The role of the Constitution is crucial for the life of the American society today. Being written more than 200 years ago, this document still remains an effective tool to regulate the complicated relations in the democratic, but strongly diverse multinational society. The religious views together with the resistance of the individual liberty to the political rules, the fears and frustration of the citizens and other issues were the common challenges the American society had to face in the period of the Constitution implementation into life and till nowadays. The aim of the current paper is to focus on the challenges that have been disturbing for the American Constitution earlier and remain timely till nowadays.
One of the first challenges on the way to the Constitution implementation was the interference of the London officials, who were not willing to allow the colonial assembly to have the independent administration. Nevertheless, the American politics, ideology and search for the social change have become crucial to struggle this obstacle and bring the society to the rule of law and free life. The aim of the Constitution creators on that stage was to make people feel free and live without the fear of being frustrated by the will of others. In order to overcome these challenges, a set of conditions was applied. First of all, the law had to be general and applied to all citizens. What is important, those, who enforce the law are not any exceptions out of the rules. Secondly, the retroactive penalties cannot be applied by the law. Thirdly, the laws and relate decisions cannot be in secret and the judges as well as all branches of the government must be independent. Fourthly, no discretion can appear in case the law is applied. Finally, the freedom of people can be limited solely by the general rules and must remain equal for everyone. Nevertheless, all of these conditions were applied gradually and gained with the lessons of the history. However, the love towards freedom and equality had to remain the basic ideas of the Constitution creators.
The commitment to church or to the political and economic institutions was a common feature to separate various representatives of the society. In addition, secularization was a common feature of the American society of the 18-19th centuries. Therefore, in order to encourage the believers respect the US Constitution as they respect the Bible, a compromise was necessary. With regard to the strong influence of such secular views, drawing the connection between the God’s will and Constitution creation has become the best solution. Even though the belief in the God’s role in inspiring the American Constitution is not commonly mentioned nowadays, the truth is that this belief still remains quite strong and essential for the believers. Reynolds refers to Joseph Smith’s and official declaration of Church beliefs to show that “Constitution was divinely inspired”. As a result, the strong God believers will definitely accept its laws without any possibilities to deny the validity of the document. Together with deep religiosity, Americans are quite educated and serious about their economic roles. Therefore, in addition to the God’s inspiration, the Constitution was emphasized as the document that serves the public interests and the economy of the country. Therefore, another model of inspiring people was showing that it is a great way to resolve the conflict between the individual liberty and political order that existed for centuries.
McConkie points out that the early patriots have led the other challenges related to the Constitution functioning and contents. In fact, they referred to the democracy failures including the warning that any democracy is likely “to exhaust and murder itself”. Hence, the existing Constitution in the beginning of the 20th century was considered as inappropriate for the welfare of the American citizens. However, such view was denied as the country has the republican form of government being the representative and constitutional democracy. However, what is important about this ruling form, the life of people is regulated by the “code of personal liberties”. This code has undergone some changes under the influence of the Revolutions and other social changes. The amendments regarding the freedom of press, expression, religion, earing arms, security, slavery and many other issues were applied with time. However, the inalienable rights have remained unchanged, and these are the rights that must belong to mankind, not only to one state. Hence, the rights for file, liberty and happiness are inseparable for any person.
With regard to all positive characteristic of the Constitution, there is another challenge. In fact, even though being aimed to bring the justice, welfare, tranquility and liberty to people, it cannot ensure security, happiness and social status. As a result, some individuals even disagree that the forma principles of the law are effective to ensure freedom of press, religion and juries’ fairness. Facing this challenge, the American government has put particular attention to the morality of people and their special character as one relying on love toward liberty and other Constitutional values as the basic characteristics ensuring devotion to the American law. In addition to that, the regular comparison of the liberties the US provides to the restrictions in other countries like Russia have also become and effective step on the way to increase the Americans’ respect toward their Constitution. Moreover, the Constitution makes a strong emphasis on the fact that people are the source of the government power and their sovereignty is the greatest value for the state. In addition to that, the balanced cooperation of the unions is emphasized by the presence of the separate powers and branches that must preserve both the personal value and the effective work as one unity.
Nevertheless, the opposition to the Constitution was not destroyed completely. The controversial position of some officials still remain a disturbing issue that raises the negative attitudes of the public towards the government, some related institutions and the laws that happen to be unable to regulate the situation. However, it is necessary to understand that the unwise policies or laws should not be defined as unconstitutional at once. Instead, the deeper focus on the problem and seek for the unity must be the major perspectives on the way to for the attitude to the Constitution and to the separate laws. In the same way, this unity represents that all people regardless their positions in the society are absolutely equal. Article 2 of the Constitution shows that the citizens’ welfare is the major priority of the government representatives. Therefore, in the American society, the President or any other Civil officers, who were convicted of treason, bribery, other crimes or misdemeanors cannot proceed their work and will be disqualified. In such a way, the equality promoted by the Constitution is re-confirmed.
To sum it up, almost three centuries of existence have left a visible imprint on the contents of the Constitution, and its initial appearance was obviously different from the one the modern citizen can observe. Nevertheless, some of the challenges that were met on the way of Constitution creation remain timely until nowadays. The frustration of some citizens and failure to view the minorities as equal, some issues predetermined by non-correspondences between the political actions and religious views of people, ambiguous attitude of some individuals to the democracy, inability to ensure security, happiness and social status to the citizens, controversial attitudes to hat can be views as constitutional or unconstitutional – all of these issues have been addressed by the government, but still remain disturbing. Nevertheless, they cannot be considered as serious failures of the document while it is obvious quite effective in regulating the life in the big and diverse American society.