Evolution Of Checks And Balances

I. Background.

A. 18th century view of govt. as something to be restrained, and modern view of govt. as something to be used for the common good

B. Fear of tyranny among Founders; distrust of government.; checks and balances are used as means of intentionally building inefficiency in order to prevent govt. abuse of power

II. Modifications

A. Political parties

    1. In theory, branches of government come together

    2. In reality, parties are weak

        aa. Two party system leaves ideological views to be used as deal breakers

        bb. Rare to see full control of government by one particular party

B. Changes in voting methods

    1. Senators now chosen by people

    2. Congressmen also chosen by people

    3. Presidents & Electoral College- members of two branches essentially chosen by same electorate weakening of checks and balances

C. Federal bureaucracy weakens checks and balances

D. Emergence of U.S. as world power after WWII left the Executive branch with all encompassing and viewable power (even though Constitutionally it does not have any more power than the Legislative or Judicial branches