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Limited government

Snippet from Wikipedia: Limited government

A limited government is the view in political philosophy that a government, from a starting point of having no power, is empowered and restricted by law which is written in its constitution. It is a key concept in the history of liberalism.

The Constitution of the United States presents an example of the U.S. federal government not possessing any power except what is delegated to it by the Constitution, with the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution making explicit that powers not specifically delegated to the federal government are reserved for the people and the states.

The United States is one of the most well-known examples of a country that uses this type of government. The limited government of the United States is split into a system of checks and balances so that the branches within the government have shared responsibilities and one division does not become more important than the other.

Magna Carta and the United States Constitution also represent important milestones in the limiting of governmental power. The earliest use of the term limited government dates back to King James VI and I in the late 16th century. When limited government is put into practice it often involves the protection of individual liberty from government intrusion.

Limited government as defined, a type of government in which its functions and powers are prescribed, limited, and restricted by law. The U.S. Constitution provides the means of limited government whereby the people shall not be infringed upon by the government. That the government is given enumerated powers by the people. The role of the federal government is limited by the Delegated Powers set forth in Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution and by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. The people and the states are the final authority in most matters. Limited government is libertarian, conservative in concept and is the basis of Republicanism. The power of the people, as opposed to federal power, enables the government to be kept in-check from authoritarian or totalitarian influences and defends the people's interests from judicial activism and other undemocratic encroachments. Additional federal limitations can be found in the Bill of Rights. The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Articles of the Bill of Rights specify procedures designed to keep the government from acting arbitrarily or capriciously or unfairly.

The roots of limited government can be found in the Declaration of Independence, the self-evident or “unalienable rights” clause. Liberty is a blessing we have received from God himself and limited government is an extension of that right.

Also as a basis of limited government, the English prescribed the Magna Carta in the eleventh century. This proclaims, “No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or dispossessed or outlawed or banished, or in any way destroyed … except by the legal judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.”

See also


limited_government.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/12 18:35 (external edit)