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Essay from the year 2006 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1 = A, University of Trier ( Department of English Studies), course: Culture Studies - North America, 7 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: When the seventy-four delegates of the thirteen founding states of America came together at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia in 1787 to debate and draft a new constitution, they wanted to achieve two aims: On the one hand, they wanted to establish a successful and enduring federal government having the means to defend independence from European powers as well as to keep the states with their different interests together. On the other hand, knowing that authoritarian and corrupt monarchies oppressing their own people dominated the political world of the 18 th century, the constitution should be so carefully drafted that any government in future could be efficiently prevented from becoming too powerful and thus turning into a tyranny. 1 Many people in those days doubted if these two demanding aims could be equally achieved by the new constitution. They were of the opinion that tyrannical governments are the price to pay for a well-functioning and successful government. 2 However, the history of the American Constitution has proven these people wrong: even more than 200 years later the same constitution is still in power. And more than that: it has become the founding document of the first modern - functioning - democracy with the result that not only the American people - no matter to what political camp they belong as individuals - are proud of their constitution 3 ; many other states wanting to establish their own democracy have also tried and still try to imitate and adopt the features of the US- Constitution. 4 So, looking at the unique history of the American constitution, the question arises: What is it that has made this constitution so stable and successful? In my essay I want to argue that two aspects are responsible for this success: On the one hand, the US- Constitution is marked by its incorporation of mechanisms through which the idea of a suspicion of a strong government is expressed in order to protect individual freedom. On the other hand, it is the constitution's flexibility to adapt its general principles to new social conditions that have contributed to its success. The most important adaptation which took place in this context was that of the development of a social welfare state during the New-Deal-time which helped to master the worst economic crisis in American history. [...]

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