizens and to the benefit of Politicians and other parasites.
16th Amendment: This too is a TRAVESTY. It gave the Federal Government the power to TAKE whatever it wants, BY FORCE, from the Sovereign Citizens of the States. In effect, it DESTROYED the parts of the 5th Amendment that pertain to Emminent Domain and Due Process (and more). With this power, the Federal Government has reached out its tenacles to TAX virtually EVERYTHING and it grows now without restraints of ANY type.
26th amendment: This gave the power of the Vote to young people - that are not sufficiently matured or experience enough to understand what a "good" government should do to give ALL the people PROTECTION of Life, Liberty, Property and the Pursuit of Happiness; that FREEDOM is the most important element for a truly "happy" society - where The people can control their own destinies rather than being planned an enforced by bureaucrats, and that personal responsibility, the will to succeed and charity will always provide more good for ALL the people than ANYTHING forced upon them
27th Amendment: This did NOTHING to control the MORALS of the Congress. The Founding Fathers expected our Public Servants to work FOR the good of ALL the People - not for their own gain of Political Power and Wealth - taken by deceit from The People. Due to the corrupting of our "system", they know that 95% are going to get re-elected no matter how badly they perform their "Sacred Obligations, so they simply vote them selves a raise, earlier than before as it will be TAKEN a little later - in their next term.
4th Amendment: Our RIGHTS of prohibition of unreasonable search, seizure and dsearch warrants based on reasonalbe cause have been TAKEN AWAY by the Patriot Act and many other Laws and Supreme Court rulings.
5th Amendment: Our RIGHTS of emminent domain and due process have been DESTROYED by a series of UNCONSTITUTIONAL Laws (of which The Patriot Act is among the most egregious) and Supreme Court rulings.
22nd Amendment; Did good in not allowing a President to acquire so much power that he could effectively run the country forever. However, if fell short on a similar, and possibly greater, goal: It should have also imposed "Term Limits" on the Senators & Representatives so they could not acquire so much Political Power & Wealth (at the expense of The people) that they no longer had to answer to their country.
Effects and Problems in the Amendments Many of the amendments did not have the desired effects. Often this was because they were not well thought out but, possibly more often, it was the result of CORRUPTION - the Deliberate Planning and Concealment of The Facts by designing Politicians and Special Interests. as our country grew the Elected Representatives became more "disconnected' from "The People" and it became easier to mislead them into voting for things that were NOT for their ultimate benefit.
Give this short exam a try..... Civic Literacy Exam (from 2008 survey) Are you more knowledgeable than the average citizen? The average score for all 2,508 Americans taking the following test was 49%. College graduates averaged 55%. Can you do better? Questions were drawn from past ISI surveys, as well as other nationally recognized exams. This is not an easy test and can be quite humbling.
10 Things You Might Not Know About America's Independence On July Fourth, Americans eat hot dogs and watch fireworks. But what are we really celebrating? Standard answers to this question are "We are celebrating our independence" or "The signing of the Declaration of Independence". Well, yes and no - click to find out.