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The system of checks and balances was established to make sure that parts of our government did not abuse their powers.Each branch, including the legislative, executive, and judicial, has its own unique set of powers and responsibilities to initiate change and to serve as checks, or limits, on the powers of the other branches. We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities.
If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.
Let's also take a look at how the system of checks and balances works with something common, like passing a law.
One of the powers that the legislative branch has is the ability to propose laws. Supreme Court, in the judicial branch, can also declare a law unconstitutional, which also cancels the law - another check.
In the constitution of the judiciary department in particular, it might be inexpedient to insist rigorously on the principle: first, because peculiar qualifications being essential in the members, the primary consideration ought to be to select that mode of choice which best secures these qualifications; secondly, because the permanent tenure by which the appointments are held in that department, must soon destroy all sense of dependence on the authority conferring them.
It is equally evident, that the members of each department should be as little dependent as possible on those of the others, for the emoluments annexed to their offices.Madison explained, “Justice is the end of government.It is the end of civil society.” Madison’s political theory as expressed in this Federalist Paper demonstrated the influence of Montesquieu’s The Spirit of the Laws on the Founders.Without presuming to undertake a full development of this important idea, I will hazard a few general observations, which may perhaps place it in a clearer light, and enable us to form a more correct judgment of the principles and structure of the government planned by the convention.In order to lay a due foundation for that separate and distinct exercise of the different powers of government, which to a certain extent is admitted on all hands to be essential to the preservation of liberty, it is evident that each department should have a will of its own; and consequently should be so constituted that the members of each should have as little agency as possible in the appointment of the members of the others.In this Federalist Paper, James Madison explains and defends the checks and balances system in the Constitution.Each branch of government is framed so that its power checks the power of the other two branches; additionally, each branch of government is dependent on the people, who are the source of legitimate authority.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 79,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.This concept of each branch having its own set of job duties and authoritative capacities is known as the concept of separation of powers.The concept of separation of powers is directly related to the system of checks and balances because each branch has its own set of powers (balances), and some of the capabilities that each branch has makes sure that another branch doesn't abuse its power (checks).